5 Signs You Are Dating a Narcissist

May 5th 2016

Tricia Tongco

Narcissists are hard to resist – they ooze charm, shower you with attention, and have high self-confidence.

But they also have some traits that are not so desirable in a partner.

Someone with narcissistic personality disorder possesses the following characteristics: An inflated sense of his own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others, according to the Mayo Clinic.

This mental disorder can cause problems in many areas of life, such as work, school, or personal finances. But there's something especially frightening about falling in love with a narcissist.

ATTN: came up with five warning signs that you’re dating a narcissist, with the help of licensed psychotherapist Lena Aburdene.

You might just be dating a narcissist if the person you're dating ...

1. Sweeps you off your feet at the beginning of a relationship and is charming and romantic – but with a catch. 

This is probably the most important red flag, according to Aburdene:

"While everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated, the narcissist goes above and beyond to win you over by going way overboard with compliments, showering you with gifts, and acting like they can't live without you before they get to know you.

"Why does the narcissist do this? An emotionally abusive relationship usually starts with the pursuer working hard to win you over, because they know once you become attached, it's a lot harder to leave. Deep down, the narcissist is very insecure, and the narcissism is a defensive adaptation built up over time to mask the feelings of inferiority and self doubt: The narcissist deeply fears rejection and abandonment."

2. Loves to talk but doesn’t listen or seems distracted when you’re talking.

A classic narcissist isn't interested in you or who you are. Rather, he is interested in how you make him look and what you might be able to do for him, because the narcissist's main interest is himself, Aburdene said:

"Always be highly skeptical of someone who shows little interest in your life. There is a caveat here: There are narcissists who can show interest in you and ask you questions about yourself — this can be part of how they win you over. The defining factor of the narcissist is when the mask finally comes off, they don't value your opinions, your feelings, and they have no empathy."

3. Doesn't take responsibility when she is wrong.

Lack of empathy is a defining trait of a narcissistic individual, Aburdene said:

"People without empathy cannot see another person's perspective. When you're dating a narcissist, they will never see your perspective or validate it. They will also never apologize.

"One trick the narcissist has is to turn things around on you. They have a real knack for deflecting the responsibility off of them to try to make you into the villain, which can be extremely devastating and soul crushing."

4. Can't handle even a small criticism.

Watch out: With a narcissist, one small comment could spark World War III.

"Narcissists are known to fly into what's called a 'narcissistic rage' when they are met with any kind of critique. Even if you aren't criticizing them, if they interpret what you are saying as a critique on them, they will go into attack mode. The narcissist handles critique very badly: The result is usually extreme anger and, in the worst cases, blind rage."

5. Reacts negatively when you don't give him what he wants.

The narcissist only cares about his own personal wants, needs, and feelings, Aburdene said:

"They are master manipulators. They don't care if what they want could impact you negatively. Whenever you go against what they want to do or don't give them what they need, they may react by punishing you; i.e., shutting down coldly, depriving you of love and affection, verbal abuse, gaslighting, doing something vindictive that will knowingly cause you hurt, shame, or guilt."

Overall, if someone, narcissist or not, is making you feel uncomfortable, something is amiss, according to Aburdene.

Bottom line: Always listen to your gut.