Is your partner a narcissist? How dating a narcissist changes you? Why did you choose to date a narcissist in the first place? Does your partner have the traits of a narcissist? To know the answers to these queries, read this article!
Dating a person has a significant effect on one’s life. You make memories and commit to your better half. You would most likely want to make the most of the moments spent together. But who would ever imagine their partner to be toxic or a narcissist?
Dating a narcissist changes you in many ways. You would never know whether or not the person you love the most is a narcissist. A selfish person manipulates with such proficiency that you would never be able to get a hint of what is about to happen.
Do you know how dating a narcissist changes you? Have you ever dated a narcissist? How to charm a narcissist. To see if you are dating a narcissist or not, read this article to the end.
Table of Contents
Who is a narcissist?
You would have heard people telling their stories about a narcissistic partner or a family member. But have you ever visualized yourself being a partner to a narcissist? What’s life like when dating a narcissist? Or what will happen if you retaliate against a narcissist? How dating a narcissist changes you? Before jumping to the conclusion.
A narcissist is a self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-glorifying individual. All they care about is themselves. It is a type of personality disorder or a mental disorder. In narcissistic personality disorder, a person has excessive self-importance and a deep need for attention. In short, they are attention seekers and can do anything to get that attention.
A narcissist thinks that everything is and should be about them. They assume that the world revolves around them, and they will keep you in the palm of their hand. If you try to protest against them, they will emotionally and verbally abuse you. They make themselves the subject of every conversation. From these things, you should know that you are dating a narcissist and how dating a narcissist changes you.
NPD- an overview
NPD was first identified in 1898 by British essayist Havelock Elis. It does not mean that narcissistic personality disorder did not exist before that. It has always been there, rooted in people’s minds but was officially acknowledged in later days.
Narcissism is named after a mythological figure, “Narcissus,” who was in search of someone to love. He rejected a nymph named Echo, and after seeing his reflection in the river, he fell in love with himself. As a result, he drowned in the river, and the flower that marks his death spot is named narcissus.
This myth led to the basic idea of “narcissist,” which means an elevated and self-obsessed personality. According to Sigmund Freud, narcissism is expected in the developmental stages of a child. However, it is categorized as a disorder in adolescence. It can be diagnosed through clinical evaluation. However, read this guide if you are trying to look for the signs yourself.
What are the traits of a narcissistic partner?
If you don’t know how dating a narcissist changes, let me tell you that it changes you drastically. You become a person whose shell remains the same as always. Still, internally, it changes—being in a relationship with a narcissistic individual means a troubled relationship that lacks a sense of empathy.
They may look typical from the outside, but behind this is a hideous face with extremely fragile self-esteem that could break you to the point where you won’t be able to put yourself together.
If your partner is a narcissist, they will always be inflated and present a grandiose self-image. They ramble about their great qualities and want you to talk about them too. A narcissist imposes egocentric questions, which may seem harmless at first, but as you answer opposite to what they expect, you will be in great trouble. Every story revolves around them, and every reference turns back to them.
A narcissistic conversation is full of arrogance and self-importance in talks. They keep on bragging about themselves and keep on telling stories. This is the same as self-centeredness. However, the difference is self-centeredness in behavior, but big talk is exaggerated language.
The words and stories they tell you are more exaggerated than in reality. For instance, if your partner saves someone from getting hit by a car, you will see that they will keep bragging about their brave move. Though it is a heroic act, pulling someone to save and going in the center of the road and pushing the person away, I know it seems a bit dramatic, but that’s probably how a narcissist will explain it.
Is your partner giving you the silent treatment? Have you been coming under the influence of silent treatment? If yes, you might live or breathe the same air as a narcissist.
This may seem ordinary at first because, in couples, most people stay silent to avoid arguments, but a narcissist always does this to make you feel bad and guilty.
As a self-obsessed person, a narcissist is always looking forward to ways in which they can isolate you from the world. Their utmost effort is to get you under their influence by calling it “loyalty.” But why do they do that?
It is an intrinsic trait of a human to make friends. Thus, a narcissist will fear you giving more importance to someone other than them.
A selfish person will show no empathy. They lack a basic sense of empathy. They might have alienated boundaries and expectations from you. Once you fail to fulfill their unrealistic expectations, they will be highly unforgiving.
For instance, your partner is a narcissist, a patriarchal person. If you dress with your preference, they will be pissed off. They want you to be perfect by defining their definition of “perfectionism.”
They are always craving a compliment. They find ways to get attention or praise from you or everyone around them. They will construct situations to get all the credits if they feel they are not getting enough recognition.
Lack of commitment
A narcissist will run away from committing to you. They do not want to be bound with another individual as it will steal their spotlight and attention.
They want to keep the relationship alive in the slightest way. They don’t want to make an effort, so they will try to stay on relationship grounds rather than committing permanently. This way, they will get all the advantages from their partner and don’t have to save.
They have too much pride in themselves. They pretend to be the jack of all trades. Even if they take the trash, they will brag about it and exaggerate “how they help around the house.”
They have a high tendency to lie about everything. This tactic is used when they want to show that you are nothing without them. They will create a narrative so that you will be at fault. You start thinking of yourself as a forgetful and wrong person.
Similar to getting attention, they are entitled to do everything. Because of their self-centered personality, they think they are entitled to get everything their way. If you say no to them, they will react outrageously. A narcissist thinks that nothing could be more important than him.
No respect for rules
A narcissist does not show respect towards boundaries or the rules. They hate to be dictated. If someone tries to do that, they get against him and think that those people are intentionally trying to let him down.
Thus, they will do anything to show you how much power they have. They will feel proud after violating the rules and making you think they are the owners of everything. With their actions, they tell people that they are not bound to act in a certain way, and no one has the right to tell them what or what not to do.
They will probably brag about how they cut in line or run a red light to show how powerful and fearless they are and that the rules are not made for them.
Jealous of others’ success
A selfish individual will always want to be the center of attention. They will always want to get praised; thus, they adopt manipulative tactics. If you see a narcissist putting too much effort into a project or presentation, it is not because they want to make a difference but because they either want to get praised or to let other co-workers down.
Narcissists don’t want anyone better than them. If you are doing well in your job and they are not getting along with it, they will also devalue your accomplishments. They will make you feel that the achievement is worthless and does not make any difference.
Narcissists are obsessed with having power. Even when they don’t have enough to put on a table, they will brag about non-existing things. They will have a friend circle in front of whom they could talk about their power, status, and money.
If your partner is bragging about how much more they make than you in front of other people just to show their status, you have a narcissistic partner. It is due to their obsession with getting the spotlight./ they want people to look up to them by considering them as superiors. That is how their self-worth is built. Right by making others around them feel inferior.
A narcissist will never have people with more power than him in real life because it will make him look inferior. Thus, he chooses already flawed people, making them feel even more inadequate. They will always think that they are better than you.
Gaslighting is a narcissist’s best friend. Narcissists always use it to get the most advantage. It is a manipulative tactic that makes you feel guilty and questions your reality and position.
Meanwhile, they are deceitful and can misinform everything so smoothly that you will never get a hint of being deceived. They fabricate the real story to look good themself and make you look bad.
Play a victim
It is known that they lack a sense of empathy for others, but they play the victim every time. They use empathy as a weapon. If you show compassion to a narcissist, they will consider it as a ticket to get away with deceiving behavior. It will allow them to manipulate you. They will exploit you by explaining how it is not their fault and how some scenario or person let them do it.
How dating a narcissist changes you?
Still, wondering how dating a narcissist changes you? Here is a list of signs that you are suffering from narcissistic victim syndrome.
Loss of identity
Being controlled by a person for a long time will make you doubt yourself. You would most probably lose your real identity.
Dating a narcissist will make you insecure. As a habit, a narcissist will keep ridiculing you and telling you how bad you are. They will hit your sensitive points, making you question your reality. However, getting help from a renowned psychotherapist is better than getting out of your shell.
A narcissist is destructive at tackling conflicts. Most of the time, they blame you and make you the cause of everything. This builds a fear inside you whenever a dispute arises.
You will fear that you will be blamed and punished through gaslighting and silent treatment. Thus, it terrifies you, and you will fail to establish a connection again.
Are you dating a nonchalant man? Or have you broken up with them? Whatever the case is, it is commonly seen among narcissistic victims that they feel paranoid about new people.
The paranoia is due to the thought of getting a similar narcissist in your life again.
As they always control you, you might feel paranoid about them coming back anytime and appearing from any corner just to apply some new manipulative tactics to get you back.
Fear of dating again
You will fear dating a person again. It sits in your heart and will not let you live the rest of your life peacefully. But what needs to be acknowledged here is that not every person is a narcissist. You may get an excellent, caring person when you go on a date. Thus, you need to eliminate the fear of dating again.
While dating a narcissist, have you questioned your reliability, or have you ever doubted yourself? This is what dating a narcissist leaves you with. You lose self-confidence and always look for other people to depend on. You must know your worth and give life more value than doubting.
Doubt your perspective
A narcissist torments your self-confidence and destroys it. After coming out of an abusive relationship, you will keep doubting your perspective, as this is what a narcissist has engraved in your mind. You will keep questioning your reality and depend on someone for your fundamental decisions.
Compromise your happiness
Everyone wants to love their partner the most. But what if your partner takes advantage and manipulates you? You will keep compromising your happiness for the sake of your love.
Similar things will happen after the relationship. You will forget to take care of yourself and consider compromising your happiness for someone else’s.
Used to isolation
Narcissists’ first tactic is to isolate you from the world. After doing that, they know you have nobody to turn to; thus, they manipulate you to get the benefit. This will have a long-lasting effect. Later on, you will keep isolating yourself from the world and struggling on your own.
Despair is the worst pain one can ever feel. A narcissistic victim will be full of despair and negative thoughts. They will struggle a lot to get their identity back. In addition, they will be insecure about getting another partner with the same traits.
A narcissist’s victims will self-sabotage themselves. Isolation and grieving on their own become their habit. They stop caring for themselves and turn a blind eye to their health and needs.
Loss of self-esteem is the biggest issue faced after narcissist abuse. It may seem absurd, but the victims question their decisions and blame themselves for any contradictory results.
Sense red flags
After living in a relationship with a narcissist, the victim will get aware of narcissism flags and act immediately following the situation.
Anxiety and depression
Abuse, whether verbal, physical, or emotional, always impacts mental health. When a narcissist manipulates a person, they will keep stressing themselves out until they fall into severe mental issues like depression and anxiety.
Abuse may look normal
Once a person gets accustomed to the abuse, it may seem normal to them. They will get used to that abuse and won’t react until someone else realizes it is not normal.
After giving up on a narcissistic relationship, you might develop post-traumatic stress disorder. You will face terrible nightmares and flashbacks of traumatic incidents leading to more serious mental illnesses.
Chocolate cake model of narcissism
You might not have heard about a chocolate cake model of narcissism, but it is one of the easiest to understand how dating a narcissist changes you.
Let’s consider a layered chocolate cake. It will appear appealing, and you will crave it. Once you start eating it, you will feel full. But the problem is you have to eat the whole cake as it belongs to only you. In this scenario, you will feel sick. Compared to that, if you are eating healthy food, you will not feel sick or nauseous.
This is how narcissism works. A narcissist will seem highly compassionate and loving at first. They will attract you with their charming looks and wit. They will start using their tactics as soon as you fall into their trap. It results in the same effect as eating excess chocolate cake. However, a healthy relationship is like nutritious food that nourishes you, gives you energy, and allows you to meet your goals.
Is your partner a narcissist?
If your partner complies with the above signs, yes, they are narcissistic. However, not all narcissists need to possess these traits. Some will not show a single quality, and you will never get to know they are a narcissist. Sometimes, your partner will offer one or two traits. But the best possible way to tell whether your partner is a narcissist or not is by clinically evaluating it.
Who else could be a narcissist?
The world is full of people of color and distinct mindsets. People are a pro at deceiving others and manipulating them. People around you could be narcissists, but you never got any hint.
A narcissist is not only your partner, whether it is a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife., it can be anyone. It might include your best friend, parents, siblings, or maybe your co-worker.
You won’t be able to notice their narcissistic traits until you become their bait.
How do narcissists reveal themselves?
Narcissists may reveal themself, but they will not accept it. You must know how to get them to show them. Keep in mind the following thing if you want your narcissist partner to show themself ultimately.
- Educate yourself about narcissism and its traits.
- Stop helping and supporting their toxic acts
- Pull narcissists rage trigger
After how long will a person show their true colors?
This is quite an opinionated question, and its answer will vary from person to person. If we talk about it in general, most people will say they get to know their partners right after marriage or after moving in together. However, psychologists say it takes three to six months for a person to reveal their true self.
However, a study shows that women tend to reveal themself quickly than men. Men take time to open up in front of a new person, which is why narcissism is more common in males. Thus, it is pretty alarming that what if the partner is psychologically unstable or a narcissist?
How to protect yourself from a narcissist?
Protecting yourself from narcissists might be difficult because they only reveal themselves when you get close to them. However, if you love them and they are good at manipulating, then there are chances that you are not able to come out of that toxic relationship.
Meanwhile, if you have acknowledged a selfish person’s traits and are looking for an opportunity to get rid of them, do it now. Tell them that you cannot be with them anymore and tell them the reason as well. They will try to manipulate you by playing victim but if you want a healthy life, cut that charming manipulator narcissist out of your life.
A narcissist initially has an eloquent and charming personality, but reality unfolds, and you realize those things are just baiting. It makes you suffer from intense emotional trauma. They will protect you with their self-centered characteristics and make you feel guilty about stealing their spotlight.
How dating a narcissist changes you is a significant point to think of. You can look up how to charm a narcissist, but as a result, you may become one. They lack empathy for others, a deep-rooted sense of attention, and a vivid sense of importance.
They will be seen defending their behavior by making excuses, minimalizing, and rationalizing every step. The narcissist will make you feel no one else cares for you, enhancing your insecurity, and you will stick to that only person because “they will only love you.”
They will pretend that they are happy and supportive of your success. Narcissists will do their best to turn you against the world by saying that they hate you. They will play hero by faking to be your savior; instead, they want to get the spotlight. Their so-called “act of kindness” is a way of manipulating you.
You should look for the toxic traits in your partner. Even if you love them, remember how dating a narcissist changes you. It can cost you precious years of your life. Dating a nonchalant man or charming manipulator narcissist is a sign of your doom.
However, the signs mentioned above don’t need to be always in a narcissist. Some of them do not show their fundamental traits. Additionally, it is not always crucial that a person having these traits have NPD. It is better to get a clinical evaluation to confirm.