You could be dating a guy and not even realize that he’s got narcissistic tendencies. He knows how to cover them up so you fall for him hard. Once you do, you’ll see bits of his mean personality showing through his facade. By then, it might be too late to leave because you’ll be confused, thinking that he’s still a nice guy and you just have to wait it out for him to be a better boyfriend. Don’t let that be your story. Stay ahead of the game by picking up subtle signs your Nice Guy is actually not nice at all — he’s actually a narcissist.
1. He Compliments You… But Only In Public.
A narcissist comes on strong in the early dating stages. He’s a big love-bomber, showering you with attention and compliments so you fall for him. But the catch is that the nice-guy narcissist will only do this in public when your friends are around. Hmmm. He wants to appear to be Mr. Perfect when really he’s anything but.
2. He’s Empathetic… But Only So He Can Hog The Spotlight.
You’ve had a rough day and vent about it to your BF who seems like he’s really empathetic. He nods encouragingly at all the right points in your story and holds your hand to show you he’s supporting you. Aww. Wait. Before you think he’s so amazing, watch what he does next. He’ll jump in with, “I had a similar thing happen to me” and then ramble off about his experiences. He’s only pretending to be empathetic and supportive so he can make the situation about him and how great he is.
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4. He Buys You Gifts… And Uses Them Against You.
How amazing that your boyfriend bought you a huge bouquet of red flowers totally out of the blue, right? Um, maybe not. A week later, when you can’t help him with a ride across town, he’ll mention how he loves you so much that he goes the extra mile. He’ll even throw in how he bought you flowers, as though he’s amazing and you’re not doing enough for him. What gives?
5. He’s Open About His Exes… But He’s A Victim Of His Past.
It’s great when you meet a guy who’s so transparent about his previous relationships. It feels like he wants to be an open book so you guys can start a new chapter together. But then you realize that all his stories follow the same script: his ex was “crazy” and he was the poor guy who got his heart broken. Yikes. This is the narcissist’s way of manipulating you into thinking he’s a victim.
6. He Promises To Be There For You… Then He Bounces.
This guy is always telling you how much he loves you and how much he’ll be there for you. He’ll do whatever you need, and you’re hearing this stuff all the time. It’s actually a red flag, not something to feel good about. Because, honestly, when bad things happen and you call him, he’s never there! Narcissists know how to tell you all the lies in the world to make you think they’re amazing, but there’s nothing concrete about their words.
7. He Appreciates You… But Keeps Score Of Your Good Deeds.
When your BF needs you, you drop everything to help him out. Although he says he appreciates having you in his life, the truth is he’s keeping score. So, when you bring him chicken soup when he’s down with man flu, he’ll thank you profusely, but then during a fight at a later stage, he’ll tell you that you didn’t do enough. Gasp. He’s obsessed with wanting validation, but he has an insatiable need – nothing’s ever enough for him.
8. He Wants To Protect You… To Isolate You.
When you have a fight with your bestie, your nice-guy narcissist will tell you that she’s no good for you. It seems like he wants you to cut ties with everyone you care about, but it’s not to protect you – even though he tells you that he just wants what’s best for you. Nah-uh. The truth is that he wants to isolate you to control you.
9. He Loves Teasing You… But It Hurts.
A nice-guy narcissist loves joking around with you, but if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that sometimes his comments can really hurt. He’ll criticize your clothing choices and mock how you speak. When you ask him about it or tell him that he can be hurtful, he’s quick to tell you he’s just joking around and it’s affectionate. Right. He’s manipulating you so badly.
10. He Can’t Get Enough Of You… And Sulks When He Can’t Be With You.
When you met this guy, it was an instant connection. He wants to see you all the time. Although this is fun (at first), over time it can feel a bit OTT. You’ve got your own life to lead, after all. But when you tell him that you’ve got to work or see your besties, he becomes moody and sulky. He’ll tell you it’s because he loves you so much, but it’s because he’s controlling. Don’t buy his act.
11. He Loves Romantic Check-In Texts… To Keep Tabs On You.
Your guy’s so into you that he can’t let you go out with your mates without checking in to see if you’re having a good time or if you need anything. Awww. Hold up! He’s not checking in – he’s keeping tabs on your movements. He wants to know where you are, what you’re doing, and so on, so that he can feel like he’s controlling you. It’s so creepy.
12. He Lets You Take The Lead… And Never Does Anything.
Something that makes the nice-guy narcissist so difficult to spot early on is because he’ll want you to take the relationship lead. He’s always down to do what you want, which is refreshing, right? Wait. It’s all part of his manipulation game. See, you’re going to be making all the decisions and doing all the work, and he’s going to become a lazy boyfriend who takes, takes, takes. Ugh.
13. He Praises You… When He Needs Something.
Once the nice-guy narcissist has you where he wants you, such as that you’re dating exclusively, you might start to notice a pattern: he praises you tons and makes you feel like a million bucks, but only when he needs a favor. It’s so gross. Once he gets what he wants, he scales back his compliments and affectionate talk. He’s keeping you guessing and manipulating you when he needs you.
14. He Seeks Validation… To Keep You Around.
You’re chilling with your guy, watching Netflix and eating popcorn, when he grabs your hand and says, “Please don’t ever leave me.” It’s so romantic, isn’t it? You tell him that you love him so much and will never leave. That’s what he wants to hear. He’s always seeking validation and asking you if you’re really into him so that you’ll become more and more devoted and won’t kick his bum to the curb for being so toxic, even though that’s exactly what he needs.