10 Signs You’re in Love With a Narcissist

Presented by BetterHelp.

In love with a narcissist

Unfortunately, it is easy to fall in love with pretty much anyone. In the initial first months of meeting someone, the exciting passion of new love can take over the senses and blind you to the person you’re dating. It’s very common to get swept off your feet and end up in a difficult or even abusive relationship. So, how do you know you’ve fallen in love with a narcissist? 

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Here are the top ten signs that the person you’re dating isn’t who they say they are. 

1. They Move Way Too Fast From the Start

One of the most common signs of a narcissist is the “love bombing” stage of a new relationship. This stage is where they reel you in and make you fall in love with them. They may act like the perfect partner, mimic your actions, pretend to like the same things as you, and mold themselves into someone you’d love. 

You may feel as if you’ve met your soulmate, and the chances are that things will go much faster than in your previous relationships. They may even convince you to move in together early or to get married in the first few months of your relationship. They will often promise grand things, such as promising to be perfect for you or to give their hand in marriage to you before you even know each other very well. 

It’s a red flag if someone is trying to move fast before they know you. After all, relationships require a lot of communication and understanding. You cannot know someone well enough in a few months to know if you’re completely compatible. 

A good way to check if the person is genuine is to set a boundary early on. Tell them you can’t go out on a date on the weekend they want to. Tell them you’d prefer to wait a few months to discuss things more seriously. If they’re a good person, they won’t react poorly. If they’re a narcissist, they’ll likely become upset, try to manipulate you, or even react with rage. That’s when you need to cut it off before feelings form. 

If you want to learn more about this topic and more topics regarding love and falling in love with the wrong person, check out BetterHelp today. 

2. They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries in Small Ways

Setting boundaries is so essential to every relationship. Boundaries are rules we set for ourselves and our belongings. Here are some examples of healthy boundaries in relationships: 

  • “I won’t continue a conversation if you yell at me.” 
  • “I won’t date someone who can’t accept my busy schedule.”
  • “I don’t accept being touched without being asked first.” 
  • “I don’t have sex on the first date.” 

Narcissists will build up to not accepting your larger boundaries. At the beginning of a relationship, they’ll often oppose you in smaller ways. These could be simple boundaries, such as not wanting to go to a movie with them or not wanting to talk on the phone because you’re sick. Look out for resistance any time you say “no.” 

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3. They Make “Jokes” to Degrade You 

Narcissists will often mask their disdain for you with what they play off as “humor.” However, these small comments can hurt. Some examples of this include:

  • Telling you that you look fat in an outfit
  • Laughing about your acne or a certain medical condition
  • Joking that you’re mean, annoying, or irritating
  • Calling you mean swear words as a “joke” 

When you bring up that these things hurt you, their response may just be, “I’m joking.” This response is a way for them to ignore responsibility for their actions and is a big red flag. 

4. They Have Violent Emotional Outbursts

Although you may not notice it in the first stages of the relationship, a narcissist will have intense emotional outbursts or an intense lack of emotion. It can go either way. 

Some narcissists will react with anger when faced with the slightest deviation from their plan. Others may react by crying and threatening to hurt themselves. Others may shut down and ignore you for days, weeks, or even months. These emotional outbursts, or lack thereof, are not normal. 

5. They Try to Isolate You From Family and Friends

A big warning sign that you have fallen in love with a narcissist is when they try to isolate you from family and friends or even social events. They may tell you they prefer that you stay at home with them or that they accompany you everywhere you go. Perhaps they express having “intense jealousy” and don’t want you to spend time with your friends of the gender you’re attracted to. 

They may even express jealousy towards your pets or your coworkers. Anyone who you spend time with that isn’t them is someone they see as a threat. If you’re not allowed to be around your family as much, this is a big red flag. 

6. They Make You Feel Scared All the Time

Our bodies are made to protect us. If you’re in an unsafe situation or a situation that reminds you of past trauma, you’re likely going to have an intuitive feeling that something isn’t right. If you constantly feel on-edge, nervous, or anxious near your partner, this isn’t normal. A healthy relationship should feel comfortable and safe. It’s best to listen to your inner senses. 

7. They Attack Your Sensitivity

Narcissists will often hate anything that’s sensitive, empathetic, and kind. If they see empathy or sensitivity in you, they will likely attack it in small ways. Perhaps they’ll make comments such as, “you’re so sensitive; lighten up.” Or they could tell you that your reactions to things don’t make sense.

They may even tell you that you’re too dramatic or emotional or that you should stop caring. These are warning signs because it means they think kindness is a flaw. 

8. They Try to Tell You Who You Are

Narcissists like to control and have power. They will often try to assign labels to you without your consent. They may call you something that you’re not or get angry when you deviate from who they think you are. If you try to correct them, they’ll ignore you. If someone is trying to tell you who you are and it doesn’t add up, they may be trying to manipulate you. 

9. They Threaten You or Break Up With You Often

Many narcissists will use threats and will use your fears against you to get you to do what they want. For example, perhaps you try to bring up something that hurt you in conversation. Instead of taking responsibility, they may try to turn the situation on you and break up with you as a threat, making you apologize until they feel good about themselves again.  

10. They Gaslight You 

Finally, narcissists are very good at gaslighting. If you find yourself trying to explain your experience with them over and over and they continue to tell you that you’re wrong and that it didn’t happen, this is called gaslighting. 

Here is an example of gaslighting in a relationship: 

Joanne tells Jorge that she doesn’t like it when he punches walls when he’s upset. Jorge tells her that she is imagining everything and that she’s crazy and that he has never punched a wall in his life. Joanne starts to question her reality due to this. 

Conclusion 

It can be extremely difficult to catch a narcissist when you’re in love with one. There’s a reason people say that love gives you “rose-colored glasses.” It’s easy to make excuses for somebody and try to reason with them when you love them. However, narcissists are dangerous, and difficulty in relationships can turn into abuse very quickly. 

If you are experiencing domestic violence, reach out to the Domestic Violence Hotline as soon as possible. You’re not alone, and help is available. Their 24/7 hotline number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). 

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