Whether you have entered a new relationship, marriage or just dating, this blog post might help you read the signs that you’re dating a narcissist. This is a personality type that can be difficult to spot. So here are some things to look out for.
What is a narcissist?
A narcissist or someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is normally defined as someone who seeks attention, has an inflated sense of self and who lacks basic empathy for others and/or enjoys exploiting others for their gain. There are a few different types and some are more difficult to spot than others. Overt narcissists are the extroverted, attention-seeking type, while covert are introverted and often fly under the radar.
Dealing with someone with NPD can be extremely challenging and mentally draining. They are very resistant to changing their behaviour. They tend to blame others for their problems, in particular their other half. Setting boundaries with a narcissist is not something they respond well to. And this is especially true if you are in a relationship with one.
Overt Narcissist vs Covert Narcissist
If you are dating an overt narcissist, the likelihood is that they are the loud one in the room. They demand attention and praise from others due to their inflated self worth. They believe they are more important than others, more intelligent, better looking. Therefore, they see no issue with being the loud and obnoxious person in the room who holds court. The signs can be a little more obvious with this type of narcissist.
If you are dealing with a covert narcissist (sometimes known as vulnerable narcissism), the signs may be less obvious. These people can be introverted and do not possess the same grandiosity and inflated sense of self outwardly. They may even appear modest and reserved. However, long term, their narcissistic traits will become obvious. Particularly to those in relationships with them.
Both of these types of NPD still display the same traits however.
We believe we have dealt with partners who display traits of NPD, one being overt and the other covert. Here are some traits we found in both men to help you see the signs you are dating a narcissist:
- Lack of empathy
- They hate boundaries and they won’t respect them
- A need to be in control
- Rarely admits when they are wrong
- Never apologises
- Hatred of being called out/confronted
My ex is definitely an overt narcissist. There were times where I would be sitting and eating with his family or friends and he would make sarcastic remarks about the amount I was eating or that I was always finishing the food from my plate. He would laugh and say he was only joking and that he loved me to reassure the people around him but behind closed doors I was being screamed at to “do something about your insecurities!”
There were times when I would be awake from 8am and working till 5pm (remotely). I was also cooking and cleaning but was always getting told by him that I wasn’t doing enough and that I just sit on my ass all day long doing nothing.
When my ex would decide to spend a Sunday with me (we both worked full time jobs and he worked a second job at night so we barely saw each other during the week) even that was thrown in my face and he would FaceTime my father and say things like:
“Look what I’m doing for your daughter” and “Even you couldn’t take your daughter where I am taking her” and “Look your daughter is happy here with me so don’t tell her to come back to the UK”.
This would obviously really upset me because it was disrespectful to my parents. Personally I didn’t like showing off and I missed my family dearly. But my ex would get a kick out of it by rubbing things in my family’s face.
My ex was heavily involved with his culture and always wanted me to be on the phone to his mother every day or to be present in her house every day which I found very weird. But when I tried setting boundaries he would always voice how I was changing his personality and that I didn’t love him enough to take care of his mother.
I believe my ex is a covert narcissist for a number of reasons. It took me a very long time to be able to understand that I was not crazy and that I was the victim of extensive manipulation for years.
He was quite reserved and from the outside seemed very charming. His nasty side always came out when we were alone. However, he was extremely controlling throughout our relationship. For instance, if I wore something that he did not like, he would insist that I change it. If i protested, he would cause a huge argument and guilt-trip me.
He definitely lacked empathy too. When I was taking job interviews and was very nervous, he would tell me to get a grip and “what the f*ck was wrong with me?” He actually told me once “I don’t look at you and think, wow that is my wife” to let me know he was no longer attracted to me.
Whenever I set boundaries with him (e.g. his mother and sisters could not come to stay with us every 2 weeks for 4 nights and take over our home) he would completely transform into a different person. He would scream and shout and tell me to leave… that he didn’t care about me until we got married anyway (we dated for 4 years before marriage).
My ex could never apologise. He joined a dating app while we were married and I found out about it. When I confronted him he got mad at the person who told me. He never apologised or took any responsibility for that and said the other person was trying to break us up…
These are just our experiences in toxic relationships. We are not experts but have seen the consequences of staying in mentally abusive relationships. If you believe you are dating someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or some of the traits we have described, we recommend cutting ties. Relationships with narcissists are notoriously difficult and they may promise you all the changes in the world, but it is very unlikely that they will change. It is better to disassociate yourself from them before you are too invested.
Written by Layla & Jade