Do you think you might be dating an abusive narcissist? Just as a mutually satisfying, loving relationship truly is one of the greatest joys in life, an abusive dating relationship can corrode every single aspect of your life.
My guess is that if you’re here, reading this article today, there’s something inside you that says something isn’t right with your new love.
And I’m proud of you for being here, because you deserve to be safe and happy. You seem to know that it’s very important to keep an eye out for signs that may indicate the person you are hoping to spend your life with might make your life a living hell.
I’m not trying to be harsh when I tell you this (but if you stick around, you’ll learn that I tell the truth!): The sooner you see the signs and get out, the less you’ll have to suffer.
There are other forms of abuse besides physical and sexual – and if you’re dating a narcissist, one of them is a lovely form of manipulation called gaslighting.
And don’t forget: if your partner is continually undermining your self esteem by making fun of you, calling you names, flirting with others or smothering you, all of these things are forms of psychological abuse and can often escalate into physical or sexual abuse.
Narcissistic abuse is all about control and power. The people who seem to ‘need’ to have this power over others are often seen as losers who feel so bad about themselves that they need to step on someone else to make themselves feel better – and that kind of person is almost always toxic.
Sure, you’ll feel sorry for him – after all, it’s pathetic and sad to watch sometimes.
But if you’re in a mentally or emotionally abusive relationship, it can also be extremely dangerous – even physically if you’re not careful. In some cases, even seemingly non-violent narcissists have gone rogue and violently lashed out at a partner after years of not doing so. And more than one person has died at the hands of one of these abusers.
Make sure it doesn’t happen to you by being willing to keep your eyes wide open and educating yourself.
See the Truth, Not the Illusion
When it comes to relationships, we are all guilty of seeing only what we want to see – at least to a certain degree.
And more often than not, when it comes to a toxic narcissist, it will become impossible to ignore the warning signs because the abuse will most likely just get worse over time – though, you might actually not realize it at first.
4 Early-Warning Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist
Here are a few things you should watch out for when you first start dating someone. They aren’t all signs of abuse necessarily – they are warning signs of someone who has some pretty significant feelings of insecurity which often leads to abuse:
1. Watch for signs that your date likes to be in control. A little bit of control is no problem but if you’re out with a man who has to order for you, or otherwise take away your voice, you should be concerned.
2. How does your date treat people around them? A nice person will be nice to everyone, even the waiter who screwed up their order. If your date flies off the handle over little things you should probably take a step back.
3. Does your date make eye contact with you or are they always looking around the room? Not being able to look you in the eye is not a great sign. It could mean that they are shy, but it could also mean (if coupled with other things) that they are bored, insensitive, or scoping out other people, none of which is a good sign if you are on a first or second date.
4. If your date can’t laugh at themselves, it’s yet another sign of someone who is insecure. Look, no one likes to look foolish or be laughed at. It takes a person who is very comfortable in their own skin to accept this type of situation gracefully, but if your date just seems to go over the top then they may have not only self esteem issues but anger management issues as well… that’s a bad combination.
In order to avoid getting into an abusive dating situation, forget about the idea of putting your dates on a pedestal. Try to see them for who they really are, flaws and all. That way you’ll be less likely to be taken off guard.
And hey, if the two of you do hit it off, you’ll know that you love who they really are and not just who you want them to be.
What do you say? Have you ever dated a narcissist? What would you add to my list? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section!
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.