We all know that dating a narcissist simply can’t leave a person indifferent.
You leave that relationship feeling like you’ve just gone through hell. There are so many lessons you’ve learned!
I’ve had the unfortunate luck of dating a narcissist myself. On a few occasions, actually.
The second time I dated a narcissist, we dated for years before I got around to realizing what was going on.
I was at a very low point in my life that I probably should have spent working on myself instead of pursuing love. But even though I knew that back then, I still wanted to try my luck at love.
You can imagine how that went. How much I suffered through that relationship is a story to be told.
But there were still many lessons that I learned and that I want to share with the world. It might even be a crime to keep them secret because they might help someone out there.
1. You’ll lose friends and family
Narcissists are usually really bad when it comes to maintaining long-term relationships. This also includes friendships and family relationships.
Because of that, he’ll feel extremely jealous of you and your stable friendships.
He’ll make you believe that you’re a bad person for wanting to have people to talk to that aren’t him. He’ll question your loyalty and love for him.
Narcissists don’t have a support system of people who are there for them.
They don’t have someone to talk to unless they manipulate them into listening. That’s the honest truth.
I never thought that I’d let a man control and manipulate me into abandoning my friendships.
But I didn’t know how powerful a narcissist’s manipulation actually can be.
So the first lesson I learned is that a narcissist is powerful enough to make you abandon all your friends and family.
2. It might not take as long to get over them
People talk about how long it took to get over a narcissist. They talk about how hurt they were and how broken.
Of course, everyone’s experience is different. However, the first time I dated a narcissist, it took me mere days to gather myself.
I was so weirded out by the fact that I allowed him to control me and act like that toward me that I completely ignored my pain.
Instead, I was flooded with feelings of absolute guilt and shame.
I knew that I had to work on myself and that took my mind off the heartbreak.
But the narcissist that I dated for years was another story. Imagine being beside someone for three years and then having to live without them.
It was one hell of a recovery mission.
So it really does depend on the person and the way they experience it.
3. You won’t trust people as easily afterward
Even if you manage to move on from this experience, whether it be a matter of days or weeks, you’ll still be careful around people.
You can know when someone’s a narcissist on the first date if you’re perceptive enough. However, the abuse leaves you absolutely paranoid.
So even though someone seems genuine, you’re left to question their motives.
This especially happens when you meet a potential new love interest.
For me, for example, it was extremely hard to find someone who didn’t make me flinch when they would enthusiastically explain things with their hands.
So when I try to start a new relationship, I create problems just to see how this new guy will react.
I want to test him and see if he’s just as bad as my ex.
Don’t worry, I’m absolutely aware that this isn’t healthy.
4. Boundaries are more important than any of us realize
Like many victims of narcissistic abuse, I went to see a therapist after I realized that I couldn’t heal on my own.
She told me that I needed to rebuild my boundaries.
I never even heard of this term before and she explained how necessary they are for us to know where our own responsibilities start and end.
For example, my responsibility is to tell a man that I don’t want him to touch me, and if he does, that means that he doesn’t respect my boundaries.
AKA, he’s the villain in this story and I shouldn’t put that burden on my own shoulders.
This is a small example of all the things that I went through because of very poor or non-existent boundaries.
They’re needed in every healthy relationship, but they’ll also help you when fighting against a narcissist.
5. You don’t need to argue about facts
A narcissist will never admit that he’s wrong. Never in a million years! He’d much rather argue about a topic that only has one obvious truth.
Admitting that he’s wrong is like admitting defeat, even though they’re two totally different things.
I can’t even count how many times I had to argue about obvious stuff.
I knew that I didn’t leave the stove on when I left the house, but he made me feel like a fool for knowing the truth.
He left the house after me and then he was the one who forgot to turn it off. I wasn’t even home when he used it.
That is just one of the many examples. I don’t need to explain facts to anyone and I wish I knew that before!
6. You need to trust yourself more
Now this lesson needs to be taught to little kids from the moment they start talking.
We need to trust our own senses more than we trust those around us.
Narcissists are prone to gaslighting their victims.
Even though you saw something with your own eyes, he’s going to try and convince you otherwise.
That’s everything but fair when you’re emotionally exhausted from the constant arguing, which leaves you very susceptible to manipulation.
I wish I trusted myself more back then because so many things would have been different.
7. You’ll realize how strong you actually are
I only had a few encounters with narcissists, but they left me bruised and scarred for life.
But I’m still so strong. I stood up right after that and slowly worked on healing myself.
Not everyone has that type of strength, but we certainly do surprise ourselves with this.
You and I are strong and incredibly fierce women who can conquer the world if we wanted to.
This was probably the most valuable lesson I learned. We’re so much stronger than we ever might believe possible.