How Dating a Narcissist Changes You

How Dating a Narcissist Changes You

Maybe a narcissist has asked you out on a date and you keep wondering whether to say yes. Maybe you’ve been out on a few dates with a narcissist, and they want a relationship with you. How do you answer?

Dating a narcissist changes you as you could become emotionally abused. Watch out for identity crises, needing boundaries, emotional abuse, grief, conflict avoidance, trust issues, self-respect, and many other negative aspects.

How Dating a Narcissist Changes You: Way that will Affect You  

There are positive and negative changes. What follows will help you understand both.

1.     You May Encounter Identity Crisis 

Dating a narcissist is difficult and can never be emphasized enough.

They frequently control the relationship and are adept at emotional abuse because of the nature of their disorder. They prefer mates that are subservient and consistently complimentary.

As a result, those people who continue to be in romantic relationships with a narcissistic persons may gradually lose their sense of self.

Insecure Plump female looking in mirror

2.     You Know How to Make Boundaries 

It’s important that you master the art of establishing and upholding boundaries. If you do experience a narcissistic relationship, it will help you. You’ll be skilled. Both socially and professionally, it’s an excellent skill to have.

3.     Know How to Defend and Enable Abuse 

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be a form of emotional abuse. They will try to influence and manipulate you. You’ll find yourself creating space and making justifications for such behavior after you get used to this practice.

4.     Better in Handling Grief 

Loss of identity, expectations and emotional respect are common while dating or married to a narcissist.

You may experience these losses repeatedly, depending on how long your relationship has lasted. As a result, many people who experience it, learn to deal with grief more effectively. 

5.     You Run the Risk of Developing a Problem with Conflict Avoidance 

There is a lot of acquiescing involved in accommodating a narcissist.

Additionally, while occasionally escaping from uncomfortable settings is desirable, excessive conflict avoidance may be disastrous and hinder healthy relationships.

Brushing issues under the proverbial carpet only serve to delay and ultimately exacerbate them. Sometimes we need to recognize and handle interpersonal issues and challenges.

6.     It Cultivates Your Radar 

Most people who survive a union that has been torn apart by a narcissistic person do so with a highly honed “radar” that allows them to better recognize red signals and know how to get out of potentially toxic circumstances.

7.     You May Have Trust Issues 

Long-term partnerships with narcissistic person personalities might cause people to experience trust issues. They get used to keeping things to themselves and anticipate being let down by their spouses.

8.     You Cultivate Closeness Relationships with Friends and Family 

Opening out to friends and family can be just as beneficial as formal counseling with a counselor. You learn to rely on those closest to you for help when dealing with a narcissist

Even though they were created through conflict, such ties can help you experience a deeper, more fulfilling level of love and connection with your friends and family.

9.     You May Find Self-Esteem Issues 

Contrary to popular belief, a narcissistic person has extremely low self-esteem.

They become hostile toward those who are closest to them when they feel threatened.

The victims of this behavior certainly have low self-esteem.

Pen and sticknote with choices SELF DOUBT - SELF CONFIDENCE

10.    You Know How to Stand Your Ground 

You might develop a pattern of subservience early on in a relationship with a narcissist.

However, by the time you reach the conclusion and get the strength to leave, you’ve probably already mastered the art of standing your ground. It’s an excellent talent to have!

11.    You May Become Overly Paranoid 

Paranoia, as they say, may ruin you.

This is an all-too-real warning, which is unfortunate for those who endure relationships with narcissists.

Because people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are always on the lookout for “traitors” and other saboteurs, their spouses may adopt similar behaviors.

Additionally, dating someone with NPD involves spending a lot of time avoiding conflicts, which can exacerbate paranoia.

12.     You Develop Self-Respect 

Self-respect feels good. Those persons who have it are typically far happier than those who have not. To be clear, respecting oneself does not entail abiding by archaic chastity laws. Instead, it refers to learning to love oneself despite what others may think or say.

13.     Narcissists try to minimize and diminish their spouses.

However, when those partners start to value themselves and speak up for themselves, they build their self-respect, which is a victory. 

14.     You Become Compassionate 

Nobody should be unfairly reduced to one part of their lives, not even people with a narcissistic personality disorder.

Although it can be hard to acknowledge, we all have our worst qualities, and none of us want to be judged exclusively by them.

Therefore, it makes sense that if you were in a relationship with a narcissist for any length of time, you also witnessed their “excellent” attributes, and you become sympathetic, which is a good thing because it is the most admirable trait a person can have.

But keep in mind that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. Self-compassion is essential, and emotional abuse is characterized by emotional harassment.

It might be difficult to date after a narcissist, and it can be difficult to break bad patterns after the relationship is gone. It takes a lot of emotional labor, but it is worthwhile.

Things You’ll Feel When Dating a Narcissistic Person 

You might start to experience feelings of emotional betrayal, abuse, abandonment, and neglect.

When a partner consistently puts their wants before yours, dating a narcissist can veer between stable and destructive.

  • Feels little or no guilt
  • Frequent Manipulation
  • Delusional
  • Attention-seeker
  • Feeling more important to others

The pattern of these harmful symptoms appearing often during your relationship can be a huge issue.

You could start to feel emotionally abused, abandoned, neglected, and betrayed when these traits start to have an impact on your mental health and your relationship.

Narcissists may display their discontent, create a push-pull dynamic, and influence events to suit them.

You may feel betrayed in the relationship because of unhealthy habits, which can result in verbal, emotional, and even physical abuse.

You might alter some of your habits if you find yourself in a toxic cycle with a narcissistic partner to protect yourself and the relationship. 

Things You Should Do When Dating a Narcissistic Person

Have Firm Boundaries 

Narcissists are used to having everything in their life go their way because they planned it that way.

Address any circumstance that involves violence, mistrust, or manipulation right away. You’ll need to speak up during this process and establish a fresh, clear boundary.

This boundary could read, “I felt uncomfortable when you brought up a dispute with my sister in front of your friends. Being as direct as possible offers minimal chance for misunderstanding or mistake.

Respect in the relationship will be improved by setting limits. “It would make me feel better if we kept my sensitive info to ourselves.”

Plan for Change 

Making an action plan entails establishing clear limits. Making a visual plan for constructive actions may go beyond simply setting boundaries.

Consider using our weekly budget plan as a guideline rather than splurging.

To keep on track with bills and savings, encourage your partner to express if there is anything they’d like to change or add to the budget plan.

Visual action plans are practical tools that you and your spouse can develop and use together.

Realistic Expectations 

A big part of making sure change is not fleeting and will be long-lasting, is by being realistic.

Let’s say you expect your narcissistic partner to stop interjecting during arguments because they tend to do so.

Reality Check Ahead sign

If so, it’s crucial to stop this habit as soon as it happens.

Change happens right away, and your partner can fall back into their old pattern of interrupting out of irritation or under the influence of strong feelings. Establish reasonable standards for yourself and regularly practice in safe environments

Find An External Support System 

It could be time to seek outside assistance if you see that your relationship is becoming more contentious or if your narcissistic partner is refusing to listen to your advice.

Support groups, therapists, couples therapy, mediation, etc. are all potential sources of assistance.

You and your spouse will feel supported throughout the process if a third party is involved and there are additional resources available.

Your understanding of and approach to dating may change if you date a narcissist. To ensure that you are treated well, affirmed, and appreciated in the relationship, you will learn to be more patient, compassionate, and firm in who you are.

You will be able to develop your self-advocacy, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence through this event.

You’ll feel better about yourself and recognize your importance both alone and in the partnership.

When dating a narcissist, using these techniques can motivate you to safeguard yourself while cultivating a stronger connection.

Things You Should Bear in Mind When Dating a Narcissistic Person

They Start to Put You Down When Your Success Becomes Too Much for Them To Bear.

It can first feel wonderful to date a narcissist.

Since you provide them with a “narcissistic supply,” they will show you all kinds of love and affection as well as compliments and praise.

They will consider it a success since it speaks well of them that they were able to find such a successful, well-liked, and attractive partner.

A narcissist suffers from pathological jealousy. They start to put you down as soon as your triumphs become too much for them to bear. This can often be subtly shown by a snide statement, a caustic remark, or even an eye roll.

Other times, their jealousy is more overt; when you tell them of your achievement, they will top it with achievements of their own or simply tell you that you are being big-headed for boasting.

If you challenge it, you’ll probably hear that you’re being too sensitive and that they were “just kidding.”

In essence, everything they admired about you at the start of the relationship—every strength they found alluring—is suddenly viewed as a threat, and they will make it into a negative attribute.

Even After the Relationship Has Ended, You Start to Undermine Yourself. 

A narcissist wants to dominate your life and command all your attention. This implies that they will ruin it if they believe you can find happiness, attention, admiration, and so on somewhere else.

The night before a big interview, they can cause a fight, or they might complain that you don’t spend enough time with them when you should be studying for an exam.

During a significant family gathering, they can “be in a terrible mood,” causing you to focus all your attention on them rather than talking with your loved ones.

The internalised message that “you shouldn’t try” or “you’re just going to fail” or that you “don’t deserve it” can lead to self-sabotage, even after the relationship has ended.

This self-sabotage can be caused by your partner’s sabotage as well as jealousy and put-downs.

You Can No Longer Count on Emotional Stability. 

Making sure you have emotional safety is a crucial aspect of being in a healthy relationship.

This is a challenging objective to achieve when dating a narcissist because these people might be emotionally unpredictable.

The sooner one realizes they are dating a narcissist, the easier it will be to end the relationship.

For those who are oblivious to their spouses’ charisma, attractiveness, and intelligence, it is a more difficult reality.

As a result, the emotional security that was familiar from prior interpersonal connections will be missing, leaving only the erratic nature of a narcissistic relationship.

Personal Experience in Dating a Narcissistic Person 

They developed insecurities, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness and devaluation, subservience, anxiety, and depression because of dating a narcissist.

They went from being a happy, carefree adult to a grumpy, self-conscious, clingy person who felt like they could no longer make decisions without asking for permission.

They were once stunning butterflies, but when thru was caught in a narcissist’s web, they turned into miserable moth.

Naivety allowed them to think they were in love with someone wonderful in every way: gorgeous, charming, smart, athletic, and intellectual.

Perfectionism developed over time into resentment, fury, suspicion, entitlement, attention-seeking, grandiosity, arrogance, and a decreased capacity for empathy.

Who they once were has been altered by all narcissistic personality traits. 

Would You Become a Narcissist When You Date a Narcissistic Person? 

No, narcissism isn’t contagious, and humans can deal with various emotional problems with proper guidance. However, it is challenging to date a narcissistic person because it would change you.

There are positive changes but also negative ones that you should be aware of ahead of time to prevent you from becoming an awful person.

Sad to say but it’s obvious that we are living in a world where selfishness is a common thing to do to survive. But what does it feel like to date a narcissist?

Most of the people who experienced dating a narcissistic person share the experienced as an awful experience- especially when the narcissist felt embarrassed.

Narcissistic people inevitably tend to make their partner feel less to themselves, dumb, and anything that lowers the confidence of their partner.

And these are the things that a narcissist does in a relationship:

  • A narcissist fears abandonment in this regard when they sense that their partner will break up with them, they immediately break with their partner and when they felt validation they will surely hold on to their partners or felt so attached to them.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder patients are experts at gaslighting. They are unable to endure being the person who commits mistakes, and they will use every means at their disposal to intimidate trick and subdue anyone who challenges them or makes them feel threatened.
  • Malignant narcissists can only handle praise, so they will throw temper tantrums. When faced with criticism, whether constructive or not, they react violently, frequently throwing temper tantrums.
  • React Jealously: Because narcissistic person sees everyone as a rival, they are so jealous when they sense a person is above them. They only appreciate what others can do for them, as well.
  • Empathy is a difficult concept for narcissists to grasp since they are unable to connect with other people. Always putting their demands ahead of those of their friends, lovers, families, and coworkers.

Can A Narcissistic Person Change by Having a New Partner? 

The cycle of narcissistic dating is regular and recurring. They show you love and affection throughout the initial stage of idealization. The devaluation phase follows, during which they criticize and denigrate.

They’ll eventually turn you down. The time will come, whether it takes a week or fifty years.

On the other hand, it’s kind to keep in mind that a narcissistic person is almost often found in childhood trauma.

Someone would have to have experienced some extremely traumatic events when they were very young to fully acquire a narcissistic personality disorder.

But it doesn’t imply you have to placate them or put up with their emotional mistreatment.

When we follow the example of the generosity of spirit, we are better able to forge our paths without escalating tense situations.

Things To Do After Breaking Up with a Narcissistic Person

 Leaving And Finding Yourself Again 

After fulfilling all their desires and needs despite the verbal, physical, and mental abuse because that’s what you do when you love someone.

They eventually managed to escape the narcissist’s web after realizing the emotional trauma they experienced.

A narcissistic person would feel angry when he saw his ex-girlfriend had taken back control of her life and starting to have a happy life.

The narcissist’s sense of superiority, self-importance, and selfishness were all destroyed by my enjoyment, shattering his ego.

Today, instead of hiding like a disgusting moth, I soar like a magnificent butterfly.

They Decided to Adopt a Perspective On Their Life And Strengths. 

Oddly enough, they can no longer picture their life without the 15-year encounter they had with a narcissist. Hours of arguments that humiliated, tormented, and degraded me used to leave me in tears.

They would strive to “repair” themselves for days because of how flawed they always seemed to be.

They used to fantasize about living without their narcissistic boyfriend or girlfriend; they would picture themselves having delight, contentment, and peaceful life.

After ending up in a relationship with a narcissistic person, they will become more appreciative instead.

They’re more grateful that they don’t hold any bitterness or anger because they realized having a grudge against a narcissistic person will not do good to their mental health and well-being.

Things You Experienced While Dating a Narcissist 

You Experience a Constant Need to Impress Your Partner. 

Dating a narcissist can be very challenging, and the effects may linger both during and after the relationship.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist might have the following effects on you:

You start to doubt yourself. Being around someone who has little empathy for you or doesn’t take you seriously can have an impact on you since narcissists can’t look beyond themselves.

Because they make you feel like a lesser human than they are, you will begin to doubt your beliefs, ideas, feelings, and even your sanity.

You’ll become less self-assured. When someone has a narcissistic personality disorder, they frequently believe they are superior to others and go out of their way to make the other person feel inferior to them.

When it is the other way around, they will make you feel as though you are having a problem and need assistance.

You hold yourself entirely responsible. They make you think that you made a mistake because something happened, even when they are entirely to blame.

When something goes wrong in your relationship or outside of it, you’ll start blaming yourself. You can’t accomplish anything properly in their eyes.

To ensure that they recognize and value you, you can even go out of your way. You continue acting in ways you normally wouldn’t just to get their approval.

You’ll likely experience low self-esteem, social isolation, and unhappiness.  

A narcissist has the power to completely charm you when they first meet you. From a fairy tale, you might imagine a charming prince or princess.

In a nutshell, love-bombing is a technique used by narcissists to bind the other person to themselves at the start of a romantic engagement.

Because Of This, The Fairy Tale’s Ending Is Sad.

Without knowing anything about you or after some time has gone, narcissists may make grandiose promises to you or declare their love for you. It’s probably too soon for this kind of attachment if you feel like it is. Most likely, it’s another aspect of love-bombing.

You might discover that you compliment your partner or their accomplishments all the time. They somehow get in the way or minimize what you’re going through when you try to communicate about yourself.

You can find yourself downgrading your own experiences or accomplishments after a while.

On gathering with friends or relatives, they accuse you. They make you feel guilty for being selfish and not spending enough time with them.

You can end up feeling alone as a result.

By humiliating you, calling you a nickname, or making fun of you, they aim to weaken your self-confidence.

Since a narcissistic person wants that they are the most likeable and above all other.

You start to doubt yourself when a person you appreciate, are attached to and adore constantly calls you names. It may result in low self-esteem, body, or personality dissatisfaction, or both.

You would likely experience depression, inferiority, and discontentment.

They try to fool you. One of the defining characteristics of narcissistic abuse is this. Your reality may be questioned by narcissistic spouses.

You might begin to consider:   

  • “Am I being overly emotional?’
  • “Again, I’m at blame. I’m sorry, I must….
  • Because…, he/she did it. I can understand now.
  • It is most likely my fate. I can’t get out of these circumstances.
  • I most likely deserved it.
  • “I’m the troublesome partner here,”
  • Because they believe there was no error and that they had exaggerated it, they do not apologize for their mistakes.
  • They might try their hardest to keep you in the relationship even though you want to end it, but if you fall for their tricks, the cycle will continue.

So, Until You Break Up with A Narcissist in A Relationship:

  • You’ll likely be unhappily, socially isolated, and with low self-esteem.
  • It will be your primary responsibility to fulfill his needs/wishes because they will be a spouse who lacks empathy for your emotions and is constantly looking for compliments about themselves.
  • Your reality will be under question. You begin to believe that you are making things up or that you are an overly sensitive person.
  • You’ll experience a sense of confinement.

After A Relationship with The Narcissist Has Ended, What Should You Do? 

Manipulative beings are narcissists. Although some of these disturbed people are more nefarious than others, dating one of them will undoubtedly alter a person’s outlook on dating moving forward.

And the truth is that, despite how unpleasant the experience may have been, it’s also vital to remember that, happily, there is a silver lining that will, in the long run, be there.

Congratulations on successfully ending your poisonous relationship with a narcissist if you “accidentally” become connected with one.

Here are the top three practical suggestions not to get affected negatively after having a relationship with a narcissist.

Healing Within 

Being willing to invest the necessary time in inner healing is one of the most crucial goals anybody may have after leaving a toxic relationship.

The good news is that this undertaking is by no means insurmountable.

Despite any traumas the narc may have inflicted, some very easy (and free) things may be done to support reaching that total inner healing.

Releasing the pain that was generated by sobbing is one of the best ways to discover inner healing.

Although it has a bad reputation, crying is one of the most effective instruments ever created by humans.

It’s a crying that genuinely recognizes that there is always hope and that, later, offers a profound sense of relief rather than a crying that is hopeless and devolves too far into self-pity.

Find Ways for Self-Development 

Examining carefully what may be done to help assure it won’t happen again is another method to see this error be used for good.

There are a lot of people out there who are manipulative and have personal agendas. people who only wish to take advantage of or use other people. Additionally, they are excellent liars and manipulators.

To ensure that no narcissist ever again gets close to one’s heart, it is important to understand this and to stay vigilant. This can be done by being aware of the warning signals and knowing what to look out for.

Find a Support System 

Having a strong support network is one of the best defenses against becoming “trapped” in a destructive relationship with a narcissist.

A solid support system, which can range from family and friends to coaches or other experts, can be one of the most beneficial things in a person’s life as they decide to love themselves. Having others in their lives who treat them right is another goal.

Additionally, this will reassure them that they are never alone and that others genuinely care about them in the way that they should.

Final Thoughts on How Dating a Narcissist Changes You 

So, it’s established that dating a narcissist will change you – but through necessity and survival rather than through intention.

It’s important you make an early decision before you become too emotionally invested.

Ask yourself if you want to become subservient and start apologising for your very existence. If the answer is no – then make a clean break and don’t look back!

Read More: 

Inappropriate Friendships When Married: 6 Signs To Look Out For

What are Unhealthy Boundaries with Your Ex?

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, and she is the Editor of Lifestyle Divorce. Patricia’s worked as the Practice Manager at an International Divorce and Family law firm for over 15 years. She is a qualified Counsellor, and she has had many counselling sessions with people considering or going through a divorce.

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