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I really think I've been dating a narcissist


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Old 9th December 2018, 9:09 PM   #1
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I really think I've been dating a narcissist

I've been doing a ton of research on the internet lately, and although I know to take internet research with a grain of salt, I am convinced I have been dating a narcissist. From what I could find, many people can fall on the scale and have tendencies but fewer than 1% of people are actually narcissists, but I really believe that my ex is. I wanna know what you guys think, and please please share if you have dated someone similarly!

So here's what my situation is and what my ex is like. We started dating a year and two months ago. The relationship was great for six months, then he began to get distant and he ended the relationship and not even a month later moved away. He regretted it and after four months, moved back here and we started dating again in the beginning. After a month, he dumped me again and now we have been having an on/off again relationship for months.

Here is why I think he is a narcissist, and I wouldn't use that word lightly normally. He is incredibly charming, which is always the first sign. We just graduated college but when he was in school, he made sure every professor was his favorite. I kid you not, while I knew him, three of his professors out of five for that semester invited him out for a drink or dinner, and in one case, a dinner out with her family. A couple of his high school teachers call him regularly and catch up with him. Also, weirdly, many of his exes hit him up still. (I guess I have to include myself in that, too.)

So he's charming and people like him immediately, including myself. He is the most confident person I have ever met. Which I would learn as overconfidence. When he asked me out, he approached me in a public place and simply asked if I would like to go out on a date the next night. I have never talked to him previously, just saw him in the back of a class I had with him.

Next, the beginning of a relationship with a narcissist is said to be like no other. They will shower their partner with love and it will feel like a dream. This is truly how it was for six months.

Then, there is a turnaround moment where they cut off their partner and begin "discarding" their partner, as it was put online. This is what happened to me; I woke up one day, I can tell you the exact date it was, and he was different. He was distant and no longer looked at me with love. When I asked him what was wrong, he threatened to break up with me if I pushed it and said I was reading into things "as always" which was a shock.

Then, there is the way his friends see him. We have the same friend group (which is primarily why me and him have still been in contact, because we all go out every weekend) and they all have said he has a serious issue. He is known for cracking really cutthroat jokes, which is fine if you can take it yourself. If someone turns it around and cracks a joke at him, he will give them the silent treatment or tell them off. Multiple times, friends have asked him why he can dish it and can't take it and he just brushes them off.

Probably the biggest indicator for me of his narcissism is the gaslighting. I did not know what this word meant for a long time, despite hearing it frequently, but once I learned it, it became a big part of my life and described exactly what I was going through. Here is a scenario.

Last weekend was my birthday. For the first forty-five minutes, he stood on my porch and called a friend back home who he said he hadn't talked to in a while, despite the fact that last weekend he did the same thing. When I asked him to come inside after forty-five minutes, he was agitated and we got in a huge fight about it later that evening. He told me that I was making the situation bigger than it was and nobody cared but me and isn't it sad that I can't focus on my other friends? Everyone, and I mean all eight of the friends there, made a comment about him being outside at some point during that forty-five minutes and said how rude it was. Two people encouraged me to go get him, and I was embarrassed and agreed, so I did. On the scale of things, he did not do anything horrendously wrong, especially since he is not even technically my boyfriend. But if I purposely called a friend in the beginning of another friend's party and stayed on the phone for close to an hour, I would be so embarrassed to even go back to the party. But he was unfazed, and he told me that I made up people's reactions. He told me that I was looking hard for some kind of annoyance of others and I was overreacting, despite the fact that I barely pushed him on it and he brought it up later.

Finally, he has the biggest ego of anyone. He has made comments about how he thinks he is better than most people, and you can tell he genuinely believes it and it is scary. For example, he does not belong to a political party because he said he is above people on both sides and they are both unintelligent, whether you are Dem or Rep. It is a ridiculous, sweeping argument to make but he genuinely believes it.

He also makes weird weird offhand comments complimenting himself that I used to just ignore because I thought it was just some quirky thing. Like he'll just say "I'm so smart" or "I'm so attractive" and be DEAD serious about it in the moment, and typically, it is not prompted by anything. It's so odd. I don't know if he is trying to convince other people that he is these things but it really does not seem like an act. I used to have an ex who did the opposite, he would say things like "I'm so stupid and ugly" because he had severe depression and self esteem issues, so I think with this most recent ex, I saw it as a similar trait (even if what they were saying was opposite) and brushed it off.

I asked him once if he has ever felt not confident in a scenario and he said one time when he couldn't speak another language fluently when someone he was with could. And when asked again, he said he really could not think of another time. Like he is very overconfident all of the time.

I will end with this. One of the traits of a narcissist is lack of empathy. He has seen me cry multiple times and just watched, and one time, even told me to stop because I look pathetic. Unless someone is abusing me while they are crying, I cannot imagine a scenario where I could see someone cry and not feel a pang of anything at all. The weird thing is, if I had moments of emotion or cried during our six month solid relationship, he would care and hug me and soothe me but now it's like he's dropped the act completely.

I obviously could fill a whole novel and if you need more info to assess, I could definitely provide some. But do you think he is a full fledged narcissist or just has tendencies? I guess it's hard if you don't know him but he seems to hit all the traits.

PLEASE if someone has had experience dating a narcissist, PLEASE share!! I need advice as I don't know anyone irl who has dated someone like this. Thank you if you stuck around this long!

(P.S. If you're wondering, I have reached a breaking point and now I plan on filtering him out of my life. It will be hard since we go out with the same people every weekend but over the holiday break I'm going to have a lot of time to think over my plan.)
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Old 20th December 2018, 1:00 PM   #2
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His behavior does seem to be pretty narcissistic. What got me was when he berated you for crying--no one who loves another person should call them "pathetic" when they are sad. I had an ex who had those tendencies, but it was more because he had difficulty expressing his emotions in ways that weren't cocky or trying to brush off the fact that he does feel things. I'm glad you are done with him though because that is not healthy.
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Old 20th December 2018, 2:02 PM   #3
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I don't see narcissism (the disorder) here. Being charming and confident are good traits. You have a problem with much of this after he broke off with you. There are resentment, crying, anger, disrespect, annoyance, etc from both sides after an ugly break up.

You are still trying to understand what hapened. If he indeed has NPD, there's a good chance you have BPD. People with disorders attract each other and have these on-off relationships. They tend to not be attracted to Non's and even if there's a brief relationship, the Non's are too healthy to continue an unhealthy entanglement post-breakup. So for your sake I hope this is just a bad break up with no disorders involved.
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Old 20th December 2018, 7:35 PM   #4
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Only a professional can diagnose this. Charming, good looking men are very confident because they have not been challenged yet. Deep down, you can tell how insecure he really is when he can't take jokes. As far as empathy, it all depends on how you were raised and how you have conditioned yourself. I used to work with officers who had returned from the war. What people generally feared or were troubled over was seen as insignificant to them because they had experienced true horrors and had to face them head on. To this guy, you're just a person of too much emotion. He may do better with someone equally self-absorbed. Before you cut him off, try it.
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Old 21st December 2018, 12:08 PM   #5
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He certainly has narcissistic traits but only a professional could tell you if he is a true narcissist but a professional would never make that diagnosis by just listening to stories about that person, they would want to examine and evaluate that person face to face.

I disagree with the poster who said if he is NPD than you must BPD. While that is a pairing that happens I'd say most people who find themselves involved with someone who has NPD or BPD have traits of codependency. And sometimes there is nothing wrong with the person who gets involved with an NPD other than they were in a weak and vulnerable place at the time they met the narcissist or they just lack life experience and therefore missed the red flags.

You know enough about this guy to know he is not good for you, you don't need an official name for what ails him. I know it hurts to be discarded but if your with someone who has a severe personality disorder then being discarded is a blessing. Longterm relationships with an NPD are misery.
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Old 21st December 2018, 10:15 PM   #6
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Hi

Commitment phone, avoidant, broken.... these are all words that come to mind. This man is toxic and if you continue this on/off cycle with him you will be broken as well.

Please take time to focus on yourself. With these types of men, it seems as soon as you get over them they reappear. They must have some type of radar, lol.

Have a beautiful day my friend
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Old 21st December 2018, 11:42 PM   #7
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A lot of this stuff sounds the same way most people describe someone who dumped them. You described the course many relationships take. Some of the stuff he did was rude, but it just seems like run of the mill rude stuff.

Last edited by BC1980; 22nd December 2018 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 3rd February 2019, 2:03 PM   #8
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His behavior does seem to be pretty narcissistic. What got me was when he berated you for crying--no one who loves another person should call them "pathetic" when they are sad. I had an ex who had those tendencies, but it was more because he had difficulty expressing his emotions in ways that weren't cocky or trying to brush off the fact that he does feel things. I'm glad you are done with him though because that is not healthy.
Yeah, the crying thing was what really got to me and first made me think about whether he was a narcissist or not. It's still weird to think about. Thanks for your input!
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Old 3rd February 2019, 2:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gretchen12 View Post
I don't see narcissism (the disorder) here. Being charming and confident are good traits. You have a problem with much of this after he broke off with you. There are resentment, crying, anger, disrespect, annoyance, etc from both sides after an ugly break up.

You are still trying to understand what hapened. If he indeed has NPD, there's a good chance you have BPD. People with disorders attract each other and have these on-off relationships. They tend to not be attracted to Non's and even if there's a brief relationship, the Non's are too healthy to continue an unhealthy entanglement post-breakup. So for your sake I hope this is just a bad break up with no disorders involved.
I agree that people with disorders can attract each other and I know that there is no clear way to say whether he has the disorder or not. But his being charming and confident are not good traits when it comes to him because it is overdone. Like the saying goes, there can be too much of a good thing. I know that people can exaggerate their partners after a breakup and like you said, you think it is because I have a problem with how the breakup went. But I assure you that his personality and the way he treated me was very unhealthy and damaging. And even if he does not have NPD, he definitely has traits of it.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 2:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Giraffe-A View Post
Only a professional can diagnose this. Charming, good looking men are very confident because they have not been challenged yet. Deep down, you can tell how insecure he really is when he can't take jokes. As far as empathy, it all depends on how you were raised and how you have conditioned yourself. I used to work with officers who had returned from the war. What people generally feared or were troubled over was seen as insignificant to them because they had experienced true horrors and had to face them head on. To this guy, you're just a person of too much emotion. He may do better with someone equally self-absorbed. Before you cut him off, try it.
I like the point you made about these men being that way because they have not been challenged yet. That definitely makes sense. And yes, I see how he would just see me as someone with too much emotion. Thanks for your input!
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Old 3rd February 2019, 2:16 PM   #11
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you sure are spending a lot of energy on trying to diagnosis him. perhaps, a more fruitful exercise might be to examine what your role is in this relationship and ask whether it's serving you any longer.

it takes two to tango - in your case, a narcissist needs to have an audience to feed the their ego. if the source of that energy goes missing, they move on to another source who will provide the sustenance they require.

are you going to continue to let him feed off you?

shine your light onto and into yourself to get the clarity you need
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Old 25th March 2019, 7:13 PM   #12
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you sure are spending a lot of energy on trying to diagnosis him. perhaps, a more fruitful exercise might be to examine what your role is in this relationship and ask whether it's serving you any longer.

it takes two to tango - in your case, a narcissist needs to have an audience to feed the their ego. if the source of that energy goes missing, they move on to another source who will provide the sustenance they require.

are you going to continue to let him feed off you?

shine your light onto and into yourself to get the clarity you need
No, I'm definitely done letting him feed off me! I know he's moved on to other people to feed his ego and I'm done with that exhausting lifestyle. Thank you for your advice!
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Old 26th March 2019, 7:53 PM   #13
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I posted a thread on here a few weeks ago in regard to believing my ex might be a narcissist, and many users were very quick to jump down my throat for "suggesting" he may have a disorder. Apparently I was very much in the wrong and had "no right" to do so. So, with that in mind, I will leave my personal opinion out of this.

However, like you, I have conducted fairly extensive research. I know what I experienced, and I have a laundry list of examples that point to narcissistic traits. I want to share with you some of those examples and hopefully that will either help validate your beliefs toward your ex or maybe actually change them.

In regard to my ex:
- had low emotional intelligence / poor emotional maturity
- had minimal, if any, self-awareness
- egotistical / convinced he knows more and is better than most in every aspect
- obsessed with grandeur and personal success (money and living a life of luxury is HIGHLY important to him)
- ability to empathize was poor (cognitive over emotional empathy)
- lacked understanding of basic social cues / did not know how to “read the room” and adapt his behavior to match
- lacked the ability to control his negative emotions (especially when criticized or critiqued -- became very defensive and angry)
- could not take responsibility for his behavior / played the victim and shifted blame onto others
- listened unilaterally and always found a way to tie the conversation back to himself
- could not form a deep, emotional connection with me (after 2 and a half years!!!)
- all of his friendships were very superficial -- based on drinking, partying, working out, money, etc.
- made gestures / gave gifts based on how they made HIM feel
- craved attention and immense admiration

He also used gaslighting...a lot. He would always minimize my feelings and withhold from me. During the very last conversation we had, before I broke up with him, I asked him to tell me why he loved me. A simple question because he honestly never told me. He REFUSED, telling me that "we had already be over it," and he would not give in to my demands. "Already going over it" was alluding to 8 months prior, when I had asked him the same question, for the first and only other time.

I hope this helps.
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Old 26th March 2019, 7:55 PM   #14
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Also, I just want to say that I am very glad you are done with allowing him to feed off you. Because I know how exhausting and energy-sucking it all can be, especially as someone who is very empathetic and truly cares about his well-being.

Last edited by sunflower24; 26th March 2019 at 8:02 PM..
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Old 1st April 2019, 9:09 PM   #15
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I posted a thread on here a few weeks ago in regard to believing my ex might be a narcissist, and many users were very quick to jump down my throat for "suggesting" he may have a disorder. Apparently I was very much in the wrong and had "no right" to do so. So, with that in mind, I will leave my personal opinion out of this.

However, like you, I have conducted fairly extensive research. I know what I experienced, and I have a laundry list of examples that point to narcissistic traits. I want to share with you some of those examples and hopefully that will either help validate your beliefs toward your ex or maybe actually change them. {snip}

Hey fellow sunflower! I really enjoyed reading your comment. I was also surprised to find others very defensive over the suggestion that he may have the disorder, but I guess they thought I was diagnosing him when I really was making connections and just working off opinion. I'll never know if he really is one I guess unless he goes to a psychiatrist (never gonna happen) but yeah I relate to you!

Reading your experience was fascinating because some of the bullet points are like him EXACTLY and some do not relate at all. For example, your third point about him believing he is better in everything is exactly like my ex. He often compared us - told me he was funnier, smarter, a better writer (which he said purposely to try and get under my skin, as he knows writing is like the only thing I am confident in), and recently even said he was better looking since he has slept with more people. When I questioned him what he thought I was better at than him, he could not think of a single answer. I have NO idea why I stuck around weeks after that.

Your point about him craving admiration is also a HUGE one for my ex. He always said that everyone loves him, and genuinely believed it, despite the fact that after my parents met him, they blatantly told me they didn't care for him because he was too cocky. (WHY DID I STICK AROUND FOR A YEAR AND A HALF!) Like I put in my original post, he NEEDED people to absolutely adore him and kissed the asses of all his teachers and professors and now they're all his friends because he would not stop until they loved him.

But other points he was the opposite - for example, he was not motivated by money. He works a really low level job, so low level in fact that our friends were all shocked when he appeared content and had no intention of moving up from a minimum wage job despite being a college graduate from a good university and being decently smart. He has a super low bar for himself, yet still has described his "career" as "promising."

The most interesting comparison came out of your last paragraph. Unlike your ex, mine would be open with saying that he loved me and even lovebombed me whenever he knew I was talking to other guys when we weren't exclusive. However, he does do THE SAME thing your ex does when he said "we've already been over this" etc. It's CRAZY! He verbatim always says that whenever I try to have a productive conversation - he refused to "get into anything" even when I tried to explain it would help me and it wouldn't escalate into a fight.

I have a question for you: Did you find that your ex would say really mean things and feel no remorse? I feel like this is a narcissistic trait. None of my previous exes ever got as nasty as he did. Honestly, I was going to list a few things as examples but it is still too painful and fresh and should not even be repeated. They would also come out of no where - for example if he just ASSUMED I was out with another guy I'd get a string of texts about how much of a whore I was and how he was going to block me and never talk to me again just to take it back the next day. It was always a rollercoaster with him.

It's so weird that even after all of this, I still miss him. I think about all the awful things that he said to me and get extremely mad and upset, and yet, I still miss having him around. I hate it! I hope you are in a better place than I am. Thank you so much for your comment and support.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 2nd April 2019 at 7:14 AM.. Reason: quote edited
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