Red Flags when Dating a Narcissist
Below are some red flags to look out for. Having a few traits doesn’t mean that someone is diagnosed with NPD―a narcissistic personality disorder―but they do not bode well for a fulfilling relationship.
1. Self-centeredness. For narcissists, the world revolves around them. When you talk to your date, is he or she interested in getting to know you, or talk only about themselves? This is a tell-tale sign that you will feel invisible in the relationship. Some narcissists are skilled communicators, may be good at short-term intimacy and make you feel like a king or queen; but eventually, they don’t keep up that act. Look for other signs of lack of consideration: Walking far ahead of you, disregarding your boundaries and needs, or frequently interrupting conversations to take calls from other people.
2. Arrogance. Narcissists feel superior to other people, and can be rude or abusive when don’t get what they want. This is revealed in their behavior and how they talk about themselves and others. Is your date a fault-finder? One day he or she may be bashing you. Notice how he or she treats waitresses, car hops, and vendors or acts superior to lesser-status groups, such as minorities, immigrants, or people of less means or education?
3. Entitlement. This trait is a give-away. It reveals how narcissists think that they’re the center of the universe. They not only believe they’re special and superior to others, but also that they deserve special treatment and that rules don’t apply to them. A relationship with this person will be painfully one-sided, not a two-way street. Narcissists are only interested in getting what they want and making the relationship work for them.
4. Bragging and need for admiration.Narcissists need constant validation, appreciation, and recognition. They brag and exaggerate about themselves and their accomplishments. Does your date brag that his or her school is the best, and require the best car, the best table at the best restaurant, the finest wines, and wear expensive labels, or name drop public figures they know?
5. Control and manipulation.Narcissists put their needs first. Their lack empathy may show when planning a date. Initially, they may want to please you to win you over. Once they do, they want to please themselves and will be emotionally unavailable and keep you at a distance.
Listen to what your dates say about themselves and past relationships. Pay attention to hints of serious commitment issues, vindictiveness, criminality, addiction, or abuse. Notice if you feel anxious or uncomfortable, pressured, controlled, ignored, or belittled.
Find out about narcissistic relationships, why narcissists are codependent, and why they’re drawn to codependents and vice versa. In recovering from codependency, you’ll build self-esteem, your estimation of your worth will rise, and you’ll expect to be considered, listened to, and treated well. You’ll convey an expectation of respect by maintaining healthy boundaries, by being assertive about your opinions, feelings, needs, and wants, rather than people-pleasing.
©Darlene Lancer 2017