It’s not always easy to tell if the person you are dating is a narcissist, especially in the beginning of the relationship. During the initial honeymoon phase, they are trying their best to trap you by putting up a very convincing false front.
Narcissists appear compassionate, attentive and romantic. The relationship takes off quickly and before you know it you have fallen head-over-heels in love and have invested your heart, soul and possibly your wallet too.
Narcissists are skilled at flying under our radar and into our lives like Stealth bombers. If you are looking for the obvious signs of narcissistic personality disorder to help you detect if you are dating a narcissist, you might not see the forest through the trees and the narcissist will ambush you and cause the worst kind of chaos and misery of your life.
The obvious signs of a narcissist are simple to spot: The complete lack of empathy, the grandiose plans, their incessant bragging, the narcissistic rage or silent treatment that erupts at the mention that they aren’t perfect. And their insatiable need for constant and excessive attention and praise.
Before you get too involved and risk setting yourself up for heart-break, or even worse, complete erosion of your self-esteem and identity, here are 8 early warning signs that you are dating a narcissist,
1. “I WANT WHAT I WANT”
Narcissists are extremely selfish and need to feel in control. Their sense of entitlement and superiority allows them to believe that they deserve to have what they want at all times. They will often disguise their hidden agenda with manipulation or passive aggressive behavior.
For example, they might agree to go to an event with you that they really did not want to attend, but at the last-minute cancel and claim they don’t feel good. How could you possibly be mad or complain about them not feeling well?”
They may expect you to mind read their wishes and needs. They loathe having to ask for anything since it ignites feelings of vulnerability and reliance, which in their mind equates to weakness and a lack of control. If you aren’t adept at intuitively predicting their wishes, you will later be on the receiving end of anger that seemingly comes from out of the blue over the most trivial of matters. That is how the narcissist pays you back for not having met their needs or wishes that you never had a clue about.
2. LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
Since narcissists are selfish and entitled in their everyday life, this behavior often transfers into bedroom. Sex should be something intimate that is shared between two people. However, many narcissists view their partners as a tool to satisfy their own sexual needs. Their partner’s satisfaction is not a priority.
There are two types of narcissists in the bedroom, and they are quite different. The first type of narcissist, I refer to as the Starfish, since this is their favorite position. Their idea of foreplay may be a boob grab or a pat on the behind. Their partner is just an object to fulfill their needs. If you derive any satisfaction from it…great, but they really don’t care. The only O face they are ever likely to see is their own- if there’s a mirror nearby. If you dare bring up the fact that you aren’t satisfied and you aren’t quite happy at the ending. They will blame it on you and will tell you that “every other partner they have been with has always been satisfied”.
Then there is the lesser of the two evils- these narcissists are Casanova’s in the bedroom. They are rock-stars at pleasing their partners, but their motives are selfish. Sex to them is not an act of intimacy and caring. It is a performance. The bedroom is their stage and they are they are the leading character. To them, your pleasure is an ego boost and confirmation of their superior talent and skills.
3. “I’M GOOD AT EVERYTHING I DO”
Narcissists are the best at everything they do-just ask them! Again, there are two types of narcissists, and both are intelligent and motivated by a need for importance. The first type of narcissist’s economic and living situation is a tell-tale sign of which kind of narcissist they are. This type of narcissist is the person who probably does a lot couch surfing or lives with their parents. They will often end up at a job beneath their ability level and have a litany of reasons why they are not to blame for their present circumstance. They may state that they are just going through a “difficult patch.” Except unbeknownst to you, the “difficult patch” is eternal .
The second type of narcissist is an overachiever and more high functioning. They are usually successful and have high level positions in their fields. In reality, they will use any and all manipulation tactics at their disposal to advance their objectives and stomp on anyone in their path while they climb their way up the corporate ladder.
4. THEY ALWAYS KNOW THE RIGHT THING TO SAY
Narcissists are always the ready with just the right thing to say. They appear to be supportive and loving and always know just what to say at the just right moment… except when they have done something wrong. This is because they are NEVER wrong and would rather not talk to you for days, perhaps never again before they will admit fault.
5. THEY HAVE NO REAL FRIENDS
Narcissists are known for having many acquaintances due to their innate charm and perceptive social skills. Beyond that, they only have the ability to maintain casual or seasonal friendships and usually have no long-term friends that they associate with on a regular basis. The third grade best friend that they still keep in contact with over Facebook doesn’t count. It’s important to observe how your partner acts around their friends and people who have known them for a long period of time. This will give you valuable insight into they really are. You will rarely get that opportunity with a narcissist, because narcissists have a difficult time maintaining lasting friendships and their friends seem to change as often as their targets.
6. “YOU ARE THE ONE”
Narcissists are famous for coming on strong right out of the gate and showering you with attention and flattery…at first. They will quickly claim that “you are the one” they have been waiting for and advance the relationship at a swift pace. This is one of the biggest red flags that you’re dealing with a narcissist, but most people are often so taken by all of the attention and adoration that they fail to see the warning signs. Narcissists will say and do whatever they need to gain your trust and win your affection.
7. FRAGMENTED CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
Most narcissists will tell you that they had a horrible childhood. Typically they will have faced some account of neglect, abuse or an absent parent. However, that is true for most of the general population. Abuse and neglect can create insecure attachment styles and insecurely attached people have a difficult time recounting their childhoods coherently.
Not all people who have been abused or neglected become insecurely attached. When securely attached people speak of their childhoods, they will provide a lot of detail and a clear picture of what their up-bringing was like. The difference is, the narcissist’s version of their childhood will not make sense. It will appear contradictory or they will tell you that there are parts that they don’t remember. It will feel as if there is a piece of the puzzle that is being left out. Either way, if you do your detective work, you will find holes and gaps in their stories. Some narcissists will go the opposite direction and paint the perfect family picture, but again, they will not be able to give you much detail. Their accounts will be fragmented, vague and filled with ambiguity.
8. ME TOO!
Narcissists have no real self. This is why in the beginning of relationship they tend to mirror their partner’s likes, values beliefs, hobbies, etc. This is also the reason why people are so replaceable to them. They are chameleons with no real identity. Anyone can fit the bill, as long as they have something the narcissist wants.
Narcissists know that ultimately they will attempt to control you, but in order to that do that, they first have to build a connection with you and gain your trust. You will hear a lot of “me too’s” from your narcissist. Isn’t it a great feeling when you meet someone and you say something and they respond with a “me too!” The instant, incredible connection and chemistry you feel with that person is amazing.
Some narcissists will even use the “me too” method in reverse. They will observe your rituals and behaviors like your eating habits and your little idiosyncrasies, quirks and behaviors. They will not let on that they have noticed these things. If you say that you always read magazines from the back to front, days later, they will casually mention how they always read magazines from the back to the front. Guess what your response will be? “Me too!”
If you are reading this, you most likely already suspect that your partner is a narcissist. You probably have been searching for that definitive, without a doubt, piece of confirmation to put an end to your questioning and provide you with the clarity and conviction that you need to give you the confidence to end the relationship. If this is the case, I hope you have found your answer here.
Copyright © 2015 Bree Bonchay. All Rights Reserved
Bree Bonchay is a Los Angeles based Licensed psychotherapist (LCSW) who believes “relationships are the currency of life”. She’s dedicated to helping people heal from break-ups, recover from toxic relationships with narcissists and sociopaths and to never settle for a life less than the one they dreamed of. She is a Blogger, Advocate, Facebook Toxic Relationship Recovery Forum Administrator, Radio Guest Expert, and is the Author of the book, I Am Free. Click Here To Order
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