This is an answer I gave on Quora a couple of years ago and it’s still getting upvotes so i thought I share it here.
No one is a magnet for narcissists, everyone has them in their life at some time or another. And meeting a narcissist doesn’t have to be devastating.
The whole problem comes when the intended target stays too long in the relationship, not that the target was targetted.
For example: about a year after leaving my ex I met a guy who seemed really interested in me. I was afraid of getting hurt again and was totally honest with him about being abused, scarred and cautious about getting involved. (For some reason I thought if I was honest he would go, “oh shit! She been hurt before so I better not hurt her”. )
He said we could just be friends, he cooked me dinners, loved my dogs, did special little things for me, text every night and morning just to say have a nice day Babe, he told me how much he respected me. My gut kept telling me something wasn’t right, I told myself I was just paranoid. I eventually had sex with him. A short time later something told me to show up unannounced at his place, he had given me a key to his place.
Well, wouldn’t you know he had another woman there. I gave her the key to his place and said, “You’ll be needing this”, called him an asshole and left.
For awhile I was devastated. Woe is me, taken in by another narcissist. How could I ever trust again?? Protect myself? I had even told him I had been abused, why would he hurt me?!
Well, first of all; an asshole doesn’t care you’ve been hurt before and a normal nice guy would probably run to the hills if a woman told him she was terribly scarred and didn’t trust anyone. What normal healthy person wants a partner who is packing a bunch of baggage?
Then I realized I wasn’t a victim at all. My gut had been telling me all along something was wrong but I didn’t listen. This just proved to me that I should trust my gut instincts.
And I stayed away. I never dated him again and when he jumped in my car and was complaining that the new woman had caught him with another woman and trashed his place and he had to call the cops, I laughed out loud and said, Karma’s a bitch eh? Cry to someone else.”
The narcissist only takes what we willingly give.
The problem alot of victims have is they expect a another man to fix the damage done by the narcissist. The narcissist destroyed their self confidence, criticized them and they couldn’t do anything right.
They meet another narcissist and in typical narcissist fashion they flatter the new target, she is the sexiest, she is the woman he’s looked for his whole life. Everything about her is perfect. The victim feels reborn! Beautiful, sexy, loved!!, Special!! Healed!
And then it happens, the mask drops and omg! Her prince charming is a narcissist!! How did that happen? They are shattered, devastated, and the cycle continues.
How do you break that cycle? By not dating for a long while, not relying on anyone else for your happiness or worth.
Start living true to your core self, don’t compromise your values, morals, or standards for anyone. Walk away when they don’t treat you respectfully. Stop trying to be the type of woman the man wants and worry more about if the man is someone u need in your life.
I have no desire to date anyone, not because I am afraid of getting hurt, not because I hate men, not because I don’t have men interested. The reason I don’t want to date is, I love my life, I love my freedom, and I don’t want any man to disrupt my serenity. I don’t want to share or compromise. I don’t want to consider someone else when I make plans or decide to spontaneously go somewhere. It would take a very special man to change my mind, and that’s the way it should be.
Sure I miss male company but not enough to sacrifice what I have.
But I don’t need a man to make me whole, or to give me value. Too many women will settle for any man just to not be alone. They feel worthless unless they have a man.