5 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist (and How to Leave)

Are you dating a narcissist? In extreme cases, it’s easy to identify the culprit. They talk about themselves incessantly. When you’re wearing sunglasses, they look at their reflection, not at you.

The problem lies when it’s not so clear, when a narcissist is cleverly cloaked as the sweet charmer.

You fall for their loving kind words, and you feel a connection like never before. It’s intoxicating to be in their presence. This type of narcissist starts out as fun,and exciting. It feels like a soul connection!

But over time, you realize they care more about themselves than about you. They don’t value the ‘WE’ in the relationship, only the ‘ME’. If you don’t leave early on, you will be emotionally manipulated and made to feel like everything’s your fault.

This type of ‘gas lighting’ takes its toll on your self-worth. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of a narcissist before you’re in too deep.

5 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

1- When you express your needs, a narcissist gets defensive.

A narcissist puts their needs first. They have a hard time hearing you express what matters to you, especially if you’re addressing how they hurt you. Be alert the first time this happens. Address it and see how they respond. If they still can’t prioritize your needs and respect you, you can’t build a relationship with this person. It is hopeless to try. Walk away.

2- When the going gets tough, a narcissist gets going.

A narcissist can’t handle the pressures of your real emotional life. They will probably shut down in order to protect their own emotions and have nothing to give you. A good relationship is built on mutual support. This person will not be there for you in tough times. Leave now, before it gets harder.

3- When a narcissist feels hurt, they don’t feel sad. They rage.

If you express that you’re upset with something a narcissist did, they will rage at you and not take responsibility for their actions. This is a recipe for disaster in a relationship. A healthy relationship is one in which both parties take full ownership for their contribution. If they refuse to do this, leave.

4- A narcissist runs hot and cold.

Narcissists will give you mixed signals. They will be hot for you, telling you that you’re the most incredible person they’ve ever met. The next day, they pull away and shut you out. It is crazy making. Don’t tolerate this type of behavior. If you recognize it early on, it’ll be easier for you to make a clean break.

5- A narcissist gets angry when you ask for commitment.

Narcissists love their freedom and don’t want to be tied down. If you talk to them about commitment after dating for a reasonable length of time, they will probably be reactive. They may show this through angry or dismissive words. Or they will display this through actions (disappearing/raging). You deserve a person who wants the same type of serious relationship as you. Leave the narcissist and make room for a partner who wants a healthy committed relationship.

What if your partner is a narcissist?

If your partner exhibits any of the above behaviors, you are probably dating a narcissist or an emotional manipulator. The diagnosis is not as important as the fact that you are in an unhealthy relationship with a toxic person. You should get out of this relationship as soon as possible.

How do you leave a narcissist?

Don’t make demands on them to change. They won’t.

Don’t nag or play games, such as making them chase you by playing hard to get. These tactics will never get them to become the kind of person with whom you can forge a healthy relationship.

Do speak to them with firm conviction. Tell them this relationship is not working for you. And walk away, never to look back and hope for reconciliation.

Get support. Work with a good therapist or coach to heal from the pattern of abuse. It’s hard to do this by yourself. Over time, you will develop healthier relationships.

Please stop dating narcissists and hoping they’ll change. Don’t excuse their bad behavior. There is never an excuse for abuse. When you’ve truly healed from the cycle of dating a narcissist, you’ll finally be able to make room for a wonderful, available, loving partner to enter your life.

By  for The Good Men Project