Narcissistic behavior, in a nutshell, means being overly self-obsessed and full of yourself in a way you start hurting others. It’s a personality disorder that can’t be cured. But if you know you’ve dated a narcissist, there are a few tips you can use to be in relationships with narcissists.
Here is a comprehensive overview of how to date a narcissist without hurting anyone and ensuring peace of mind.
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Signs You Have Dated a Narcissist?
Not every person who is self-obsessed is a narcissist. In fact, there’s a fine line between an overconfident, self-obsessed, and narcissistic person. It’s essential to determine if your partner is a narcissist. Here are a few signs to look for:
- Highly charming at first but became the opposite person afterward
- Always crave compliments
- Don’t have empathy for others
- Don’t have long-term friends
- Constantly interrupt the conversation telling how great they are
- Manipulate or abuse you emotionally
- Always pick on you
- Never apologize and think they’re right about everything
- Won’t commit to the relationship
How to Make Things Work If You Have Dated a Narcissist?
When you read the above signs, you may think it’s impossible to date a narcissist. The good news is that you can still make it work. Narcissists are also humans who deserve love, affection, and care. Narcissism is a personality disorder that can be subsided if you put in the effort. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to put in a lot of hard work.
That said, here’s how you can make relationships with narcissists work.
Why Do You Want to Stay in a Relationships?
Dating a narcissist is difficult and requires a substantial amount of mental energy. If you’re willing to put in that effort, you need to ask yourself why you want to continue dating a narcissist.
There can be several reasons to stick to a relationship. Maybe you genuinely love the person, and they love you too. It’s just that their narcissistic behavior often gets the best of them. Perhaps you are married, and you have children, and they’re good parents. In that case, it makes sense to continue your relationship.
Another reason could be financial issues. If you and your partner are working, and you can’t split because of financial problems, adhering to them is the right choice.
There could be other reasons as well. Maybe they don’t have any other bad traits like affairs or substance abuse. If narcissism is the only bad characteristic about them, you can try to make things work.
In all, you need to question yourself and determine why you want to date your narcissistic partner. If you can’t find a concrete reason, moving on will be the best choice.
Convince Them to Get Help
Narcissistic behavior is a personality disorder, as discussed. If you want to continue a relationship with a narcissist, you’ll need to make them realize that they have a problem and need help.
Getting help doesn’t essentially mean going to a therapist. There needs to be a mutual understanding where your partner needs to understand that their behavior is problematic, and they need to change. Only after they are ready to change is the time when you can think of continuing your relationship.
If the partner is reluctant to change and isn’t willing to accept help, it’ll be better to move on.
Don’t Try to Control Your Partner if You Have Dated a Narcissist
Now that you’ve committed to a relationship with a narcissist, there are a few changes you’ll need to implement in your life. Narcissists can be loud and needy. They might want everything for themselves. Some people try to neutralize this behavior by becoming aggressive and controlling. If you do that, you’ll do nothing but more damage.
However, we’re not referring to overt controlling only, which includes anger and shouting. It also comprises covert control, which consists of apologizing when you’re not wrong or giving up your needs to get a response from them.
Overt control can make your partner more confrontational. You’ll have more fights, and your relationship won’t work out. If you do covert control, you’ll feed on your partner’s narcissistic behavior and make them more narcissistic than they are.
Love Yourself First
Narcissists are difficult to deal with, and you can’t continue your fight until you practice self-compassion. You might hear a lot of negative things from your partner during your time with them. If you let those comments get the better of you, you won’t be able to continue your relationship.
Make sure that you prioritize your mental health and happiness first. If you’re unhappy when you spend time with your partner, it’s an indication that you should stop putting effort into your relationship.
Don’t Hesitate in Seeking Help
If you can’t make things work on your own, you can seek help from a therapist. Psychologists are trained to work with people with several personality and mood disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder. If you’ve tried everything you could but you didn’t see any progress, getting help from a therapist will be the best choice.
It’s Okay to Give Up if You Have Dated a Narcissist
The odds are stacked against you. Most relationships with narcissists don’t work out. Sooner or later, people give up, which is completely fine. If you’ve done everything you could to make things work but it didn’t happen, feel free to move on.
Remember that your life and happiness are more important than that of your partner. If your partner isn’t ready to change despite multiple attempts, it’s a sign that you should give up and move on. Certainly, walking away from someone you love isn’t easy. But if you don’t make that hard decision now, you’ll suffer for the upcoming years of your life.
Conclusion: Dated a Narcissist
Dealing with a narcissist is difficult, and being in a relationship with a narcissist is almost impossible, especially if you’re trying to make things work out. Follow the above tips to continue your relationship with a narcissist. And if things don’t work out, don’t hesitate to walk away.