9 Signs You’re Dating A Narcissist — How To Get Out

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Lori Pace

Warning: This article doesn’t diagnose your partner or telling you 100% you are dating a narcissist.

This article will instead highlight unacceptable behavior and reactions within the context of a loving, equitable relationship. Your partner doesn’t have to be one of six signs. It’s a sign that you need to reevaluate your relationship and determine if it is thriving. If the person is serious about you, they will have certain traits.

What Is A Narcissist?

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), or narcissism, is a belief that one person is superior to all others. NPD is a personality disorder that can lead to a person being unable to make friends or empathize with others.

a narcissist

True narcissists are those who have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD sufferers believe that they are unique and superior to other people, and expect to be treated and recognized as such. They often fail to understand the needs and opinions of others, and they dismiss others’ problems.

Nine criteria of a narcissist

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists nine criteria that can be used to diagnose NPD. However, it stipulates that a person only has to meet five of these criteria to clinically qualify for narcissism.

  • Grandiose self-importance
  • Preoccupation with fantasies about unlimited success, brilliance and beauty or ideal love
  • They believe they are unique and special, and should only be understood or associated with other high-status individuals or institutions.
  • Need for excessive admiration
  • Sensibility of entitlement
  • Interpersonally exploitative behavior
  • Lack of empathy
  • Envy of others or the belief that others envy you
  • Arrogance and arrogant behavior or attitudes

There are many levels of NPD severity, just like most personality or mental disorders. People with a narcissistic personality disorder can be highly functioning and relatable in outpatient settings. However, in inpatient settings they can be challenging and aggressive. Aggression is a sign of severity.

What you also need to know about narcissist?

People with NPD may also have other mental and physical health conditions such as substance abuse disorder or anxiety. This can further complicate relationships. Having the official diagnostic criteria does not make it any easier to identify someone with NPD. This is especially true if you are romantically involved. To determine if someone has NPD, a qualified expert will usually conduct a standard interview. Knowing the signs of NPD can help you understand your partner. These are signs to watch out for when you are dating a narcissist. And also some tips on how to deal with them.

Signs That You Are Dating A Narcissist

You Found Them Charming At First

signs of dating a charming narcissist
They are charming, aren’t they?

People with NPD tend to be more open-minded and dreamy than others. You might have experienced a fairytale relationship at first. Maybe they complimented your abilities or said they loved you.

While dating a narcissist, they might tell you how smart or how compatible you both are. But, you only started seeing each other. That’s why you should be cautious if someone seems too strong in the beginning. We all want to feel loved. True love must be nurtured and cultivated. NPD people will attempt to make superficial connections in the early stages of a relationship.

They Dominate The Conversation And Wants To Keep Talking About Themself

NPD people have an overinflated sense of self-importance. They are more likely to exaggerate achievements and expect to be praised as superior. Narcissists are fond of praising their accomplishments with grandioseness. They do this to feel smarter and better than others, and it also helps them appear confident.

Narcissists often exaggerate and embellish their achievements in order to attract others. They are also too busy talking about their own lives to listen to you. These are the questions to ask: What happens when you talk about yourself? Are they interested in learning more about you and asking follow-up questions? Do they just make it about you?

They Feed Off Your Compliments

Although they may appear to be self-confident, most people with NPD lack self-esteem and they need excessive admiration and attention. However, they need lots of praise and if they don’t get it, they’ll fish to get it. They are constantly looking at you to praise them for being great.

Narcissists use others in order to boost their self-worth and feel powerful. So, usually, people who are highly empathic are their main target. Their low self-esteem makes it easy for them to be slighted, which increases their need to receive compliments.

Lacking In Empathy Is A Big Sign That You aAre Dating A Narcissist

Narcissists are known for their lack of empathy. This is the inability to empathize with others. NPD people are often unable or unwilling to accept and understand others’ feelings and perspectives. Narcissists don’t have the ability to make you feel validated, understood, accepted or valued because they don’t understand the concept of feelings.

Do you feel loved by your partner? Are they there to support you when your worst day is at work, are you fighting with your best friend or have a fight with your parents? Are they bored when you talk about the things that make you mad or sad?

Their inability to empathize or even sympathize is often one of the reasons why most, if not all, relationships with people with NPD end up falling apart, regardless of whether they are romantic or not.

While Dating A Narcissist, You Find Out That They Don’t Have Long-Term Friends

People with NPD are more likely to be in conflict with their friends. You may find that they have very few friends. People with NPD may be hypersensitive or insecure. They might become withdrawn and irritable when they are unable to socialize with others.

You might be told by them that you don’t spend enough time with friends. They may make you feel guilty or make you feel bad for having friends.

A Narcissist Constantly Pick On You while Dating

It may have felt at first like teasing but it soon became mean. They suddenly see everything as a problem, from what you wear to eat to what you watch on TV. People with NPD are known to exhibit hostility and antagonism, which can be very damaging for others.

They’ll put you down, call you names and hit you with hurtful one liners. They’ll also make jokes that don’t quite get it. Their goal is to lower the self-esteem of others so they can improve their own. It makes them feel more powerful.

Reacting to their words may only encourage them. Peykar states that a narcissist is a person who loves to react. This is because it shows that they can affect the emotional state of another person. They want you to understand that you are not more than them. They believe that nobody is better than them.

A Narcissist Will Gaslight You

signs of dating a narcissist gaslighting

Gaslighting, a form manipulation and emotional abuse that is common in narcissism, is a form. NPD people may lie, accuse and spin the truth to get around authority fears or to avoid being abandoned.

These are signs of gaslighting:

  • You don’t feel the same person as you used to.
  • You are more anxious than ever and feel less confident.
  • It’s easy to wonder if your sensitive nature is too much.
  • It feels like everything is wrong.
  • When things go wrong, you always believe it’s your fault.
  • You apologize often.
  • Although you feel something is wrong, you aren’t sure what it is.
  • It is often difficult to know if your response to your partner was appropriate.
  • You can make excuses for your partner’s actions.

They do this to make others doubt themselves in order to be superior. Peykar says that Narcissists love being worshiped so they use manipulation techniques to get it.

Does Not Apologize Because They Stand Their Ground on Them Being Always Right

NPD sufferers are often described as arrogant, possessive and displaying arrogant behaviors. It can feel difficult to fight with a narcissist. There is no way to compromise or debate with a narcissist because they are always right. They won’t see disagreements as disagreements. They will see it as you teaching them some truth.

It’s recommended that you avoid arguments and negotiation when dealing with someone with NPD. The thing that drives a narcissist insane is the lack of control and lack of fighting. She says that the more you resist, the less power they have over you, the better. They rarely apologize because they don’t think they are wrong.

They Lash Out When You Say That You’re Really Done

NPD sufferers are highly vulnerable to shame and humiliation, and often feel the need to lash out at others if they feel that their self-esteem is being damaged. If you insist on ending the relationship, they will make it their goal for you to abandon them.

Their egos are so damaged that they feel hatred and rage at anyone who has ‘wronged them’. It’s because everyone is responsible for everything. 

What Should You Do When You’re Dating a Narcissist?

What should you do?

You’re likely to have experienced some of the symptoms of NPD if you are in a relationship. It can be emotionally exhausting to be in a relationship that is constantly critical, belittling, or gaslighting you and refusing to commit to you.

How to prepare for the breakup when dating a narcissist

  • Always remind yourself that you deserve better.
  • Your relationships with empathetic friends will strengthen.
  • Create a support network of family and friends who can remind you of the reality.
  • Encourage your partner to speak with a therapist.
  • Talk to a therapist.

You cannot make someone happy or change their mind with NPD. They will never be in tune or empathize with your experiences and will leave you feeling empty after interacting with them. Narcissists are unable to feel fulfilled in their relationships or in any other area of life because they don’t have enough.

You won’t be enough for them because you aren’t enough for yourself. Cut ties is the best thing you can do. Give them no explanation. 

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!