Early Warning Signs That the Person You’re Dating Is A Narcissist
You meet someone and he’s handsome, attentive, and seems to get lost in your words and feelings. He listens to every word you say and asks personal questions to get to know you better. He finds you fascinating and wants to know all about you. It feels fabulous.
You are being swept off your feet but it’s not to a fairy tale castle. It’s to a world of confusion, pain, tears, and hurt. You have met a narcissist and they move quickly to capture your heart and beguile you into believing that you will be loved and cherished forever.
Narcissists must work quickly. After all, keeping up the pretense that they are a nice person with good intentions takes a lot of work. The sooner they can hook you, the easier it is for them to start playing games. Once you are committed to him, you will replace your feelings of comfort and love with sadness, confusion, and bewilderment.
Because narcissists have a short window to bring you fully into their world, their mission to seduce and capture starts right away. They will immediately move in with their charm, promising you they will love you forever, take care of you, and be your devoted partner.
These are the 4-warning signs that I wish I had paid attention to when I started dating my abuser. They seem like love, attention, and devotion but they are truly signs of possessiveness, extreme jealousy, isolation, domination and control.
4-signs that you are entering the Narcissistic Abuse Danger Zone
1. Love Bombs – the love word gets tossed out the first or second time you’re together. He loves you and couldn’t imagine life without you. His world is complete when you’re in it. If he’s talking about love right from the start, it’s not love. It sounds romantic but it’s exactly the opposite. It is not love he is talking about. It’s possession.
2. Emotional Extortion – he’s going to spend a day, a night or an hour with you and now you owe him your undivided attention. This is classic manipulation to make you feel guilt and shame. Why would you want to go visit your mom, friend, or the neighbour when he has spent the day with you. Isn’t his companionship enough? He will pout and cry and claim how spending time with you is all he wants to do. You feel yourself starting to hesitate and you think maybe it’s best to cancel your plans. After all, he loves you and just wants to be with you. How could that be wrong?
No, he wants to control you and to do that he must remove all outside obstacles – family, friends, neighbours, volunteer time, going to the gym. He uses Emotional Extortion to get you to do his bidding and often when you agree to stay home with him, he will turn ugly and get angry because he had to beg you to stay with him. The circle is closed.
3. Impossible Expectations – do you wonder if you can meet his expectations? Especially the silent, unspoken ones? He wants you to dress a certain way or behave a certain way that is not you. Does he pick out what you wear? Does he criticize your choices or threaten to stay home if you insist on wearing “that” dress?
Each time you give into his requests and demands, you lose a tiny bit of yourself. Your voice and your confidence are slowly being eroded. Eventually, you feel powerless to stand up for yourself. He has complete control.
4. Sex – Yes, new relationships are lusty and that’s great. But a narcissist uses sex as a tool to punish, hurt, guilt and shame you. He will demand, take, coerce, or manipulate you to get his way. You will find yourself having sex because you felt you had no choice. Or because his feelings are hurt because you said no. He drops by late at night claiming to be missing you so badly which is really code for all the other girls turned him down. That is not love or respect. Sex is mutual and not a tool to hurt, harm or make you feel guilty or ashamed. This is a guy you want to say goodbye to as fast as you can.
While you’re dating, ask yourself if you’re starting to feel smothered or unable to express your feelings or desires without criticism or an argument. If you’re starting to question yourself, your wants, ignoring your needs to satisfy his, stop the relationship and take a breather. Remain strong and determined while you take time to listen to your gut and that little voice that’s telling you something is not quite right.
When you find yourself worried or wondering what he will think of you or if he will approve of your clothes, your hair or your friends, or if he will demand sex or make a scene in public, you are not beginning a loving relationship built on mutual respect and love. You are entering a nightmare of verbal, emotional, mental and quite possibly, physical abuse.
These signs happen while you’re dating and when you experience any of these signs or any behaviour that makes you uncomfortable or it seems to good to be true, run the other way. Do not make excuses or think it’s sweet or cute. Run.
If I had listened to my gut and had the confidence to speak up, say no and know my self-worth, I would not have fallen in love with a narcissistic abuser. I would have moved on right away. You can too. Pay attention, know the signs, free your voice, say no and walk away.