With Narcissism being the buzzword all over the media these days, there are thousands of websites that offer dating advice on how to avoid Narcissists.
However, after a while all the articles start to look the same…rehashing the DSM IV criteria, reciting how self-centered Narcissists are and how they’re always the center of attention. Frankly, readers often come away more confused after searching for dating advice as it pertains to detecting disordered personalities. Since people are generally on their best behavior during early dating, how can you really know if someone is a Narcissist, or just trying to make a good impression? Following are five tips that are sure signs that you’re sharing company with a Narcissist.
1) You find yourself making all the effort In today’s world of online dating, it’s common to widen the list of prospects by searching for matches that live one to two hours away…sometimes more. In this scenario, both parties should be willing to take on their share of traveling. However, Narcissists will have a long list of reasons why you should go to them instead of the other way around. They might pardon themselves due to their job, their custody situation, etc. However, unless they’re in a wheelchair, these are just excuses. If you can hire a babysitter and adjust your work schedule, they can too. If you find that you’re the one making all the effort, it’s highly likely you’ve become a Narcissist’s target.
2) After one or two dates, they ask you to change your hair color and/or wardrobe This is a sneaky way for the Narcissist to determine if you have codependent tendencies. If you are willing to make a big change like your hair or style, it means you’re highly cooperative, which is a trait Narcissists look for. They also do this to give you the false hope that the relationship has long-term potential. If they are already telling you things you need to change about yourself after seeing you once or twice, nip it in the bud. After all, what makes them so special that you need to immediately change yourself to their satisfaction? Don’t give them the impression that you’re unhappy with yourself. Tell them to take a hike, and continue your search for Mr. (or Miss) Right who will like you just the way you are.
3) They make inappropriate comments of a sexual nature Unless you’ve made it clear that you are into casual encounters, no one should open this subject in the initial dating phase and especially not on the first date. This is another tactic by the Narcissist to find out if you are willing to engage in inappropriate topics, even if you are uncomfortable with it. Likewise, if your new date takes one of their children along and then mauls you on the park bench in front of them, steer clear. This is a honking sign that they have no boundaries, regardless of the words that come out of their mouth.
4) They dated a Victoria’s Secret Model If someone is genuinely interested in you they shouldn’t be talking about ex-lovers on the outset. This is a sly way to play on any insecurities that you might have. While they’re blabbering on about how they had to arrange their schedules around her photo shoots, you’re secretly making plans to lose fifteen pounds and sign up for a gym membership. It’s also an early form of triangulation. They want to give the impression that they are important and in high demand. If you just met someone and are already feeling jealous and not good enough, you’ve been played by a Narcissist. Block their number and remove them from your social media sites, STAT!
5) They tell you how to handle your children Regardless of what culture they’re from or if they have children of their own…anyone who tells you how to deal with your children when they barely know you is arrogant beyond measure. Narcissists have no boundaries, and this is obvious in their assumption that you will welcome their input on how you’re raising your children. Some Narcs will even go so far as to include this on their dating profile, making references about “unruly children”. No person that you’ve just met has the right to give you this type of advice, no matter how convincing it may seem in the delivery. In their mind, if you are willing to let them have a say-so about your children, you would be willing to tolerate the unacceptable . Let them know that topic isn’t up for discussion and flag the waiter for your check.
If you’ve recently taken a dive back into the dating pool, don’t go in the deep end. Trust your instinct. If you keep getting the niggling feeling that this person has a lot of nerve, that’s your internal GPS telling you to REROUTE. Finding a romantic partner shouldn’t leave you feeling like you’re on an examination table undergoing a surreal version of the Spanish Inquisition. The most uncomfortable topics should include politics or whether you like sushi or not…maintain your boundaries and don’t budge on the things that are important to you.
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