I Dated A Narcissist & Lived To Tell The Tale

I Dated A Narcissist & Lived To Tell The Tale ©iStock/Marco_Piunti

He was charming, handsome and we had an amazing physical connection. Then a few weeks into the relationship, I realized he was actually a total narcissist. Time to GTFO — but not before I learned a few very important things.

  1. I don’t want to be invisible in a relationship. One of the most common traits of narcissism he displayed was being all about himself. He’d talk non-stop about his life, dreams, problems and drama. He hardly even gave me a chance to air an opinion before interrupting me. He even spoke through movies, FFS. It was exhausting and taught me how important it is to have someone actually be interested in me.
  2. He’d put me down to feel superior. He’d find small, subtle ways of putting me down all the time. Whether it was that I wasn’t technically-minded or that I should consider putting on some weight, it was all part of his sick game of trying to be better than everyone else.
  3. He taught me to be wary of charm. There’s nothing wrong with charm — hell, it can be flattering. But if it’s manipulative, then that’s where the narcissist comes in. He was charming and gave me lots of compliments in the beginning of the relationship, then only used charm when he could get something. An example would be how he’d be extra nice to me when he needed someone to listen to his BS or he wanted to borrow some money for his rent.
  4. No means no! The narcissist doesn’t deal well with someone telling him no. The minute I’d say no to something, the narcissist would throw his toys out of his cot. Once it happened over something totally ridiculous. We’d been out for most of the day dealing with a boring chore and on the way back, he’d asked if I wanted to go for coffee. I declined, saying I was tired, and he became cold. He wouldn’t speak to me at all! It was so childish, but it’s a classic narcissist symptom: they’re so focused on instant gratification and the minute there’s a limit to what they can get, they throw a temper tantrum. BS.
  5. Past relationships are so important when figuring someone out. The narcissist I dated was always ranting about his exes: they were cold, they were psychotic, they were mean. Yeah, right. After dealing with him for a while and seeing how he was such a lying piece of scum dressed up in charm, I started to feel for those women and what they must have gone through. The experience taught me how important it is to know more about a partner’s exes! If they’re all written up as crazy, there’s something wrong with the guy.
  6. Empathy is so important. One of the qualities narcissists lack is empathy and I experienced that firsthand in the worst way. My father had been rushed to the hospital so I couldn’t attend my narcissist boyfriend’s work function and he actually argued with me about that because I wasn’t there to support him. WTF? Hell, no.
  7. I’m more than enough for someone. I had doubted myself during the relationship, always feeling like I wasn’t doing enough for the narcissist. He would always find me lacking and there was always something about me he would find to criticize. It was hurtful AF but then I realized that he would always be dissatisfied because he was such a negative, insecure little jerk. I realized he had an emptiness within him no one could fill and that I am more than enough for someone. I just had wasted myself on the very wrong guy.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.