There are some tips and signs to look out for when dating to save you from getting involved with a narcissist. These warning signs will help you avoid a harrowing and toxic relationship that can cost you your peace and self confidence. Knowing what I know now about narcissism, I wish I knew what to look out look for when I was dating. I believe that all people especially young people should be educated and informed before dating so as to avoid toxic and harmful relationships.
Because the narcissist is very good at concealing his true character, especially covert narcissist, you have to be extra vigilant. But you should be able to spot some signs after a few dates if you really look out for them.
The first thing you need to be aware of is not to just jump deep into any relationship. Take your time and really get to know the person. Some narcissists are notorious for rushing the relationship; within the first few dates, he’s already talking about getting married to you and starting a family. I know for some women that might be exciting for you to have a person who seems to want all the things you want, however that does seem to be too soon on just a few dates. You have to ask the question, why the rush? The narcissist wants to tie you down quickly because it’s much harder to leave him if you’re married with kids. One minute you’re dating ‘the sweetest guy’ and the next minute you’re married to a monster!
Don’t give too much information about yourself. The narcissist will want to know all about you. What he’s fishing for are weaknesses and vulnerabilities that he can take advantage of in the future. When asked about yourself, give general vague answers, don’t be too specific, change the subject and ask about him. Narcissists do like to talk about themselves, ( they’re very self centred people) exaggerate their achievements and boast about themselves.
Since they like to monopolise conversations try and find out about him and his former relationships with other women, his relationships with his family, mother, father, sisters, brothers. How he manages his relationships with other women, especially his mother and sisters, may be an indication of how he will treat you. They might be evasive about their past and may bring the subject back to you again or entirely change the subject. I didn’t get to know all about my husband’s past until we got married, it was a source of shame for him. He told me he was ashamed of his past and his family. Find out who he’s living with and find out from them what he’s really like, or friends and family. Don’t just rely on what he tells you, find out from other people he’s close to.
Does he stare at every attractive female that catches his eye when he is with you? That could be an indication that he might be a womaniser or that he is a narcissist searching for potential new narcissistic supply. The narcissist is always on the prowl for someone new, even when they’re in a relationship. They’re are not satisfied with just one female interest. If your date is serious about you (even though a date may not be considered as serious, it’s just a date!), you would be his only interest and would captivate his attention. He would want to make sure that you are the object of his attention not every other female in sight. If your date has roaming eyes, you don’t want to hang around with him any longer! It’s obvious he’s not serious.
Watch closely his responses. Does he seem to crave attention, does he get upset when your attention is elsewhere or when you’re talking to another male maybe one of your friends? Narcissists are very jealous people and hate not being the centre of attention, they will visibly get very upset. Watch how he relates and reacts to your male friends. Although some males might be slightly jealous, a narcissist will be very jealous, their responses are more extreme and over the top than normal people.
Is he extremely sensitive to any perceived criticism? Narcissists are very arrogant and will react against any critique as their fragile ego has been dealt a blow (narcissistic injury).
In conversations with your date, do you find that he seems to blame every failure, weakness on other people? He doesn’t seem to accept responsibility or fault for anything. Narcissists are known fault-finders and blame-shifters.
Does he respect your boundaries, does he call you at ungodly hours, or visit you unexpectedly, and expect you to leave everything you’re doing to go out with him? Does he insist on knowing where you are or who you’re with all the time? Narcissists will not respect your boundaries or rules and regulations. They like to enforce rules but will not abide by them, because they consider themselves ‘special’ and above everyone else!! They can do whatever they want, but you can’t! If that’s the situation with you…run!
Is he very sensitive to any perceived criticism or slight and suddenly become quite upset and angry? He will make fun of other people’ but don’t ever make fun of him; he does not take personal jokes about himself lightly. Does he become uncomfortable with personal jokes levelled at him, but likes to make fun of other people? Narcissists have a sense of humour when other people are the butt of his jokes, but turn it the other way around and it’s no longer funny.
Does he treat waitresses/ waiters very rudely and is not courteous, but condescending? Narcissists view themselves as superior and regard waiters beneath them and should be treated accordingly.
Learn to read your date’s body language. Does he mimic or mirror your movements? Based on research, psychologists have established that a narcissist because he does not have empathy, cannot copy or mirror your gestures e.g. like yawning, touching your forehead, picking up your cup. If the person doesn’t mirror you or hardly at all this is an indication he is a narcissist. Mirroring is a sign of empathy and Narcissist lacks this emotion.
And lastly, trust your instincts and intuition, if you feel that something is not right about the person your dating, then you’re probably right…get out quickly!