If you feel like there’s something a little off about your new boyfriend, it’s possible he might be a narcissist. When someone has narcissistic personality traits, they have somewhat of an inflated sense of self. It can really be off-putting and throw a wrench into your relationship. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for.
- He gets upset over your accomplishments. Pretend you get a promotion at work. You have a right to be excited — you worked hard and earned a new title. Your boyfriend, however, won’t let you celebrate fully. He may use the opportunity to reflect on his job and career, and make your news about him. He also might not like it if you’re suddenly making more money than he is, and that may cause him to resent you down the road — which is unfair. Many narcissists don’t let others have the spotlight for long. A good partner will let you have your moment to shine.
- They often talk over you. Narcissists don’t hold good conversations. If you’re talking about something, he’ll either dominate the conversation or change the subject entirely to something that’s more about him. It’s rare to get a word in when you’re dating a narcissist, which can be really detrimental to the health of the relationship. You should always try to date people who know how to talk and listen.
- They came on too strong at first. Many narcissists like the feeling of getting the girl. The actual relationship after that? Not as exciting. If he did and said everything right in the beginning, or used language like, “I could very easily fall in love with you,” you may find yourself in a dry spell soon after. The fun part is over for him. Don’t be surprised if he’s also flirty with other women — it’s a good way for him to boost his ego.
- He doesn’t seem sympathetic if you have a problem. Good partners are there for each other. If you had a bad day at work, your boyfriend should offer an ear. However, narcissists often get bored when it comes to handling other people’s feelings. So, expect to get brushed off.
- His friend group is shrinking. Your boyfriend may be charming, but based on his narcissistic tendencies, not many people want to hang out with him after really getting to know him. In groups, he’s big on trying to outdo or out-perform everyone else, which can quickly get tiresome. If your guy has friends he’s kept since elementary school, that says something about his character — he likely cares about others and is great with keeping in touch.
- He’s obsessed with his appearance. It’s always good to put some thought and care into how you present yourself, but this guy takes it to the next level. He won’t leave the house until he feels like he looks photo-ready — even if it’s for a mundane task, like getting gas in his car. He also takes a lot of time primping and prepping. If it takes you an additional 20 minutes to leave the house since he won’t stop looking in the mirror, there’s a pretty good chance you’re dating a narcissist.
- He’s mean. If he’s not afraid to pick on you or say something that might hurt your feelings, you may want to reconsider your relationship. Narcissists often like to pick on others as a way to boost their own self-esteem, which is a dangerous pattern. You’re no longer in middle school, so you shouldn’t surround yourself with people who don’t lift you up and make you feel good. If his criticism isn’t kind or constructive, why waste any more time with this guy?
- He’s not respectful of your guy friends. No matter what, any guy is competition. He could be gay, but your boyfriend would still think that he’s trying to hit on you or take you away. A narcissist always feels like he’s in the midst of a secret competition with the world around you. He might start insulting your friends, or forbidding you from hanging out with them. It’s all because he’s jealous, or afraid that you’re going to compare them. In a way, he can also be scared that you’ll realize you deserve better.
- He’s quick to shout. Narcissists aren’t great with talking things out quietly. Instead, they often let their temper get the best of them. Any guy who screams or yells as a first response isn’t worth being with, regardless of whether or not he’s a narcissist. Find someone you can communicate with that’ll make you feel heard.