Ideally, a good romantic relationship is something that brings out the best in the people involved. In the first place, we choose our partners based on certain aspects that are beneficial to our well-being. Besides the usual physical attraction, you choose someone who shares your interests, someone who supports and cares for you, and someone who complements your shortcomings. Simply said, relationships ought to maintain a balance between yourself and your significant other.
However, there are instances when one person in the relationship is too absorbed in him/herself to pay any real attention to their partner. This is where the balance is upset. Upsetting the give-and-take will put a strain on the relationship. And with enough stress, the relationship will ultimately fall to pieces.
Who is a narcissist?
While all people are naturally geared towards self-preservation, someone who thinks that they’re the center of the universe can be described as a narcissist. Narcissism has many attributes and can be described by the following behavioral displays:
#1 Narcissists love themselves more than a normal person should; everything is, “Me, me, and me.”
#2 They are proud and tend to exaggerate their abilities and accomplishments.
#3 Conversations should be about them. A minute ago, you were discussing waffles—but it will definitely end up about that vacation the narcissist took ages ago. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re in a narcissistic relationship]
#4 They love people who praise and suck up to them, and they hate those who criticize them.
#5 They use people and reap the rewards without giving credit or showing gratitude.
#6 Narcissists put themselves first—even at another person’s expense.
Needless to say, narcissists are at the bottom of the list of people you want near you. I’m sure you’ve encountered a couple of them in your life, but what if you find out that your significant other displays this kind of personality? Dealing with them would be a pain in the ass and would cause a lot of heartache, so you should definitely break up with them.
What to expect when dating a narcissist
If narcissists are difficult people to begin with, imagine having a relationship with one of them. Of course, you might ask why you may have ended up with a narcissist in the first place. The thing is, it will take some time for you to realize that the person doesn’t really care much about you…until they start missing important events in your relationship. Here are some ways for you to know: [Read: Why you should never make someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]
#1 In light of their self-centeredness, a narcissistic partner is likely to do stuff convenient for him/her or anything for their benefit. They won’t meet you halfway in anything.
#2 Conversations are mostly about them. They are the worst listeners. You don’t need to bother asking about their day, because they’ll be sure to tell you. When it’s your turn, they’ll easily dismiss it to make room for more stories of their day.
#3 Narcissists are likely to belittle your achievements and efforts, and are likely to use themselves as a means of comparison.
#4 They rarely acknowledge their mistakes or show the slightest bit of remorse during arguments. And, of course, they think that they’re right.
#5 Narcissists often fail to recognize the opinions of other people, despite being logical, if they clash with their own ideas.
#6 They can be manipulative, feigning concern and affection to get what they want. [Read: 12 subtle signs you’re being manipulated by your lover]
Breaking up with a narcissist
Needless to say, the only reasonable way to end the sheer madness that is keeping up with a narcissistic partner is to end the obviously unhealthy relationship. While you are doing this for your own sanity, there are many ways that you are helping the other person, too.
#1 Breaking up means freeing you from the burden. Narcissists are high-maintenance partners. They require more patience, understanding, and oftentimes a lot of enabling in order to float a boat that’s bound to sink in the end.
Consider yourself a martyr if you’ve made it this far, but the bottom line is: you don’t deserve to be treated like crap. Going back to our earlier analogy, a healthy relationship must be in balance. That balance is give and take, not the narcissist taking the best of you and leaving you in ruin.
#2 A break-up can initiate change in a person. While there is the possibility that a narcissist would think that you don’t deserve him/her after the breakup, they’re still humans who are prone to tiny wake-up calls such as break-ups. Breaking up with a narcissist might make him/her rethink life and how they might end up alone, should they not change their ways. [Read: 10 clear signs you’re dating someone who’s a total narcissist]
#3 Breaking up with a narcissist allows breathing space for other people. One of the consequences of having a relationship with a narcissist is the possibility of alienating other people. Friends, co-workers, and family will certainly have developed apprehension for your choice of partner. Most likely, they have distanced themselves from you. Breaking up with your narcissist allows you to go back and mend your relationships with other people that your partner alienated from you.
#4 Because having a relationship with a narcissist is self-defeating in its own right. A narcissist only maintains a relationship with you because of the rewards they can get from it. If you think that putting up with their behavior is the ultimate form of love, you are very wrong. Narcissists are parasites, so to speak, and they take what they can and leave nothing behind. It will be good riddance to curtail this cycle by ending the relationship. Because if they really don’t care for you, the least you can do is to love yourself and stay away.
#5 By breaking up, both of you can learn. Despite all the unpleasant emotional baggage that break ups bring, the ultimate consolation prize is the life lessons you can glean from the experience. As the saying goes, when things fall apart, all that’s left to do is to pick up the pieces.
Break ups don’t only shatter the relationship, but the people involved. You are a different person before and after. While it may not bring change automatically, a break up will certainly leave a mark on a narcissist. As for you, you’ll learn that self-respect is more valuable than selflessness.
[Read: 10 signs to recognize selfish people and 5 steps to let them go for good]
Desperate situations call for desperate measures. While a break up is unpleasant and generally avoided, it could be the most logical decision to make when a narcissistic partner is involved.
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