Have you recently started dating an extremely charming person who seems to have it all? Odds are, if you are reading this article, something feels off about this person. You might feel like they are selfish or have an inflated sense of self-importance – but how do you know you’re dating a narcissist?
Read on to find out the signs your boyfriend is a narcissist or signs your girlfriend is a narcissist. No matter which gender you are dating, these signs will apply to all.
What is a Narcissist?
The term “narcissism” dates all the way back to an ancient Greek myth about a hunter named Narcissus. He was widely known for his beauty and was so obsessed with himself that he rejected every romantic offer he got. One day, he fell in love with his own reflection while gazing into a pool of water, and was so in love that he stared at it until he died.
We have probably all met a particularly self-absorbed person at one time or another. The word “narcissist” gets thrown around a lot, but psychologists have identified it as a personality disorder that affects anywhere from 0.5-6% of the population. In order to be clinically narcissistic, a person would have to exhibit several traits outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Many of us from time to time can display narcissistic behaviors without actually having Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). However, if a romantic partner is displaying several of these behaviors to an extreme degree, this is a huge red flag. Narcissistic abuse can cause long-term damage to your mental health, so it is important to pay attention to the signs of a narcissist so you can end things and protect yourself.
20 Signs You Are Dating A Narcissist
1. Lack Of Empathy
A healthy partner should try to see things from your perspective. A narcissistic person does not take any interest in your life, your feelings, your wants, your needs, your desires, or your point of view. They don’t try to understand things from your perspective because they only see their own.
2. Inflated Ego
They have a delusional and grandiose sense of self-importance. This is different from a healthy amount of self-love because narcissistic person is arrogant and sees themselves as special and better than other people.
3. Perfectionism & Pretentiousness
Because they see themselves as the best, they desire to only surround themselves with perfection. They may strive to appear as though they have ultimate success, money, the perfect partner, and power, even if it is all a facade.
Even if they have not earned something, they feel like they deserve it anyway because they see themselves as special and more important than others. They may feel entitled to money, fame, and even your love and affection without working for it.
5. Need For Admiration
Everyone wants attention and admiration sometimes, but narcissistic people crave it to an accessive and constant degree. They will only surround themselves with people who stroke their egos and feed into their delusions.
Due to their sense of entitlement, they can often be extremely jealous or envious when other people seem to have more than them. On the flip side, they may also falsely believe that others are jealous of them.
7. Gaslighting & Lying
In order to keep you in the fantasy, narcissists will often lie compulsively. They could gaslight you and make you question the truth, or they will avoid tougher conversations with you and never give you a straight answer when you ask them questions.
8. Love Bombing
At the beginning of a relationship, they will shower you with love and excessive attention to make you feel special and loved. As the relationship goes on, they will withdraw their affection and dangle it like a carrot in front of you as a way to manipulate you into doing what they want.
9. Lack Of Self-Awareness
Most people recognize that they have some flaws and things about themselves to work on. However, a narcissist is so deep into their delusion that they are completely unaware that they are doing anything wrong or have any flaws at all.
10. Can Not Face Criticism
Even though they have an inflated ego, it is incredibly fragile. If anyone in their life tries to shatter their fantasy, they will respond with anger and aggression. On the flip side, they can also be highly critical of you.
11. Avoiding Confrontation
Because they don’t want to shatter their fantasy, they will avoid confrontation at all costs. If you try to have a conversation with them about their behavior, they could try to avoid you, and will even cut people out of their lives completely.
They may try to separate you from your friends and family in either a mental or even physical sense – by causing you to mistrust your loved ones or even convincing you to move far away. This is a method of control to make you dependent on them.
13. They See In Black And White
Not literally, but narcissistic people tend to see things as either all good or all bad. Most people are able to logically understand that all people have positive and negative aspects. Are they constantly talking about how crazy their exes are or idealizing how amazing their mother is?
Odds are, if they think someone is an angel, that person is probably enabling their narcissism. If they speak badly of someone, that person was not feeding their delusion.
14. Playing The Victim
Because they believe they can do no wrong, the narcissist will never take accountability for their wrongdoings. In a relationship, they will blame you every time something goes wrong.
15. It Is Their Way Or The Highway
Narcissists believe the world completely revolves around them and will get incredibly angry when things do not go their way. Even minor inconveniences can make them aggressive and hostile.
16. They Check Off All Your Boxes
A narcissist will come across to the world as an incredibly charming and charismatic person. When you start dating, they will do their best to check off all of the things they think you want out of a relationship – at least on the outside. They will convince you that they are everything you could want in a partner in order to draw you in before their true colors show.
17. You Do Not Feel Heard
You could talk to them all day, but they never actually listen to you. Because they are so focused on themselves, anything you say has no importance to them at all. They will tune out if you try to have deep conversations with them.
18. You Feel Lonely
Even while in a relationship, a narcissistic partner will always make you feel lonely because they are not trying to meet any of your needs. To them, you are just there to meet their expectations.
19. You Feel Disconnected From Yourself
A narcissistic partner only wants you to be a mirror. They want you to reflect back to them all of their good qualities to feed their fantasy. They can manipulate you to a point where you feel like you exist only for them, and you feel like you don’t even know who you are anymore.
20. Your Parents Were Narcissists
Our relationship with our parents as children has an impact on our romantic relationships as adults. If your parents exhibited these narcissistic traits, you may be more vulnerable to getting into a romantic relationship with a narcissist.
Remember, it is never your fault if you are emotionally abused by a narcissistic partner. But you do have the power to recognize what is happening and break the cycle.
If you recognize these red flags in your partner, remember that you have the strength to leave. Rather than confronting a narcissistic partner, it is best to cut ties and move on. For more dating and relationship advice, visit our online resource for dating safety tips.