However, I strolled into church one day in the middle of a roar of applause that wasn’t for me. It was for the striking man standing up, who had just returned home from serving overseas in Afghanistan. He was a United States Marine with all the bells and whistles I never knew I wanted.
Perhaps my mouth dropped open, perhaps not. All I know is my body felt both numb and like a live wire. To my surprise, I was introduced to him shortly after his mini-ovation. Someone told me his name, and all I could muster was a smile, a subtle nod, and a “hey.”
A few days later, he found me on Facebook. Within days, I was his girlfriend. After two or three dates, it was no secret he hung my moon and stars. He was fantastic at calling me “sweetheart,” buying me whatever I wanted, and showing me off to his family. I thought this was husband material; better yet, I thought he was forever material.
But forever was cut short when he found someone more intriguing in North Carolina… then Chattanooga (after we tried again a second time)… then a girl from my hometown (when we tried again a third time).
I’ll be vulnerable enough to admit vanity blinded me to his character. His outward beauty hid the ugly truth that I was dating a narcissist— a habitual, unrepentant narcissist.
This crash-and-burn relationship ended ages ago. Thankfully, I am happily married to a blue-eyed pilot whose character is as sexy as his humongous back tattoo, so I don’t want you to waste years of your life allowing a shallow man’s hollow words to trample your heart, taunting your ability to trust a man ever again. I want you to find a man who doesn’t dilute the definition of “forever” in hopes that he can manipulate your mind, body, and spirit.
Hopefully, I can save you some heartache (and time) by sharing a few signs you’re dating a narcissist:
Ultimately, a narcissist neglects that you deserve healthy communication. It’s easy to spot a physically abusive man, but narcissists quietly abuse your emotional perspective of the relationship. What better way for him to distort your perception of him than by manipulating the words you do and especially don’t hear?
Dating a narcissist is filled with hazy, gray days that leave you uninformed. Why should he tell you he’s at a bar an hour from home if beer makes him happy? Why must he explain the reason he canceled a date last minute? Why would you rail into him after discovering he still has a Tinder account? After all, it’s “inactive”…
Narcissists prioritise their wants and needs over another’s, and so long as their brains and bodies experience instant satisfaction, to heck with how their decisions might make you feel. In short, narcissists are the epic definition of loyal, but only to themselves. They know full well what it means to categorize what’s most important and what’s not, which allows you ample space to conscientiously step back and observe whether or not they deem you as a category-one priority.
More often than not, if you are willing to have eyes that see the truth(and don’t surrender honesty for rose-colored lies) you will be able to distinguish the difference between dating a narcissist and a true, honorable man.
Some subtle red flags I wish I’d noticed before dating a narcissist include:
- Never being invited to meet his friends. I was paraded around his mama, but he dodged all scenarios in which I would meet his peers.
- Always sacrificing my time and gas money to drive to where he was, never once receiving the same favor.
- Never receiving an explanation for why he canceled dates last minute but being expected to act graciously when he got around to “explaining.”
- Always being the one to address all the elephants in the room (because he truly didn’t care if there were issues or not).
- Never hearing that I was pretty without a side comment about how a dress didn’t fit my figure well or that color nail polish made me look like I had “cement” on my hands.
- Always asking him to visit with my family and always being denied with a superficial excuse.
None of the scenarios mentioned can be directly correlated to outward abuse, so it’s easy to convince yourself that he’s still a good guy. You’re too smart to get caught up in dating a narcissist… except narcissists are professional manipulators.Psychologically, a narcissist will twist your graciousness in such a cruel way that you now see him as good and you as bad. And once he has convinced you of this false polarization, he hopes you bend to his every whim and never once consider that you aren’t ever once considered.
Friend, if you feel a gnawing in your heart, it’s time to face the red flags and call it what it is: you are dating a narcissist. Remember, though, that you are worth more than gold. I promise that a man with greater character, and a true desire to love well, will be waiting.