How to spot the signs of a narcissist in a new relationship

6 mins read

Getting yourself out and about on the dating scene can be fun and exciting, but it can also be emotionally exhausting. What is also an element that every woman needs to be aware of is that meeting a potential new partner can place you into a position of vulnerability. Too often we hear stories of relationships starting with the usual hearts and flowers, and end up in a situation where the woman is caught up in a trap of coercive control, and emotional and sometimes physical abuse, with no way of knowing how to escape.

Even the most obvious routes of finding legal advice for women can be impossible to access when someone is watching your every move.

Experience and knowledge can be great in retrospect, which is why we have outlined here the key behavioural traits that are often hidden by a man who is in the early stages of a relationship, when the woman is at her most vulnerable. Narcissism is a psychological trait that often keads to control and abuse, and spotting the signs of a narcissist while dating can be crucial for understanding the red flags, and extracting yourself from getting too entrenched in a relationship. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

Grandiosity

Grandiosity relates to an inflated sense of self-importance in a narcissist – they lack the emotional intelligence to be humble. Is your date constantly bragging about his achievements, talents, or possessions? Does he expect special treatment or admiration from others. There’s a fine line between confidence and grandiosity – if you sense no humility then grab your bag and make for the exit.

Lack of Empathy

Empathy is the ability to relate to the emotions of others. A lack of empathy is a worrying trait as and is one of the hallmark traits of narcissism. Lack of empathy manifests itself in the inability to recognize or care about the feelings and needs of others, focusing solely on their own desires and concerns.

Manipulation

When you spend time with your date, do you sometimes find yourself feeling confused and unsure about your own thinking and memories of events and conversations?  Never forget, narcissists are skilled manipulators. They may use tactics such as gaslighting (making you doubt your own perceptions or sanity), guilt-tripping, or playing the victim to control and exploit others. Be confident in your own perception of events and don’t even try to argue – you’ll never win. Your best tactic is to simply walk away.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Does your date like to be the centre of attention? Does their voice rise several decibels when you are out in public, or amongst company? Narcissists crave constant attention and validation from others. They may dominate conversations, interrupt or talk over you, or become agitated when they’re not the center of attention.

Difficulty with Criticism

When having a conversation with your date, is it constantly his way or the highway? Does he have to have the last word? Is he always right, even when he is obviously wrong? Narcissists have fragile egos and struggle to accept criticism or feedback, even if it’s constructive. They may react defensively, becoming angry, dismissive, or hostile when confronted with their flaws or mistakes.

Love-Bombing Followed by Devaluation

This is the most damaging aspect of a narcissist’s behaviour during the early stages of a relationship. We all crave those magical first few weeks when you feel like you are the centre of someone’s world, when you are showered with affection, compliments, and gifts. This is a phenomenon known as love-bombing. Increasingly, this phase is often followed by devaluation, where they belittle, criticize, or devalue you once they feel they have you hooked. It can be disconcerting for the woman, as often it is so quick and imperceptible at first that you question whether it actually happened or not.

Lack of Accountability

Narcissists often refuse to take responsibility for their actions and mistakes. Instead, they may blame others, make excuses, or deflect criticism onto someone else.

These are just some of the red flags heralding the potentially narcissistic traits of a man, that will later develop into highly damaging emotional and physical control and abuse. If in any doubt, walk away. Your safety is more important than anything.

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