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.
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 the narcissist – 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.
Narcissists are all about being in control. While it may not appear “controlling” for your date to order for you, or otherwise sort of “run the show,” be really aware of what happens when you try to speak for yourself or when something doesn’t go as planned. If your date flips out or attempts to 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. Can your date poke fun at themselves, or are they too serious?
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 when this happens, be concerned. They may have not only self-esteem issues but anger management issues as well… that’s a bad combination, one that is seen in narcissistic personality disorder.
In order to avoid getting into an abusive dating situation or end up dating a toxic person, 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.
Are you ready to date after going through narcissistic abuse recovery? After being in a toxic relationship with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic traits, you may be feeling a whole, confusing spectrum of emotions. You might be struggling with fear of running into another narcissist, or fear of being rejected. You might feel old, or out of practice. You might even feel excited and ready – and everything in between.
But as long as you feel pretty comfortable in your codependency recovery, it might just be a good time to get back out there and start dating again Still, dating post-narcissist is a little more complicated in certain ways.
Why Dating Again After Narcissistic Abuse is Hard
In this video, I’ll explain exactly how and why dating after narcissistic abuse can be difficult at times.
More Dating After Divorce Resources for You:
- Top 17 Early Warning Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist
- The New Catfish Target: Ask Your Mom About Her Online Boyfriend
- 7 Surefire Strategies for Singles Who Want to Get Set Up
Resources for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support
- The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
- Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups – We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
- One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
- Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
- Where Are You in Recovery? You might not be sure exactly where you fit in and what level of recovery you’ve achieved. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out this self-assessment to help you determine exactly where you fall in the stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse. Once you finish and submit the assessment, you will be given resources for your own situation, along with recommendations of which groups to join.
- Which Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is Right for You? If you aren’t sure which program you want to utilize to facilitate your recovery from narcissistic abuse, this self-assessment will help you decide.
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor 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 personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, 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.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.