You meet them, and the connection is amazing. They're well-dressed, charming, in-tune with your needs, and amazing in bed. You're instantly smitten. But everyone shows who they really are—and their true intentions—over time. Is this amazing, giving, charming person for real? Or is something else waiting in the wings for you?
Keep in mind that not everyone you date who seems a little self-absorbed has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). But a few read flags combined, and you might be falling for someone who is ultimately going to break your heart, they will also grind your self-esteem and self-confidence into little pieces.
Pay attention to these 7 signs:
#1 – It’s a monologue, not a conversation
The narcissist can't help but turn the attention back on themselves. No matter what is being discussed,, he will take the first opportunity to talk about their own experiences. When first dating, it might seem charming because they laugh and make it seem natural. Even if you feel hurt, you probably brush it off as no big deal, and because you don't want to hurt their feelings.
#2 – They act impatient and/or entitled about everything.
Narcissists have an elevated sense of their own self-worth. They have no patience for delays, being put off, or interference from others. If the table isn't ready when they first walk into the restaurant, or the waiter is inattentive, or if the order is wrong, they will likely lose it on the wait staff. Complaints and accusations of poor service and poor tipping are all signs to watch for.
#3 – No real interest in you or what you think or do.
At first, you might think the time you've spent with them has been fun... but them you get this nagging sense of something being off. Reflecting back on your conversation, you being to think that they really don't know anything about you... that you barely shared anything about yourself or your life. If you feel a bit neglected or ignored, don't dismiss it. Red flag.
#4 – It’s all about you… until it’s NOT.
When a narcissist is interested in something you have—attention, love, sex, money, time, whatever—and senses you can and will supply for it (perhaps with a bit of their manipulative persuasion), they will be all about you. They are expert on making you feel special, but only for the purpose of getting what they want from you. They will amaze you with their attention, and seem to be completely in tune with everything you are craving from a partner—and they act that way from the very first date. Unfortunately, it's not genuine. It's all to satisfy their own needs for money, control or sex... and once they have their fill of what they want, they will cast you aside.
#5 – It’s all their way. No compromise.
The narcissist wants what they want... when they want it. If you don't adjust to their schedule and their needs, they will vacillate between guilt, anger, and dismissal as punishment and manipulation. They will go out of their way to let you know the "trouble" they go through for things they do for you or the money they spend on you. But no matter how grateful you seem to be or how much you tell them that you appreciate things... you get the feeling that it's never quite good enough.
#6 - A fragmented past.
As you try to get to know them, you find that their backstory is missing a thing or two... or 10. This is because narcissists have a hard time attaching intimately to others. This detached state shows itself in their past, because their past either makes no sense, or is filled with gaps of unaccounted time. But the most common behavior: the perfect family, but no real detail about them. if your date is waxing eloquent about their family and friends, but your questions about the details go unanswered... major red flag.
#7 – They are morally bankrupt.
Above all, the narcissist has a grandiose sense of their own worth and value to the world around them. As such, they feel and act that "normal" rules don't apply to them. If they need to lie or cheat to get what they want, that's okay because they are important enough. Empathy doesn't interest them because it doesn't further their needs. In essence, everything is negotiable—from laws to basic manners. If it doesn't suit their needs, they feel it doesn't apply to them.
What to do: MOVE ON.
Narcissists act they way they do because... they do. Whether they are broken people due to bad DNA, bad home environment, or a need to manipulate to survive, there is nothing you can do to make them change. Again: You cannot make them change. They won't change "if you're worth it" or "if they really love you" or "if you do more". They way they are works for them, and they aren't looking to change it... or you or anyone else.
The only course of action when dealing with a narcissist is to move on. Let them go. Gather your self-esteem and self-worth, turn your back on them and walk—no run—in the other direction. And if you're thinking that it will matter to them if you leave... it won't. They will find another victim very quickly, so your cutting ties will likely not affect them in the slightest. But that's not a reflection of your worth... it's a reflection of them NOT being worth anything beyond their own self-centered selfishness.
If you're currently in a long-term relationship with a narcissist, there's no easy way to disconnect. Oftentimes, your self-esteem and confidence have been shattered and you second-guess all your feelings. In those relationships, seeking an experienced counselor or professional is highly recommended.