5 Signs You Are Dating a Narcissist

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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According to the DSM-V-TR, a Narcissist is someone who has a grandiose sense of self and requires constant admiration because they believe that they are unique and extraordinary. They lack empathy and often exhibit arrogant, exploitative behaviours towards others. Identifying a narcissist can be a very difficult task, they are often charming, and attractive and might lead you to believe in a version of love that might not be filled with truth. 

If you feel that you might be dating a narcissist, then here are top 5 signs

  1. Lacks Empathy - 

One of the ways to find out if you are dating a narcissist is to check if your partner regularly invalidates your feelings and thoughts. Narcissists lack empathy and don’t put in the effort to understand their partner’s emotions. Partners who lack empathy have a difficulty in showing compassion and holding space for their partners. Have you had situations where your partner dismisses your feelings? Does your partner offer you support when you want to vent about something that is bothering you? Or do they change the subject everytime you want to express your feelings? If you find these happening on a regular basis, then there is a chance that your partner lacks empathy. 

  1. Charming Facade - 

Narcissists are deeply concerned with beauty and always have a grandiose sense of self. They might seem extremely charming and boastful where they only talk about themselves and their achievements. In the beginning of a relationship they are likely to appear charming but once the relationship plateaus, the charming behaviour fades away. However, they are deeply insecure on the inside and seek validation through external facades. If your partner is someone who is overly concerned with these external appearances, then they could be having narcissistic traits. These external facades could be an excessive emphasis on their “exceptional good looks”, or “work achievements”, or “witty language”. A narcissist also sees their partner as a person they can “show off” so that they can look good. They are only concerned with the external and not on the internal. 

  1. Exploitative - 

Narcissists are very arrogant and exploitative of others. To know if your partner is one, observe how they behave with others. Do they display a need to be the centre of every conversation? Do they put others down repeatedly and accuse others of being jealous of them without substantial evidence? An example could be understanding entitled behaviour. If your partner has a sense of entitlement towards you and expects you to constantly shower them with attention, then this could be considered an exploitative habit. Narcissists believe that everyone is below them and are often extremely rude to them. They view relationships through an exploitative lens. If they are benefitted in some way, then they are likely to keep you in their life. If you are of “no use” to them and their grandiose sense of self, they are not likely to keep you in their life. 

  1. Hypersensitive - 

As mentioned previously, a narcissist is someone who constantly puts others down, but when it comes for them to take heat, they are hypersensitive. This is not restricted to only giving criticism. If you don’t give your partner what they want and they often overreact by throwing a tantrum or attacking you personally, then your partner might be a narcissist. Narcissists have an extremely fragile self-esteem and so even if you point out a small flaw or bring up a tiny issue, they are going to view it as a personal attack. The hypersensitivity is a defence mechanism they use to protect themselves and their fragile self-image. If you feel that you are constantly on eggshells with your partner, where they get explosive if you point out anything, then they might be a hypersensitive narcissist. 

  1. Gaslighting -

This is often a subtle trait that is present in almost every narcissist. Gaslighting is a phenomenon where a person makes you question your reality and makes you believe that you are in the wrong. Because of their grandiose sense of self, narcissists believe that they can never be wrong and so they often turn the narrative to make you believe that you are wrong. The other partner mostly falls for this and questions their reality. A guilt bond is formed and this bond is used by the narcissist to exhibit power over the relationship. 

If you relate to these signs and believe that you are truly dating a narcissist, you should seek professional help at the earliest so that you can make informed decisions on how you can proceed with your relationship. Don’t wait for things to get worse. You deserve to be with someone who values and respects you. In the meantime, focus on building fulfilling relationships with your friends. Remember, it’s never too late to prioritise your well-being.

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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