How to Know if You’re Dating a Narcissist?

Relationship with a narcissist.

Once in a while, we express behaviors that border on narcissism. We could be dismissive of the feelings of others, dominate conversations, or just belittle people with our actions. While these are things we might do subconsciously and get ashamed of, this is the normal state of affairs for a narcissist.

Being with a narcissist can be emotionally damaging in the long run. You might find it hard to immediately identify them. And even with the knowledge, you may feel helpless to do anything to save yourself. But we’re here to offer some help.

Who is a Narcissist?

Before we begin, take note that narcissism is a personality disorder. You can’t diagnose someone if you aren’t a professional. Everyone possesses narcissistic personality traits to some degree. We have occasions where we’re a bit selfish, and in some cases, it happens with good reason.

But with narcissists, these traits are at an extreme. A person with narcissistic personality disorder constantly displays patterns of self-centered and arrogant thought processes and behavior. They have a grandiose sense of self, a lack of empathy or consideration for other people, and an excessive craving for external admiration.

Narcissist try to bring down his partner.

Key Traits of a Narcissist

Some core traits of a narcissist are:

  • The constant and excessive need for admiration and approval from others.
  • Absorption with fantasies about great success and unlimited power.
  • Being envious of other people and/or believing other people are just as jealous of them.
  • An inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement.
  • The belief that they are of high value and should only relate with people who are in high society.
  • Exploitative behavior in interpersonal relationships.
  • Lack of empathy.
  • The demonstration of pompous behavior.

Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

It might be easy to spot a narcissist on the outside. Still, your vision can get cloudy when you get emotionally entangled with one. Here are some signs you’re in a relationship with a narcissist.

1. They started out charming

At the start of a relationship, the sky is blue, and everyone is extra sweet. But with narcissists, it’s a little bit extra. They’re quick to idealize you, fluid with delicious words to woo you and try to accelerate the relationship pace. This might be amazing to experience initially, but if you look back on the beginning from the end and see that, it can be a sign you’re with a narcissist.

2. They villainise their exes

Sure, some exes can be immensely toxic. But a huge red flag is your partner being unable to speak about theirs like they’re human beings. If the topic of their ex brings about such vitriolic spewing, it’s best to be on guard.

Narcissist on the therapy.

3. They circle every conversation back to them

Everyone loves conversations about things that interest them. For narcissists, it’s a bit more complex because the most exciting thing to a narcissist is themselves. If amid a conversation about other, more complex things, your partner finds a way to derail and make it about themselves, that is a red flag.

4. They constantly try to bring you down

To elevate themselves, narcissists will use snarky remarks and actions to belittle and hurt you. They give harsh criticism about your clothes, mock your hobbies, or just make jokes that aren’t funny. This is annoying no matter when it happens, but if they do it while you’re celebrating something important, run!

5. They can’t offer sincere apologies

Efficient communication is one of the foundations of a great relationship. And apologies are one of the facets of said communication. Look out for your partner’s actions after wrongdoing. Are they quick to go on the defensive? Do they resort to insults? Or do they merely give some lacklustre “Sorry”? All these are worth considering.

6. They gaslight you

Gaslighting is a common manipulation technique. It happens when someone spins the truth to make you doubt your reality. They tell lies and act like your memory is faulty. Narcissists make use of gaslighting often. If you feel like you’re constantly questioning what’s true or not, you could be dealing with a narcissist.

7. They are unempathetic

Narcissists can’t understand the emotions of other people. They’re reckless and insensitive and will insist on disregarding people’s views. If this is the case with your partner, they just might be a narcissist.

Woman leaves a narcissist.

8. They tell you can never leave them

This is the final point. Narcissists threaten you by saying you can never leave them. All their actions lead to a point where you’re broken down and dependent on them. You may feel like you can’t, but with some help, it’s not impossible.

How to Leave a Narcissist

No matter how we look at it, break-ups are hard. This isn’t less true for a relationship with a narcissist. It’s even more difficult when you love them, but for your health and sanity, you need to leave. But here are ways to make it a bit easier.

  • Remind yourself that you deserve better.
  • Try therapy.
  • Develop more robust relationships with friends and family members, especially the more empathetic friends.
  • You can suggest for your partner to get therapy.


We will reiterate that trying to diagnose someone can be dangerous for the last time. But if you observe most of these behaviors while in a relationship, it just might be time to leave. We hope you enjoyed reading this. If you’re interested in more, keep coming back for more love and relationship advice.


Who is a narcissist?

Narcissists are people with perverse behavior making them place themselves high above others. They can be cruel, unempathetic, and take pride in dragging people down to elevate themselves.

Can a narcissist change?

Narcissists are complicated. They can change, but they’re highly resistant to it. But the process is lengthy, and it’s not worth holding out for.

Can a narcissist love?

The chronic lack of empathy makes it impossible for a narcissist to love you. Love comes from a place of understanding and deep care. These things aren’t so easy for narcissists. But it is helpful to note that they can develop positive feelings towards their partners.

How do you tell if you are dating a narcissist?

They love talking about themselves and expect you to hang on to their every word. They have difficulty keeping conversations going because they always want to steer them back to themselves. They love to one-up you or make you feel like you're not good enough.

How do narcissists treat their partners?

Narcissists must be in control and try to manipulate their partners into submission. They are often very charming initially, but their true colors show as the relationship progresses. Narcissists can be very controlling and may even become abusive.

Can a narcissist change?

Narcissists are complicated. They can change, but they’re highly resistant to it. But the process is lengthy, and it’s not worth holding out for.

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