I have always been curious about the sings that indicated that you are dating a narcissist. In college a friend of mine had shared with me that her boyfriend was very upset with her because she showed up at a party that she was invited to by him, apparently she was not supposed to be there at the party. When she reached there she was welcomed with cold vibes and passive aggressive behavior from him. After the party she encountered rage from him because she chose to attend the party. Anyway, this left her feeling hurt, confused and to some extend she blamed herself thinking she should have known better. My friends experience left me feeling very confused too, but for different reasons. I could not understand why she could not see what I was seeing.
We have all come across people with toxic behavior and narcissistic traits, but might not have categorized them as one.
Here are a few reminders, remember that guy you went on a date with who could not stop talking about himself. By the end of the date you knew his life story but he knew nothing about you, because he never asked or showed interest in knowing about you.
And that relationship where you were scared of expressing your needs and true feelings to your partner as they were always turning them into you being needy and not supportive of them.
In a healthy relationship there is a sense of safety and security. There is a sense of predictability, boundaries are respected and both individuals make space for each other in their lives. They have conflicts and disagreements, but are not scared of expressing themselves and their needs.
Maintaining a relationship is not easy and requires hard work, dedication, trust, loyalty and veracity. A healthy relationship helps you grow and embrace yourself for who you are.
Relationship with a toxic person in the opposite of a healthy relationship, it’s very unpredictable. It leaves an individual feeling anxious.
These relationships come with a lot of chaos.
There are highs and lows of emotions. You feel like you are losing your sense of self. You have no awareness of what you like or dislike anymore. Somehow it becomes about meeting the needs of the narcissistic partner.
I have found people asking questions like, “what happened to me?, How did this happen? How did he change so much? Sometimes it’s so great with him,I wish it was always like that, Some say, I didn’t want to come across as ‘the crazy’ girlfriend.”
It’s difficult to just rely on people’s traits to tell if the person you are interacting with has a pattern of toxic behavior or not. The one person you can rely on in this situation is yourself. Being attuned to your feelings, listening to your intuitions and not allowing your brain to find excuses for their behavior.
Signs you are dating a narcissist
You might feel like your partner needs to feel flattered and admired a lot. You might notice that all the conversations revolve around them and they don’t really show much interest or curiosity about you and your life. Even if they ask you a question they might not pay much attention to your response or will start talking about themselves.
You might feel confused about the status of your relationship. On one hand they might say all the right things and make you feel like you are the luckiest person. On the
other hand, as you start getting close to them they might stop responding to your text and stop returning your calls. Then as you pull away and stop contacting them, they will come back again. Narcissists need attention so the moment they realize they are losing your attention they will come back for it.
You might have lost touch with your friends and family. The regular phone calls with your parents and gatherings with your friends might have dwindled away. Narcissists tend to isolate their partners from their support system. For example, every time you make a plan with your friends they start a huge fight. It’s emotionally too draining for you to go through this every single time, so you stop making plans.
Do you notice yourself rationalizing away digs, patronizing comments about your physical appearance and the choices you make by your partner. If you have a successful career, if you are very attractive and have a good social life, they will try to break your self confidence and make you feel bad about yourself. Narcissists are very insecure, they need to be the center of attention, they cannot see themselves as less than anyone else.
You might feel like you are always at fault. They will never take accountability for their actions. They will never apologize. They will never accept they were wrong. If they are caught doing something wrong and they cannot deny it they will blame it on you.
You might find yourself making sure everything is done the way your partner wants it, to avoid conflict. You might find yourself walking on eggshells because it feels like you cannot do or say anything right. Nothing feels good enough. It does not matter what you do, you cannot make them happy. They are extremely critical and do not tolerate anything that they perceive as imperfect. They lash out unpredictably over small things.
You might feel scared of expressing your opinion and needs because anything can lead to an argument and you are left feeling confused and doubting yourself. This slowly corrodes your self esteem. As your self esteem and confidence lowers you give up more control to the narcissist.
Relationships are reciprocal, we receive and give love, attention and care. A secure relationship makes us feel like someone has our back. We feel safe, we can be our authentic self and feel accepted for who we are.
It’s important that we are cognizant of our instincts and listen to what our emotions are trying to communicate to us. Believe in your inner wisdom.
check out my article on how to stop being in a codependent relationship to lean more about what a healthy relationship looks like and how to break your codependent patterns.
If you are curious about boundary setting then check out the article how to set emotional boundaries to learn more about it.