dating a narcissist
You will not realize that you are dating a narcissist. Narcissists are extremely adept at making you like them. They can be seductive, charming and exciting to date. In fact, in one study, it took seven meetings for people to see through his pleasing appearance. In a dating situation, a narcissist has a greater incentive to win you over, sadly, sometimes down the aisle.
Narcissists are never boring. They are often physically attractive, charismatic, and sexually attractive. We are drawn to their intelligence, entertaining personality, special talents, or professional success.
Dating as a game
Although some narcissists seek long-term relationships, others are game experts. For them, “the hunt is better than the catch.” Your goal is to receive admiration and satisfy your sexual needs with little emotional investment. Relationships are considered transactions and they work for them as long as they get their narcissistic supply. The closer you get, the more they go wrong. They want their options to be open with multiple sources to meet endless supply needs. They consult other prospects and flirt right in front of you!
Although narcissists lack empathy, they do possess emotional intelligence that helps them perceive, express, understand, and manage emotions. This enhances their experience as handlers. They are experts at deception to achieve their goals, sometimes knowingly, but other times, it’s just their style. They may even believe that they are being sincere. Although they are actually self-centered and emotionally unavailable, they can initially be generous and good listeners. They may even appear vulnerable when sharing personal and intimate information. This is a tactic of his seduction strategy. His manipulative tactics include flirtation, flattery, and finesse.
Narcissistic women are flirtatious and can charm men with their beauty and sex appeal. They then play cat and mouse, make them jealous, or act nonchalant to hook the men into chasing them. Male narcissists often seduce with lavish gifts, fancy dinners, and a posh lifestyle. Some narcissists practice love bombing and shower their partners with verbal, physical, and material expressions of “love” that are difficult to resist.
Dating revolves around the narcissist
It is natural to idealize our partner in the romantic phase of a relationship. Unfortunately, for those of us who feel lonely, depressed, or codependent, idealization can fuel our denial of the warning signs that should warn us to stop. It is also natural when we fall in love to want to spend a lot of time with our partner. We can appreciate a man who plans a wonderful evening or a woman who knows what she wants, and we’re happy to agree.
We don’t realize that the relationship plays out on the narcissist’s terms. While we seek to please, for them, commitment is a painful loss of power. If we complain, they may take offense and say that they are doing everything for us, but never bother to ask us what we want. They like to be in control and before we know it, we have allowed them to control when, where and what we do and with whom. At first we go for the sake of being together, but then out of fear. This is particularly dangerous for codependents who easily indulge themselves and their friends and activities in new relationships.
A corollary codependent behavior is to not object to the narcissist’s decisions and opinions. In the early stages of dating, we may not express anything that could have a negative impact on the relationship so as not to rock the boat. When we are hesitant to disagree and not express disappointment, irritation, or hurt feelings, we gradually fade away and, like Echo, only echo what the narcissist believes and wants to hear. We will not let you know the negative impact of her behavior. So they have no incentive to change. Accommodating a narcissist fuels her supply and makes codependents and narcissists a perfect match.
what to look for
Of course, it’s his positive qualities, not negative ones, that make us fall in love, but if we’re dating someone with narcissistic personality disorder, he won’t be able to hide his true colors for long. Some narcissists openly admit that they have difficulties with relationships or intimacy. Believe them. Even clients who say their spouse completely changed after the wedding admit there were telltale signs early on, once they learned more about narcissism and about themselves. For example, narcissists often get strong. They work hard to like you and satisfy their needs instead of building a relationship based on knowing you, which they are not interested in.
It is common for narcissists to have angry outbursts. A minor disagreement can quickly turn into a major conflict. They will not be held responsible. Everything is someone else’s fault, and that includes us. But even if he treats you wonderfully, see if he puts his ex down, acts entitled, or is inconsiderate, manipulative, or degrading to other people. Assume that one day you will be the recipient of narcissistic abuse. Don’t excuse bad behavior toward yourself or other people. it’s a pattern
At first, we are fascinated to hear your achievements and hear your stories and entertaining jokes. This is also how narcissists elevate their status in their eyes and ours. As time goes on, it’s clear that the conversation is about them. Being a good listener is an advantage, but with a narcissist, it ensures that we will not be heard or seen. Some narcissists are dogmatic in order to maintain superiority. They always have to be right and they will not listen to a different opinion. If we’re honest with ourselves, they don’t really seem interested in us except long enough to satisfy their sexual and emotional needs. See if you feel disconnected, invisible, patronized, or drained by the conversation.
When a narcissist can no longer maintain superior status through charm and boasting, or if we complain, a narcissist will devalue us in order to feel superior. They find fault with us or tell us how we should act, dress, eat, or change in some way. Perfectionist narcissists are the most difficult. For example, a narcissistic woman might try to change the man’s image of her and tell him how to dress. A male narcissist might focus on the physical appearance of his girlfriend. If we express pain, narcissists will say that they are being helpful or that we are being too sensitive. At first, we may ignore criticism, especially if it’s joking or calm, and if we’ve been abused in the past or have low self-esteem. Over time, demeaning comments will become more frequent, open, and insensitive.
When control is extreme, narcissists may question us about our other relationships and conversations with family, our therapist, and friends. They may insist that we dress and behave in a certain way and try to limit our contacts and activities.
A true narcissist lacks empathy. We end up feeling like we don’t matter and that our needs and feelings aren’t important. If when we share something sad or important to us, our partner does not show the appropriate emotional responses, it may be a sign of a lack of empathy.
Relationships with narcissists are challenging for codependents because the symptoms of codependency present obstacles to discerning these warning signs. There are multiple reasons why we still love an abuser and find it difficult to leave them. This may be because we have an abusive father or a narcissistic mother or father who did not value our needs and feelings. Healing codependency will help us change these relationship dynamics so that we can receive real love.
© Darlene Lancer 2020