Red Flags – are you dating a narcissist? What to look out for before falling in love

Sometimes we meet someone who seems to be “made for us.” They are the perfect match – they love the same food, share the same hobbies and have the same political and religious views. Try as you might, you simply are unable to find a single flaw!

You fall head over heels in love, and everything seems perfect…until it’s not.

What started out as a dream come true suddenly turns into a nightmare, and you realize that you are dating a narcissist. Looking back, you realise that there had been several red flags that something was off, but you had not picked up on them or understood their importance.

In this blog post I will share with you some of the warning signs that you may be dating a narcissist, so that next time you will notice the red flags and you can avoid getting trapped in a toxic relationship.

The Narcissistic Abuse Cycle

It may be a cliché, but the fact remains that if it is too good to be true, then it’s a massive red flag. This is because narcissists use a tried and tested technique to trap their unsuspecting victims, and if you are not aware of the signs then you could end up ensnared in their web.

The narcissistic abuse cycle is a term used to describe the way that narcissists operate in their relationships. It is characterised by three distinct phases – the idealisation phase, the devaluation phase, and the discard phase.

Idealisation

The idealisation phase is when the narcissist puts you on a pedestal and makes you feel like you are the most special and amazing person in the world. They will shower you with compliments, gifts, and attention, and will make you feel like you are the centre of their universe.

This stage is commonly referred to as the love bombing stage, and it can be incredibly intoxicating. You will probably feel like you are walking on air, and that you have finally found the perfect partner.

However, in truth what you are experiencing is known as mirroring, a tactic used by narcissists during the initial, love bombing stage of a relationship. The narcissist will mirror whatever it is that they think that you want to see, camouflaging their true nature. Once they have you hooked and head over heels in love, the mask comes off and the trouble begins.

Devaluation

The devaluation phase is when the cracks start to show. The narcissist will begin to criticise you, and will find fault with everything that you do. They may accuse you of being lazy, stupid, or ugly, and will try to convince you that you are not good enough for them.

This phase can be incredibly confusing, because just a few weeks ago you were the most special and amazing person in their world. Now they seem to want nothing to do with you, and you can’t understand what you have done to deserve this treatment.

The devaluation phase is when the narcissist starts to gaslight you, which is a form of mental abuse. Gaslighting is a tactic used by abusers to make their victims question their own reality, and to make them doubt their own memories and experiences.

If you are being gaslighted then you will probably feel like you are going crazy, and that everything you thought you knew is a lie.

Discard

The discard phase is when the narcissist finally dumps you, often without any warning or explanation. They will simply disappear from your life, leaving you feeling confused, hurt, and abandoned.

This is often the most painful part of the narcissistic abuse cycle, because it can feel like you have been hit by a truck. One day you are in a loving and committed relationship, and the next day they are gone, with no explanation as to why.

The discard phase can also be triggering if you have a history of abandonment issues, because it can feel like your worst fears are coming true.

Red Flags – your date might be a narcissist

So how can you avoid getting caught in a vicious cycle of narcissistic abuse?

Well, it is important to be aware of the red flags that your date might be a narcissist.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Your date is excessively charming and complimentary. He claims to share your hobbies, passions and interests, and you have never met anyone who seems so perfect for you.
  2. He (or she) wants to move the relationship forward very quickly.
  3. He is very controlling and wants to know everything about you.
  4. He has a history of short-lived relationships, and a tendency to flit between exes on a regular basis.
  5. He is always the centre of attention and needs to be the life and soul of the party.
  6. He is very manipulative and is always trying to get his own way.
  7. He is selfish and only ever thinks about his own needs.
  8. He can be very jealous and possessive and may try to control who you see and what you do.
  9. He has a very inflated sense of self-importance and believes that he is better than everyone else.
  10. He can be quite insensitive and may not care about your feelings or needs.

If you are dating someone who behaves this way, it is important to take things slowly and to be cautious.

Frankly, even if your date is not a narcissist, if they exhibit any of these red flags then you should seriously consider whether this is a relationship that you really want to be in. After all, it is important to remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and love.

The Takeaway – do not ignore the red flags that he may be a narcissist!

Narcissistic abuse can be a very traumatic experience, and it is important to be aware of the red flags that your date might be a narcissist. Falling in love with a narcissist is easy. However, extracting yourself from their clutches is not a walk in the park.

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, then it is important to get out as soon as possible. Narcissistic abuse can have a lasting effect on your mental and emotional health, and it is important to get help and support if you are experiencing it.

Reach out to friends and family. With their support, you can start to rebuild your life and regain your sense of self. If you think you need even more help, you can reach out to local support groups or visit a therapist. Remember, you are not alone.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me. At no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free of charge for all my readers.

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