30 Red Flags You Might Be Dating A Narcissist

RedFlags

How many red flags do you need in order to run away and save yourself?

1 red flagOne red flag? Ten red flags? How about an army of red flags?

 

100 red flags

 

 

 

Well, let me give you a few, 30 to be exact; dead give-aways you are dating a Narcissist.  By themselves they don’t scream “Run for cover” , especially if you have no experience with a narcissist, but if you have half a dozen of these red flags you need to run away as fast as you can and if you can’t bring yourself to dump him because you think he is an exception to the rule and you don’t believe me; at least slow things down. Time will tell, his mask will drop, that is why he is pushing for commitment, he wants to hook you before you see the real person under the facade. If he is what he says he is, it will show over time and he won’t mind waiting. True love does not fade the longer you date, it grows stronger. Do not move in because you don’t want to lose him, if he is as sweet as he pretends to be waiting will not be a problem.

* disclaimer: Once again I refer to the narcissist as “he” but these red flags hold true for women also.

So here they are……. 30 Red Flags You Are Dating a Narcissist

1.red flag The biggest number one without fail sign of a narcissist is how they sweep you off your feet at the beginning of the relationship. They fall in love very quickly, they have never loved anyone like they love you, and you are perfect in their eyes. They have so many of the same interests, love everything you love, wine and dine you, they can’t get enough of you, more than likely it is the most romantic relationship you have ever had.

red flag2. He seems too good to be true. A narcissist is a con artist and when he finds his “target” he morphs into his “Good Self” and becomes the epitome of the perfect lover/partner.

red flag3. He wants to know everything about you, is very interested in learning about your childhood, your hopes and dreams, your past relationships. He will reveal a few of his indiscretions and weaknesses so you feel safe being open and honest with him. He wants to get to know you alright, just not for the reason you think. He is arming his arsenal with ammo for later down the road to use against you. By sharing some of his faults he makes you think he is honest, why would he lie about something insignificant when he was so honest about that?

red flag4.  They are seldom alone for long, and will still be in a relationship or just leaving one, they will say the relationship was over long ago but their ex won’t let go, they feel responsible for them etc. My ex said that when he left one of his ex’s she shouldn’t have been surprised because they hadn’t slept together for months prior. I thought yeah, who wouldn’t know the relationship was over if you aren’t sleeping together. (That is until he stopped sleeping with me a year or 2 into the relationship and kept telling me he loved me and I was being overly sensitive and paranoid)

red flag5. Appears to make friends easily, but doesn’t have any long time friends.

red flag6. “Shows you off” to everyone he knows. Taking you to mutual friends of his ex’s, (if possible he will use you are a pawn to hurt his ex.) Quickly takes you to meet the family. Plasters pictures of the two of you all over his Facebook (he knows his ex will be checking his FB and he wants twist the knife in her heart). It is one thing if a guy introduces you to his friends but it is another thing if he purposely shows you off in ways that it will get back to his ex. A decent person does not purposely hurt their ex and if he expects you to participate in vengeful acts against his ex it is a dead give-away that someday you will find yourself in the same boat.

red flag7. Very forceful sexually and wants sex within the first date or two, barely taking no for an answer. I remember our 3rd date and I walked through the door at his place and he immediately tried to get me into bed, I almost walked out but I didn’t listen to my “gut” and stayed and we did make love. In the beginning he was highly sexual, wanting sex often, 2-3 times a day everyday.

red flag8. They are either between jobs or just started a new job and quite possibly new to town. They tend to move around a lot, that way they don’t have to worry about their past biting them in the ass.

red flag9. They have nothing, except excuses why they have nothing (it is always someone else’s fault, i.e.: they left it all with the ex, the ex took it all, or some other hard luck story.

red flag10. Their ex’s are all paranoid, psycho bitches who falsely accused them of cheating, called him cheap, didn’t appreciate all he did for them and even were physically abusive to them. If he has an ex who is calling and distraught over their breakup and he tells you she has fatal attraction, he is trying to get rid of her and you witness him not answering his phone, not returning texts, and he says he is afraid of what she will do, that she is spreading lies about him and stalking him and he is afraid she will tell you lies about him; do NOT assume she is a psycho and sorry she lost him. If all his ex’s are psycho bitches think about this, ” He is attracted to psycho bitches or he turns women into psycho bitches, either way HE has a problem.”

red flag11. In his past relationships, at work, even with his family he is always doing all the work, the only one putting in an effort, he is holding the company together or the relationship.

red flag12. Changes jobs many times, gets bored easily, accused of stealing, someone at work is jealous of him and lying about him. It. Is. Always. Someone. else’s. fault. Always!

red flag13. Past accomplishments or experiences that are just a little too far-fetched or too good to be true. To read his resume or hear about his life it all sounds just a little (or a lot) far-fetched. He is larger than life, done so much.

red flag14. If you discuss past relationships and he is asked about fidelity he will tearfully admit to having ONE indiscretion, and it was only because his ex was so jealous and was always “falsely” accusing him anyway and he did it and then felt so bad. (Leaving you to believe he will be faithful with YOU as long as you don’t falsely accuse him) Whatever went wrong was not his fault, he was the victim, misunderstood. He might even tearfully admit to hitting his ex, but once again it will be tearfully and he was driven to it by her psychotic rages.

red flag15. He is so good-natured you can’t imagine him getting angry about anything and he will tell you how much he hates conflict. (Of course his ex was always causing conflict, she bitched at him incessantly about small stuff and brought up things from the past and that is what drove him away, he is planting the seed; he might as well come right out and say; don’t confront me on anything I do because I hate conflict and I will leave you or hit you and some day down the road he will accuse you of being “just like the rest of them”)

red flag16. More than likely he appears almost naive and helpless, and makes you feel like you want to take care of him.

red flag17. I felt that he loved me more than I loved him, I almost felt at an unfair advantage.

red flag18. He insisted he wanted to “take care” of me; I made a conscious effort to let my guard down, not be so independent and let him do things for me. It is a HUGE boost to his ego to take an independent self-sufficient woman and make her dependent on him. DO NOT give up your independence, it starts slowly, he will sabotage your vehicle, get you fired, ask you to quit work or go into business with him. Once you lose your job you are dependent on him and it is so much harder to get away.

red flag19. Very early in the relationship he talks in “we” terms, saying things like are “we” going to take the car or the truck (not your car or mine), or let’s go back to “our” place, subtle little things that make you a “couple”. He talks about the future with you in it, in subtle ways, he might even propose early, but whether or not he proposes he makes it clear that he wants you in his life in the future and is not afraid of commitment.

red flag20. Very early he will do things for you that secure his position in your life, fixing your car, buying memory for your computer, giving you something expensive of his to keep for him, somehow making you indebted to him or get you pregnant, ensuring that you can’t just walk away.

red flag21. They will often let a little tid bit of truth slip out but you may miss it if you are not aware. Almost like he is giving you a warning. He was a very attentive lover but told me in past relationships he hadn’t worried about the woman and just basically climbed on top and worried about his own satisfaction. (that is the way it became after time with us also, and he only was attentive to my needs if he was trying to win me back)His ex’s thought he was unfaithful but he was always faithful, his ex’s said he was moody but he seems so easy-going, His ex’s called him cheap but he seems so generous.

red flag22. Early in the relationship he will ask you to do a “favor” for him or run an errand, maybe even pick up his paycheck for him, something that puts you in the position of his partner or significant other and it makes you feel special that he would ask you. (BIG HOOK, he is testing you)

red flag23. Insists on sleeping snuggled up all night and points it out to you, how he has never been able to sleep wrapped up with someone like that before. In his past relationships they would roll over and go to sleep but with you it is different. He will point out that how people sleep is an indication of how “connected” they are. (He is setting you up for when down the road he punishes you by refusing to come to bed or sleeps on the other side of the bed not touching you all night)

red flag24. He will borrow a small sum of money and pay you right back (proving you can trust him so when he goes for the BIG bucks you won’t doubt that he’ll pay you back) Usually they are in financial trouble of some kind, all he needs is a little help to get back on his feet. It is always someone else’s fault he is broke, he is always on the verge of a windfall.

red flag25. Tests your reaction to situations. ie: We met at the end of November so were entering a very social time of year. Our staff parties were on the same night and we agreed to go to my dinner and then his for the dancing and partying, but we never made it to my party. In fact the weather had turned really bad, a snow storm, and he said he didn’t want to drive in it so I called and told work I wouldn’t be able to make it. Shortly after I made the call he wanted to drive to the store, but once we were on the road he drove directly to his staff party making it sound like he was surprised the roads weren’t as bad as he thought and we might as well drop by his staff party seeing as we were out anyway. (I was not impressed; I was in jeans because I hadn’t gotten my party clothes on or any makeup, because I wasn’t supposed to be going to a party! He on the other hand was freshly showered, always wore jeans anyway and had a nice shirt on) I told him I didn’t want to go, I wasn’t dressed for it and he just said I was beautiful as I was and that we wouldn’t stay long he just wanted to say hi to a few buddies. We ended up staying most of the night and I felt uncomfortable because I was under dressed and he was the life of the party.

red flag26. His description of relationships with family or friends don’t fit what you experience. For example he would say he was really close friends with someone but when I met them they seemed to barely know him. Then we went to his family for New Years Eve, (he had told me he was adopted and had just met his biological family a few years earlier and moved from Sask. To BC to be with them) he had told me how great they were, welcoming, warm and fun-loving people and how much they all loved him. But we got there and I immediately felt an undercurrent, an elephant in the room that no one was really talking about but every one was walking around. There seemed to be distrust of my ex, animosity that I couldn’t put my finger on; later he told me that his mother had thought I was too clingy and had been jealous. He told me that he used to visit the family every weekend and call his mom several times a day and since meeting me he had stopped and it bothered his mom, but she would get over it. His one full blood sister got drunk and started telling me that my ex was a real asshole. I didn’t want to hear it, I have never taken what someone says to heart when they are drinking, but I suppose I should have listened.

red flag27. You catch him in lies but he says you “misunderstood” what he said example: During our first few dates he had told me he had a house in Sechelt full of furniture and that is why he had no furniture in his apartment in Ladner. Our first conversation was over the phone and he had told me he was looking at the ocean as we spoke, making it sound like he was in his house. So when we went for New Years I was surprised we were staying at his mother’s house. When I said I thought you told me you owed a house in Sechelt he told me that I had misunderstood, that he HAD a rent to own agreement on a house but when he moved to Ladner he gave it up and his furniture was stored in his step-dad’s shop. I found out the truth much later; he had rented a house in Sechelt with a couple of other guys and got evicted because he didn’t pay the rent, and he had no furniture. He had gotten heavily into Coke, been stealing from the family, was involved with a local married woman who was the town slut and every one in town was talking about it, he was in trouble with the police for excessive noise and racing in town and got his sister into drugs, got fired from the job his step-dad had gotten him and been kicked out of mother and step-dad’s house. He had gone to the mainland to a drug rehab and was just starting to rebuild the family relationship. I never would have gone if I would have known all the sordid details, no wonder I felt uncomfortable! I never did see any furniture and later he said it got stolen or something feeble like that.

red flag28. Very early in the relationship he calls you by a pet name, Babe or Baby seems to be a popular choice. My ex called me Babe on our second date and I thought it sounded cheesy, but it didn’t take long and I loved being called Babe, he said it with a softness to his voice, it gave me butterflies. This has a dual purpose for him, one he doesn’t have to remember your name or worry about calling you by the wrong name and two, later in the relationship he will stop calling you Babe and it will cut like a knife and plant insecurity in your heart.

red flag29. If you find yourself thinking, “He has so much potential. All he needs is a good woman to believe in him.” RUN!!!!

red flag30. He will say he loves you early in the relationship, he has never met a woman like you, you are different from any woman he has ever known, you are special, he can be himself with you, he thought he was in love before but now he knows what real love feels like. You are soul mates, the ying to his yang. You feel he is your soul mate, you have never felt this kind of connection with someone, no one has ever loved you so completely just the way you are, unconditionally and you are determined to show him how much you love and appreciate him. You cannot believe your good fortune to have met this wonderful man.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and he was being so sweet and I really honestly trusted him implicitly, he had been “honest” about some pretty unflattering things about himself, why would he be honest about that and lie about some other things? So I accepted that I had misunderstood what he had said, or accepted his feeble explanations for discrepancies in his story.

 

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222 Replies to “30 Red Flags You Might Be Dating A Narcissist”

  1. Narcs have physical characteristics as well. If you look closely they look at everyone one else in the room to know how to respond. They also have full on conversations with themselves. My ex moved his mouth, face, and body, to practice possible out comes. You do that for a job interview. Not for ordinary conversations with people. One other thing is their stare. Their eyes are always piercing and flat. Void of genuine emotion.

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    1. A lot of these characteristics apply to my ex love, who ended up leaving me for a gal who pursued him at work. He married her, and though I was heartbroken, I’ve come to realize she is the loser, not me. Especially about the sex part! She’s educated and in upper management, while he has only a GED after quitting school at age 17. He’s not the super-hot 35 year old I met, who ran, mountain biked and lifted weights. he’s a paunchy 62 year old now who only rides a motorcycle. Their marriage has endured for 20’years, to my surprise, so her career and pride (she’s Asian) must keep her married to him because he’s no prize now.

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  2. I just read this blog because I suspected I was saying and living with a narcs.About 10 of these things were true.I could feel it I just felt so tired drained of energy from my narc.He would disappear and disappoint me regularly. It was hard to get him out my apartment till I had to call the police to have him removed. Now he’s homeless in a shelter and he blames me. I told if he hadnt raised his fist to me I wouldn’t have called the police. Now it’s been a week of no contact and I feel sad but I also feel relieved. I thank God I only spent 7months with this person. I would tell anyone dealing with a narc have minimum contact with them.Don’t move in with them,do everything slow .And don’t feel sorry for them they are users of people.

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  3. Almost all the flags were there … I left after living together for two years and I raising his there children. All the lies and deception is horrendous. Moved from his wife directly to me not even told the kids. So many lies and horrible hidden secrets. I ended up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder… still not completely well.
    Silent treatment, hoovers, and trying to get in contact again. He refuses to give me my belongings, refuses to acknowledge any of his faults.
    Now I found out while he has stepped up his hoovers and trying to get a crack in the door … he has a new woman!!! Seriously!!!
    So I found out about the several bankruptcies, all the crazy ex not so crazy…
    I’m still suffering and have to rebuild my life again.
    His business is now close to bankruptcy again and this time the IRA is on him … thanks to me! I had to come clean due to my bad financial situation for my new job and had to get him checked… WOW from now on If I ever meet someone new I will have them cleared before the first date. A huge red flag … all the designer clothes, on top of the line gadgets and the car…. 53 yrs and not a single cent in the bank. Three teenagers to pay for, massive tax debts with the company and… yet he could sit down in Mexico for a month with his new woman!!!!
    Horrible and still I’m hooked … I want more revenge but meditation and mindfulness will sort me out. The collectors are coming soon to get his house and his company again will fail!
    Revenge not necessary since he does all the bad things by him self.
    I’m out and soon free… thank GOD!
    Still miss the kids every day! Hope they will have a place to live when he’ll loose his house. So wish his new woman would know ..

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  4. I just read this article and quite a bit of it applies to the guy I was dating. He’s very attractive, 6’3, with a nice physique. He shared private things with me soon after we met; things I thought were far too personal to share in the first 4-6 weeks. I remember how safe he made me feel and how much I trusted him, which is difficult for me. I felt such a connection because of all that he shared. He asked me very personal questions and I shared my private thoughts and some very personal experiences. I thought he truly wanted to get to know me. He called me babe or baby all the time. He did and said all the right things to get my attention and to bring me closer to him. He told me so much about his ex-wife and he told me she suffered from NPD-narcissistic personality disorder. All I can say now is he’s a narcissist too and he should never talk about his ex-wife. He is financially secure and he never tried to take advantage of me in that way. He’s 55 years old, retired, and lives a comfortable life. I’m 43 and in management in the medical field. I’m financially secure as well. I recall feeling like I wanted to save him so he could move beyond the way his ex treated him. I was so stupid and that was my first mistake. Once I put my guard down and I was walking around feeling good about him and feeling like he could be my partner in crime, my soulmate because we had such a connection and some commonalities that made us a good match, he flipped the script. He didn’t come forward and alert me he was flipping the script either. He gradually and then suddenly STOPPED. He stopped calling me babe or baby. He stopped taking me out. His level of contact diminished. He stopped being really affectionate. He stopped trying to get to know me. He stopped sharing things about his life. His conversation and even text messages were colorless. I was so hurt and disappointed. I’ve even been angry with myself for letting my guard down. I’ve been angry with him for presenting himself to be one way or to feel a certain way about me and then discard me like trash. From my perspective, feelings can be like the wind sometimes and people have a right to change their mind but it’s the manner that it’s done that makes me believe he misrepresented himself. Ive questioned whether he ever liked me or cared about me merely as a person. I’ve also wondered how could I be so sure and so wrong at the same time. Thankfully, for me, I called him one day and said all I needed to say and I ended the conversation by telling him not to ever talk about his ex-wife because he was lying about her or he was just like her. Our relationship lasted 7 months and I’m so grateful I left before continuing to invest in a useless relationship.

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  5. My ex was all of these and more. He was to good to be true. He never loved me but, only himself. He’s now has a girlfriend that is an alcoholic, meth addict. He also is an addict. His new girlfriend calls him pee wee. Making fun of his size. He worked with this girl. She was in a relationship with his friend Scott. She’s now on probation and he is her boss. Poor thing trapped. She will see the real Kelly soon enough. He will do anything for her. Tell her he will take care of everything. No worries. 6 months until he shows his true colors. He tells people that I was the narcissist. Trying to make me look bad. Everyone around him is seeing his true colors. He has worked hard to make friends. You will always owe them.

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    1. how awesome to hear women are sharing about this together on here! I ( as I’m sure others) just wish there were ex’s to literally warn us in the begining – before we fall too far in. Ive been dating someone for only 8 weeks and he’s already done 17 of the things on the list! I have a cousin that went through a divorce from being married to an N for 7 years and finally couldn’t take it anymore, even though they have small kids. He is now ( after yrs of divorce) still constantly playing games to get her upset and push buttons and then makes her look like crazy one. She just told me a few weeks ago that she’s watched him do the same things to a bunch of women after the divorce and has decided to now mail the newest GF a packet containing everything she should know right down to printed out text conversations about him and including him ,before this new gf comes into his and the KIDS life. My cousin said she doesn’t care what it makes her look like or what he does to her in court she says its for the kids sake and well a little for the poor woman he’s about to try and reel in again 😦 . I find it appropriate and if it makes sense and is all true what she sends them she is saving another woman from his destructive path. What a great idea. I kind of wish I was warned . I fell for my N hard this past month .

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  6. It’s unfortunate we all share the same experience. However I am relieved to know I’m not crazy. I met a man well over 2 years ago, friends in the beginning, then dated, now have lived together 6 months. It is nothing short of hell on earth. This monster is a narcissit. I had no idea someone like this could even walk among us. I am so disgusted that I didn’t see this coming. But after reading and reading about Narcissistic Personality Disorder I’ve realized this is what I’m dealing with. The nice loving caring man that would do everything and anything for me is in reality a parasite on humanity. His own mother said he should live in a cave and not be among the rest of us.
    The lies. The level of deception. Everything is everyone else’s fault. He’s always the victim. If and when confronted or a discussion about something extremely minor arises he gets enraged and takes everything as criticism. Then goes into days leading to a week or more of complete silence. No communication whatsoever. I must always be the one to apologize for something I didn’t do or was unaware of. He blames everyone for his misery. My birthday was August 12, that’s the last day he spoke to me. I am attempting to take back my life. I am desperate and looking for an apartment. He is a monster.

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  7. My n is the same. Ive been gone from him for over a year but we live in the same building so he waves his new woman in my face but only after he wanted to get back together and try again. I got sick and ended up in the hospital for a week and everyday he came for an hour telling me how much he loved me and to my surprise I caught the bus and he was on it fooling around with his new love. I knew nothing about this and when I got off the bus I felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach. Had to find a bathroom and puked for what seemed like forever. It was just another ploy to hurt me again! How could I have been so dumb. He did the same to me that you all are talking about and what a liar omg! He took everything I owned and sold or pawned it as he went from job to job and like you all said he said I took everything from him. And im psycho like. That’s what he tells people. You know he never ever bought me a gift for anything in 7 yrs. That’s how long I was suckered in. Karma sucks though and I can’t wait to watch it.

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    1. I am currently in a relationship with a man who I think is a Narc, we’ve been together for 5 months, he’s fixed my car, met my kids, taken us out and even comes to church with me and showers me with love and affection but lately he seems different. doesn’t wanna spend time with me, gets very moody and mean and when I pull away he comes back needing my love. He gets angry with me all the time, he is never wrong and I don’t know how to leave him. Im still so inlove with him. eish

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      1. Oh my, I feel as though most of the things applies to my experience except I’ve only known him 3 months. Met at a training course, followed me offering help on computer work.
        He gave me his number . He is a cool Caribbean., charismatic and knowledgeable. We are both expecting to go on a work placement soon. Though I didn’t ring him, he was at the same cafe as me. He looked me in the eye and put his number on my phone there and then. Started to talk of Mesopotamia and hooked me in with his intelligence to be honest.
        Soon his texts were so powerful like the Rose he sent -with the message Take it it’s Yours. He is 15 years younger so found it flattering I’m 57. We just hung out and spoke about childhood and shared experiences. So clever as he never made any moves but had all the glib talk and “where have u been all my life”. Had a cool boyish charm but have now noticed mood changed and negativity. He smokes weed and I’ve shared an occasional joint. When I realised he was sending flowers and butterflies on texts to our work coach too. I felt a fool and the worst part I felt the green-eyed monster appear.
        He is very alpha male, large physique and has a smooth speaking voice. Trouble is I do feel something for him and I see him at the same venue when we register for our work placement. Yet I’m so much more aware now I’ve read about ‘The narcissism complex’. He does fit the category.

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        1. Karen, all I can say is listen to your gut instinct and it is telling you that something is not right with this guy. So many victims say they felt “something” but ignored it.
          You may feel an attraction to him and from the sounds of it he knows exactly how to play it cool with women.
          You have only known him 3 months, believe me; no matter how much you think you care for him, 3 months is not going to hurt like 3 years. He hasn’t had a chance to do a whole lot of harm yet.
          If after 3 months you are already on the net trying to figure him out and already caught him texting another woman, you need to walk away.
          For one thing, a sure indication you are involved with a disordered person is the fact that you are on the net looking for answers.
          I don’t know if he is a narcissist or not but I don’t need to hear anything more to know this man is not healthy. Instead of listening to your hormones and following the physical attraction you have for him, think rationally and realistically.
          A person is always on their best behavior when they start dating someone new. If this is his best you only have down to go. Things never get better.
          If you can handle him having other women and lying; hey have at it. But if you want honesty and respect. This is not the man for you.
          Trust me.
          Hugs

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  8. Many red flags on the guy im dating rn. Just a few weeks in but things are moving very quickly. We are having a long distance relationship and I cant tell if Im just being paranoid. He has a difficult past but shows alot of empathy to others and doesnt seem to have a big ego (apart from the vanity that he confessed to me pretty early)
    He is a close friend to an amazing friend of mine, and they have known eachother for long.
    Is there ANY way to test this N-thingy? Im meeting him tomorrow and Im thinking if there are any questions or something I could ask that would tell?
    Please help! And thank you for this amazing post.

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    1. B-

      I fell for a N…..hard. Things progressed fast also. If this guy feels “too good to be true”, then take a step back and SLOW DOWN.

      There is no need to rush a relationship. Upon meeting this person, If there is anything that triggers your sixth sense, by all means, listen to that. I didn’t. There were “triggers” that something was not right with my N, but I didn’t listen. He showed a lot of empathy towards me and my family, wined and dined, traveled, loved everything about me, gave me elaborate gifts, etc. He then told me of his difficult past with his family and how they walked out on him (turns out he was the one who severed the ties) and his terrible divorce where his wife took him for everything and left him for broke and destitute, how he loaned a lot of money to his friend to start up a business only to not get any of it back, etc.

      I fell head over heals for him and thought he felt the same way.

      We got married, very quickly after my 1st divorce and then the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came out. It was night and day. Out in public he was the happy go lucky guy that had it all, but at home, it was a different story. The mind games started, everything was my fault, I couldn’t do anything right (cleaning, doing things, etc).

      After three years of this, I did divorce him and ended up in counseling for a while.

      My best advice to you, if your HEAD, HEART, AND GUT are not in sync together, take a step back and put on the brakes and pray.

      I wish you the best…

      Tracie

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  9. I’m 40 and gay. Living in the closet all of my life has left me shy, nervous, and so overly hopeful to have what all of my straight friends have and take for granted. I only started dating in my mid-late 20s and, unfortunately, out of eagerness and impatience, threw myself into relationships way too soon. And being hurt time and again, my trust has slowly eroded over the years. I’ve lost a lost in past relationships: friends, hobbies, self esteem, money, etc. I feel like I’ve slowly built myself back up, each time, just to get knocked down again.

    I met my ex at work. Funny that he had lived in the area for four years, and his grandmother had been a customer where I work, but I had never seen him, NOT ONCE. He was weird. He’d say a lot of inappropriate things, and would get in trouble, but would blame it on his autism. I trained him, as I saw a lot of potential. He was meticulous as far as detail, like me. He noticed things that I didn’t. While he was bad with customers and was very socially awkward, like me to a certain extent, but was brilliant and seemed to know as much about computers and networking as I did.

    While he “creep”ed me out at first, my boyfriend at the time knew him from a card shop where they played cards, and said that he was a nice guy, that I should overlook his social interactions because he was autistic, that he was a great guy, and that I should give him a chance. He even threw in the tidbit that he talked about me a lot and always had good things to say.

    Well, things with that ex had been disintegrating for a while and while we were technically a couple, we interacted more like friends, and it had been that way for a while. He even suggested that since his interest had waned, that I should seek certain elements of the relationship, outside of the relationship, something I had been loathe to do. Frankly, until that person came along, I felt disgusted by the idea.

    When I finally took advantage of the offer, it was strange. The new guy came over and we watched shows. After they ended, we talked and he told me about how is ex girlfriend (he was bisexual) hurt him and acted all quiet. I asked if he needed comfort, so I held him and patted his back until he stopped shaking and calmed down. It felt so good to know I was comforting him and taking away that pain. I was so turned on, and felt such a connection, and the smile he had was so inviting that I asked if I could kiss him and when he shook his head yes, the rest is history. Being me, I asked permission and waited to see his facial expression before going further with anything. (FYI, I felt so guilty that I called my ex the next day asked if he had meant what he said, and told him everything that happened. He seemed happy for me.)

    The following day, when I had to go to my store to drop something off, he and I and another friend were talking, and he and I were both looking at the ground, shy as hell, and I asked him, with a grin, if he had a good time. He shook his head. Our other friend said it was the cutest thing he had ever seen.

    Two days later he, the new guy, grabs me, like an autistic child, hugs me, and says “Mine!” Then he steps back and says “not mine,” indicating sadness that I was still formally in a relationship. So, I worked alI summer to end everything form the previous relationship on a good note. I didn’t want hurt feelings or family animosity. I also wanted to make sure that Pete wouldn’t be left alone, and would have friends to be with, so he wasn’t alone, once I started going with the new guy. He was autistic himself, and I didn’t just want to get up and leave, especially if he needed me.

    Our love live was great. The best I ever had. And when small incidences would come up, little positions or whatnot that would bring back bad memories, and I’d feel him tremble or freeze, I’d stop, remove myself, ask if something was wrong, and hold him, scared I may have hurt him. He said that normally he would have left, but he trusted me enough to let me comfort him, when nobody else had the pleasure.

    The new guy acted so innocent and I always felt I had to help him. Because of his autism, he said he could never fully take care of himself, and always needed someone looking over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t making irresponsible decisions. Well, at work, I did a lot of his work for him, because I loved him and knew he got overwhelmed easily. I defended him when he would anger a customer. I made sure there was extra food in the fridge for him, because he was very absent minded, and always on his phone, not even paying attention to what was around him, that he would forget to bring food. Though, he never forgot to get cigarettes when he needed them.

    He always acted shy and awkward. And that endeared me, as I was the same way. He was as shy as I was, as nervous and unsure as I was, was emotional and sensitive like I was. He was hurt, like I was, so I thought he understood me. He was smart, insightful, and a fellow geek. I could talk to him. Our ideas seemed to bounce off of one another like a ping pong ball. I had such ideas of us working together, hand in hand, doing something with computers. Plus he said little things, random words, which seemed so cute. Plus, his smile, light purr, and whatnot, always made me go awww. I loved him. He said I was his and he was mine. He was everything I wanted, and I was so amazed that a person this perfect for me came into my life and in the way I wanted. (I had always met guys online or through introductions, and always wanted to fall in love over time, in a natural environment. Granted, the relationship and other perks started and advanced quickly, VERY quickly, but I didn’t seem concerned, because I thought we had gotten to know each other sufficiently over the time we worked together.)

    Well, I began seeing the new guy while still hanging out with the old boyfriend for Sunday movie nights, anime nights, and went to a few events with him. AS for the new guy, things were great at first. He talked about me with fellow coworkers all the time. Everything was about what he and I shared, what I did for him, what type of person I am. Nights he was over, we’d always have a Dunkins walk. We’d walk down there, and we’d find “our spot” and sit together, him resting his head in my lap while we each read stuff on our respective tablets, him nestling into the crook of my back, while I sat against the wall.

    He was in the military and had to go to school for two months, soon after we started going out. It was odd that all of our coworkers knew about him leaving for two months well before I did. He left for his schooling. Well, we talked on the phone every night. We seemed to have a connection. He was telling me about when we got married, and how he could use some of his military benefits to help me out. That was nice, but my mind was reeling on other things. What if he meets someone while gone for so long? Being in the military, are there going to be long periods I wont get to see him and could I handle that? Well, he always talked about going from reserve to active duty, which always made those fears all the greater. I can’t imagine that he didn’t know that.

    Things with the new guy weren’t all roses in certain ways. Not in the way you’d expect. He was always nice, and we never actually fought in person. Though, I always had to fight to try and find nights we could spend together. There was always a reason why he probably couldn’t, so getting those few nights always felt like such a major victory. He lived with his grandparents, and always had obligations to them. And since he was helping them pack up their house for a move, he had to help with that. Though, I never understood it, as he lived 15 min away, one town over, and they always finished chores and eating by 8:00 – 9:00. He could have come over any time, if he really wanted to. Then there were the times he was too tired after work, or “fell asleep in the car on the way home,” so figured he was too exhausted to come over. Never mind his grandparents could have dropped him off or I could have come and picked him up. He always had to leave first thing in the morning, even on days off, because his grandmother “wanted him home.”

    His grandmother always seemed to interfere. I never spoke to her directly about this, and just got things through him. Apparently, the grandparents were old fashioned. That explained why, while he came over and spent nights at my place, I could never spend nights at his. Plus, it felt like pulling teeth getting a dinner invite, and even on those occasions he prepped me and said that we shouldn’t show affection because his grandfather wouldn’t like it. After arguing over the phone, he said he didn’t understand as they had given me an “open invite.” He knew I was shy, raised by a very conservative and old fashioned grand father, and was always the type to need a real invitation. I’ve always felt uncomfortable just walking in, and he knew that. It was like an invitation that he knew I wouldn’t accept, and then made a deal of saying, “but we did invite you over.”

    Christmas became a big deal. He made it sound like such a big deal that he was able to talk his grandparents into letting me come over for Christmas dinner. (I wasn’t family, and they didn’t know me, so I couldn’t come over for Christmas Eve for gift giving. I had said that I didn’t care about gifts. I just wanted to be with him. I understood they didn’t know me and didn’t expect a gift.) So, we had to come up with alternate plans. He avoided it until close to the holiday. Finally, two weeks before the holidays, he said that there might be a problem. I might have to spend Christmas alone. Well, I called a friend and got an invite. Almost immediately, he went on about how I didn’t give him enough time, didn’t trust him, and that I hadn’t waited long enough, how he worked it out now, and how he wanted to spend Christmas with me. I was at such a loss, because now I had to work things out with my longtime friend to make sure she didn’t think I had asked her because I had no better options. Well, I did come over for Christmas dinner. We ended up having to have our own Christmas Eve the night before. (I went out of my way to get his a vintage chess set and Go set, since he loves puzzles. I got him a game for his DS, which he spent all Christmas day playing, instead of talking to me.)

    As far as the time we spent together. I thought it was nice. We spent a weekend together after he came back from school last September. I took him on a weekend trip to my home town. We went out to a movie with a friend of mine, out of state. We shared a lot and had a lot of good times, or so I thought. I cleared a good portion of my room out for him, so he could have his own space when he was over, so we could each do our own thing and he cold have his “ME” time. He even left his PS4 and gaming computer there, and I set it all up on my desk, so he could feel like he was at home. Though, when he was over,,he would read fanfiction on his phone or go out for periods for smokes. I asked if that was alone time and if I should stay in and let him have his space. He said yes. So, I respected that. And he would always be texting people. He even texted his ex, the one who hurt him so bad.

    Other strange things would happen. During the summer, 2016, while he was in the military, he was at school for two months. This was still pretty early in the relationship. He was off at school and couldn’t take care of a lot of stuff at work, since he couldn’t have his phone during the day and the store was closed at night, so I handled things for him. I talked to him every night. However, his classmates told him I was clingy, and he always told me how they said I was controlling and how he should break up with me. I had a few personality issues that I knew about. I angered easily and was bad with frustration. Well, I made too much of a deal of little things, and he and I got into it, after he ditched me on two separate nights (which we had set aside for special skype sessions,) and let his classmates talk him into going out drinking. I’d get mad, we’d get into a fight, he’d get teary eyed, and all his classmates would hear was his upset voice on the other end of the line, and they never knew or appreciated what was actually going on. He gave me a three day silent treatment and then called me on the phone the third night, literally beginning the conversation with, “Hi hon.” He said that I was so bad that that was the only way he could make the point. However, as long as I worked on those personality aspects, everything was fine.

    Also, we would have arguments about things that were inconsequential. One time, I wanted him to bring over something that I wanted to use, that we had used a few times. He said it was broke, didn’t feel it was safe, and was throwing it out. I said that if he was going to throw it out anyway, that he could just give it to me. I knew what was wrong, was pretty engineering, had worked with items in worse shape, and was willing to take the risk. His voice became that of someone who was telling someone they were keeping something back for your own good. I felt like a small child, and a small disagreement turned into a yelling match over the phone pretty quickly. There were a few little incidences like that, looking back in hindsight.

    As far as the move he was helping his grandparents with, he was originally supposed to move with them. However, once we became close, he planned on moving in with me when they moved. That way, he didn’t have to transfer stores and would not have to leave me. However, whenever I tried to work out the exact details, he’d always derail things and would put it off. I was scared that nothing would get planned, he would move off, and we would completely lose contact. I that would have happened, it would have been better than what actually happened. And when I’d harp on it, and would get too inquisitive, I was over-analyzing things, making too big a deal. And soon I found that I was being too controlling, demanding of his time , when he only came over two or three nights a week, and was only there late at night.

    We spent the holidays together, Christmas and New Years, and only days after, after a night we spent together intimately, he got sick. He had to cancel out on a night because his grandmother wanted to make sure he took his medications, since he was stubborn and didn’t like putting things in his body. Well, a one night thing became a cold he had to get over. He said he would be online to chat, since we might not see each other while he was sick. He could have just had me come over. I’d have loved to come over and take care of him, but the situation with his backward grandparents made that impossible. Within days, the situation changed into not wanting to deal with anything outside the house, (with being sick, stress from work, stress over an upcoming military drill weekend, and stress helping with the move,) and he yelled at me for expecting he’d want to chat with me. He seemed to forget telling me that he would be online specifically to chat with me.

    With the exception of one night, when he was silly and grabbed me, and walked with me going shopping, I never spent any more time with him. He began avoiding me at work. He wouldn’t answer calls, texts, or messages. He wouldn’t talk to me in the break room. He acted like we didn’t know one another, much less were lovers. I was scared, hurt, and desperately worried Id lose him, the perfect guy for me. One day I had to leave work to go on a break early, so I could go out to my car to break down in tears. He never once asked if I was ok.

    Well, I pleaded with him to talk to me. Were we still together? What was happening between us? I just wanted some clarity and understanding and not to be left standing there not knowing anything. Every time I would try to touch on the subject of us, he’d wave his hands, go into an autistic meltdown, and act like I was crushing him with the biggest stressor in his life. All I wanted was an answer. He said I’d be the first to hear from him when things cleared us. A few weeks later I was walking to a coffee shop, walked past the card shop and saw him there. I went in, thought he’d be happy to see me, thought I was surprised he didn’t contact me if he was well enough to go out, and tried to talk to him. He went ballistic, acted like I was harassing him, and walked out of the card shop in a huff. He came back later. I apologized for bothering him and asked if he would come to Dunkins and just sit and talk with me for a few minutes, since I was going out of my mind wondering what was up.

    Well, days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. I never heard from him, except for the occasional talk at work. Though, for all of the ways he acted he wanted nothing to do with me, he would always do things like put his stuff near mine, leave a toy that was special and that I gave him hanging from the mirror of his truck, and lots of other little mixed signals. When a mutual friend inquired about us, he said that for at least a few months, he and I were done. He never said we were done formally. He never said that at all. To this day, I have yet to hear, directly from him, that we broke up, or that things were over. He walked around the store entirely emotionless, as if we never meant anything to one another. Nothing I did for him, none of the special times we spent together, none of the things he had said or promises seemed to mean anything to him. I was lost and heart broken.

    Well, the months went by. However, he would never come and get his stuff, though I would repeatedly ask him. He always peppered his answer with something to the effect of, “Well, I’m not sure if I’ll have to move with them or if I’ll be able to stay here,” and made it sound like there was hope he’d be back.

    I finally cornered him in the breakroom one day and asked for some sort of explanation. He gave me a five minute explanation that was all him talking, and that really answered nothing. He wasn’t ready for a relationship. Apparently, nor was I. There were little things I did that I did without even thinking about them, which bothered him, yet he never said what those things were. He said that he had too much stress, had to figure himself out, had to figure “things” out, and that I shouldn’t wait for him. So, while I wasn’t ready for a relationship, I shouldn’t wait for him if the chance for one came up. How much sense does that make? Well, he got the benefit of being able to tell people that he had talked with me, without having to really tell me anything.

    Well, April, the time of the move came. He came on the day before they moved to grab his stuff. He brought two scary relatives. Apparently he, who had military training, was scared of me, all 120 lbs of me, who had never physically threatened anyone. I was shocked. And he brought them in to my place without even asking me. He never looked up, or said anything. He took his stuff and left, and didn’t say goodbye. I left him a card, one last effort to show him how I felt, and I don’t know if he even opened it, much less read it.

    Finally, to add one last bullet to the array he had shot at me, the day they moved, he came in to pick up his check (funny, as I could have gone into the office and gotten it for him a day before, while he was still on shift, but he said it wasn’t necessary.) When he came in to get it, he was talking with a coworker, loud enough that I could hear, and said that he better leave before a certain person knew he was there. Hearing that, and not a goodbye, as the last live words uttered from his mouth, hurt the most. After having him turn on me, 180 degrees, and go from loving me and promising he cared for and would never hurt me, to doing everything he could to hurt me, (including talking to my friends in the break room and engaging them in conversation, while completely excluding me.)

    It’s months later, and I’m still at a loss as to what happened. I blamed the grandparents. I thought they had poisoned his mind. I defended his behavior every which way, trying to convince myself that he couldn’t have really felt that way, which would have meant he never loved me at all. It had to be something else. Then, I began finding the articles on narcissism and things finally made sense.

    Well, that is my story. I am finally starting to feel happy again. I don’t spend every waking moment of every day questioning myself, wondering what I had done, and what I could have done differently. I thought I was the problem, that I was too controlling, too clingy, too possessive. Honestly, I believed those things. Though, I was seriously working on them, and had had a number of major test issues come up to test my reserves, which I handled exceptionally well. And he had always said that he loved me and that as long as I realized there was a problem and was working on it, that was fine with him. Though, back to the lighter note, I am actually hanging with friends again, not going to bed early just to not have to be awake, I’m not just sitting for hours doing nothing because I don’t know what to do with myself or how to handle the pain. I’m back into my interests, and am felling a bit better, and have actually, but slowly, been taking care of money and other issues in my life. I feel a mixture of sadness and regret, wondering what happened, yet feel like I’m starting to climb back into my own skin again.

    Anyway, I”m sorry that this was so long, however this is the first time I’d sharing this story, in its entirety, on a public forum. I hope you can all forgive me for the length.

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    1. Although hard to let it all out. It is hard and I can empathize its a roller coaster .
      Happy to hear you are doing better. My post was really long too.. so no worries.

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  10. I would like to thank everyone for sharing.
    I was with my Narc for 13 years on and off. I experienced all of the 30 flags. I walked away and took him back ,he cheated and I took him back. When I met him his ex had just kicked him out about a month before he said he was so heart broken ,that he missed his sons. (4 and 2) He wanted to see me the next day so I did. He told me he felt a bond he never felt before ..blah blah. He told me he wanted me to meet his family he lived out of town , he was in town to support a friends band. It went by fast, I was going to his place.. he worked shift work so I would arrive while he was at work.. I would clean his apartment , make sure he had a cold beer waiting when he got home, he would say Thanks.. but that is it.. he would never make sure the place was clean when I got there and I was dumb I would clean it. H e wanted me to meet his kids after a month I said no..its to soon we don’t know how this will go and its not good for them to be exposed to too many ppl. He pushed and pushed so I met them at 7 months. At the time I didnt realize that I would now become the caregiver , I would do it all, baths , story time, play games with them. He would say he had no money for christmas gifts, no money for rent no money for groceries. I would buy it all I would send money for rent. I WAS SO NAIVE.. he would say you are great with the kids I am so lucky. Anyhow several years later after I had my daughter with him and left him, he stopped paying his child support his 2 boys , so his ex said he couldnt see them. I told him that was against the law to fight it he didn’t my dauther will be 13 and she knows nothing of her brothers as my ex has not seen his son’s in 12 years. I took him back after this as he told me he had tried to connect with the boys mom and such ..I fell in the stupid trap again, I had a son with him. He would loose his second job shortly after my son. I helped him get a job at the hotel I worked at as the Manger knew me personally he offered him a good full time job. He would come home and tell me everyone loved him he was doing a great job , I heard the same at work as we worked opposite shifts. He was the manager of the maintenance department at the hotel we both worked at. He would have one of his employees steal the family vehicle and set it on fire. Well the employee was caught on film, the two of them some how managed to delete the footage.. so a criminal investigation insued. HE had me convinced he had no idea.. etc.. So he lost his job. Through a friend of his he somehow got a job as a maintenance manager again.. he would say his boss thought he was the best , he was going to move up in the company quickly. He bought a motorcycle behind my back, he got a new truck without me , he committed fraud on my credit card during this time. (its not fraud we are in this together) Then he would complain that he had to do everything etc.. Well one day someone made him swear.. he got fired , he claimed for wrongful dismissal , lost of course. So I need him to get back to work but he can’t find anything. I have friends at other hotel properties, so I yet again have someone help to get him a job he is there for a year he loves it , again the boss loves him best employee ever. Then he starts to complain that a senior manager is on his back and makes it sound like she is the problem.. so things are going down hill. He is pissed off a lot , on the internet a lot but if I say why are you on the internet or why are you private chatting with someone on facebook then I am paranoid although he already cheated on my multiple times. Low and behold he started chatting with the women from housekeeping a lot and he talks about her a lot. 3 WEEKS after he tells me she left her husband he ends our relationship saying we have nothing in common. He won’t move out of the house even though I change the lease to my name, he won’t help pay bills and he makes me feel like shit when I say you have to go. Tells me he is staying for the kids. He starts leaving before kids wake up and coming home after kids go to bed. He goes to his sisters out of town every weekend.. So I say you have a gf you gotta go ..he says ya but I have not slept with you since I started seeing her so I have done nothing wrong. THis is October it has been going on for 2 months at least at this point so I kick him out I pack him a bag of things. He still says I am mean and unfair. He gets his own place in December finally and never comes for more stuff. By January he is with the housekeeper full time staying at her house etc.. so how is it that he wasn’t with both of them at the same time at some point…lol I moved to a new home that June and I had to pack his stuff well really family did it ..he never offered to help move his children. I sent him 4 dates where he could come pack his stuff when no one would be home and he never did. I sent him the date of our move and offered for him to come when he could do his packing himself on the friday night or saturday .. times when he would not be disturbed by me or my family he didnt show. The landlord allowed me to lock his stuff in the storage garage. He picked up the stuff and had the nerve to call me to ask where his watch was .. I had bought it .. but I had not seen it ,and HE claims his 3 Otttawa Senators Jersey’s were missing ( I had bought everyone of them) I did not keep them and my family says they remember putting them in one of the garbage bags. My family has no reason to steal his jersey’s we all have our own..C’mon !
    He wouldn’t change his address with Revenue Canada because it would affect his roommates or his new gf. Yet I couldnt get my income tax returns or Monthly payments for our children

    He is with someone now for almost 2 years. He was with another women in between the 2 of us and he overlapped the two of them , his current gf does not know about the one in between. (My children were 5 and 11 at the time) My daughter met this lady 3 times for about an hour , I later found out that my son had slept at her house on nights my daughter had sleep overs at friends so he met her a few more times. My ex told the children each time that “she” was just a friend.. yet low and behold on one of his weekends he says “we are going to spend the weekend at xx new place ” My son slept in between my x and new Gf.. ARE YOU KIDDING ME ..very unhealthy. My daughter slept on the floor in the same room on the GF side of the bed. The GF only had a 2 bedroom apartment and HER daughter had the other room. My children were uncomfortable but he didn’t care he just started his NEW family.

    He has on more than one occasion taken the GF daughters side on things and the GF niece. He has never stood up for his daughter. No matter how many times I tell him what medicine the children need when they have a cold or allergy season he never gives it. My daughter has to do physio stretches and he never helps her often tells her they don’t have time. (Yes she can do them alone but sometimes it helps to have support). He left me in financial ruin and told his new GF I left him in financial ruin and wouldn’t let him to do anything he wanted.

    I realize that I allowed a lot of these things to happen to me, I was blinded and it sucks. I loved him and I genuinely thought he was just lost and needed love and support but he was just using me. He didn’t want to be alone so he could always come to me.
    He he pays his support but not for summer camp, or march break camp, or uniforms , or sports, or Medical. That is all covered in the amount he sends me .. is he for Real what he sends me wouldn’t cover his share of summer camp.
    Sure that bothers me but more then anything my children do not feel like they are special to him. They have come to their own conclusion of him as I do not speak ill of him or his gf. It helps me in no way to make them the villains and will only make the children more uncomfortable and confused so I do not lie to them , I support their feelings and tell them Daddy loves you any chance I can. I don’t know that they are buying it anymore… I think he does love them its just different. He wouldn’t want them to hurt .. yet he hurts them emotionally at the time. IT is complicated.
    He is happy now and I feel like he genuinely cares for this women , he helps hre clean and cook and do the groceries and he rides motorcycle with her. He would never help me .. maybe laundry if he needed something. The motorcycle if another couple invited us. It is hard for me to see him like this as I did all I could and more The fact that he does all of this has to mean he is happy now and willing to make change I hope this women can inspire him to be better with his children.

    I am happy this site is here reading other stories is helpful and therapeutic.

    STAY STRONG ANYONE WHO CAN RELATE TO ANY OF THESE POSTS.
    YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF AGAIN ! I AM PART WAY THERE AND ITS BEEN 2 YEAR!! 🙂

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