Today's columnist, Anouchka Santella: Is it theft or inspiration?
I think I'm stealing my boyfriend's personality. Maybe not stealing as much as being inspired by it and adapting it to my own personality. But kind of like in fashion, the line between 'being inspired by' and 'seeing something you like and making it yours' is thin and blurry.
It isn’t really a big deal as it genuinely does seem to be for the best. Wherever I only cared about politics under the pressure of having to vote for the first time, he genuinely enjoys talking about it and understanding things, reading everything about it and making his own opinion instead of stupidly believing whatever headlines say. A trap that, if I’m honest, I fall into pretty easily.
But because spending so much time with him affects my behaviour, last night instead of reading about leather jackets and how to wear them this summer, I read an article about the different political positions of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
I’ve considered myself a feminist for as long as I can remember, but I’ve become much more aware of things and able to understand – and explain – a lot more about it since reading the book about feminism he bought me for Christmas.
And when I used to think (a little) of the omnipresent vanity of social media as annoying, talking about it with him (who can’t stand it to the point that he completely disappeared off the digital surface) made me start to sound like him.
That would probably be weird if he was wearing off on me and I had no influence on him whatsoever, but since the beginning of our relationship he’s 100 per cent taken on some good things from me (like my enthusiasm and my will to visit new places) and some not so good things (like my capacity to stay in and watch Friends for three days in a row).
Anyway, even though it’s not really a big deal and probably even works out for the best I got curious and researched it (because it’s nice when the internet tells you you’re normal) and turns out it’s a totally common phenomenon.
Karley Sciortino even apparently wrote about it before me in Vogue. It’s happened to her, to her friends, and she seems to think it’s normal too.
Her main explanation is that you only change if you want to, whether it’s a conscious decision or not.
She also explains that after a break-up you’re unsettled and need to start to know yourself again. Which is quite a scary thought.
If I ever break up with my boyfriend, I don’t think I’ll want to change back though.
For what it’s worth I do feel more clever and more aware of things than ever before, which is a really nice feeling.
But obviously each experience is different. In high school my friend Pierre started dating a very spiritual girl and after two months with her he became a devoted vegan, meditated everyday at sunrise and spent a month in India. In an ashram. Doing yoga. All day. Every day.
And my friend Candice who used to be very fun started dating a banker and got herself a serious job and a settled life and bought a house in the French equivalent of Hathersage.
I still don’t think these people would like to go back to their old selves if break- ups were to occur though.
At least I don’t think so. I don’t know, let me ask my boyfriend so I can steal his opinion.