During your life, you may meet a couple of narcissists, though you may be lucky enough to avoid dating one. But if that luck isn’t on your side, what do you do then?
Will your relationship with a narcissist be the same that one everyone else talks about? Will you end up heartbroken or traumatized?
I can certainly tell you that there are four stages of dating a narcissist that you’ll be able to notice whenever you look closer. There’s a pattern in their behavior that’s definitely not a coincidence.
Some narcissists move through these stages faster than others but it’s usually quite obvious what’s going on.
Stage one: Idealize
This is the honeymoon stage of being with a narcissist. Before you even begin to date, he’ll start to idealize you and you’ll do the same with him.
Narcissists are extremely intelligent and it doesn’t matter how much you try to probe him into revealing his true self, he’ll still find a way to deceive you.
This is also the stage filled with love bombing. You’ve probably heard of this term but in case you don’t know what it is, it’s the act of giving so much love and attention that the other person feels overwhelmed.
He’ll give you flowers and other gifts in abundance and during this stage, you’ll feel like the luckiest girl alive. No one will be able to top him when he’s truly trying to show you his best side.
Once you start to question it, he’ll manipulate you into believing that your brain is lying to you. Even if you’re able to see the red flags, he’ll make sure to stop you from questioning anything.
He’ll go overboard with the affection he’ll give you. He’ll always text you and call you to see what’s happening in your life.
Throughout this time, you’ll feel like his priority. He’s always there for you, always making sure that you go out on dates and so on.
This will last until the very moment you get comfortable and he feels like he owns your heart. That’s when the second stage will come into play.
Stage two: Devalue
He’ll move into the second stage gradually. At first, he’ll try to get away with small lies and acts of manipulation.
It depends on the narcissist you’re with how fast he’ll start to deceive you and lie to you. But one thing is for certain; at one point, you won’t know what the truth is and what a lie is anymore.
Once you start to trust him enough, that’s when he’ll put all of his cards on the table. He’ll show you who he really is and his true intentions.
He’ll do anything and everything to ‘put you in your place‘, which is below him. In his eyes, you’ll never be anywhere near as important as he is.
Before you know it, he’ll become extremely abusive. Some narcissists can go as far as to become physically abusive but they mostly use verbal abuse.
He’ll be sarcastic and demeaning and he’ll always find a way to humiliate you. He’ll blame you for everything bad that happens around the two of you.
You may even feel certain shame because of the way he talks to you. His rage and his threatening behavior will shock you into submission.
You’ll remember the person he was before and you’ll want him back. You’ll believe that he’ll change again and that’s when you’ll become the source of his narcissistic supply.
Stage three: Discard
You’re nothing more than someone who’s fluffing his ego and fueling his narcissistic behavior. You’re his perfect partner because you’re submissive and completely compliant.
He sees you as someone he can manipulate into doing whatever he wants. However, at some point, he won’t see you as a challenge anymore.
You’ll start asking him for empathy, understanding, and compromise. You’ll begin to ask him to be the person he was before he changed and he’ll only become more enraged.
You were his perfect partner for so long because you let him do whatever he wanted to you. As stated before, you were shocked into this state of mind.
Once you start to question him or demand things from him, he’ll discard you, because you’re no longer his source of narcissistic supply. You’re not the partner he needs to fuel his ego and remind him that he’s the most perfect man in this world.
For him, now it’s time to move on.
What you may not see right away is that the damage has already been done. He traumatized you and broke you into pieces, so his decision to leave won’t be an easy thing to accept.
But he won’t be able to walk out that easily, as there’s always more to it.
Stage four: Devour
If the narcissist is not satisfied enough with the damage he’s caused, he’ll try to devour you back into his life. He’ll stick around but watch from a distance.
He may leave you alone if he sees that you’re completely broken into pieces. Once you start to text him all the time, he’ll see you as a needy woman who’s nothing more than mesmerized by him.
He wants that of course but he knows that you adore him more than anything. You’re not a challenge anymore.
But if you’re healing and you’re trying to move on slowly but surely, he’ll want to get you back. That’s when things will go back to the idealization stage.
He’ll become the perfect partner and promise you that he’ll change. He’ll give you everything you need and more and once he sees that you’re doing your best to not think of him, he’ll come running back.
That’s when the cycle will only repeat itself, until the time when your spirit is completely broken. This may sound exaggerated but the more times you go through this stage, the harder it’ll get to move on from him.