Narcissists are hard to spot. At the beginning of the relationship they often shower their loved one with gifts and compliments, making you feel like a million dollars. They act as though they have their sh*t together and are incredibly confident, which ultimately makes you fall in love with them. But as soon as you are fooled by their manipulation, it’s too late. You will be trapped and will find it almost impossible to leave. Mind games are played and you often end up questioning your own sanity.
This is something a lot of us know all too well and it can even scar the most secure of people. To save yourself the trauma of dating a narcissist again, we’ve come up with a list below to help you spot a sociopath before you end up dating one again.
1. Ask them as many questions as they ask you.
Narcissists will ask you lots of questions to get an idea of what makes you tick and what your weaknesses are. By flipping this on its head and asking them questions, it forces them to be honest about themselves. This slows down the process of them gathering information and helps you to determine whether they’re lying or just a psychopath. It’s important in every relationship that there is reciprocity, so start early.
2. Keep seeing your friends/family and doing your hobbies.
Narcissists have a habit of stopping you doing the things you love as it’s part of their control. The best way to avoid this is to keep doing the things you love or meet someone who also enjoys the things you love. Huggle is the perfect dating app for this as it matches you with like-minded people who go to the same places as you and share your interests. But keep in mind that if your date insists on seeing you every minute, it is a sign of pathology not adoration.
Narcissists may drop the odd negative comment, for example “My family wouldn’t approve of you.” If that’s the case, run a mile. Don’t fight for the relationship as the narcissist is looking for assurance that you are not going anywhere fast. This is simply an insecurity on their behalf and has nothing to do with you. Dating a narcissist is like a constant job interview, they will test you to see if you will go the extra mile for the relationship. Narcissists are only attracted to people who won’t leave the relationship easily, even if it’s a bad one.
If you find yourself being showered with gifts and compliments at the start, don’t kid yourself that you are adored. You are simply being manipulated as this is a way for the narcissist to control you. After a while this attention will soon fade and you will start to seek it, wondering what you’ve done wrong to no longer deserve the attention you once had. This is all part of their controlling game. The best thing you can do at the start is not respond to every call or text and tell them regularly that you want some time alone. Watch how they respond to this, if they start questioning your decision or get angry, this is a big sign that the person you are dating is a narcissist. Someone who loves you, will respect your request for privacy or time alone.
5. Don’t plan the wedding just yet…
At the start of a new relationship everything is exciting and fun, and it can be easy to start thinking about the long-term. Narcissists love to point out that you “agreed” to this relationship and will make you feel like you are a “quitter” if you start to question the relationship. The best thing you can do at the beginning of dating is drop the occasional hint such as “I think we’re getting ahead ourselves” to show the person you’re dating that you are living in the moment, not the future. Narcissists hate the fact when someone takes control of the relationship, so watch their reaction. If they don’t appreciate you in the driving seat, leave.
6. Pay attention to how your date treats others.
This is so important, especially in the beginning stage of your relationship. Narcissists will often belittle others to make themselves feel better, whereas a nice person will treat everyone equally. Ask yourself, do you appreciate the way your date treats others and would you like to be treated the way they treat everyone else? If the answer is no, run!!