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Don't Use Camouflage When Hunting for a Relationship

09/16/2015 05:02 EDT | Updated 09/16/2016 05:12 EDT
Shutterstock / Asichka

Camouflage acts as an outward disguise that species rely on to conceal themselves whether they are on the attack or hiding as prey. The military and hunting industries learned to mimic mother nature ages ago and use camouflage to blend in with natural surroundings. But, when we humans go hunting for relationships, we're better off showing our true colors.

Starting a relationship without exposing our true selves is venturing into dangerous territory -- like walking in a minefield and knowing we could trigger an explosion with every step. Many of us have experienced or witnessed such an explosion before -- a couple seems to be getting along just fine until one day, out of the blue, one party calls it quits. Do you know why? It's likely that the person who walked out was wearing camouflage.

Camouflage is intended to disguise. Nothing else. So why would someone use it with their significant other? We have three answers to this question and they go hand in hand.

Beware of the pleaser

People who hide their true selves in their relationships are doing it for two reasons -- they want to please their partner with their phoney charm, and they want to hang around without totally engaging. These people need to question the veracity of their intentions. What are they really after? When they build a relationship on a faulty foundation, it's destined to collapse. They need to reconcile who they are with the fake persona they are putting on. What's the purpose behind the camouflage? Manipulation? Fear? Low self-esteem? Remember, there's a distinction between wearing a gaudy disguise on Halloween and covering up one's true identity the rest of the year.

Yes, there's an app for that

Hasn't this become second nature -- a question comes to mind, and we instinctively reach for our smartphones to check the app that can answer it for us. Well, believe it or not, there's another App to help us determine if we're victims of camouflage. It's called the "off" button. Turn that phone off! Eliminate all the noise. Many people simply can't be alone with themselves and, instead, surround themselves with all kinds of distractions simply to avoid taking a good look at the reality staring them in the face. Sooner or later, they need to confront the unavoidable truth -- that they alone are the drivers of their lives and destinies. Take some alone time, away from all the daily noise, to reflect on the validity of your relationship.

Address the false front

Last, but not least, sit down with your partner and share your feelings with an open heart. This may be tough if you feel you've been hiding for a long, long time. However, our recommendation is to approach the person with love, openness and sincerity, doing your best to leave anger out of it. The bottom line is, you have to come clean and shed the camouflage if you want to give the relationship a chance to blossom into an authentic, fulfilling partnership.

If you're still not convinced that the camouflage is working against you as you hunt for true companionship, think about this -- you did not come into this world to impersonate someone you're not. You are supposed to be YOU. Just you. Once you discover and embrace your own worth, you instantly enhance your "love-worth." By removing the entire disguise, your relationship hunt can attract a true, lifelong partner.

Authors and relationship coaches Diane and Mario Cloutier have a new book, Relovenship - Look Within to Love Again (Xclamat!on Media, 2015).

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