I honestly started this post in plenty of time to publish it before Valentine’s Day but my health has not been great this winter and there are times I don’t get off the couch all day because I can’t sit without severe pain in my back. So here it is, better late than never I suppose.
Some of you are obsessing about all the wonderfully romantic things you envision your ex doing for his new “soul mate”, others are still with the narcissist and have either been disappointed yet again because you didn’t get so much as a card or he didn’t even come home. Let’s face it, no one can ruin a special occasion like a narcissist!
Then there are those of you who feel they have wasted the best years of their life, that it is so unfair that he has moved on to a new love while you are still feeling so broken and wondering if you can ever trust again, ever love again.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat,
- He has NOT gone on to love again……… he never loved you, he has never loved anyone, not you, not the women before you and not the women who will come after you. He is incapable of love, he is only capable of acting like he is in love in order to hook his victims.
The second thing we need to discuss is the trust issue
You do not have to learn to trust men again, that really was not the problem. If you insist on making it the problem you will never be able to relax and enjoy a healthy relationship. As much as I do not believe in victim blaming there comes a point when we have to take responsibility for our own happiness. If we throw our hands in the air and say, “He lied to me! what could I do? what if the next man lies to me? ” we are forever at the mercy of every asshole that comes our way.
Sure there are tell tale signs of a narcissist but many women don’t seem to learn that a narcissist is always nice in the beginning, he always presents himself as your soul mate and always falls madly in love and can’t get enough of you, so they get involved with narcissist after narcissist, always lamenting the same thing;
“He was so into me, I was the best most perfect woman he had ever met, I didn’t chase him, I told him I had been hurt in the past and honesty was important to me and he lied!! How could he hurt me knowing I had been hurt in the past?”
Things you can do to avoid getting hurt by another narcissist.
Please note – no one is a narcissist magnet, narcissists are everywhere and everyone the narcissist meets is assessed on whether they are of some use or value to him/her. Narcissists do not confine their abuse to romantic partners, and because they morph into whatever the woman wants, they do not have a “type” they are attracted to. (I always felt special, that he would never find a woman more well suited to him, until he left his Plenty of Fish account open on my laptop and I read the profiles of the women he had on his “Favorites List”. I couldn’t understand why he would pursue women he had nothing in common with. I now know why.)
When I first left my ex it seemed I was meeting narcissists at every corner, they were everywhere! For one thing you are super aware and sensitive in the beginning and you are one of the “walking wounded”, narcissists zero in on the wounded and will present themselves as your knight in shining armor; that is why it is best to not even think about dating for a couple of years. If the thought of not dating for a couple of years gives you a panic attack, for sure you should not be dating!! You have put far too much importance on being part of a couple.
- Stop doing things because you are afraid that if you don’t, he will find someone else. This includes sleeping with him too soon but also little compromises that tell him you don’t respect yourself so why should he.
- When you make the man that important to you, you immediately put yourself at a disadvantage and him in control of the relationship and your happiness.
- Stop viewing every guy you date in terms of “Is this the one?” So many women are so concerned with finding someone to love them that they totally ignore that the guy is nothing like a man they would be happy with long term. They immediately try to be the woman he wants instead of just being themselves and seeing if there is a true connection there.
- Stop falling into bed with the guy on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd date; you may think you can handle casual sex but men and women are not made the same. There is a natural chemical reaction when a woman has sex, the act of having sex releases chemicals in the woman that cause her to become more forgiving, less cautious and more trusting. Men have sex and go to sleep, wake up and think, “I had sex” the woman wakes up and wonders if he will call her again, how to let him know she likes him without appearing too needy, and worries about being rejected. If you do fall into bed with him, don’t beat yourself up, realize you are going to feel more needy for a while and wait it out, take a step back and let yourself feel the feelings without acting on them.
- So how do we protect ourselves? Stop giving trust to people who haven’t earned it. We are so quick to trust and then wait to see if he gives us reason to not trust him. That is backwards, it is crazy to blindly trust someone we don’t know, hold back, let him prove he is trustworthy. “But I don’t want to get hurt.” You can not be hurt if you let things play out in their own time. You may be disappointed to find out he is not what he say he is but you will not be devastated because you had put all your trust in him and he abused it. To expect someone to earn your trust is not selfish, it is smart.
- When I started dating my ex I made the conscious decision that I was just going to have sex with him. (I didn’t know about the chemical thing back then and really, I was in my 40’s and a big girl, why couldn’t I have casual sex? He was so damn sexy! but I was not that into him other than that at first). I had never liked a guy who was too clingy or demanding of my time but I had been told by my mother, girlfriends, and some guys that I was too independent and didn’t give “nice guys” a chance, so when my ex started calling too many times a day I didn’t dump him like my stomach wanted me too.
The first real date we had I met him at his place and he barely let me get through the door before he was taking my clothes off and leading me into the bedroom. I quite literally felt like walking out and told him so, in the past I would have walked out but I wanted to be nice. My gut kept telling me to just walk away from him, long before anything ever really went wrong or before he ever got strange. We lived an hour apart and I didn’t want an “every night” relationship. In the past I hadn’t had an ‘in your back pocket” relationship, I had dated guys from out of town that I saw every weekend, or local guys who I saw on the weekends but week nights were reserved for my son, I worked full time, I had to get home to make supper, clean house, spend time with my kid and when my ex called every night and wanted me to go down to his place I would decline but he would pressure me, have some excuse why I needed to come “just this once”. and I allowed him to pressure me into seeing him.
He was so into me, cried when he said he loved me, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
But almost right from the first few dates I felt like pulling away and I allowed myself to be manipulated.
- In a normal relationship there are periods of adjustment, traits or habits that surface that may bother one or the other person. This is the getting to know each other stage, the time when you decide whether this is actually a person worth investing in. Let’s be realistic here, you can be extremely attracted to someone right from day one but we are ALL on our best behavior when we first meet someone, you are, I am, we all are; the narcissist is a totally different person! In a normal relationship you may eventually discover that you are just not a good match and go your separate ways. It may be the other person’s choice and you may get hurt feelings but you will survive and go on to love again. Not every one you love is going to love you back, that does not make them a narcissist!
The way to protect yourself is to remain in the here and now, believe your gut when it tells you something is not right, you don’t have to make a decision right away to commit to him or to leave him, just keep your feet on the ground and don’t allow yourself to drift into fantasyland. He is not prince charming and you are not going to cure him with your magical love.
I did date a narcissist the first (and only) time I have dated since leaving my ex. I did what most victims of a narc do when they start to date again, I told the new guy how badly I had been hurt, how I wanted to take it slow, how I needed honesty, etc and he was SO understanding and thought I was so strong, he cooked me lovely dinners, he did wonderful things for me, he loved everything about me, I got a text every night from him saying good night and every morning I got a “have a great day, Babe.” text and my stomach was screaming to be careful. But I didn’t know if I was just being too sensitive, reading things into it that weren’t there, being paranoid, I enjoyed the attention but I was feeling pressured. I just kept a mental note of things that didn’t sit right with me and I kept my head in reality, took my time and guess what? It didn’t take long and one day I arrived unannounced at his place to find a woman there. I had suspected and was proven right. I handed her the key to his place and said, “You’ll be needing this.” and I walked out.
I did tell him what I thought of him a few days later and to be honest I shed a few tears. But it was only a few, and only for one day and I was over it. I had not invested in the relationship, not in a big way and it was so much easier to walk away, I was not shattered by it. In fact, the experience showed me that my gut instincts could be trusted and I was capable of detecting a narcissist and protecting myself and my heart.