Fear of dating another narcissist is more common in our world today. The problem is there is not a lot of resources out there that come from a place of Love. I tried being a part of a few Facebook groups, but everyone was complaining and were very angry. I want SOLUTIONS, not lighter fluid dumped all over the fire of resentment, anger, and feeling like a victim. I wanted TOOLS and wisdom in how to no longer attract that type of person in my life and the lives of others. That is why this subject matter is broken down into three parts. Each part is important, informative, and gives you the tools you are seeking. I am also providing supporting documentation that you can print out. Here are two links and the documents are FREE.
This morning I had a fantastic idea bubble into my consciousness. Many mental health professionals talk about red flags and green flags, but what everyone is missing is it would be better to say, “Red Light, Green Light“. Many of us played that game as a kid. Therefore, we do grasp the concept of the game. Why do we need to change it from red flag to red light? Here is my theory.
When we have a green light, we know that it is safe to move forward. A yellow light is to slow down and proceed with caution. When we have a red light, we stop. We wait, we observe the flow of traffic, we reflect, and when the light changes, we move forward again. Why people get hurt is they do not stop at the red flag. We all know why it is important to stop at a red light. You stop to avoid getting into an accident and from getting injured physically, mentally and emotionally. If you got into a car accident it would cause trauma to you physically, mentally and emotionally. That is why I want to change the wording from flag to LIGHT. Ask yourself these questions, “How many times do you stop when you get a red flag about someone? Do you find yourself doing a California stop? Do you ever write it down in a journal? Do you keep a journal of the yellow caution warning signs? Do you keep a record of the green lights that let you know you are on the path of developing a healthy relationship?”
I fell into this trap too many times when it came to red flags. I would dismiss them, ignore it, second guess it, and even let it slide by doing a California stop. What I really needed to do was make a complete STOP when I got at least three red lights! I would have been spared psychological abuse if I just took the time to write in a journal the red light warning signs. Yellow means caution, but red mean stop. Here are 35 examples of a red stop light.
- The person is trying to manipulate you into doing something you do not want to do or say.
- They do not respect boundaries and will constantly push them or ignore boundaries.
- You’ve noticed they are rude, disrespectful, petty, and condescending to the waitstaff at a restaurant.
- You’ve observed how they get pleasure out of triggering another person and pushing their buttons.
- You feel as if they are trying to control what you wear, eat, do, how you spend your money, manage your money, who you see, where you live and/or how you live your life.
- People around you are trying to warn you that something is off about this person and you keep ignoring, apologizing for their behaviors, or feel they might be jealous of your relationship.
- You notice the person is very selfish.
- Their personality is puzzling because they have the Jekyll and Hyde personality.
- Their communicate style is overly sarcastic, rude, offensive, negative, and/or does not communicate at all and gives you the silent treatment.
- You are treated in a passive aggressive manner whenever you do something wrong.
- This person has a hard time apologizing, never apologizes or when they do apologize it feels insincere or genuine.
- When this person does something wrong or uncaring, they do not suffer from any feelings of remorse or guilt.
- You cannot be yourself around this person and it feels like you are always walking on eggshells.
- They never take responsibility for their actions or lack of actions.
- Their words do not match their actions or lack of actions.
- They can never do anything wrong. Everyone else, including you are to blame.
- They feed off drama and seem to create drama.
- You notice that they get pleasure out of making another person fall apart and have a meltdown.
- They appear to believe that they are above everyone else.
- You have noticed they play games with peoples emotions and minds.
- They make you question their sincerity and ability to have compassion, forgiveness, or empathy for another person.
- They are hot and cold, or nice/open and mean/distant.
- This person is jealous and envious of others and verbalizes their opinions often.
- They have projected their character or personality flaws upon you.
- You become aware of their addictive behaviors (need for constant attention, overspending, gambling, porn, drugs, sex, etc.)
- This person is overly concerned about their appearance, and they must appear perfect.
- They are very superficial and critical. Verbally insult a person’s attire, body weight, and/or appearance.
- You have noticed that they are sneaky and try to undermine you when you question their behaviors.
- They are not solution oriented and they stuck in blame.
- Your future is being planned without your consent or awareness.
- It feels like this person at times has a hidden agenda and you are left in the dark.
- They make you feel bad about yourself when you want to spend time with your friends or family members. This person wants you all to themselves.
- Their feelings and thoughts are more important than yours.
- You realize there are unusual conditions to love and hoops you have to jump thru in order to be completely accepted and loved by this person.
- You feel devalued when it comes to your needs, feeling, opinions, values, and morals.
Now let’s talk about the yellow light, which means caution. There are some red lights that really require you to speak your truth and set healthy boundaries. Here are some that jump out to me.
- They make you feel bad about yourself when you want to spend time with your friends or family members. This person wants you all to themselves. (This one does require for you to set boundaries because they might be coming from a co-dependency place or attachment disorder.) Are you shaking your head like there are no healthy people out there anymore? Don’t worry. I will make a blog post and podcast educating you about co-dependency and attachment disorders.
- You have noticed that they are sneaky and try to undermine you when you question their behaviors. (Now I have never experienced this, but I have heard stories of men/woman having multiple sexual partners and keeping it a secret. The problem is when you do ask questions, you will most likely be accused of being jealous or paranoid. Especially if you have been cheated on before. So, having an open heart conversation about the status of the relationship – meaning are you friends with benefits, lovers, or a couple is essential. If he or she says the person is just a friend, but you notice them flirting with each other and whispering things in front of you…well I would be concerned. This is rude and disrespectful. When you genuinely care about someone, you also consider their feelings in a private or public setting.)
- You become aware of their addictive behaviors (need for constant attention, drinking, over spending, gambling, porn, drugs, overly sexual, etc.) (If you have a child around, having someone with these addictive behaviors does not send healthy messages to your kiddo. You need to set boundaries.) I could list more, but I hope you get the concept here. Boundaries are essential!
Let’s talk about cheating and my theory about why a narcissist will cheat. If you recall me saying, “We are all born connected”. We crave connection. When we have no living human being to connect with, we will find something to connect with. For example in the movie, Cast Away. You can buy, Wilson on Amazon. Then there was the Umbrella Academy, meet Dolores. As human beings we need to communicate and connect with someone or something. That is why solitary confinement is so damaging to the psychological brain.
Since we have the need to connect to stay alive, I want you to think of the narcissist as being dis-connected and you are connected. The narcissist craves to feel alive, accepted, seen, and heard. That is why love bombing is so powerful. It sweeps you away and you get lost in the dance. They want to spend all their time with you because YOU make them feel so darn GOOD inside. You are their soul mate. Here is the problem. And I am going to be rather frank here. Having sex with a narcissist can be amazing. They can be an expert in the bedroom. You can get addicted to love making or just pretending to be rabbits. I am being careful with my words here. All that sex is creating a bond between you both. Here is when things go south. When the narcissist starts to try to control, manipulate, and devalue you, you will have a physical, mental, and emotional reaction. You will dis-connect from the narcissist and they feel it! They get angry and they do not like to feel angry. They are coming from a core child-like wounded place. Instead of communicating and talking about their feelings, the narcissist will act like a immature child. Some will give you the silent treatment to punish you. Some might want to punish you, buy flirting with another person to trigger a reaction out of you. Just to see if you still have feelings for them. Others might take it to the next level and actually cheat on you because you are no longer connecting at such a deep and intense level as when you first met. It is all about connection. And it sucks!
So, here is what you need to do. Buy yourself a new journal and label it. Make the label something positive. Do not label as a wish list. This journal is for your eyes only. Make a list of the core traits you want in a partner. What is essential and important to you? For me it is morals, they are genuine and authentic, and they have know their core values. This person must have integrity, open heart communication, cooperation, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and fun! Think of this list as a check list. And at times you might write down some superficial qualities or traits, but when you truly love someone, there can be some wiggle room in this area. For example, he has to be at least six feet tall. Are you going to reject a guy if he is 5’11? He or she has to have green or blue eyes? You might want someone with a certain body type or a full head of hair. But what if you meet this amazing person and they have a few extra pounds and they shaved their head. Are you going to reject them? You have not allowed yourself to get to know them. I just want to put that out there. Now for me, personal hygiene and clean oral hygiene is essential. And since I live in Oregon, they got to have all their teeth.
In the journal I want you to write down all the red lights or you can print them out in the link provided in this blog post. These are your deal breakers. On another sheet of paper write down all the yellow lights or use the print out information as a reference. Here are some of yellow lights that most people do not consider. Some people can tolerate it during the honeymoon phase, but eventually these areas can get under your skin. These are really your relationship core values. Therefore, you got to dig deep and be honest with yourself. What can you live with and what can you not live with if you took the relationship to the next level. Meaning living together or getting married. This all has to do with open heart communication, boundaries, and connection.
- A smoker – some people will accept it in the beginning if they say they are quitting, and others will not.
- They claim to be a social drinker, when in fact they drink every day. Is this a deal breaker for you?
- You love to eat heathy and clean. They hate veggies. Can you find a common ground?
- They work nights and you work the day shift.
- They love heavy metal music, and you love disco.
- They love live music, and you love going to a night club.
- You like to dress up when you go out for a date, and they like to be causal.
- They hate dancing and you love dancing.
- They hate exercise and you love it.
- They are allergic to dogs or cats. You own a dog or cat.
- They are big into sports, and you are not. They want a woman who is big into sports. Are you willing to learn more about their favorite team or is this a deal breaker for both sides?
- This person has a messy household, and your home is clean and organized. What if they want you to move in with them? Can you take that next step? You do need to ask yourself; do you want to be cleaning up after anyone else if we end up living together.
- Always late and does not call ahead of time. Can you accept them always being late or will it bug you over time?
- Do they procrastination often when you set goals and achieve them?
- What if they are a couch potato and you like to be outside exploring life.
- What if they snore. Can you handle it long term?
- Complaining all the time and stuck in negative thinking and you are a positive person.
- Constantly talks about future plans (such as living together) when you might still have areas of incompatibility that are unresolved.
- No passion or compatibility in the bedroom. Some people embrace the use of toys, porn, role playing, and lingerie, while others will think you are freaky deaky.
- They complain that you work too much and push your boundaries. And being self-employed there are times you do have to work longer hours. I know! And it’s even harder when you LOVE what you do for a living. Some people just do not get it because they do not love their job.
- Have you noticed that they expect you to wait on them hand and foot, like you are there to just please them? If this gives you joy, great. If not, you want it to be equal – give and receive.
- Trashes their ex or ex partners, when you are mindful of your words.
Now I want you to print out or write down all the green lights. Here are a few examples.
- Their actions, behaviors, and words align.
- They support and encourage your connection with others, such as friends, family, and career.
- They acknowledge your child or children when they around. Saying hello and goodbye.
- Your child or children feel comfortable and safe around this person.
- They support and respect your self-care time.
- They apologize when they are wrong or they hurt your feelings.
- They speak about their ex from a place of respect, understanding, forgiveness, and kindness. Now if they dated a narcissist before, it can be challenging to speak coming from a place of forgiveness and kindness. That is why being educated and informed about the narcissist traits and behaviors is important.
- They set, honor, and respect your boundaries and you do the same.
- They are genuine and authentic around you. They are not pretending to be someone else in public or a private.
- They communicate clearly and honestly.
- They can validate your feels, when they need to be validated.
- They are able to be venerable when communicating about difficult subjects.
- They are kind to animals, your friends, family members, and the Earth.
- They resolve conflict coming from a place of open communicate, cooperation, and kindness.
- They are actively working on or focused on being a positive human being.
- They show you genuine kindness.
- You can silly and fun with this person and have moments of deep communication connection.
- You can be yourself around them.
- They have goals in life and they work on achieving those goals.
- They share compatible goals within the relationship.
- They make you feel seen, heard, valued, and appreciated in the relationship.
- You feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable around them when you need to talk about something important or challenging. If you are on the fence, that could be a yellow light.
Here is what you are going to do. When you start to meet some new, write down their name in your journal. Leave several pages free/available. Write the date down and write down how the date or first connect went. What did you like about this person? Look over the red, yellow, and green light list. Does anything stand out in any of those lists? If something does stand out, write it down. DO NOT SECOND GUESS IT. Then each time you communicate or connect with this person, make a journal entry and review the different lights. What you are doing is you are trying to catch patterns and habits. And there can be good patterns and habits. They do not have to be just bad habits. Write down the good and bad. When you start to notice any red or yellow lights, just try to view it from an outside perspective. If you need support or clarification, I would suggest communicating with a friend, family member, or therapist.
Now if you recall in part two, I talked about my current partner and relationship. I want to put out there that in the beginning you might just only be able to handle a friendship or lover. There is nothing wrong with either of those types of relationships. Why? Well ask yourself this question, “If your ideal match was to come along could you handle it? Would you be afraid? Would you be afraid of sabotaging it? Would you doubt the person or think they are too good to be true?” For me, I think I would be afraid if this person came into my life when I was still recovering from psychological abuse. My heart would have been guarded and the ideal person might think I had too much baggage. I had to get my feet wet, before I could dive into the deep end. There is nothing wrong with stepping stone relationships. You can still love that person and realize that you have changed and grown. They can still be in your life. The only difference is the relationship has changed because you have changed. So, do not be too hard on yourself.
Now let’s go deeper. We need to talk about living together. Are you scared? It is a big step that you must consider for yourself and your kiddo. You need to connect and communicate with yourself and your kiddo to see how your child or children feels about it. Do you feel that you would sabotage the relationship if you lived together? Are you being forced to get rid of your favorite chair? What would you have to give up or sacrifice? Will most of your stuff be stuck in the garage or in storage? And are you ready to take that next step? Have you tried a practice dry run by staying at their place for 2 weeks and you stay at their place for a few weeks…if you do not having any kids? Do they snore and if so, can you handle that? Do they have restless legs or hog the bed/sheets? Are you open to being together but not living together? Why I say that is some people need more personal space and a peaceful place to decompress. For example, you might live in a quiet neighborhood and your love interest does not. Your love interest wants to live in the city and you don’t. How can you make that work? And are you willing to make it work?
I want both of you to be happy. That is why connecting and communicating is important. And when you connect and communicate, use the sandwich approach. The bread is the positive and the meat is the issue. Use only “I” statements, never you. When you use “YOU” statements, they person can shut down and detach. Also, never say, “BUT”. The “but” erase all the positive things you said. For example, “I love you, but I hate it when you leave your dirty socks under the computer desk.” What did you hear? You did not hear the, “I love you”. You heard, “I hate”. I suggest writing it down first because it can be hard to learn at first. Why? Well when we were growing up, we learned to blame by saying, “You…”. It can become a habit that is hard to break.
I hope you have enjoyed this three part series of fear of dating another narcissist. I hope I have given you enough tools and information to keep you safe and will support you in finding love again. If you found value in this information, please support this website and podcast by donating or spreading the word. Next, week I will be giving you homework in how to decode and detect a narcissist by watching certain movies or TV series. The supporting documentation has already been uploaded for FREE under, “Supporting Documents.” Many blessings!