3 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

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Published Date|
March 30, 2023

3 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist


Sometimes, you’ll meet someone so charming it’s hard to believe they’re real.


Things start out great, and this person seems like they really care about you.


But soon, you’ll realize that they can’t have honest conversations about the relationship without feeling attacked, or they lack empathy toward your feelings.


You start to wonder whether the person you’re falling for might be a narcissist.


Here at KMA Therapy, we know how important your relationships are to your quality of life.


We’re here to give you the tools you need to recognize red flags in a new relationship – and figure out the kind of healthy relationship you really deserve.


After reading this article, you’ll know what a narcissist is, how to recognize narcissism, and three red flags that you may be dating a narcissist.


What Is a Narcissist?


A narcissist is someone who has a heightened sense of their own importance. They are often obsessed with how they appear to other people – they want to be seen as attractive, powerful, and successful.


In relationships with other people, narcissists often only want to be around people whom they deem worthy, important, and special.

A narcissist has a heightened sense of their own importance, is arrogant, and lacks empathy.


This can make the beginning of a relationship with a narcissist feel flattering – if they want to spend time with you, they likely see valuable qualities and traits in you.


But over time, they’ll become fixated on anything they think is a flaw, and take out their frustrations on you.


Signs of Narcissism include:


  • A lack of empathy
  • A sense of entitlement
  • An arrogant personality
  • Exploiting other people for personal gain
  • A need to be admired and sensitivity to criticism


A lot of people can have narcissistic tendencies. It’s normal to brag about yourself on occasion, and there are definitely times when you want to feel like the most important person in the room.

But narcissistic people are constantly – and intensely – fixated on themselves. They don’t have much, if any, concern for other people.


Are You In a Narcissistic Relationship?


When you’re in a narcissistic relationship, it can be hard to see the red flags right away.


Narcissists often give off a charming first impression, which can make it difficult to identify them early on in the relationship.


They’ll often flatter you and make you feel like this relationship is the most special one they’ve ever had.


But soon enough, their red flags will start to show.


3 Red Flags That You’re Dating a Narcissist


Only a mental health professional can diagnose someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). But if your partner is displaying any of these traits, it’s a red flag – whether they have a diagnosis or not.


1. They Start Finding Ways to Insult You


A lot of people look for good, playful banter in a relationship. A sarcastic sense of humour can be attractive, and teasing in a relationship can be fun.


But a narcissistic partner will take this to another level, and begin to pick on you constantly.


It can start to feel like everything you do is an opportunity for them to criticize you, and they might even begin to undermine your accomplishments.


2. They Will Gaslight You


Gaslighting is a manipulation that a partner uses to get the upper hand in a relationship. Narcissists like to be in control, and gaslighting is a technique that helps them gain power over you.


Your partner might begin:


  • Trivializing or minimizing your needs
  • Disputing the way you remember events
  • Accusing you of trying to confuse them on purpose
  • Refusing to talk about things that are important to you
  • Saying you “sound crazy” or telling you you’re “imagining things”


Read What is Gaslighting? to learn more.


3. They Refuse to Apologize


A narcissist will have a hard time realizing or admitting that they’re wrong.


If you try to discuss something they did that hurt you, they’ll find some way to shift the blame back onto you.


Narcissistic people will have a hard time seeing things from your point of view, so they won’t be able to take accountability for how something they did made you feel.


Since they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong, narcissists rarely apologize.


What to Do if You’re Dating a Narcissist


It can be draining to be in a relationship with someone who constantly makes you feel worse about yourself.


leaving a narcissistic relationship

A relationship is supposed to be a source of support, mutual love, respect, and understanding. If your partner is displaying any of the red flags outlined above, it might be time to walk away – whether they’re a diagnosed narcissist or not.


If you’re ready to end the relationship, make sure you have a strong support network in place.


This might include:


  • Writing out a list of the reasons you’re ending the relationship
  • Speaking honestly with friends and family about your experiences
  • Creating a support network of people you can rely on after the breakup


If you think you may be at risk of harm, there are several helplines you can contact for immediate support. This list of Toronto-based help for intimate partner violence has additional resources to support you.


Speaking to a therapist or mental health professional can also be a great option if you feel like you need extra support.


Next Steps for Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship


After reading this article, you know three ways to recognize a narcissist and what to do if you’re in a narcissistic relationship.


Here at KMA Therapy, we’re here to support you in experiencing the love and relationships you deserve.


For over 14 years, our experienced relationship therapists have helped couples improve their communication – and helped individuals know how to get the healthy relationships they deserve.


Book an appointment today, or connect with our caring team if you have any questions.


If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these resources to keep learning:


Author |
Emily Weatherhead
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