I’ve been seeing a guy I met on Tinder for about a year and a half. Everything was great in the beginning, but instead of our relationship becoming deeper and more intimate, things have taken a devastating turn for the worse. He’s always grumpy, blames me for our constant fighting, and a couple of times has wanted to take a break so we could see other people – yet “stay friends” in the process.
I really care about this guy, but I don’t understand why he goes silent and seems to be unavailable most of the time, yet…when we do get together we have a great time and the sex is awesome. However, aside from those rare occasions when we have fun, he is mostly condescending and says I’m too clingy. I guess I feel that way because I never know where we stand. He acts like he wants to keep our relationship going, but at the same time, I think he wants to keep his options open. When we’re not together, all I do is obsess about him, and I really don’t want to date anyone else. But, it seems he is fine with the way things have been going.
Some of the stuff I’ve read online makes me think he could be a narcissist. Given the information I’ve shared, what do you think?
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Okay, first, I can’t say whether this guy is a narcissist, however there are definitely some red flags waving in that direction.
First, you met him on Tinder. If you missed it, you may want to familiarize yourself with my article, 3 Dating Sites to Avoid That Are Crawling with Narcissists.
Second, he’s coming off as wishy-washy and you can’t figure out where you stand in the relationship. This doesn’t necessarily make him a narcissist. But, the fact that he’s calling you clingy is a warning sign. Many guys will want to keep their options open until they find “The One”. If he feels like he can keep you on the back burner while he explores his options, then that’s what he’ll do (and he’s already doing it).
Does that make him a narcissist? Not necessarily, especially if you agreed to “keep it casual”. (Although it IS a red flag if his profile said he wanted a relationship, but instead, he wants casual dating).
My question for you is, did you agree to take a break and see other people, or agree that he could see other people, yet remain “friends” with you? Because if that’s something you don’t want, you’ll want to tell him you’re not interested in an open relationship, but if he is, then wish him well and walk away. You can read more about this in The Top 3 Ways to Epically Ruin Your Chance at True Love.
Third, the things that concern me regarding his potentially being a narcissist are: He’s always grumpy, he blames you for your constant fighting, and a couple of times has wanted to take a break – yet remain friends in the process. He goes silent and seems to be unavailable most of the time. He is mostly condescending and says you’re too clingy.
These are all hallmark behaviors of narcissistic individuals. Aside from that, they’re signs that a person is just not vested in the relationship. A person who cares about you, who wants to spend time with you, and who wants a committed relationship would not do those things.
If someone wants to be in a genuine relationship with you, you would know it – and you’d know where you stand. Of course, if you’ve only been dating someone a few weeks, it’s not the time to be hinting around at exclusivity, but regarding someone you’ve been seeing a year and a half, you should have a very clear picture of where you stand.
This guy isn’t serious about a relationship, he seems to be using you as a fallback, and he could well be a narcissist. The reason you obsess about him is because he is using covert psychological manipulation on you.
Hope that helps!
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© Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach, 2016
Kim Saeed is a narcissistic abuse recovery expert on a mission to help abuse survivors to heal, find purpose, and live joyfully after No Contact. She also hosts a podcast called Heal, Grow, Evolve, where she aims to help people create meaningful lives and relationships after emotional abuse. Listen and subscribe at www.healgrowevolvewithkim.com