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61 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist & the Best Ways to Help Them Change

Narcissists are difficult to deal with. But how do you know the signs that you’re dating one? Here is what you should look for and what to do next.

signs you're dating a narcissist

We’re not going to sugarcoat this for you, here’s the harsh truth: dating a narcissist is the absolute worst. That’s why you need to know the signs you’re in a relationship with one.

In their perspective, nobody else is worth a fraction of their time and energy but them. You’re practically living in their world, even if it takes two people to be in a relationship with each other. 

The honest truth is that dating a narcissist is similar to dating a wall, and you should recognize that as a sign. You like them and they use you. Period.

People don’t normally change, and we all revert back to our natural tendencies. But with that being said, a narcissist is not doomed to their narcissistic ways eternally. 

One of the key elements to change is recognizing what needs to be changed and acknowledging it from within. [Read: 73 secret signs of narcissism people overlook until it’s too late]

What is a narcissist?

Narcissism is commonly used as a negative character trait – a way to imply that someone is full of themselves or not considerate of others. Unfortunately, true narcissism is much more than that!

People with narcissistic personality disorder can be very harmful in relationships and can severely damage the self-worth of their partners. They have a personality disorder – Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD. They have zero empathy and a seriously inflated sense of self. 

If you’re dating someone who’s a narcissist, at first, you may be awed by their self-confidence and their aura of grandeur and awesomeness. 

But as the relationship progresses, you’ll soon realize that the more perfect they claim to be, the more they start to shame you. [Read: 31 red flags in a guy who’s fake-nice and who will only break your heart]

The only way you can please this person or get into their good books is by shaming yourself and feeling worse about yourself. Now really, can that ever be healthy for you?!

How to spot a narcissist on a first date

To spare you the pain of dating a narcissist or having to break up with one, it’s important to know the signs of a narcissist on a first date. That way, you can save yourself a lot of heartache in the future. [Read: 51 warning signs of a bad first date and BIG red flags in the first few dates]

1. Have they been love-bombing you?

Love-bombing feels good, but it’s totally fake. When someone tells you how awesome, beautiful, and amazing you are before you even meet them, that’s love-bombing. They are trying to charm you so that you fall into their trap. Don’t do it! 

2. Pay attention to the conversations

What do your conversations revolve around on the date? Is the person mostly talking about themselves? Or do they ask any questions about you? If they don’t take any interest in getting to know you, that is a big sign that they are a narcissist.

3. How do they treat others?

Pay attention to how they talk to the servers, hosts, and other people you encounter on a date. [Read: Stop the craziness in life – how to deal with rude people]

Are they rude? Or are they treating them with respect? A narcissist will be disrespectful, but a normal person won’t. This is a very important sign.

4. Do they have an excessive need for attention and validation?

You might want to even look at their social media before you meet them if you can. If they are only posting selfies and talking about themselves, then they have a huge need for attention and validation. 

And if they are calling attention to themselves on the first date too, that’s a bad sign. [Read: Attention whore – what it is, 23 signs, and secrets to handle an attention seeker]

5. Do they ever get vulnerable?

Narcissists can never be vulnerable. They are not in touch with their emotions and keep their walls up. So, if they aren’t sharing anything personal about their life with you, then they want to keep people – including you – at a distance.

6. Have you caught them in a lie?

Maybe they told you that they own their own business, but later they say they work for a fortune 500 company. If they can’t keep track of their lies, then they are definitely a narcissist. Keep track of what they say so you can find inconsistencies.

7. Do you like them less as the night goes on? 

Narcissists can be very charming at first. So, your first impression might be a great one.

But pay attention to your intuition and check in with yourself to see if you keep liking them as the date goes on. You might have a different feeling at the end of the night. [Read: Gut instinct – what it is, how it works, and 30 tips to follow and listen to your gut]

What does dating a narcissist feel like?

When you date someone so self-absorbed that all they care about is themselves, it’s the most frustrating thing in the world. We wish we could limit it to just this adjective, but that wouldn’t be accurate. 

Dating this kind of person can also lead to tendencies where they can be manipulative and controlling to get you to do what they want.

When you date a narcissist, you’re living in their world, and everything you do is according to their terms. So you shouldn’t even be shocked by their lack of empathy or consideration for others. 

This is all just a part of the package in dating a narcissist, and there’s no going around it. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re in a narcissistic relationship]

Sure, they can change and become better. But they need to want it for themselves. You can’t change them, only they can if they try. 

If you’re wondering what it feels like to date a narcissist, read this confession on what it means to really be in a relationship with a narcissist. And if you’re already dating one and want to help them change for the better, read on!

Can you successfully date a narcissist?

While it’s certainly possible to have a relationship with a narcissist, it’s definitely going to be psychologically and emotionally exhausting. They drain all the life and spirit from you and can use you as a punching bag.

With that said, you have to define for yourself what a “successful relationship” means. Most people would say the opposite of what it’s like to date a narcissist. So, they would say that it’s not possible to successfully date a narcissist.

But if you are the kind of person who loves drama and a tumultuous relationship, then you could probably have a “successful” relationship with a narcissist. But you also have to ask yourself why you would even want that kind of partnership. 

Most people would agree that it’s a bad idea and you should stay as far away from them as possible. So, you probably should too. [Read: 46 secrets to deal with a narcissist, break them, and handle their petty games]

The effects of being in a relationship with a narcissist

Being in a relationship with a narcissist feels like a whirlwind – and not in a good way. You feel powerless much of the time and you end up doubting yourself because of all the gaslighting going on. 

Maybe you also blame yourself for the way things are, when deep down you know you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s a sense of feeling trapped, but it leads to low self-esteem, self-hatred, anxiety, and depression. 

You’ll never get the support and love you need when you’re dating a narcissist – that’s one of the huge signs. All you’ll ever end up doing is catering to their needs and desires. [Read: What is a toxic relationship? 53 signs to recognize the love that hurts you]

Can a narcissist be a good partner?

No! Being in a relationship means being in a partnership – it’s equal, a two-way deal. Dating a narcissist is never like that – it’s all one-way traffic. 

If something is wrong with you, the narcissist won’t care. They only care about themselves and if you’re complaining or voicing your needs, they won’t listen. 

You’ll value yourself less and less as time goes on, and your own needs will be pushed so far down that you’ll forget about them.

You might also find yourself isolated from your friends and family and completely doubting your own mind, thanks to their manipulative tactics. [Read: Toxic love – ways it can harm you permanently and how to get away]

The obvious signs you’re dating a self-obsessed narcissist

Here are the main signs that could mean you’re dating a narcissist. If you relate to more than a few of them, you may need to reconsider whether or not your relationship is truly healthy for you. 

1. Their favorite topic is themselves 

This is one of the most obvious signs that you might be dating a narcissist – do you find that every conversation you have eventually circles back to your partner, even if it was originally about your day?

Narcissists are not interested in talking about other people – so while they may ask about your day or your feelings, it is likely just so that you will ask about theirs afterward! [Read: Signs to recognize selfish people and steps to stop them from hurting you]

2. They want to be recognized as special and expect special treatment

Narcissists believe that they are better than most people that they know. Not only do they believe that they are special, but they also want others to know it too. 

This may result in them acting as though they deserve special treatment – expensive gifts, a monopoly on your time, or opportunities that they have not earned.

3. They are always the victim

One of the most harmful signs of dating a narcissist is their belief that they are always the victim in any situation. [Read: Narcissistic victim syndrome – what it is and how to escape the mess]

This is harmful in a relationship because you are constantly being drawn into their dramatized lifestyle, believing that they are truly being constantly belittled or harmed by others.

They likely do this because they enjoy the attention they receive when you try to comfort them and reassure them that they are right. 

This is a form of manipulation that can be hard to recognize and can be very exhausting for you. [Read: 16 attention whore signs to watch out for in your partner]

4. They are full of envy

While narcissists are certain that they are special, they are also incredibly envious of anyone that they believe has something that they deserve as well. 

Your partner’s jealousy may extend to someone’s job, possessions, friendships, or compliments that they have received.

This jealousy can result in them trying to achieve these things for themselves, or may just lead to numerous bitter conversations where they try to convince you that they are more deserving than the person they are jealous of.

5. They are unable to empathize with you

They may expect nothing but empathy from you, but don’t expect to get it back! Narcissists are not interested in the feelings of others, which is a huge sign that you’re dating one. 

This imbalance can be very harmful in a relationship, as you will never feel like you are receiving the support that you want and need from your relationship. [Read: Lack of empathy in a relationship – why it matters and how to fix it]

6. They are arrogant

Arrogance is a very unbecoming trait – if your partner is a narcissist, you may often find them making assumptions about the superior treatment they should receive. 

This can be very embarrassing in many social situations, as their actions demonstrate that they believe themselves to be better than other people nearby. [Read: Confident or cocky? 16 subtle signs that split an arrogant and modest man]

Their arrogance may also be glaringly obvious in conversations. They may refuse to believe that they could possibly be incorrect or that others have better ideas than them.

7. They take advantage of others

Because narcissists do not show empathy for other people, they often find it very easy to take advantage of others around them. This may be through emotional manipulation, the use of deception to mislead their opinions, or the use of blatant lies. 

Often, this will be done so that the narcissist can have emotional support from those they are misleading, but in other situations, the purpose may be more sinister. [Read: Signs your lover is manipulating you subtly]

Someone who is willing to disadvantage others to put themselves ahead is not someone that you will ever have a healthy relationship with! And that is a huge sign that you’re dating a narcissist.

8. They have had trouble maintaining other relationships

Another huge sign that you’re dating a narcissist is the lack of other lasting relationships in their life. 

If they don’t have any long-lasting close friendships, they’re not close to anyone in their family, and have a long list of exes, you might want to take a step back and examine whether they are capable of having any healthy, loving relationships. 

If they’re a narcissist, it’s likely they’ve been unable to form and maintain these bonds with other people – after all, everyone has a breaking point. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re settling in a relationship that’s leaving you unhappy]

9. They react to feedback with hostility

Self-perception is incredibly important to a narcissist and they will hold on to their inflated beliefs about their abilities and qualities with an iron grip. 

If you attempt to question these beliefs about a narcissist, they will react defensively because their self-delusion cannot handle the loss of their inflated beliefs.

10. They are dramatic and over-emotional

If you are dating a narcissist, they will likely overreact to situations – another huge sign. This is generally so they can get as much attention as possible out of every text, fight, or unfortunate situation. [Read: Drama queen alert! Steps to calmly deal with the diva]

This can be a difficult trait to have in a significant other as it prevents you from knowing when they are really in an upsetting situation or if it’s just another overreaction to get attention.

11. They gaslight you 

The problem with gaslighting is that you don’t always realize it’s happening. Basically, it’s manipulation that causes you to question your own mind over time. 

The narcissist will twist things and say they said or did things when you know they didn’t. In the end, you won’t know which way is up or down and the narcissist’s work will be done. 

12. They think they’re always right and never apologize

Nobody can be right all the time, but a narcissist will think otherwise! You will never get an apology from a narcissist, and even if you know they were bang out of order, they’ll twist it to somehow make it your fault. 

In the narcissist’s world, they’re perfect and that means they can never be wrong. This is a gigantic sign that you’re dating a narcissist. [Read: Loving a narcissist – how to tell if you’ve fallen for a narcissist]

13. They’re super charming

Let’s be honest, this is probably one of the reasons why you fell for them, and this one is a very confusing sign that you’re dating a narcissist. You probably won’t see past their charm to see the real person. 

A charming person can easily suck people in, but, at some point, they’ll show their true colors. Of course, by that time, you’d already fallen in love and justified their behavior.

14. They must be admired

They’re the star of every show and must be noticed and admired at all times. If not, they’ll sulk in the corner and criticize other people. [Read: Signs you’re dating a self-obsessed narcissist]

Narcissists need all eyes on them, all the time. This is why your partner loves to dominate the conversation when they’re with you or in a group setting.

15. They love to criticize

But don’t expect them to accept criticism. If there’s one thing a narcissist loves to do, it’s to put other people down. The insults may not be so straightforward; instead, they’ll be small put-downs that you don’t even notice until much later. 

16. They’re selfish

That’s not to say that only narcissists are selfish. We all have our selfish moments, we’re only human. [Read: How to spot selfish people instantly and stop them from hurting you]

But if your partner is constantly selfish and is never thinking about you or anyone else, you have a problem. They’re not interested in how you feel. It’s all about them, and it’ll never change. That’s because it’s a huge sign that you’re dating a narcissist.

17. They have a short temper

Sure, narcissists can be extremely charming, but don’t be fooled. They also have a short fuse and aren’t afraid to show it. If they quickly become angered when something doesn’t go their way, that’s not a good sign for how they’ll treat you.

18. They love to control

It would be pretty out of character for them to let you take control of any situation. [Read: Controlling people – 32 common traits, signs and ways to deal with them]

Narcissists need everything to go their way, if not, they lose their minds. It’s the only way they keep their image going. For a narcissist, if you start to shine, that’s a problem.

19. They’re stubborn

As we said, everything must go their way. And they’re not going to budge one step until they get what they want. This also goes for arguments as well. 

You may be right, but they’re not going to let you win. They’ll be stubborn until you give up and beg for forgiveness. [Read: How to quickly spot narcissistic traits in any relationship]

20. They’re addicted to social media

If there’s one thing they need to do, it’s to keep up with their self-image. They’re addicted to social media, posting selfies of themselves, and making sure everyone admires them. It’s tough to know what “too much” social media is, but if they’re glued to their phone, they have an issue.

21. The relationship is one-sided

You feel you’re the only one putting in the effort and that’s because you are. To them, you’re just someone who caters to their needs and is convenient for them. 

But for you, they’re someone you like. Obviously, you have conflicting ideas about what a healthy relationship is. So, it’s time to face reality – it’s a sign that you’re dating a narcissist. [Read: The hidden signs of a one-sided relationship we all choose to ignore]

22. They have substance abuse problems

Some narcissists use alcohol or drugs as a way to self-medicate. If your partner has a substance abuse problem, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, they battle huge demons and use drugs and alcohol to process their issues.

23. They don’t want to label the relationship

People who avoid labels are annoying, right? We label everything, get over it. Not wanting to label the relationship as a relationship is a huge red flag to pay attention to. 

They’ll treat you like a partner without committing. That way, they can always bail when they find someone better. That’s another sign that you’re “dating” a narcissist. [Read: Define the relationship – 30 signs it’s DTR and how to talk about it]

The little steps to help them change their behavior and to stop a narcissist from ruining your life 

Now that you know the signs that you’re dating a narcissist, can you help them change?

If you are in a relationship where you feel depressed, strung out, crazy, frustrated, and upset all the time, the answer to whether you should leave is an undeniable yes.

But, if you have the capacity to help someone change and have the strong self-esteem it takes to shrug off manipulation, maybe you don’t have to walk away. [Read: Can a narcissist change?]

However, it’s important to know that changing them is almost impossible. If you’re certain you want to try, here are ways you can.

1. Introduce the concept of empathy

The main reason a narcissist acts and feels the way they do is that they never learned the basic human emotion of empathy. 

Empathy is not something that you are born with. You are taught empathy through modeling and relationships with other people. [Read: 24 signs of people who lack empathy to know they don’t care what you think]

When you’re dating a narcissist, the concept of empathy is basically uncharted territory for them. It’s one of the biggest signs of a self-absorbed person. They’re either unable to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, they don’t know how to, or they don’t want to. 

The good news is that you are never too old to learn to empathize. For the narcissist, it will not come naturally. 

You need to make them understand exactly why empathy is such a big deal and how it can benefit them to empathize. [Read: How to stop being a narcissist and stop using the people who love you]

2. Challenge them

The narcissist does not like to be challenged. They operate by thinking they are smarter, more cunning, deserving, and far more important than anyone else.

Not used to people challenging them, if you stop letting them get away with thinking they are royalty and challenge them to examine who they really are, it could bring them down a notch. 

Remember what we said about narcissists tending to manipulate or control people? [Read: Malignant narcissist – 48 scary traits, causes, and what makes them so bad]

If you’re aware of these tendencies and you don’t let them get away with it, that’s how you can get a narcissist to possibly change their ways. 

Don’t always give in or acquiesce to what they say. Do question them, but also, look out for yourself. In time, and maybe with some desensitization to their ego, they just might stop considering themselves so much better than everyone else. [Read: What is the worst thing you can do to a narcissist to hurt them]

3. Disallow name-calling and insults

One of the cornerstones of the narcissistic personality is to use intimidation and name-calling to make themselves feel superior. 

You need to disallow this at all costs, and this is where setting firm boundaries comes into significance. If there are ground rules or boundaries, it’s unlikely they’ll keep insulting you with name-calling. 

But, if you put down an ultimatum and draw a line in the sand, be ready to walk if they cross it. [Read: 16 subtle signs a narcissist is abusing you and using you already]

4. Only take responsibility for the things truly your fault

The narcissistic personality is excellent at not taking responsibility for anything. If you want to continue dating a narcissist, only take on the responsibility of things actually your fault. Refuse to allow them to put things off on you.

This is also why they love playing the victim and feeling sorry for themselves, just to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. 

If you feel like their stories don’t line up right and their version is not true, refuse to accept it. Stand your ground.

Once they see you can’t be confused and manipulated by lies and are guided only by what’s factual, they just might start to see what part they play in your life. [Read: Reasons why playing victim makes your life worse]

5. Don’t react to their outbursts. Walk away.

When you do challenge the narcissist or try to go against their beliefs, they will not be happy. Often, they overreact with angry bursts or intimidation. If an argument with them becomes an attempt to shut you down, refuse to take it, and walk away.

Instead of allowing the narcissist to control you, you have to instill the fear in them that you’ll walk away and leave if they try to manipulate you. Don’t hesitate to let them see that. 

After you walk away enough, they stop stamping their feet to get what they want. And they might actually have a conversation like a real-life grown-up. [Read: Grownup ways to deal with the mean people in your life]

6. Refuse to suffer gaslighting

If you want to continue dating a narcissist, refuse to let them throw in everything including the kitchen sink. Gaslighting is the most common manipulation tactic that narcissists love using, and they’ll continue using it on you if you let them. 

When dating a narcissist, you must spot the signs early on that a narcissist is gaslighting you. [Read: Psychological manipulation – 16 signs and tactics real manipulators use]

7. Love yourself more than them

When you love someone, you start to love them more than yourself. That is the intent of a narcissist. They want you to love them as much as they love themselves, and that comes at the cost of your sense of identity.

The key to dating a narcissist is to always put yourself, your safety, and your feelings first. It’s so easy to lose yourself to the point where you’ve realized a little too late that you’ve given up everything at the expense of a narcissist. [Read: 15 ways to discover the self-love and happiness you crave]

8. Stop things from getting personal

A narcissist feels like everything is a personal attack on them. If you confront them, make sure to take emotionally charged words out of the equation. Remind them frequently that what is being said or done was not personal. 

If they accuse you of embarrassing them, don’t give in by apologizing. Instead, explain to them that you weren’t trying to embarrass them. You just stated a fact. 

They’re looking for an apology from you or they want you to accept that the blame is on you, which isn’t true. They can’t handle confrontation or accountability, so shifting blame is the easiest thing for them.

9. Break the spell and don’t focus on them

A narcissist thrives on making everything about them, which is why they’re such attention seekers. So, in dating a narcissist, you need to break the spell by ensuring you’re not catering to their every whim and fancy at your expense. 

Don’t allow yourself to push aside your boundaries or disregard them for your narcissistic partner.

They aren’t the priority in your life, you are. The more you end up providing for every one of their needs, the more they’ll keep doing what they do best, which is treating you badly for their amusement.

You need to take control of your life and prioritize yourself, and avoid giving them the narcissistic supply they so badly crave. [Read: Narcissistic supply – how to stop giving the attention they crave]

10. Speak up

It’s so easy just to shut your mouth and refuse to say anything when you’re dating a narcissist, but that won’t help you get anywhere. 

People who are narcissistic and self-absorbed by nature will steal your voice and not respect any opinions or thoughts you have in any situation.

The general rule of thumb in dating a narcissist is never to let them get away with what they’re doing. 

Don’t buy their lines claiming, “This is who I am. If you really loved me, you’d accept me unconditionally” or the eye-roll-worthy line, “If you don’t love me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” used in all the wrong circumstances by a narcissist to justify their shitty behavior.

These are just some of the more cliche lines narcissists love using, so don’t give in. Tell them how they’re negatively impacting your life, and don’t allow them to make it your fault. [Read: How to be assertive – 17 ways to speak your mind loud and clear]

11. Focus on actions rather than words

Another thing narcissists love doing is making all sorts of false promises just to give you hope that they’re going to change and become better. 

They love saying all kinds of flowery words without ever intending to meet them or deliver through them.

The worst part is, they might even believe their lies themselves, so you end up feeling bad for them. Don’t. You need to insist on actions rather than words. [Read: What types of narcissism should you be on the lookout for?]

12. Find a support system

Dating a narcissist requires a support system. Otherwise, you might just lose every bit of your sanity and yourself. We know how easy it is to push your friends and loved ones away and make your narcissistic partner your everything.

However, you need to have a support system if you’re attempting to change them and become better. 

It will take a lot of willpower and patience to deal with a narcissistic partner, so a support system is a must. [Read: Traits of toxic people that can hurt and emotionally damage you]

13. Know when to walk away

Anyone who has ever dated a narcissist will tell you that sometimes, they’re just too damaged and far gone to change. Also, it’s never your responsibility to change or fix them.

Especially when their narcissism is just too deep-rooted in them that it’s almost impossible to change, that burden is no longer on you. 

If none of these tips above on dating a narcissist have worked and they’re still getting worse by the day, it’s time to save yourself and walk away. [Read: 19 signs of emotional damage and ways to get past them]

14. Stop trying to be caretaker to your partner

It’s not your job to look after them, they’re an adult and can sort out their own needs. Narcissists are excellent at making you feel guilty, so you give in and do exactly what they want. 

Remind yourself of this fact and ask whether you really need to do whatever they’re asking. If not, leave it be and focus on yourself. 

15. Keep records 

If your partner is prone to gaslighting, it’s useful to keep a diary. Write down key conversations and events. That way, you can be on the lookout for gaslighting and you have written confirmation that you’re not going crazy.

Narcissists love to make you doubt yourself because that means they’re the ones in control. When you have something to look back on, you can confirm your own suspicions and tackle them on their manipulative behavior.

16. Set parameters if you choose to stay

If you’re not going to leave, you need to set parameters that must be met. For instance, you could insist that your partner gets professional help otherwise you’re going to leave. And, they must do exactly that. 

If they don’t? You walk. These conditions need to be clear and you need to stick to them, otherwise, your partner will just continue to walk all over you. [Read: How to set boundaries with a narcissist & weaken their hold over you]

17. Start expressing your needs clearly 

Narcissists don’t really care about your needs and desires. But if you set them out clearly and create a boundary that they’re met, they have to take notice. 

It’s possible that this point won’t work, after all, most narcissists don’t really care that much. But, if your partner isn’t quite that far gone yet, setting out your needs clearly means they can’t say they didn’t know.

How do you get away from a narcissistic lover?

If you have recognized your significant other in these signs, there are a couple of steps that you need to take to protect yourself when you attempt to leave the relationship. 

If indeed, that is what you’ve chosen to do. [Read: The complete guide to breaking up with someone you love]

1. Make sure you’re confident in your decision 

Your partner is going to try all of their manipulative tactics to keep you in the relationship, so you will need to be able to stick to your convictions without giving in.

2. Prepare yourself for retaliation 

Once a narcissist realizes that you will not be coming back, they will use your breakup as a new source of drama.

3. Tell those close to you 

You may find it helpful to fill some of your friends and family in about the breakup and your reasoning behind it ahead of time so you can be sure that no lies will spread to those close to you. [Read: How your self-respect affects you and the way you perceive your relationship]

4. Keep the breakup as clean as possible 

The narcissist is going to want to fight dirty, but don’t give them any satisfaction to do so. 

You do not want them to have any more negative things to say about you than they already do or enable them to drag out the breakup for a long period of time. [Read: The 20 types of lovers that exist in the world]

5. Focus on yourself 

Finally, once you have made it out of the relationship, take some time to take care of yourself! You may need to have some therapy or spend a lot of time with friends who will build you up and take care of you.

Being in a relationship with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself, manipulates you, and doesn’t have compassion for your feelings is mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting – take care of yourself over the next couple of weeks and let yourself heal.

How to recover after dating a narcissistic

If you are thinking of ending your relationship with a narcissist or have already done it, you have to realize that there is a recovery process you will need to go through. It will look like this.

1. Acknowledge what happened

It’s not always easy to admit to yourself that you were in a narcissistic relationship. But identifying what happened and looking at it in retrospect will help you be objective about how you let it happen. And this helps you know how to do better in the future.

2. Go no contact

The narcissistic ex might try to lure you back in, so that’s why you need to go no contact. [Read: No contact rule – what it is, how to use it, and why it works so well]

It might be difficult and it will require a lot of self-discipline. If you can’t go no contact for some reason, then draw very clear boundaries and stick to them.

3. Seek support

You will need friends and family to help you through the breakup. They will help comfort and validate you. So, reach out to loved ones or join a support group for survivors of narcissistic relationships. Sometimes it’s too much for you to do it alone.

4. Embrace your emotions

Any loss is difficult, even when you know it’s for the best.

So, you might have a lot of grief and you might not understand why. It’s alright to feel that way. It is common to feel this way, but you need to work through your emotions so that you can heal. [Read: Painful stages of heartbreak & grief all of us go through after a breakup]

5. Find out who you are

You probably made a lot of sacrifices in the narcissistic relationship. Because of that, you probably lost sight of yourself. So, rediscover who you really are. Make a bucket list or write down new activities that you want to try. Be selfish for once.

6. Forgive yourself

Anyone can find themselves in a narcissistic relationship. So, you need to remember that what you experienced was not all your fault. [Read: How to forgive yourself and free yourself of the weight of guilt]

Blaming yourself only stops you from moving forward. So, practice self-forgiveness because it promotes well-being and a more positive attitude.

7. Don’t date right away

It might be tempting to jump right back into the dating scene, but that’s not a wise thing to do. You need time to process what happened and rediscover yourself. It’s likely that you are very fragile, so you don’t want to attract another toxic person. Love yourself first.

8. Protect yourself on social media

Even if you have gone no contact with the narcissist, you should also protect yourself on social media. [Read: The toxic dangers of social media and 19 signs and ways it makes you insecure]

They might want to stalk you online, and it’s a growing problem. So, make your profiles private and don’t share personal information about yourself. 

9. Create new rituals

Whenever you break up with someone, you will have a complete change in your routine. You won’t have those habits that the two of you used to do together. So, make sure you create new rituals for yourself so you don’t trigger any sadness. It’s your life now, so embrace and enjoy it.

[Read: How to quit attracting unhealthy relationships in your life]

Though it may be all rainbows and butterflies in the beginning, dating a narcissist is no fantasy. If you recognize these signs you’re dating a narcissist, get out fast!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...