If you are in a relationship with a narcissist or have dated one before, you most likely sensed early on that something seemed to be missing from your relationship.
When I was dating my ex who turned out to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder things were perfect in the beginning stages of our relationship.
Although in my head the “amazing phase” felt like a year, things actually went downhill after around eight weeks of the love-bombing phase.
Watch: Mamamia Confessions: Relationship deal-breakers.
Although it has been quite a few years since that relationship I am often asked what it was like dating a narcissist and what I experienced that was different than other relationships.
If I had to pick five specific things that I believe anyone would experience whilst dating a narcissist these would be my top guesses.
1. Someone who won’t follow through/sabotages plans
The narcissist will often hesitate to make concrete plans when you ask. However, if they want to do something they will expect you to put them first and drop any of your plans that interfere with theirs.
They will also try to sabotage important life events. For example, when my friend got married my narcissistic ex decided to get extremely intoxicated and pick a fight with my father whom he already knew didn’t like him.
"They might prepare a birthday celebration for their victims, only to stir up arguments the entire time. They could offer to treat you to a date, just to abandon you on the day of. Usually during an abuse cycle, there are multiple incidents of these covert sabotage attempts.” — Thought Catalog
I realised very quickly that I couldn’t count on my ex to come through on plans and when he did I ended up wishing that he hadn’t.
2. A lack of true intimacy
At first, it will feel like you have the deepest connection you have ever felt because the narcissist is mirroring you in every way... even sexually.
But after the love-bombing phase is over you will realise that things no longer feel the same. The affection will wane and then disappear and there are no more morning cuddles or goodnight kisses.
They no longer make you a priority nor will they bother to make a real effort because they already have you.
You will begin to realise that things feel hollow and on the rare occasion that you are intimate it will be out of their physical necessity not out of a desire for you.
3. Feeling insecure about yourself
Something that I love about my current and healthy relationship is that I always feel calm because there isn’t a constant underlying current of aggression.
I felt completely opposite in my relationship with a narcissist.
Later I realised that lack of security stems from having to constantly walk on eggshells and feeling uncertain about where you stand with the narcissist because they are so up and down.