There’s a new television series that aired on Bravo TV yesterday which begs the question, “how well can you know anybody?” Imposters is a con-themed comedy series of twists, turns and deception which follows Maddie, a persona shifting con-woman who marries her unwitting victims then robs them of everything – including their hearts – and disappears.
Getting “blindsided” by a breakup becomes a running element of the show, and while Imposters takes a comedic approach to not really knowing someone, getting blindsided in a relationship by someone you trusted just isn’t funny.
Imposters has us asking: how can you spot the signs of a “blindsider” before they break your heart? And what should you do if getting blindsided ever happens to you?
Warning signs your partner might blindside you:
1. They avoid the negative aspects of your relationship
Blindsiders rarely communicate their dissatisfactions with the relationship. Instead, they’ll avoid negative emotions. And if you’re upset, they tend to work to make you feel better “with little to no verbal problem-solving or communication.”
It’s normal and healthy for a relationship to have ups and downs. Working through the low points helps to build intimacy. By avoiding the negative, blindsiders keep their emotional distance.
2. They’re a people pleaser
Blindsiders tend to internalize feelings. They don’t want others to be upset with them and they don’t like being criticized. By doing so, they’re creating a pressure cooker effect. Eventually, all those negative emotions that could have been talked about and remedied, build up and explode. At this point they’re overwhelmed and feel like they need leave.
Pay attention to how your partner deals with conflict. Do they avoid conflict? Do they tend to agree with people for the sake of pleasing them?
3. They keep secrets
Holding secrets relates to the blindsider’s tendency to internalize.
Could your partner be running up huge sums of debt?
Did they have previous relationships or marriages they haven’t told you about?
Keeping secrets doesn’t help to create a lasting bond in a relationship. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. A blindsider’s ability to hold the truth – either their emotions or their finances or relationship history – ensures they’re keeping an emotional distance from you.
But relationships cannot be sustainable without honest conversation. While most breakups happen throughout a series of conversations, getting blindsided happens as a shock.
This is typically the case when one partner hasn’t shared their feelings enough with the other, therefore the relationship doesn’t get a chance to grow. And when it becomes too much for the blindsider, expressing themselves now is the last thing they’re going to do. The only option in their eyes is to leave.
Coping with getting blindsided
If a blindsided breakup happened to you, you might be feeling trepidation about future relationships. It helps to understand what to do so that you can hopefully avoid it ever happening again.
Get in touch with your emotions
Sometimes a relationship can fall into a rut, in which neither person is conveying their thoughts and feelings. But feelings are like data: they tell us about the state of our life and relationships. Getting in touch with your feelings gives you the ability to read the data, so to speak.
By making the effort to directly communicate, you could help open the door to handling conflict. Doing so is necessary in a healthy relationship. Just take note if your partner isn’t willing to do the same – as we know that a lack of engagement leads to that pressure cooker effect.
One of the hardest aspects of getting blindsided is that you’re left wondering what went wrong.
But sometimes no matter how much effort you put into a relationship, how much you talked about your feelings, the person who blindsided you may have had other motivations you’ll never know about. You can mull it over for days wondering what the reason could be, or you could move on and realize the reason isn’t so important. For whatever reason, people might be at a point in their lives different from you and aren’t ready to accept love.
Letting go and moving forward might just be the key to finding truly that special person.
After all the good times you spent together, might your partner be an “imposter?”