5 Red flags that you are dating a narcissist

Is your partner more into himself than you?.

Is your boyfriend just a jerk or is he a legitimate narcissist? This article offers five warning signs that you may be dating someone with narcissistic personality disorder or someone with traits of narcissism.

1. It is all about him, all the time

Whether he is bragging about his latest success or discussing his perspective on something, he appears to always be the focus of attention. He can speak about himself endlessly and enjoys when you are focused on him as well.

If you are looking for some support or attention, however, look elsewhere. Someone with narcissistic traits has a hard time being empathetic and will appear to care little about anything or anyone not involving himself.

In the beginning of your relationship, however, he may have paid a lot more attention to you. In fact, he may have overdone it with excessive praise and compliments. Many people with narcissism seem to have excellent social skills, are charismatic and attractive, so it may have felt great to be appreciated in this way by this exciting person. Eventually, though, if your partner is truly a narcissist, that attention on you is sure to fade over time.

2. Nothing is his fault

Did he do something that really bothered you? Good luck trying to get an apology. Someone with narcissistic tendencies has little to no accountability, and will likely deny that he has ever done anything wrong.

Any time you argue, he will believe it is your fault, and you may at times feel like you are going crazy when you try to have a rational conversation about what actually happened with him. He eventually may utter an apology, but it will most often be something inauthentic just to quiet you down.

3. He cannot take criticism

Underneath the polished and superior exterior of a typical narcissist is someone who has a very fragile sense of himself and is very insecure. Criticism hits him hard, and he is incapable of graciously receiving it. You may feel like you are banging your head against a wall trying to constructively point out where he might make improvements that anyone else might be open to hearing.

4. He thrives on attention

He enjoys your attention, of course, but also thrives on attention from others. He can be flirtatious and may get excited from sexual attention, which can be extremely difficult to deal with if you are his partner. Any kind of attention or praise from others will suffice, and he will do seemingly whatever it takes to obtain it. 

If you ever find yourself wondering why he cares so much about what others think, the answer may be that he is narcissistic.

5. He believes he is truly special

He considers himself a very important person wherever he goes, and sometimes acts as if the rules do not apply to him because of how special he is.

His sense of entitlement may result in cutting people in line, being rude to servers at restaurants, or even thinking that affairs are allowable for him. If you are questioning "who does he think he is," that may be something to pay attention to, because it may point to narcissistic tendencies.

If the above five red flags describe your partner, you may be dating a narcissist. People with this set of characteristics are typically resistant to change.

The best of relationships are built on key qualities of mutual support, caring and understanding. These qualities can be hard to achieve if you are dating someone who is incapable of being empathetic, truly caring for you, and is unwilling to look at himself. If you find yourself frustrated and unhappy in your relationship and the above red flags ring true, there may be little that you can do about it other than leave.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

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