Are You Dating Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

You may notice that the person you are dating seems preoccupied with themselves and fails to take your feelings into account. They may also lack empathy for your experiences and feel entitled to more than what you think is warranted.

While almost everyone is guilty of being narcissistic at times, it is possible that these characteristics are more than just annoying character traits. The person you’re dating could have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which can make it very difficult to have a long-term relationship with them.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), if you are dating someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, they will display some of these signs:

  • Feels self-important, with no realistic reason
  • Obsesses about unlimited success, fame, or power
  • Believes they are unique and special and can be understood by and associate with only other unique or high-status people
  • Requires excessive admiration, attention, and affirmation
  • Feels a sense of entitlement
  • Exploits others without guilt or remorse
  • Lacks empathy
  • Is envious of others or believes others are envious of them
  • Displays arrogant and haughty behavior

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder think nothing can hurt them and see themselves as invincible, which can lead to dangerous, extreme behavior. They frequently put down coworkers and friends to raise themselves up, as well show an intense jealousy that borders on extreme controlling behavior.

But despite a self-loving exterior, this overconfidence can actually be hiding a fragile self -esteem and someone unable to take criticism. People with NPD love the image of themselves they try to create. When people around them buy into that image, and see the person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder in that light, then they feel they can love themselves. 

What to Watch Out for When Dating Someone with NPD

You should be wary of dating someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder because narcissists cannot love in a healthy or traditional way. They may tell someone they love them only so they can be loved back. In a healthy relationship, loving someone is not dependent on having that love returned. But with someone with NPD, when your love stops, their love also stops.

Be aware that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be very charming and charismatic. In the beginning of dating someone with NPD, they will do everything they can to impress you. This isn’t uncommon in relationships, but when it reaches an extreme like expensive cars, watches, clothes, and food, this should raise a red flag.

To your partner with NPD, it is about image and not the internal qualities. Watch out for your significant other purchasing materialistic items and rationalizing why it is important for them to have them.

Most relationships with people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder don’t last long. Their partner will find their antics draining, and are likely to abandon them early on as they get tired of being belittled while their partner adores themselves.

If you are dating someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you may have a distorted image of your partner. Many people in relationships with people with NPD may see their partner as superior to them, and tend to play the victim. By playing the role of dependent or victim, you encourage certain traits and behaviors at the core of someone with NPD. Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder relies on a partner to be submissive, adoring, and available to provide them with validation that they are superior.

Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

If you are aware of some of the warning signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in your partner, you need to take action. Seeking therapy for yourself as well as your partner could help prevent you from falling into a one-sided, hurtful relationship.

For someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, personality disorder treatment can help them learn to relate to other people in a more positive and compassionate way and help them function better in relationships.

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4 Responses to “Are You Dating Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?”

  1. Adam 16. Aug, 2017 at 9:50 pm #

    I dated a woman with NPD several years ago. It is the one and only time that I have been in love, but once I learned who she really was (which took a while), I am so grateful that love finally ended for me. My experience with her was dreadful. In the beginning she was incredibly charming, funny and interesting. It didn’t take long for that mask to fade, but still, with all the red flags I saw, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and overlooked her narcissism. Even sex with her was never fully satisfying for me due to her narcissism. She loved to receive pleasure from me, but was unable to be the direct giver of pleasure. Even in sex, she was completely self-centered and selfish. She once commented that I made her feel so good sexually that she wished she could keep me in her closet so she had me on hand anytime she needed to pull me out to fulfill her sexual needs. That was one of her ways of objectifying me sexually. She lured me into her world only to use me as a prospective handyman and sex object. While I was under the impression that she genuinely cared about me, her actions consistently contradicted this. She stood my parents and me up on my birthday; she was supposed to go out to dinner with us but backed out simply because she was having a bad day. Even on my birthday, it was all about her. She couldn’t understand why I was deeply hurt by this, and made me out to be the irrational, insensitive, selfish one for not understanding her selfishness… a classic example of gaslighting. When she moved into her new home a few days later, I commented that I smelled cat urine in her house when I came by to see her. I said this as a gesture to help her find out why it smelled like cat urine in her house, and to help her locate the source of the smell. Instead, she took my comment as a direct attack against her. She went into a narcissistic rage, telling me to leave. I left, and we stayed away from each other for a few days. She hoovered me by “patching things up”, but that didn’t last very long. A few weeks later, after I spent the night at her house, she woke up with a sore on her finger, which she feared was a wart. She was so disturbed by this, and blamed the sore on her finger on me. She said that she had never had a wart, and that I must’ve given it to her even though I didn’t have any warts. She expressed that nothing weird ever happens to her. The sore on her finger was weird, and weird things don’t happen to her. This was her narcissistic delusion of herself as being special and unique. Weird things happen to other people, not to her. After I left that morning, I was no longer of any use or interest to her. I was discarded with no explanation. I tried several times to reach out to her in person and by phone for several weeks to understand what had happened. But this was to no avail. She ignored, avoided or pushed me away during each attempt. I was heartbroken and devastated, since I loved her and could not understand what I had done to make her behave this way. Over time, I began to entertain the idea that she was a classic narcissist. I believed the idea at times, and rejected it at times. Still several months later, I had hoped to work things out with her. I made a few more attempts to connect with her, but I was always quickly dismissed. Eventually, I gave up and retreated into depression, confusion and frustration that lasted for about a year. She had left me wondering if things were really over or if this was all just a strange, temporary departure she had taken from me. I was left to wonder and wonder. I tried one last time to reach out to her, but of course, I was abrasively disregarded. I finally reached the point that I understood that she was a sick and troubled woman, and I moved on with my life. About a year later, a mutual acquaintance of ours told me that she stated that I had stalked her when in fact that was outright lie. She used my attempts in the past to reach out to her, to communicate with her, to understand what was going on as grounds for me stalking her. I was outraged by this, but let it go. It was not long after this that I learned that I was one of many men who had suffered the same fate from her over the past few years. I was just one in a series of objects and play things that she used for her own means, then discarded when I was no more use to her. Oddly enough, about six or seven years later, we ran into each other at a grocery store. During this encounter, she behaved as though I was her long lost best friend. She told me that I was so good to her when we were together, and she appreciated that. She also told me that she was a mixed up girl, and to not try to figure her out. At this point, I was long over her, and had no romantic interests in her at all. But I did hope that we could at least become friends. So, we spent the evening together, hanging out at her place. She gave me her phone number and told me to call her so that we could hang out some more. I called her a few days later, leaving her a message. She returned the phone call, leaving me a message referring to hanging out again soon. I called her back, but low and behold, I never heard from her again. I was once again discarded. It was after that I became aware that I had been hoovered by her. I was sucked back in, only to feed her narcissistic supply, then cast back into the sea once more. That was it for me. I then knew that I was right many years earlier when I suspected NPD. Once I made sense of everything, I had no interest in ever seeing her again or being involved with her even on a civil encounter basis. I despised her for the person she is, and I will always despise her for that. She is a narcissist and she will never change. She is infected for life, since she sees herself as infallible. In her mind, she does not need to change the person who she truly is. I don’t have any compassion or sympathy for her condition. I know all to well about narcissists and the way they work, since more than one narcissist has infected my life at some point. They are abusive and destructive human beings with ice running through their veins. And for that, I can’t feel compassion, sympathy or understanding for them. Along with sociopaths and psychopaths, narcissists can be some of the most horrendous people on the planet.

  2. Yahima Garay 29. Aug, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    My relationship with an NPD individual lasted for two years. He drained me to last drop of self-esteem. I am in recovering mode.

  3. Yahima Garay 29. Aug, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    The part that hurts the most is when they discard you like if you never existed in their lives. Or when they project their cray onto you and literally make you feel that you are the one who is wrong, and they never apologize for their insults and actions.

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