7 red flags you’re in a relationship with a textbook narcissist

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“Love is blind,” they say, and yes, it can often cloud our judgment.

Especially when dealing with a classic narcissist.

Why? Because narcissists are masters at manipulation. They can be charming, charismatic, and seemingly perfect partners – until they’re not.

Let’s get straight into it. Here are 7 warning signs that might suggest you’re dating a textbook narcissist. Recognizing these signs could just be your first step towards a healthier relationship.

1) They’re always the center of attention

Have you ever noticed that your partner always seems to steer the conversation back to themselves?

Whether it’s about their achievements, their problems or just random thoughts – everything revolves around them.

It’s like they’re on a constant quest for attention and admiration. And it’s not just with you. They behave this way with everyone – friends, family, even strangers.

We all like to share our stories and be heard. But with narcissists, it’s different. It’s not about sharing; it’s about dominating the narrative.

2) Lack of empathy

This was a tough one for me to recognize in my own relationship. I remember, there were times when I was going through a rough patch and needed emotional support. But instead of being there for me, my partner would brush it off or worse, make it about them.

One specific instance that stands out is when I lost my job. I was feeling down and insecure about my career. But instead of empathy, all I got was a lecture on how they had once lost a job too and managed to bounce back quickly.

Their lack of empathy was striking. They seemed incapable of understanding or sharing my feelings. It was always about their experiences, their feelings.

In hindsight, this was a clear sign of narcissism. If your significant other consistently lacks empathy, it might be time to take a closer look at your relationship. Empathy is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Without it, things can quickly turn toxic.

3) They never accept blame

Let’s talk about accountability. Or rather, the lack of it.

A few years back, I was in a relationship where it seemed like I was always the one to blame. Whenever something went wrong, my partner would find a way to pin it on me, even when it had nothing to do with me.

I remember this one time when they had missed an important meeting because they overslept. Instead of taking responsibility for their own actions, they blamed me for not waking them up on time. It was baffling and frustrating.

This consistent refusal to accept blame is a common trait among narcissists. They will twist and turn events to make themselves appear faultless.

Consider this a red flag. A healthy relationship involves two people who can both acknowledge their mistakes and work together to fix them.

4) They belittle your achievements

Remember that time when you achieved something great, and all you wanted was to share the joy with your partner? But instead of celebrating with you, they downplayed your success or tried to one-up you with their own achievements.

I’ve been there too. I recall when I got a promotion at work, a milestone I’d been working towards for years. Instead of being happy for me, my partner immediately diverted the conversation to their own career advancements.

Narcissists find it hard to celebrate others’ successes. They feel threatened by them, especially if it shifts the attention away from them.

Take note. You deserve to be with someone who celebrates your victories, not someone who diminishes them.

5) They gaslight you

This is a big one. Gaslighting. It’s a manipulative tactic that narcissists often use to gain power and control in a relationship.

It works by making you doubt your own thoughts, memories, and perceptions. The term actually comes from a 1944 movie called “Gaslight,” where a man manipulates his wife into believing she’s losing her mind.

In my past relationship, I experienced this firsthand. My partner would dismiss my feelings, call me “too sensitive,” or outright deny things that had happened. It left me constantly second-guessing myself and questioning my sanity.

Trust your instincts and know that your feelings are valid.

6) They’re excessively charming

This might sound odd. After all, charm is generally considered a good quality, right? But hear me out.

A few years ago, I was in a relationship with someone who was incredibly charming. At first, it felt like I’d hit the jackpot. They were charismatic, persuasive and could make anyone feel like the most important person in the room.

But over time, I began to notice a pattern. The charm was used as a tool for manipulation. It was turned on and off depending on what they wanted or whom they were trying to impress.

This excessive charm is characteristic of narcissists. They use it to attract and deceive others.

So, be cautious. If your partner’s charm seems too good to be true, it just might be. Genuine people are consistently kind and respectful, not just when it suits their agenda.

7) They have a sense of entitlement

Narcissists often believe that they’re superior to others and deserve special treatment. This inflated sense of self-importance is a defining hallmark of narcissism.

They believed they were entitled to the best of everything. Whether it was always having the final say or expecting constant praise, their sense of entitlement knew no bounds.

This sense of entitlement can be damaging in a relationship. It creates an imbalance, where one person’s needs and wants are prioritized over the other’s.

The takeaway

Knowledge is power. If you’ve found yourself identifying with these signs, you’ve already taken the first step towards improving your situation.

Change is not easy, especially when it comes to relationships. It’s a process that requires patience, self-compassion, and often, professional help. There’s no shame in seeking therapy or counseling to navigate these choppy waters.

The goal is not to condemn or villainize narcissists but to understand their behavior patterns better. This understanding allows you to make informed decisions about your relationship’s future.

Your feelings are valid. Your experiences are valid. And most importantly, you deserve love and respect in all its forms – especially from those closest to you.

Take time to reflect on your relationship after reading this. Consider your next steps carefully. And remember, prioritizing your mental and emotional health is never a selfish act – it’s an act of self-love.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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