Ten Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

October 6, 2019
A narcissistic partner will end up making you feel inferior. They may make you feel guilty, under-appreciated, and belittled.

Perhaps there are some signs in your relationship that make you feel uncomfortable. However, you haven’t been able to put your finger on what exactly is bothering you. If your partner talks too much about themselves and their problems and projects an idealized image of themselves, then perhaps you’re dating a narcissist.

In this article, we’ll share some of the warning signs and what you should do.

Narcissistic personality disorder

According to psychologist Stephen Johnson, a narcissist is someone who has “buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.”

Therefore, the traditional image of the narcissist who’s in love with themselves isn’t the image that corresponds to the real narcissist. On the contrary, the narcissist isn’t in love with themselves. Instead, they’re in love with the idealized image that they built of themselves. In fact, they’re deeply wounded, have low self-esteem, and hide under their idealized selves rather than face reality.

It isn’t easy to deal with a narcissist. In fact, their need to feel a superior can even make them belittle and undervalue others.

Below, we’ll share some of the typical behaviors of narcissists and what you can do about them…especially if you’re dating one.

We recommend that you read: How to Distance Yourself from Toxic People

Signs that you’re dating a narcissist

1. Their conversations feel like endless monologues.

Signs that you're dating a narcissist.

Narcissists are always the center of conversations.

A conversation with a narcissist can be tedious, a frustrating experience. This is because, in reality, a narcissist doesn’t “converse” but maintains an endless and tedious monologue. They never have dialogues, as there’s no exchange of ideas and opinions.

In fact, even if you try to take the floor, they won’t allow you to participate. They’ll just interrupt you with words such as “well”, “therefore”, or “but.” This is because a narcissist often believes they know everything. If you achieve to express your opinions, they’ll ignore you or correct you.

For this reason, it’s normal for you to feel frustrated after trying to have a conversation with a narcissist.

2. All conversations revolve around them.

The topic of conversation always ends up going back to them. In fact, even in conversations with more people, a narcissist will always try to turn the conversation back on themselves or an object – or person – who they glorify or desire. For this reason, narcissists are people who constantly interrupt and take the floor without respecting others.

Moreover, not only do they not listen to others, but they just ignore them and monopolize any gathering. For this reason, if your partner is a narcissist, it’s logical for you to feel belittled and under-appreciated.

3. They like to break the rules.

A narcissist needs to feel different and superior. For this reason, it’s common for narcissists to enjoy breaking the rules. For example, this may include not respecting traffic rules, taking home office equipment, etc.

These actions make them feel they’re above the law, rules, and society. They feel they’re superior and believe they can get away with anything.

4. You’re dating a narcissist if your partner doesn’t respect boundaries.

A woman who feels belittled when dating a narcissist

A narcissist only cares about their needs, disrespecting those of others.

Since they feel superior, you’ll always be below them. For this reason, narcissists don’t respect nor meet their partner’s needs. They’re their only priority.

Have you ever lent them money they never returned? Do they undermine your feelings or achievements? Do they discourage you from having healthy alone time and space for yourself?

If so, then maybe you’re dating a narcissist.

5. If you’re dating a narcissist, they project a false image of themselves.

This is the basic characteristic of a narcissist. For example, they may feel that they have to spend too much time primping themselves because they have to impress others. Also, they normally complement themselves in front of others, saying things such as “Look how good this looks on me” or “I’m so special.”

They think they must make others believe they’re worthy of admiration. However, in reality, they’re deeply insecure people with low self-esteem.

6. They believe they must be the center of your world.

Not only are your needs less important, but a narcissist expects you to meet their needs before your own. A narcissist believes they’re the most important partner in a relationship, which is why they’ll demand that you pay attention to them at all times, regardless of your needs and obligations.

This article may interest you: 5 Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

7. They were charming at first.

You may be dating a narcissist

At first, the image they project of themselves is that of a charming life-of-the-party. However, their true selves will eventually come out.

They were charming when they were trying to win you over. You believed they were charismatic, persuasive, charming, and thoughtful. However, as the relationship progressed and the interest in winning you over disappeared, something felt off.

The narcissist must be the best at everything. Thus, they also have to perfect. Once they get bored with the game, things change.

8. If you’re dating a narcissist, they make it seem like they’re a hero or heroine.

Since they feel superior, they build an idealized image of themselves. Often, they present themselves as a hero or heroine, someone who’s extremely outstanding and superior to others.

For this reason, they may genuinely believe that you’re nothing without them.

9. Some narcissists victimize themselves.

A good way for people with a narcissistic personality disorder to draw attention is to victimize themselves. Thus, they’ll get you to forget your needs and focus on them. This is their goal from the very beginning.

However, this can also happen at any time. A narcissist may make you feel guilty about how you treat them if you don’t treat them the way they want.

10. They’re manipulative.

For narcissists, other people are nothing more than a means to meet their needs. For example, they can choose a partner who’s physically beautiful or wealthy only to show them off to others or to ensure that their needs are being met.

What to do if you’re dating a narcissist

If you want things to change, you have to be more assertive. This is why you should:

  • Acknowledge that they need help. If you want to stay in the relationship, you need to understand that, deep down, narcissists are insecure people with low self-esteem.
  • Encourage them to seek therapy. A narcissistic personality disorder is a condition that can seriously harm a person’s quality of life, not to mention that of those around them. Good psychological therapy is the best way to help them repair the wounds that lead to the disorder to begin with, and therefore treat it or prevent it from causing further problems.
  • Get therapy. In addition to encouraging them to get therapy, if this is a relationship you’re committed to, you need to seek help as well. In therapy, you can learn how to better take care of yourself in your relationship.
  • Show them that their behaviors bother you. You need to make them understand the things that annoy you, such as not being able to have a conversation with them, the fact that they always prioritize their needs over your own, etc. Tell them that you’re also important and have your own needs and demands.
  • Stay positive. Even when you’re explaining to them that you’re important, too, you must make sure not to clue them in on the fact that their behavior gets under your skin. If you let them know you’re really angry, you may unintentionally reaffirm their superiority. Instead, explain these things calmly, and set appropriate boundaries.
  • Stay focused. Although narcissists try to make you see that their goals are more important, remember that you also have your own. Don’t let yourself get carried away and don’t forget that you also have your own personality, needs, goals, and dreams.

Do you recognize some of these signs? If you do, act now! No matter if you either break off the relationship because it makes you feel bad or decide to stay in it, don’t forget that you’re as important as your partner.

  • American Psychiatric Association. Narcissistic personality disorder. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013;669-672.
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  • Millon, Theodore & Davis, Roger D. Trastornos de la personalidad. Más allá del DSM-IV. Primera edición 1998. Reimpresiones 1999 (2), 2000, 2003, 2004. Barcelona: Editorial Masson. ISBN 9788445805183.
  • Grossman, Seth Millon, Carrie Meagher, Sarah, Ramnath, Rowena. Trastornos de la personalidad en la vida moderna. Primera edición 2001, segunda edición 2006. Barcelona: Editorial Masson & Elsevier. ISBN 9788445815380.