When you find yourself inexplicably in love with a narcissist, it can be hard to realize what is happening. You will never see their manipulation, lies, or exploitation coming — after all, you were initially attracted to them for their selflessness, charm, and wit, so how could they then turn around and steal your shine? It’s moments like these that the signs you are in love with a narcissist can manifest. Narcissists are great at hiding who they are before you get involved. Once they’ve decided you’re perfect prey though, they can switch on the manipulation machines and draw out all of your deepest fears and insecurities.
The following is a list of 7 signs that you are in love with a narcissist. While it may appear to be a positive thing to have a lot of these qualities, they can turn the person you are in love with into an unstoppable monster. It is also important to note that these characteristics do not necessarily mean that someone is a narcissist; however, if you see a significant number of them within one individual, it’s very possible that person suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
A healthy connection between two people would be identifiable by at least a few qualities that remain relatively consistent throughout the relationship. These could include a mutual love of the same movie or food, a mutual interest in common activities, and the presence of a common set of friends. But a healthy relationship would also incorporate a period of adjustment—where the people in the relationship would have different needs and expectations at different stages of life. Because of this, it would make sense that the people in a relationship would have conversations about their needs and expectations and that the needs and expectations of one person would naturally change over time.
But if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you might notice that they’re constantly changing—moving from one identity to another, seeking approval from all sorts of people, and insisting that you follow suit. This can make you feel uncertain and insecure, especially when you’re first starting a relationship with a narcissist. If you think you’re dating a narcissist, try to engage them in conversation about their past relationships and see if you can get a sense of how consistent their previous lovers were. This may help you get a better idea of whether you’re dating a narcissist or not.
They’re Extremely Critical
The word “critic” has a negative connotation—someone who points out shortcomings, often in a harsh and condemning tone. But a healthy dose of constructive criticism can be helpful, especially if it’s delivered in a loving and supportive tone. But a critique that’s absorbed with you doing something wrong and needing to change can be a red flag. If a person you’re dating becomes consumed with fixing what they believe is an inherent flaw in you, it can make you feel small and inadequate. This can lead to feelings of shame and even self-doubt, which is counterproductive in a relationship.
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, however, you might find that the person you’re dating is extremely critical of your every move. They may point out every little flaw they see in you and convey the impression that there’s something inherently wrong with you. If you find yourself engaging in self-loathing and negative statements about your own appearance or behavior, take a step back and examine whether you’re being unrealistic. There may be a method to the person’s seemingly misguided criticism.
They Have a Sense of Entitlement
A person who has a sense of entitlement is put off by the idea of earning something because they feel they deserve it. While this might sound like the perfect personality trait for dating a narcissist, it’s more complicated than that. On one hand, you have to recognize that no one deserves to be treated poorly. But on the other hand, if a person feels they deserve to have everything they want, they may over-demand and become controlling.
If a narcissist has a sense of entitlement, they can often be identified by the fact that they hold doors open for you and ask you to do the same for them. They may also have a tendency to assume that others owe them a favor or have an obligation to take care of them. Put simply, narcissists have a hard time accepting that they have to do things for others because there’s no “I” in “team”—not because they don’t want to, but because they believe they deserve to be helped.
A self-absorbed person is often focused on themselves and what they can get out of a relationship rather than what the relationship can do for them. But your self-absorbed friend might seem really nice on the surface—polite, generous, and interested in your well-being. If someone you’re dating is self-absorbed, however, they might be more interested in talking about themselves than building a relationship with you. They might invite you over to hang out with them a lot—but not show any interest in learning more about you. They might care more about what they have in common with you than what you have to offer.
If you think you’re in love with a narcissist, try to focus less on what they have and more on what they want. Work to uncover their underlying motivations and see if you can’t connect with something more meaningful than self-interest.
You Have No Self-Confidence
When a person has low self-confidence, they often try to compensate by putting others down—often in subtle ways. This can make a person who has low self-confidence seem critical, entitled, and insecure—all qualities that can turn you off. But a self-absorbed person can also have low self-confidence, as can a narcissist. The key is to pay attention to the ways that person acts and reacts—not what they say or how they try to come across.
If you find yourself constantly doubting your value as a person, take a step back and examine whether you’re dating a narcissist. If not, it’s time to work on building your self-confidence—no one can do it for you.
They have a tendency to be violent
Not all narcissists are violent, of course—in fact, most aren’t. But a small number of people are so consumed with their own sense of self-worth that they can’t help but exert it on others. If someone you’re dating has a tendency to be violent, they may put pressure on you to do things you don’t want to do—often at the expense of your own safety. They might start arguments or become jealous easily, which can make you feel afraid to say no to them. If you’re dating a narcissist and you feel afraid, threatened, or assaulted, take steps to protect yourself.
If you believe you’re dating a narcissist, you should know that you’re not alone. There are support groups for victims of narcissists, and you can find one near you here.
The notion that someone can be “perfect” is subjective, of course—but there are elements of the word “perfect” that are worth exploring. “Perfect” can have a tendency to have a negative connotation, implying that someone is lacking in some way or that they don’t exist in real life. But the word “perfect” can also have a positive connotation when applied to a relationship. If someone you’re dating is “perfect,” they may be able to fulfill your every desire and need in a relationship—without any of your own needs getting in the way.
If you think you’re in love with a narcissist, try to remember that they’re perfect exactly as they are—not as you want them to be. Your relationship won’t be perfect, and that’s okay—as long as you’re both committed to working on it, it can be a great relationship.
If you think you’re in love with a narcissist, you may be in for a bumpy ride. But don’t lose hope just yet. Narcissism is prevalent in modern society, and there are support groups for victims of this particular personality trait. Finding the right resource for you can help you overcome your issues and move forward with your life.