10 Signs You are Dating a Narcissist

There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Narcissis, as many know, was the legendary character who fell in love with his own reflection. A narcissist is someone who, usually due to childhood trauma or over-doting parents, has become obsessed with himself. Some cases are so severe that the person becomes disconnected from reality and fails to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with other people.

I had a few indications that the guy I was dating was pretty self-centered, but frankly I didn’t think about it much. Then one day, I was at his house, standing beside him in the kitchen, and he was putting butter on a roll. He turned to walk away, taking a bite out of the roll, and left me standing there. At that time, we had only been dating a couple of months.

A big red flag went up. To me, it seemed abnormal to prepare the roll and eat it, while offering me nothing. This might not seem like a big deal, but it was combined with a couple of other things that gave me the first inkling that I was dating a narcissist.

My family is rife with narcissists, so I grew up thinking selfish behavior was normal. To this day (despite years of therapy) I display a high tolerance for self-centered people. As a result, I attract these relationships like a pair of black pants attracts cat hair.

There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Lack of Empathy

Because a narcissist is, by definition, someone who is completely self-involved, he has little or no ability to perceive how someone else is feeling. Worse, when feelings are explained to him, he doesn’t care. It’s his feelings that matter. Understandably, this opens a Pandora’s Box of problems within relationships.

Social Ineptitude

Some narcissists can’t pay attention to what others are saying. My most recent one had a habit of walking away in the middle of a conversation, or lapsing off to watch T.V. while someone was talking to him. If I had anything to say to him, I always had to be careful there were no electronic distractions, such as T.V., radio, etc. I had the best luck with keeping my statements succinct. At a party, he would project his own thoughts, but never asked questions of others. As a result there was no give and take. “The conversation,” my brother said after meeting him the second time, “falls flat.”

Despite this, a narcissist is not necessarily a jackass in public. In fact, many of them have a meek and likeable public persona. This makes it very difficult to explain to others about the self-centered evil that lies within them. In fact, the duplicity can be so extreme that you can begin to question your own sanity. The narcissist, as one person put it, can seem, “like a werewolf”.

Delusions of Grandeur

 I attended a parade with a narci once, and he told me that he could picture himself being Grand Marshal one day. He hadn’t done anything remotely close to earning this honor, but he wasn’t kidding. Does your date exaggerate his achievements and accomplishments? Does he seem to build himself up? This is a common trait in Narci. If you feel he could use a big dose of humility, then this is one thing to watch for.

Requires Excessive Admiration

Narci is often quite good at fishing for compliments, and finding ways to get respect and admiration from those around him. Beware though, of a lack of reciprocity, which is mentioned below (see #10).

Sense of Entitlement

Whether it’s the best seat in a restaurant or the biggest slice of pie, Narci requires special treatment, and feels he deserves it. There may not seem to be any rational reason for why he should be first in line — he just always expects to be.

Preoccupied With Fantasies

Everyone has dreams. But Narci is obsessed with his own inner world. He has visions of unlimited success, power, brilliance or ideal love. He may engage you in the beginning, thinking you will help him fulfill these fantasies. As soon as he realizes you are flesh and blood, you become, basically, dog meat.

Exploitative

Narci has no hesitation about exploiting and manipulating the talents of others. Is there something he wants from you? Then he is probably being nice to you — for the time being.

Center of the Universe

Narci maintains an attitude that demonstrates the world revolves around him; and you must cater to his ideas, needs and desires. Most of us are happy to oblige someone these things. But Narci will keep taking from you without filling your well. And be forewarned, when the well runs dry, he will have no more use for you.

Withholding – Controlling

If a narcissist finds out what you like, he is sure to take it away from you. For instance, I told my most recent narci that I love going to the movies. Guess what happened? We never attended another one. I suspect this is more a “dog in the manger” thing than intentional cruelty. The narcissist does not want to be mean, necessarily. He just wants the world to revolve around him and his desires, his activities. If it is something you want, it isn’t something he wants, and therefore not worth his time.

Doesn’t Reciprocate

If you have made the horrible mistake of telling a narcissist you love him, beware. You will be punished. Because he is actually filled with self-loathing, Narci has contempt for those who love him.

This can be especially tough for people who have a generous nature. I like telling people I love them, and the compulsion is very strong when I feel that way. But the nicer and more generous you are to a narcissist, the more you will be rebuked. In this confusing and haphazard existence, a narcissist behaves best with those who set limits on him. Do not show any sign of vulnerability, because that gives him license for contempt.

You will find that none of your needs are met. You will receive no appreciation or gratitude for anything you do. You will never receive a compliment. You are a tool, a pawn, an object. Narcissus is not capable of any generosity of spirit. Sadly, he is incapable of the type of introspection necessary for change.

The bad news is, narcissists don’t change. Narci is stuck in his own universe, and his reality is completely different from ours. He is doomed to remain forever gazing at his own reflection, loving — and hating — only himself. Don’t hate the narcissist for being what he is. Educating him is fruitless because he simply lacks the capacity for self-examination. If anything, he deserves pity.

The good news is, because you have asked the question, you have the ability to save yourself. My advice is, “Run for your life!” Life is too short to be sacrificed for someone who won’t ever — who can’t ever — appreciate you.  Move on to better and brighter things.

The Older Woman Experience

Why do guys who like older women like them? What are the advantages to being with one? Your answers here.
Young women are easy to manipulate, which is cool if you are a somewhat creepy guy looking for somebody to take advantage of. I prefer the ones that have been manipulated before, been played and taken advantage of because they can appreciate honesty. Somebody like me who would rather spend his energy on something other than trying to get a woman to believe a lie is actually a relief. This why women beyond a certain age are more appealing. That said, because they learned what they learned the hard way they tend to come with a certain amount of baggage. This baggage can range from bitter emotional cruelty to the Lorena Bobbitt psycho freak-out baggage. It’s like herpes, there is no way around it you just have to brave the outbreaks and enjoy the rest.

Another good part of the older woman experience is, as many have said before me, the sex. After a woman has been in a marriage for a certain amount of time, or dated for a certain amount of time, and especially after kids, sex loses its sheen. It stops being a moonlight walk on the beach kind of thing and becomes something along the lines of a good foot-rub. Not unromantic, just more functional, less of a prize, than an exercise in mutual satisfaction. It’s not so novel anymore, not so influenced by the movies or TV. The sensual, physical part becomes a greater factor and the fact that you are younger than her gives you an advantage over men in her age-group.

There is also the fact that she is more comfortable with who she is. Women over forty may not be exactly sure of who they are, but they are surer than they were at twenty-five or thirty. This makes you less nervous as you have a better understanding of who they are too. Your conversation is not hamstrung by the uncertainty of what kind of woman you are dealing with. Her confidence will make you more confident.

The drawbacks, for many men, come with the body-type and what most men find physically attractive about a woman. Most guys are attracted to youth and unblemished firmness. Not every woman over forty has the body of a 20-something, and trying to find the few who do is going to drastically limit your pool of potential partners. It helps if you happen to like the way older women look and feel, if you can see the beauty in softer curves, in little imperfections, and if you find that those things are sexier, more welcoming, and more interesting than a shortlived firmness.

by Nick Brice