The 12 Women You Meet in Life: The Shapeshifter

You thought Shapeshifters were the stuff of science fiction and fairy tales didn’t you? Well, my darling boys, they are real.

From Wikipedia: If the change is involuntary, its cause may be a curse or spell, a wizard’s or magician’s or fairy’s help, a deity’s will, a temporal change such as a full moon or nightfall, love, or death. The transformation may or may not be purposeful.

For today’s story, the curse is love/infatuation and my theory is that is purposeful.

Have you ever dated a Shapeshifter? Think carefully. You meet a girl/woman, and she has a series of unique traits, interests, physical features, and sense of style; characteristics that attracted you to her. But as your relationship progressed, friends would joke that you started to look alike, talk alike, act alike, spend all your time together, blah blah, blah. People say this happens the longer a couple is together, but I don’t buy it. I’ve known many couples that have been together for years and still manage to look like two separate people.

It’s completely normal to share interests with the person you’re with, and one would hope that you would be able to teach the other new things, but shape shifting takes the “shared interest” thing to a brand new level; your girlfriend basically becomes another version of you. A Shapeshifter feels that by adopting your style of dress, your mannerisms, your interests, et cetera, that they will former a deeper bond with you; all designed to appeal to your inner narcissist. Think about it, it’s you, reflected back and presented as positive.

Sometimes, a person adopts new interests and habits for the better. A smoker stops smoking and takes up running because her boyfriend is a health nut. The socially awkward and somewhat shy girl learns to live a little by dating the extrovert. But what differentiates “shifting for the better” from shape-shifting is whether these newly adopted habits/characteristics continue long after the relationship has ended. If they stick, she’s learned from you and the relationship; if it doesn’t she’s a Shapeshifter

I knew a Shapeshifter once. I knew her in our early 20’s and stopped hanging out with her in our early 30’s. But over the course of those 10 years, I met a few of her boyfriends:

Boyfriend #1 – The Health/Nut Personal Trainer. Her diet became 100% organic; workouts three times a week (she weighed maybe about 110 when they met); she stopped dyeing her hair. She only shopped at Whole Foods. Spent afternoons at fitness trade shows. Tried to get me to like protein bars (even though her skin broke out like a motherfucker), telling me that they were “essential part of a working woman’s diet”.

Boyfriend #2 – The Guy in a Rock Band.  She only listened to “pure rock” (still don’t know what she meant by that). Stopped drinking organic wine and started drinking JD. Dyed her hair jet black. Got an extra piercing. Talked constantly about how “fake” the “industry was.” Once spent two hours (with me in tow) looking for an issue of NME. (me: “can’t you read Rolling Stone?” Her: “corporate rag”)

Boyfriend #3 – Filmmaker/Photographer. Bought an SLR. Refused to go out to see live music shows, because she needed to be up for first light. Collected books by Ansel Adams. Talked about how she and this boyfriend were going to take a train out to the Rockies and shoot a “very important series”.

Boyfriend #4 – The Teacher. Talked about going to Teacher’s College and would walk around with the brochures. Registered to volunteer in her local school district as a classroom helper (an incident involving some drugs and Boyfriend #3 kiboshed that). Set up a business as an English tutor to foreign exchange students; stopped after one student.

If this girl had kept any of these habits or interests up after she stopped dating those guys, then I wouldn’t think there was anything wrong. But every two years, she’d be a brand new person; disowning previous habits and tastes. I stopped hanging out with her before finding out if she had developed a sense of self. Not only do I think these guys got bored of her (aka themselves), I think she became bored of them once she had fully shifted. There was nothing more to emulate. The irony is that she’d meet the new guy while still wearing the “skin” of the old guy.  My theory is that the Mr. Rock Band liked having the girlfriend with the hot body; the filmmaker liked the adventurous, party like a rock star girlfriend who started out his muse and ended up his assistant; and the teacher loved having a girlfriend who’s life was so different from his.

How do you approach a Shapeshifter?

You don’t have to; she’ll seek you out. She’ll be fascinated by everything you do.

Does she ever become her own person?

If she suffers a humiliating breakup, and doesn’t rebound, then yes, there is a chance. What’s humiliating? When he leaves her for someone completely different from her – it’s kind of a sign that there’s nothing appealing about her at all.

How do you get rid of her?

Well. That’s easy… you uh, well. Dang. Okay…it’s not easy. The more you pull away, the harder she’ll cling.  But, there is hope: there’s a greater chance that she’ll break up with you before you break up with her; simply because there will be nothing new about you to emulate.

Do you marry the Shapeshifter?

If you’re a true narcissist, then yes, you do. You are after all, in love with yourself.

Famous Shapeshifters

Based on physical similarities, Jennifer Aniston is regularly described by the tabloids as a shapeshifter.  Here she is with men at various stages in her romantic life…you be the judge.

Can you name any others?


6 thoughts on “The 12 Women You Meet in Life: The Shapeshifter

  1. Just got an email asking if this “shapeshifter” was me…

    Yes, I like rock music, JD, and own an SLR. I think teaching is a nobel profession and I know a few personal trainers. But, ask any of the ex boyfriends/lovers who have tried to get me to love video games, football, Tiesto, Seinfeld/Larry David/The Office, or have tried to encourage me to wear more dresses/colour… they’ll tell you that this girl is definitely not me.


  2. Woah, that’s some crazy switching around for every boyfriend.

    If it was a conscious switch, then it’d one thing and I aint too surprised.

    But I’m reading into your words (might be wrong) that she seemed to be almost subconsciously drifting personalities which would incredible (and maybe incredibly annoying) to see in person.

    • Y’know. I’m not 100% on that.

      I know that she was insecure about a lot of things, so that would lead me to believe that she shifted subconsciously. But, then she’d also say she thought I was single (towards the end of the friendship I was, at the beginning I was attached) was that I was “too independent” and that I should try taking a greater interest in the hobbies and interests of the men I dated. That’s where I got the line about “forging a bond” from. She said that it might help with my retention.

      My response was a blank stare.

      • Ah, I see. Could even be both consciously and subconsciously. I’ve seen people who moulded parts of their activities and discussion to fit into a certain group, but to do this to this extreme at least 4 times is just impressively insane. Starting a damn business wow.

        I can bet you had a blank stare.

        I tip my hat to your answer for “Do you marry…?” Well played

  3. Pingback: This Week in Bitchery November 18, 2011 | The Bitch Blog

  4. I think maybe unbeknownst to you, you also hit on another great point with this: The irony is that she’d meet the new guy while still wearing the “skin” of the old guy. My theory is that the Mr. Rock Band liked having the girlfriend with the hot body; the filmmaker liked the adventurous, party like a rock star girlfriend who started out his muse and ended up his assistant; and the teacher loved having a girlfriend who’s life was so different from his.

    Men like women for their own reasons. No need to attempt to project and recreate yourself in an attempt to make him like you more. I like this. This was a great drop. Thank you.

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