Valentine’s Day Post 3 Days Late

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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Dating Tips

 

dating game

I have subscribed to a new “Dating Advice” YouTube advice (what do you call it, it’s not a column, it’s not a blog) whatever; the guy’s name is Matthew Hussey and he gives some really sound and logical advice on dating, getting the guy (or girl) and the bonus is, he’s cute as hell and makes me smile. (he’s young enough to be my son but I am not blind)

I actually started watching his videos because I thought he was another one of those, “How to Manipulate Women” type dating advice guys; and I wanted to learn the tactics they use (knowledge is power) I was pleasantly surprised. He has very realistic, honest advice to give and so far I find myself agreeing with him 100%.

Now, I am not suggesting you all start dating, I don’t advocate anyone dating too soon after being with a narcissist because I think the victim has a lot of healing to do and could be looking for someone to “fix” them and make them feel better after being destroyed by a narcissist which is a lousy reason to start dating. My rationale for thinking it is a lousy idea to date too soon is this:

1. You are looking to the new guy for value, which puts a lot of pressure on this relationship; it is going to make whether he likes you or not much more important than it should be and if by chance he doesn’t really like you it is one more rejection to make you feel unworthy of love and unattractive.

2. You are going to try too hard to be attractive to him and not be yourself; you will be turning your focus from the N and transferring it to the new guy. For one thing the obsession with what the Narc is doing is unhealthy, if you transfer it to the new relationship you automatically turn the new relationship into an unhealthy one but now it is YOU who IS  unhealthy and you turn the lies the narc has been accusing you of into reality.

3. You will want the guy to like you so badly that you will get yourself hooked up with any guy just to have a guy and then wonder why you are always angry or upset because the guy is not what you want. It isn’t the guy’s fault, he is just being who he is but you tried to change into the kind of girl he wanted instead of being yourself. You can’t keep up that persona and eventually will go back to being yourself and viola; now you have problems and you are working on a relationship that never should have started in the first place.

4. Before you start dating someone new (and this goes with any relationship, not just with a narc) you have to find your single self again. By this I mean; in any dating relationship you progress into a compromise of two blended lives, you establish a way of interacting, you reach a level of intimacy that can only be attained with time. If you start dating too soon there is a very real tendency to jump straight into a serious relationship and miss the very important early steps of getting to know someone.

5. There is a risk of transferring the problems you had in the previous relationship into the new relationship; you are hyper vigilant, suspicious, on edge for any changes in his moods, “what did he mean by that” and there is a likelihood you will read stuff into his actions that isn’t there OR ignore red flags because you are afraid you are being paranoid. Much better to heal first and go in a whole, healthy person with clear boundaries and healthy sense of self.

6. You could end up hurting someone else and actually doing to him/her what the narc did to you. You want someone to want you so badly you hook up with the first guy that shows you attention, thinking he will heal you but he is not someone you can ever really love and once you feel better about yourself you realize the guy is not the kind of guy you want and you try to change him. Because he is not the kind of guy you would ever love he can never live up to your expectations but because he loves you (or the person you projected to be) he keeps trying to make you happy. Whereas with a narcissist it is intentional does it make it any better that you didn’t do it maliciously; you still end up hurting someone.

7. After leaving a relationship with a narcissist you are a prime target for the next narcissist to that comes along; and you will be a narc magnet immediately after being with a narcissist; you might as well wear a sign that says, “Narcissists Apply Here.”  You are craving attention and forget that the narc thought you were the best thing since sliced bread when you started dating him and only remember the final discard stage and how he loathed you. So a new narcissist comes along and thinks you are the best thing that ever happened to him, you are perfect, where have you been all his life, you are the most beautiful, most exciting, most intelligent, the sexiest woman and he can’t believe his good fortune to meet you. Six months down the road you are being discarded again and you are devastated even worse than before because you never healed from the first narc.

8. You have compromised all your standards, bent over backwards to please the narc, you have no self-respect or deal breakers so you don’t set boundaries with the new guy and continue to feel used and unappreciated and not even know why for sure because you didn’t take the time to find out what you need to be happy. You end up waiting for a guy to make you happy because you aren’t picky about who you date and just hope they are what you need instead of finding a guy who has the same interests and values as you.

9. You could ruin a perfect relationship or miss the perfect guy because you are so hurt and have built a wall around your heart that no one could break through, you never really let your guard down so it is impossible for a relationship to grow.

10. You owe it to yourself and any future men in your life to heal, figure out what is important to you, set boundaries that are important to you (everyone has their own deal breaker boundaries, it is a very personal thing) and learn to love yourself so that if a guy doesn’t appreciate the person you are you have the self-confidence to move along and chalk it up to experience. A woman who is sure of herself, is not looking for a man to fix her, who stands firm to her ideals and has her own life is MUCH more attractive to a healthy man. So consequently you attract healthy men not men who are looking to control and abuse a woman. When a man knows he had better treat this woman right or she will walk, he can’t help but treat her with respect; if he values her, and if he doesn’t value her you don’t want him.

dating-advice-funny-pictures

The link to Matthew’s site is here, even if you don’t have the desire to start dating yet, it doesn’t hurt to prepare yourself for the eventuality that you will want a man in your life again. Why not be proactive and learn how to date in a healthy way long before you even need the skills.

Once again I want reiterate; I am NOT promoting dating. I thought it was disgusting that our local woman’s shelter had links to dating sites in their section on resources for women who have been abused. I AM suggesting you develop a healthy attitude about dating before you venture out there again.

Gained knowledge + personal awareness + honest communications = happy life and healthy relationships

These 8 Dating Rules Will Protect You From a Narcissist/Psychopath

So you have been to hell and back, taken the time to heal, done a lot of self-reflection and feel you are ready to start dating again but you are afraid your “picker” is faulty or that you are a narcissist magnet. How can you guarantee you don’t end up in another toxic relationship?

Before you even think about dating again, I have a few questions for you;

– How long has it been since your relationship with the narcissist ended?

– Did he discard you or did you leave the relationship?

– Why do you want to start dating again?

Why are these questions important?

Victims need to take sufficient time to heal before they even think about dating again. A relationship with a narcissist is nothing like any relationship you have had previously, you are not going to heal as quickly and healing requires a lot of self-reflection and inner healing. With a normal breakup the two parties usually remain friendly to some degree and the other person is not slandering you. Even in relationships where there was infidelity or financial ruin, both people are willing to take some responsibility for the failure of the relationship. But with a narcissist, the victim is devalued long before the relationship ends, the narcissist loathes the victim, and is intent of assassinating the victim’s good character. Not only is the victim blamed for the failed relationship, according to the narcissist the victim has NO redeeming features and is nothing more than garbage.

The victim is quite literally left a shell of the person they used to be. The same techniques used to break the spirit in a prisoner of war, cult member or even in some cases delinquent teens in some boot camps; have been used on the victim leaving them a “clean slate” to rebuild themselves from. It is important for the victim to take the time to put themselves back together. (another post).

How many of you have had someone try to console you by saying, “Some day you will find someone who will love you just the way you are.” or “The best way to get over an ex is to get under someone new.” That may work in normal breakups but it is deadly when trying to recover from a narcissist. To rely on someone else to make you feel good about yourself, valued and loved is akin to wearing a T-shirt with “Narc Target” printed on it.

mask dating

So…….. you have done the necessary work to heal and feel ready to date; whether you are actively looking for love on internet dating sites or just taking the “if it happens it happens” approach; you need to set your boundaries. Setting boundaries long before you start dating is going to make the dating process much less confusing. If you do not know your “deal breakers”, sit down and write out the things that you will not tolerate from a romantic partner and refer to them often. If a person doesn’t have set boundaries when they are confronted with a situation they feel uncomfortable about it is too easy to compromise their values, by setting boundaries and not allowing anyone to cross those boundaries you are giving yourself guidelines so you know when you are being disrespected and have the conviction to defend your boundaries. You must decide what your boundaries are, they vary from person to person. You will have “deal breaker” boundaries where you don’t even try to work through the problem, if these things appear you simply walk, no discussion. There is one deal breaker that everyone should adhere to and that is;

– Never ever under any circumstances get involved with a married person. If they are cheating on their present partner they WILL cheat on you, you are not special, their ex is not psycho and he is not going to change because of your special love. If you are already involved when you find out he (or she) is married, walk……….not only are they married, they lied to you.

Now for the 8 Dating Rules For Protecting Yourself from a Narcissist:

1. No sex too soon, there is no rush; once a woman has sex with a man her brain releases certain pheromones that make her more trusting and fall in love easier.

2. No living together before a year. Enjoy dating! enjoy missing each other. Don’t be desperate, if he dumps you because you wanted to wait a year before living together then he has issues about being alone and is looking for narcissistic supply not a relationship. And if you feel you need to be with him all the time you have issues you need to work through and more than likely you are relying on him/her to make you feel good about yourself or you are gauging your value by that person.

3. Don’t give up your friends, continue to have your girl friend time, if he can’t handle it there is something wrong. On the same note, you can not get upset if he has guy time. We all need time with our friends.

4. If your friends and family don’t like him, trust their opinion, you don’t have to immediately dump him but certainly slow it down and try to look at him with realistic eyes.

5. If you find yourself walking on eggshells, watching what you say so as not to upset him, no need to go any farther.

6. If your gut is telling you that something isn’t right, believe your gut and start paying attention to when your gut reacts.

7. If you catch yourself thinking, “all he needs is a good woman, he has so much potential.” proceed with extreme caution

8. Google his name and if you meet him on a dating site Google his username. It may not reveal anything and it is not a guarantee they are being straightforward with you but it could show some very valuable information; good or bad. it could confirm what he is telling you or you may find out he is into XXX porn sites, Gay sites, or a dozen dating sites looking for casual hookups.  In BC you can go to Court Services Online and find out if a person has had any judgements against him/her just by putting their name in, no file number needed. In some cases you may be charged $6 to see the final outcome of the case. Some people feel it is being paranoid or sneaky to check someone out on-line, but with today’s technology you are crazy not to. Like I said, just because nothing shows up does not mean he is all he says he is, BUT you may just find proof he is not what he says he is.

Also,

Remember, you are both on your “best behavior”, this is the best they are going to be; never ever think you will change them. if you find yourself thinking, “he/she would be perfect if only…….’ and you can’t live with them the way they are then walk.  All people put their best foot forward in the beginning and once you  have been together a while you  both start to relax and show more of your true self.

If you have dated someone a year and none of these things have reared their head I would be willing to wager that the person is not a narcissist. There has been the odd victim who has come in and said that their ex was wonderful for years and then out of the blue turned into a monster but usually when pressed they admit there were signs long before the final discard that they ignored.

Good luck and if you do one thing right, make it be to take it slow. Love, true love takes times to grow and will not disappear if you are not glued at the hip 24/7.