7 Signs You’re Dating A Narcissist And Don’t Know It

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Are you feeling that your relationship is headed into a danger zone? Does it seem like you have a particular talent for attracting narcissists?

If you sense that something isn’t quite right with the person you are dating, then now is the time to take stock of what you ultimately want—before you get into the relationship any deeper. If you fear that your date is a narcissist, then you may want to take a big step back, or even make a quick exit.

Narcissists are known for their lack of empathy and their tendency to cheat, not to mention telling outright lies and manipulating others’ emotions. There are also a number of hidden things they may be doing to manipulate the relationship.

They are self-absorbed and far more interested in their own ego-boosting and immediate gratification than investing in the time and tenderness it takes to develop a lasting relationship.

Should you think you might be dating a narcissist, check out the following signs before you decide to answer that next phone call.

Seeing the Signs and Making an Exit

Embarking on a healthy and sustainable relationship that mutually benefits both partners is difficult, if not impossible, should you be hooking up with a narcissist. Should your date meet some of the criteria listed below, then you have some serious deliberation to do.

While you cannot “diagnose” someone with narcissistic personality disorder based on a handful of signs, you can surely make a more informed opinion about how much time and trust you wish to devote to this person. 

1. Charming to Harming

Beware of the date who comes on really strong right from the beginning. If they are waxing romantic about your compatibility, about your specialness, about your beauty, then you might want to put some distance between you. This is a narcissist’s tool, to bombard their potential victims with love before turning on them.

Once they have you lured in, the narcissist will change his tune, switching from charming behavior to harming criticism. Should you disappoint them or disrupt their agenda, they will quickly and sometimes fiercely turn on you.

2. Enough About You, How About Me

If you are dating someone who seems uninterested in your life and frequently steers the conversation back to their activities and successes, then you might be dating a narcissist. Most narcissists aren’t all that interested in other people, only investing in others insofar as they can serve the narcissist’s needs.

Be especially wary of the date who doesn’t seem to be able to engage in a mutual conversation. Many people get nervous on dates and talk about what they know—which could appear to be talking too much about themselves—but when they cannot listen to what you have to say, that’s a warning sign.

3. Absent Circle of Friends

Another signal to be on the lookout for is the date who seems to have no close connections. Narcissists often feel very socially awkward because of their underlying sense of self-loathing and this is particularly true if they are introverted.

If you are dating someone who doesn’t talk about his family or friends (or actively dodges any questions about other relationships), then you might be dating a narcissist.

Most narcissists don’t have a lot of close friends (and many are estranged or distant from their families). They will have professional connections and casual acquaintances but no true friendships. This is because they’ve either driven them away or cannot exercise the emotional muscles to develop lasting bonds.

4. Terrible Teasing

Once you’ve gotten to know the narcissist—after the excessively charming phase—they will often begin to ridicule you in the guise of teasing. They might make cutting comments about what you’re wearing and how you appear in general or your level of intelligence and sense of humor. They have to ensure that they are superior to you.

The more obviously you react to this harsh teasing, the more the narcissist will push those boundaries. Indeed, if they offend you or hurt your feelings, it feels like a “win” to them. And that’s what a relationship is to a narcissist, a game.

5. Distorting Your Reality

Calling the narcissist out on any of the behaviors described above will elicit responses such as disbelief, fake hurt feelings, or angry denial. They will turn the blame back on you and deflect any responsibility for your legitimate emotions.

They will even “gaslight” you, claiming that you are clearly “overwrought” or “confused.”  They might call you delusional or crazy. They will try to make you think that your understanding of reality is incorrect. If you find yourself apologizing for their behavior, then you are probably dating a narcissist.

6. Sorry, But I’m Not Sorry

narcissistic guilt

Because narcissists see the world only from their limited perspective with only their needs in mind, they don’t have the capacity to see their behavior as wrong. They feel little or no guilt if their actions have hurt someone else, and thus, they rarely if ever say they’re sorry.

Even if they do apologize, narcissists will either do so insincerely or do so in a distorted way. That is, the narcissist will say they’re sorry for your reaction, not for their behavior. The problem is never them; it’s always you. This eventually wears down your self-worth.

7. Breaking Away, Lashing Out

Finally, if you have been dating a narcissist and become weary of their bad behavior, then you should know what to expect. Narcissists depend on others for attention and admiration, and they may panic if you signal that you are no longer interested. They’ll return to their charming ways to lure you back, but don’t fall for it and don’t expect an apology.

Trying to stick with your intentions to break it off with them might cause narcissists to lash out at you with demeaning verbal abuse or even physical confrontation. Be careful to sever ties in a safe place and with a firm decision in order not to escalate the situation.

Final Thoughts

Dating a narcissist can be incredibly fun at first; they are charming and will overdo the romantic passion. Very quickly, however, the narcissist becomes hurtful and mean, distant and distracted, and/or deceptive and manipulative. 

Should you suspect you are dating a narcissist, then you are faced with the choice to risk your own emotional well-being or to make a quick exit and look elsewhere for a more stable relationship. Regardless of what choice you make, this article on what happens when you confront a narcissist might help. 


If you want more tips for dealing with narcissists, setting boundaries, and managing emotional triggers, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel


Narcissistic abuse takes a terrible toll on your life. I’m Patricia, and my mother is a narcissist, so I know what you’re going through. These blog posts will help you understand narcissism better and give you tips for dealing with the narcissists in your life. Healing starts here!

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