Just a second…
There we go.
OK, sorry about that. I was just taking a selfie to show everyone my new haircut. It’s fire!
I’m not actually a narcissist, though.
Psychologists agree that people are displaying more narcissistic tendencies these days with the explosion of social media. However, true narcissists, people who can actually be classified as having narcissistic personality disorder, are not nearly as common as you might think.
But they are out there, and they can be harder to detect than most people realize.
One of the worst things that can happen to you is to get wrapped up in a relationship with a true narcissist. They will be in the relationship not for love but to satisfy their own unceasing demands for attention, admiration, and control.
So here are seven warning signs that you’re dating a narcissist who will break your heart to help you get out of that relationship as fast as you can!
1) They charmed your pants off… in the beginning.
If this is true for you, either literally, figuratively, or both, then you might have a narcissist on your hands.
But we’re not talking about a normal level of charm being applied here.
Everyone puts on their best self when they’re trying to date or hook up. That’s totally normal.
What’s not normal is the act of love-bombing, which is exactly like it sounds.
This is a tool that narcissists love to use because it’s like a sticky trap. They shower you with praise, affection, attention, and gifts at the start of the relationship.
That makes you feel great, but it also anchors you to them. In their mind, they’re not really looking for a partner anyway.
They want something closer to a worshipper.
And what better way to get yourself worshipped than by making the other person think you’re incredible?!
The thing is, though, that this doesn’t last.
Yet it’s still going to be used to manipulate you in the future.
“We’re going through a rough patch, but we can get back to how things were. I know you remember how much I adore you,” the narcissist might say. But things never get back to being about you.
2) It’s all about them.
Here are some of the essential characteristics of a narcissist:
- They have a high sense of self-importance.
- They require excessive admiration.
- They feel superior to others.
- They have a sense of entitlement to special treatment or privileges.
Any of these ring a bell?
If you’ve been in a relationship with the person for a while and all they talk about is themself and how wonderful they are, this can be a big warning sign.
Sure, some people get on a roll when everything is lining up for them – career, money, family, relationship – and that can be exciting. But these winning streaks also end.
A narcissist is different in two important ways.
First, they always think they’re winning or at least deserve to be.
Second, their incredible successes and unbelievable performances aren’t usually backed up by real proof. They’re more of a narcissistic fantasy.
This kind of person isn’t likely going to ever change. It’s always going to be about them and not you, and that will eventually break your heart.
3) They love to boast and brag.
Narcissists want the world to see them as special, talented, important people.
What better way to do that than to talk up all of your activities and successes to make yourself look great?
So you might find that the person you’re dating has really grandiose behavior. They’ll love to strut and swagger and show off what they do have.
Plus, they’ll talk a whole lot about what they’ve almost got or nearly done, making it sound like it’s all in the bag.
They’ll also talk about who they know and the connections they only half-believe they have. They’ll exaggerate everything if it’s in their favor.
Look, once I was standing on a street corner when a car rolled up and out popped Denzel Washington, who walked right by me. But you don’t see me name-dropping, do you?
In the hands of a true narcissist, though, this nothing story of mine would turn into, “I met Denzel Washington one time,” or even, “Yeah, me and Denzel got a connection!”
If you’ve been dating long enough, you’ll start to see what’s real and what’s exaggerated. And if you’re getting boasting and bragging all the time, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
4) They’re always the lead.
We all really only know what we know.
We go through life through our own perspective, seeing everything through our own lens.
So it’s no surprise that, for the most part, we think of ourselves as the main characters in our own stories, our own lives.
But we also recognize that when we relate stories about other people, they don’t have to have anything to do with us.
They’re always the lead in every story, every situation. Minor roles aren’t good enough for them.
They play the major characters, almost always a hero who saves the day and deserves heaps of admiration or a victim who was horribly wronged and needs tons of sympathy.
Any story that doesn’t cast them in a leading role is of no interest to them, so you’ll never hear about it from their mouths. If you try to talk about other people, they’ll have no interest in listening.
That’s a big warning sign that you’re in bed with a narcissist.
5) They have a lot of friends… don’t they?
If the person you’re dating really is a narcissist, they won’t hesitate to tell you all about all the people they know and the friends they have, especially the ones in really high places.
It seems like everyone around is in their pocket or owes them a favor all the time.
They’ll also surround themself with people, but only of a certain kind. They’ll want to be seen associating with rich, famous, or powerful people. Otherwise, they’ll collect a group of people around them who are successful and good-looking.
But definitely not more than themself!
They want to have both a group of admirers and hangers-on around them to improve their image.
But when push comes to shove, or the proverbial fit hits the shan, you’ll see how their so-called friends scatter like rice at a wedding.
You’ll probably realize that the person you’re with doesn’t have any real, true friends.
Or else they’ve picked up a few who are still being charmed and, like yourself, haven’t quite figured out the truth about this person.
But look around for long-term friends and old buddies from way back when, and I bet you won’t be able to find very many.
Most narcissists just leave a trail of destruction behind them.
6) They can’t be trusted.
A person doesn’t have to be a narcissist for this to be a warning sign.
If you’re dating someone and they break your trust multiple times, don’t even stop to think about it. They’ll do it again, and the deeper you get into feelings, the more you’ll risk getting your heart broken.
Narcissists are prone to breaking your trust for a specific reason: they actually don’t care about you.
Yes, I said it.
They really only care about themselves and use the people around them as accessories or disposable commodities that are useful for a while and then lose their value.
So, if a narcissist has the opportunity to do something that gives them some benefit or advantage, you’d better believe they’ll do it. They won’t stop to think twice if it will hurt you.
This could be something as minor as being late to meet you because something they found more important came up or as serious as cheating on you.
The other person may be a narcissist who preys on people with low self-esteem who let themselves be used and abused.
I’m not victim-blaming in any way here – I’m hoping this will be both a red flag for the relationship and a motivation to care more about protecting yourself from being hurt.
7) They’re easily hurt.
Deep down, a narcissist actually has terribly low self-esteem.
But their true self is buried under this character they create who’s wonderful and admirable. They just need attention and admiration from others to make this lie seem real so they can perpetuate it.
If you ever do anything that runs contrary to the lie, they can be really easily hurt.
You’ll know because they’ll overplay minor injuries.
They’ll mope and sulk or get extremely angry and defensive, but it won’t be pretty.
If all this sounds spot on, be careful.
These seven warning signs you’re dating a narcissist who will break your heart are real, and you can get really hurt.
Don’t think you can change them.
The best advice I have for you is to run away fast!