10 Ways to Discourage Narcissists from Dating You

IMG_0501If you’ve ever ended up with a narcissist before, or if you are out there in the dating world, these are some of the things that you should be aware of when you begin to date someone new. These tips may keep you from realizing that you have been “captured” by a narcissist.

1. In initial conversations make sure you ask them as many questions as they ask you. Wait for an answer. If they say that they like something, ask a more specific question.

Why this is important

Narcissists actually probe you for information so that they can learn as much about you as possible. By asking them questions, you force them to tell you about themselves. This slows down the process of them collecting data and allows you an opportunity to determine if they are lying.

For example, you say, “I love dancing the Macarena” They reply, “I do too!” You can ask, “Where do you usually go dancing?” This next direct question forces them to be more specific. The first set of lies is very simple, but the more detailed the questions the more likely you will catch them in a lie. Also, it can put them off balance and make them less attracted to you.

It is important in any relationship that there be reciprocity, so asking someone about themselves as much as they ask you, is a good thing.

2. Never reveal personal or private information early. The rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t tell everyone at work, it is not something to share in the first couple of weeks of a relationship.

Why this is important

Sharing personal information has two effects. The first is that it gives you a sense of intimacy with this person. Exchanging private information is one of the ways that we get close to someone. Narcissists use this method to get close fast. Getting really close to someone before you know them is never a good thing. The second problem is that sensitive material can be used against you and if the person turns out to be a narcissist you will regret sharing things that you did not want everyone to know.

Realize we all crave intimacy.

There is a strong urge to reveal things to the same level as someone else.

It is good to base any relationship on trust and intimacy and these things take time. There will be time in the future to share these details if this is the right person.

3. Don’t fight for the relationship right at the beginning. If someone that you are just starting to date tells you that their friends or family would not approve of your relationship or if they let you know that they are leaving town or that they are worried about you breaking up with them right away it is a warning sign. They are looking for assurances, way before it is reasonable, for you to say that you would not leave. If for any reason, the relationship seems to have opposition or an expiry date, see it as a red flag. Statements like, “This is just a summer fling” are a warning sign.

Why this is important

Think of dating a narcissist as a job interview. They want someone that will be there for the long haul. They want to know that you will go the extra mile to make the relationship work. All of these things are desirable in a good, long-term relationship, but they show you are desperate in the short term. Narcissists are attracted to someone that is too desperate to easily leave any relationship, even a bad one.

If their friends or family wouldn’t approve, why would you want to be with someone when you would be an outcast or disliked? If the person you just started dating may have to leave town for a job or to go back to school, recognize that it is too early to make that kind of commitment and don’t. These situations can also be a ploy. If you move to another town with them early in the relationship they have you trapped because you are relying on them for everything and none of your friends or family are around.

If early on you get the impression that there might be opposition to your relationship or an expiry date you are being pressured to make a commitment prematurely.

4. Maintain your private time. If you are being flooded with attention it may initially feel like you are loved. This is not the case. A narcissist will flood you with attention as a way of controlling you. You get used to this level of attention and then you expect it, long after it is taken away. Try to not respond to the multiple texts, messages and calls. Don’t respond until it is convenient. Constantly interrupting your time with other people is one of the ways that narcissists distance you from your friends.

Why this is important

Narcissists need constant nourishment from others. They are trying to figure out if you are the one that is going to give it to them. By not giving it to them, you are less likely to be pursued.

A person that actually loves you, respects your right to privacy, time with your friends and your need to have time to yourself.

5. Keep seeing your friends, doing your hobbies and pursuing your interests. If your new dating partner insists on seeing you every minute, it as a sign of pathology not adoration. The beginning of a relationship is too early to be spending most of your time with someone.

It is one thing to say, “I’m going to the movies with friends.” But if someone you have just started dating digs for more detail: which friends, which theatre, which movie, are you going out afterwards? It is best to not give it. “Hiding” information from a narcissist will drive them crazy and they will not want to date you.

Why this is important

The ultimate goal of a narcissist is to have you all to themselves. This is part of the control that they have over their partners because the narcissist manages to eliminate everyone else from your life as much as possible. Having only one person in your life makes you very dependent on this person.

Realize you may want to be “good”

and not realize that you are wired to “obey”

when someone asks you to do something.

In a healthy relationship your partner will want you to be happy and having friends, hobbies and interests is a large part of that.

6. Maintain your private space. Agreeing to have someone move in right away, or suddenly noticing that one “sleep over” has resulted in the person never leaving is a major red flag. You should make other plans and tell them that you want to go out with your friends and that they can’t stay at your place.

Why this is important

This is just one element of how a narcissist moves in and takes control of your life. Suddenly, you will realize that they are living at your place full time. The longer they are there before you stand your ground the more difficult it becomes to maintain your space. Having someone move in right away does not allow time for you to balance this new relationship with the other priorities in your life.

Realize you are fighting biology here.

We instinctively want others around. It feels good to have company.

Quality relationships are not based on spending as much time together as quickly as possible. They are based on mutual respect for each other’s lives and priorities.

7. Resist the urge to “take care of someone” you just met. If someone tells you early in a relationship that they have come upon bad times at work, in health, a tragedy, ask yourself why you want to take care of them and why there is no one else in their lives to fulfill this role.

Why this is important

This is one of the tactics that narcissists use to get close to you. Examples are, “I’ve just lost my job and have no money”. “I was living with my last lover and I ended it, so I have no place to live”. “I just moved into town and have been living on a friend’s sofa but I’ve outstayed my welcome”. If they say that they just got out of a bad relationship with an awful person, insist that you don’t want to be their rebound person and move away quickly.

Realize that you are fighting instincts here.

We all want to pick up the fallen bird and nurse it back to health.

Healthy relationships are between two self-sufficient individuals. If this person cannot support themselves now, they are unlikely to take care of their half of the responsibility in a relationship.

8. We all like to dream and plan, but the beginning of a relationship is a bad time to be planning to be together forever. Try the phrase, “I think we are getting ahead of ourselves”. This allows you to be honest and can be used like this: “Yes, I would love to move to New York City with you and pursue my comedy career, but I think we are getting ahead of ourselves.”

Why this is important

One of the tactics narcissists use to keep you from leaving is to point out that you “agreed” to this relationship and wanted this relationship from the beginning. Now you are a “quitter” or “selfish” or “mean” if you are just abandoning this dream. Often, the dream was premature.

It is good to have dreams and long term plans together but these should be based on a solid relationship, not an elusive goal that is agreed upon before all of the facts are in.

9. Pay attention to how your date treats others. Ask yourself if you want to be treated that way.

Why this is important

Narcissists often think that they are justified belittling those around them. They think that they are superior and therefore they can treat others badly. In any relationship, how your partner treats others can be how they will treat you — eventually.

A nice person has respect for others and respect for you and treats people accordingly.

10. Focus on reciprocity. If they compliment you, compliment them back. If they ask about you, ask about them. If they do something for you, do it for them.

Why this is important.

Ideally, we all want good relationships. Keeping things in balance is a good starting point for a relationship based on mutual support. By treating them exactly how they treat you, you will become aware of whether or not it “feels normal”. For instance, if they buy you several gifts and it feels abnormal to buy someone you just met that many gifts, you realize that this is a red flag. This method helps you see past the joy you felt in receiving the gifts and puts them in context. If you feel like you are being disingenuous complimenting them repeatedly, realize that their level of compliments may be abnormal and this is certainly a red flag.

It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a new relationship and suddenly realize that your whole world has changed. With a narcissist it is important to be very aware at the beginning and not let this happen.

This is kinda a good news, bad news type of post.

The good news is that this information will help you side step a relationship with a narcissist, someone that can wreak havoc on your life for decades.

The bad news is that your next new relationship might not work out.

Keep in mind you don’t always want relationships to “work out”; some of them can be bad for you.




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Top 10 Signs You are Dating a Narcissist

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30 thoughts on “10 Ways to Discourage Narcissists from Dating You

  1. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page
    layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  2. my ex used to controll me, asked about everythig that i found too private, my exes, myfriends, my money… if i didnt want to aswer, he would go crazy blamig me that i am hiding things from him, i am cheating, liar, etc…he would made up stories totaly false about me that are insulting and humiliating… i end up many time giving him the information, cos i couldnt stand what he was thinking about me, ..he wouldnt even apologise…in the end, when i end up the rs and ran away.. he would turn everything again against me, and add another crazy mindsucking blaming like i had stole him money and i have another bf etc.. prpbably he did, in his fantasy wrld where he is the star and everyone just fancy him…aach


  3. I’ve been married for going on a year in sept. And I wish I found this page 3 years ago. I never understood why my husband is the way he is. I’m not a person, I’m his wife. I can’t refer to something as mine because we are married and everything is ours. It’s almost like I no longer have an identity. My thoughts, opinions, dreams and goals have to be put on a back burner because his are important and he needs me to help him. I swear every tip given on here I did the complete opposite. I met him he had nothing so I take on two jobs and go to school to make ends meet where I can take care of myself, my sick mother and him. I eventually ended up dropping out of college (when I was so close to my masters) because he made me feel like crap cause I didn’t have time for him. A simple conversation turns into him yelling about how my opinion is wrong and how stupid I sound when I’m the one with a few degrees but that’s an argument of itself as well. I don’t know why I’m venting on here I’m just beyond tired, heavy hearted, lost and alone. I’m in a different city that I don’t know anyone from because it’s time for me to “grow up” and be a loving loyal and obeying wife.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through this. Intelligent, capable, caring women is what they want because they want to be taken care of. Keep reading. The more info you have the better you can take care of yourself.

  4. Does a true romantic man really exist or are all romantic men like wolves hiding in a sheep’s wool?

    1. I’ve known too many kind, thoughtful men to paint them all with the same brush. The red flag is when they go overboard to the point of smothering you.

  5. Thank you very much for your wonderful insight. I was married to a female narcissist for 4 years it was so abusive it was unbelievable she was 13 years younger than I was and I thought I was doing the right thing. Thank you very much for giving me the right tools to use the next time I ever want to go out on a date the turmoil that I have experienced has been extremely hard I didn’t lose any money I just lost 4 years of my life about a quarter of a million dollars and I was too strong for her which drove her way to cheat behind my back and I called her and she lied about it she’s a pathological liar and serial cheater thank you Wendy thank you very much

  6. I have bookmarked this article. Excellent advice!
    I’m on my second maybe 3rd N. I’m co dependent/recovering alcoholic and since figuring this out about myself I have a new sense of clarity. I did the opposite of everything this article suggests. My current bf is in another state., 2000 miles away and I won’t be seeing him for several months. I know I need to end this relationship, but I’m afraid to make a mistake. I’ve been researching and internet searching and I’m not 1000% sure but I don’t think I can live with him regardless if he’s an N or not.
    This guy is a with-holder. He never really suffocated me in the beginning – he’s always acted aloof.
    He broke up with me abruptly right after we first started dating and getting serious. We had plane tickets to meet and hotels paid for, etc. He called and canceled saying we were moving too quickly. That same week he friended a FWB on FB and I was seriously suspicious. I never said anything. Then he went off FB completely. I’m pretty sure he had that chick in the wing.
    Long story short: I forgave him took him back and he came to stay with me for 3 months.
    In that time all sorts of itchy things have happened. I feel I have to tip toe around his feelings or else a serious discussion will cause him to feel “ill.” He ridicules my clothes and my my appearance, says I look ‘frumpy’. He is the only person in the world that can drive correctly. He would say hateful things to me and then follow up with “I’m just kidding.” Like: “Maybe XYZ happened because you’re a bad mom.” “Fake boobs look better than 40 y/o saggy boobs.” (I’m 41) ” Your nipples look like they do because you had babies sucking on them.” – Just kidding or I’m sorry that was mean.

    He will go days without saying anything remotely loving and then throw me a bone like ‘I miss you, I talk about you to everyone,’ or ‘love ya’ every now and then.
    I kissed him and said I love you to his face on New Year’s day and he completely ignored me; didn’t respond. He stared at me blankly with no emotion in his eyes like I was someone he’d never met.
    He uses sex as a tool. Such as ‘no sex for you tonight,’ because I made him mad. In fact we have only been dating 8 months and he completely stopped having sex with me the last 3 weeks we were together; always an excuse not to, me always begging and asking him if he was still attracted to me, etc.
    Yesterday he texted my bff (who he has never met) and sent her a photo of flowers for Valentines day. He told me about it, but she and I both thought it was weird. I feel he’s grooming her knowing I’m not into him anymore. I think he always needs a chick in the wing.
    Writing this down, reading all this crap makes it very clear that I need to end this…I just need the courage.

    1. The longer you are with a person who treats you badly the more it erodes your self-esteem, interferes with your other relationships and does harm to your health and sense of well-being.

      You know what you need to do. You said as much in your comment. Good luck. You may want to read “Outsmarting a Narcissist” http://wp.me/p3scpP-7Rw There are some helpful things in there that can help in this transition.

  7. I wonder in my new relationship whether I’m still looking for the best bits of the narc one. The bits he used to pull me back in. I spent 12 years being trained to want certain things and two years single I started out in a relationship but I see all the opposite things to mean he is playing me. He is not bothered if I go out with friends. If I’m feeling insecure he doesn’t tell me that he thinks I’m the most gorgeous or sexy or blah blah. So I think he isn’t in to me. Narcs seriously fuck up your brain. Excuse my language but seriously. I find negotiating the wasteland of my confidence and sanity ridiculously hard work.

    1. You are not alone. I have written a couple of blogs around this question. 6 Traits https://wp.me/p3scpP-7Hj explains what to look for in yourself. These are things that you may have begun to do because you were with a narcissist. They will keep the individuals you want to date away. Also, there is Top 10 signs you are dating a narcissist. https://wp.me/p3scpP-cl

      It is difficult to make the transition to a functioning relationship, but it is worth it. Good luck.

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