The Great Pretender

Masquerade: A party at which people wear masks and often Costumes.

A way of appearing or behaving that is not true or real (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

As children, playing pretend is one of our favorite games. We pretend we are heroes swooping in to save our toys from serious danger. For some, playing pretend isn't relegated to childhood memories. We carry it along as we grow, playing the game every day in every facet of our lives. Our relationships become masquerade balls. Punctuated by pretending to like things we don’t, hiding real emotions and feelings and taking up fictitious beliefs and principles. We become the great pretender attending the Masquerade Ball.

One of our most fundamental needs as human beings is to be loved. We believe that true happiness can only come from being loved. We will pretend to be people we are not if we think that will make us lovable. A vegetarian may start consuming animal products trying to make a non-vegetarian consider them in a positive light. We refuse to point out wrongs done by our partners in relationships because we think that by doing so, they may fall out of love with us.

We go along with ideas that contradict everything we believe in because we don’t want to be alone. We want to be loved, so we pretend. An Inferiority complex is the often unconscious belief that one is inferior to others. When this belief is encouraged, one will believe that they have to be like others in order to be loved. They will therefore give up their own beliefs and take up others that they believe will make them a more lovable person, thus forfeiting their individuality.

When such a person enters a relationship, the partner dates a false misrepresentation of that person. This great pretender pretends to be someone else just so he or she can be loved.

Masquerade balls do not last forever. At some point, we get tired of wearing our masks. When the masks come off, they leave in their wake a multitude of negative effects. Pretending in relationships leads to real emotions and feelings being hidden, hurtful memories swept under the carpet, and harboring feelings of resentment. The partners become ticking time bombs. When the bombs explode, fond memories are shattered and all that remain are feelings of betrayal and hurt. At this point, there is no going back.

Are you the great pretender? If so, then take off your mask and reclaim your identity.

The Great Pretender


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