Does dating a narcissist change you? Yes! Definitely yes, so let us find out how Dating a Narcissist changes You. Every relationship changes you and your perspective regarding dating. But what happens when you date a narcissist? Would it change you?
Dating a narcissist may cause many unnoticed changes in your personality, you may unknowingly become a victim to many manipulative and toxic tactics of the narcissist. Though not all changes may affect you negatively certainly some might affect you for a lifetime. Being with a narcissist can cause you trauma that may last your life long and you may also fall victim to PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).
There are many changes that you may notice in yourself after you date a narcissist, so let us take a look at them and evaluate them.
How Dating A Narcissist Changes You
There are a few ways that a narcissist might change you,
You might feel isolated
Narcissists would isolate their partners so that they could easily manipulate them without them being acknowledged. They believe that being with other people might divide the attention that they are getting from their partners. They are selfish and thus they isolate their partners gradually in order to keep them completely to themselves.
Narcissists want their partners to be fully dependent on them and thus they would create such situations that may physically and emotionally detach their partners from others.
You might soon find yourself with many severed ties by being with a narcissistic partner. They would gradually and methodically seclude you from your family and friends. They would do so by,
- Bad-mouthing your family members, friends, or even colleagues, and thus trick you into believing that those family members, friends, or colleagues are no longer good for you and it is them who can support you no matter what.
- They might constantly use triangulation to make you feel bad, and cause tension in your other relationships by constantly comparing others with them. They would constantly prove their worth by stating that they are better than others and hence would try to convince you to just maintain relations with solely them.
- However there is one upside of being with the narcissist, you might be able to see their true colours as they might have isolated you from others and also establish new relations and connections with others and give it a fresh start.
You may walk on eggshells to avoid arguments
When you have a narcissistic partner, walking on eggshells around them is your go-to tactic just to avoid triggering their rage as they can be triggered by the slightest of criticism or negative comments. Thus you would choose to act politely, softly, or even fake it sometimes around them just to avoid being called names, getting insulted, or being shouted at.
For you as their partner, it may always feel like ignoring their manipulative and toxic behavior rather than confronting them. If you still have the urge to confront them then you might do it,
- By staying calm and not getting worked up while disclosing their abuse even if they chose anger and rude behavior.
- When the toxicity is intolerable that is the time when you feel immediately confronting them either by creating drama or creating chaos. But that would escalate the situation, instead, you should choose to talk softly and respectfully even though they try to provoke you. Narcissists love drama and thus they would create drama whenever they can.
- Narcissists are always ready to blame shift and gaslight their partners when they are being confronted about their manipulation.
You might feel worn out or used
Narcissists do not view their partners as people first, but mainly as their subjects or objects that may serve them until they are together. They may never treat you equally in the relationship as they have this boosted self-worth that makes them think that they are always one step above others due to their greatness.
If you are well connected with others, have good connections, have a higher status in society and how you make them look when they are with you are all ways that they may use you to maintain their self-image.
- Narcissists do not hesitate to use others for their well-being or to make their image better.
- If you are someone who holds a good position in society then they ay constantly treat you like some use and throw objects and never build a real connection based on emotions. Relationships with them just feel transactional and thus they might use your connections to enhance their image socially.
- This way you can feel super worn out and used as they might constantly reach you out to work your connections and get them what they need.
You always feel insecure in your relationship
They would make you work harder to gain their attention and adoration in the relationship so that you never forget how worthy they are and they are doing you some favor.
They might always discuss how amazing their exes were, or how someone is better than you just to make you crave their attention. By doing so you are always clingy and they just want this. They want you to always beg them for their attention and this makes them feel that they are a substantial part of your life.
Thus you would always feel insecure as to when a narcist might cheat on you as they are always praising others, have shown interest in other people, and appreciate their presence in their lives.
You might always have self-doubt
Narcissists have a tendency to gaslight others to make people disregard themselves. Narcissists can change the reality of the situation and they are capable of proving themselves innocent when you blame them for their wrongdoing. Thus gaslighting is a technique that can allow an abuser to create such an atmosphere where the victims question their own reality and it forces the victims to doubt their own sanity.
They would constantly put you into situations where they gaslight you, and eventually, you may believe that they are correct and thus start doubting your own self, degrading your self-esteem.
Gaslighting is a completely cyclical incident. It does not just happen once, it is a repetitive abusive cycle of multiple events for which you are a victim. Some common gaslighting phrases used by the narcissist are,
- “What I did was not that bad, and you also know that.”
- “Whatever I have done, is unintended, it just happened to be so.”
- “You are not able to understand what I am trying to convey. It is you who is misunderstanding the situation.”
Thus when you are constantly being gaslighted by your partner, you start doubting your own sanity by degrading your self-worth. It no longer feels that you can trust your self decisions and thus always end up trusting the narcissist for all matters. This is exactly what they want from you.
You might view kindness and goodwill as transactional
All relationships are transactional when you have a narcissistic partner. The narcissist would only be kind to you when they desire something from you. This might force your brain to think that everyone is the same and everyone is kind when they desire something.
Your beliefs might change as you would lose trust that people can be genuinely kind, without asking for favors. You may constantly feel anxious when you are on the receiving end of receiving kindness as the narcissist might have forced you into believing so.
You might form a habit of returning the narcissist’s kindness as you feel whelmed by other sudden warmth. Thus you may end up returning the kindness in the form of favors, money, intimacy, or anything that might make the narcissist satisfied with you.
You might improve at spotting red flags
One plus side of dating a narcissist is that you would be easily able to spot all the red flags in a person. You may have developed instincts that heighten your senses to spot all the signs that are toxic and thus protect you from entering into an abusive relationship in the future.
While you are in a relationship with the narcissist, you might be infatuated with love, but as soon as you step out of such a toxic relationship, you will be able to notice all the red flags.
You might be drawing boundaries with everyone
After being in a relationship with the narcissist, you may now be valuing your personal well-being more than anything as compared to before. Making and sticking to those strict boundaries is a sign that you are in the direction of healing.
The clearer and firmer boundaries the more consistency it displays about acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The tougher the boundaries, the lesser the chances of being manipulated.
Even if you have partner ways with the narcissist, try to go no-contact with them, to completely sever ties and respect your boundaries.
You can get renewed Self-respect
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is draining. You might lose your self-worth, self-trust, and self-love by being with them, as every relationship is always about them and not the partners. You as a partner are always ignored in the relationship and your wishes, desires, and worth are always neglected.
Narcissists are not your regular dating partners, they are much more than that. They come with many questionable demands. And while fulfilling those needs, you might lose yourself in the process.
Thus when you part ways with them, you may gain all those hopes back, and you may gain your reserved self back with all those emotional abilities and dreams.
Some people may initiate the healing processes while they are in the relationship while some people need separation in complete isolation to retain their old selves.
You may blame yourself for everything
Constantly being with a such person can affect you and you may always blame yourself for everything whenever something goes wrong around you be it with a friend, a family member, or a colleague. You may always feel responsible for what is happening around you even though those things have nothing to do with you.
You must realize here that it is not your fault and it is not your responsibility to fix every problem around you. So if a situation does not involve you, try not to be obligated and involved with it.
You may prioritize your partner’s needs over yours
Narcissists feel that they are entitled to special treatment and thus disregard their partner’s value, worth, and priorities in the relationship. And if you prioritize your needs above theirs you might face their rage.
Eventually, you make peace with prioritizing them, their needs, and everything about them and always according to them. Thus you might have developed a habit of prioritizing your partner’s needs above yours always. Try to reflect upon this habit and focus on your well-being first.
You may have lost your identity
By being with a narcissist, you might have lost your self-worth and thus you become co-dependent on them to make the smallest decisions, for emotional support, and for psychological reliance. You might find it difficult to establish boundaries, say no, and also make important decisions for yourself.
As co-dependents always prioritize other people’s needs and their well-being, they might lose their self-worth, which may also include sacrificing their happiness, needs, and identity.
You may have lowered self-esteem and confidence
Narcisists always act like they are great and hence they are always right and your ways are just not as potential as theirs. They might always try to prove that you are incorrect. This may degrade your self-image wearing down your self-esteem and self-worth eventually.
Thus you start feeling that you are less deserving and lesser than others, and your ideas, your ways, and your conduct might be not as valuable as your partner’s. This can cause lowered self-esteem and confidence.
Dating a narcissist might cost you many things but there are a few hand-picked good things too. If you are still dealing with the narcissist find ways to not get affected and if you have already parted ways focus on healing your soul and self from the narcissistic abuse.
Emotional, Mental, and physical Healing becomes very important when you part ways with a narcissist. A narcissistic relationship tends to deteriorate your mental, physical, and emotional health along with decreasing your confidence, willpower to live, and the simple joys of life.
Remember that dealing with narcissists and their manipulative tactics is never easy. Thus self-healing requires you to believe in yourself, be self-aware, and prioritize and protect your well-being. Also, make sure to protect your emotional and mental well-being.
Make sure to surround yourself with positive and uplifting people around you.