As with all romantic relationships, your time together consists of highs and lows. However, when your boyfriend is a narcissist, the highs are so high you feel as if you’ve been transported into another realm; you become so enamored with him that you want to be together forever.
On the flip side, he has the potential to be mercilessly insensitive and you are left feeling completely worthless. And this is the emotional roller coaster you are forced to endure when your partner is a narcissist.
Whether it takes weeks, months or years, once you find the strength to leave him, getting over a relationship with a narcissist is extremely difficult. But once you manage to detach yourself from a narcissist, it’s important you remain that way.
Narcissists are wickedly tremendous individuals, they can be so loving and endearing that you get addicted to that side of them, and what you don’t want is to get stuck in a relationship that is ultimately not good for your mental health. Here are some tips on how to get over a narcissist.
How to Get Over a Narcissist Ex?
Once you’ve freed yourself from the clutches of a narcissist, it’s essential that you remain that way. May I remind you, this is not an easy process, so to start, you will need a strong support network.
1. You Need a Strong Support Network
A lot of women in relationships with narcissists end up isolating themselves from their family and friends, so there is a chance that you haven’t seen or spoken to some people in months or even years. You will need to get your support network back.
Your first step is to get back in contact with these people. You will need to swallow your pride because after all, it was you who abandoned them. In most cases they will welcome you back with open arms; when they do, it’s important you are honest with them about what’s taken place and let them know how much you will need their help to get over your partner.
2. No Contact with the Narcissist
If you are going to get over your ex-partner, go no contact with him. This means blocking him on all platforms, phone, email and social media. If he was in contact with your friends and family members, tell them to do the same, because once he realizes he has been blocked, he will try and reach you through them.
The main aim of no contact is to protect yourself against manipulation. The narcissist will say all the right things to win you back, he will also revert back to the love-bombing stage which you will find hard to resist.
3. Stop Rationalising
Due to the volatile nature of your narcissist partner, you would have spent a lot of time rationalising their behaviour to justify why you were still in the relationship with them.
Now that you are feeling the pain of missing your partner, you will revert back to that rationalizing stage to convince yourself to go back. Refuse to entertain these thoughts; instead, remind yourself of why you left the relationship.
4. Eliminate Self Blame:
Some narcissists are good at making you feel you are the reason they have an evil side; you bring out the worst in them and all the torment they put you through is your own fault. It is essential you change this narrative; no one deserves the treatment you’ve endured; it is not your fault and you deserve better.
How were you to know he was going to switch on you after the love bomb stage? You didn’t get into the relationship knowing he would treat you like that. Therefore, don’t feel guilty that you fell for his lies because it can happen to anyone.
5. Allow Yourself to Grieve
After breaking up with a narcissist, you will feel like someone has died. According to grief expert David Kessler, there are five stages in the grieving process; for proper healing, it’s important you allow yourself to go through all of them:
1. Denial: Shock will overtake your system, and you will deny your feelings regarding the breakup. During the initial stages, this is a survival mechanism that will eventually help you confront your feelings.
2. Anger: You will feel abandoned and deserted; you will be angry at your partner for how he has treated you, and angry at yourself for allowing yourself to get trapped in such an abusive relationship.
3 .Bargaining: You will want to go back in time and rekindle the romance. You will tell yourself if you had done things the way he wanted; you would still be together.
4. Depression: The depression stage is characterised by a withdrawal from life and feelings of intense sadness.
5. Acceptance: You accept the relationship is over and he will never be a part of your life again. However, by the time you arrive at this stage, you will be mentally strong enough to accept these facts.
How to Cope With Missing Your Narcissist?
When it comes to coping with missing your narcissistic ex-partner, the worst thing you can do is try and ignore your feelings because they are not going to go away; but you can manage them:
- Accept Your Feelings Are Natural: As difficult as this is, the key is to acknowledge how you feel, accept it and move on. It is totally normal to miss your partner when a relationship comes to an end. You have just spent a significant portion of your life with him, and now he’s gone, so it’s only natural you are going to miss him. As long as you don’t allow how you feel to dictate your actions; i.e. calling or texting him, you’ll be fine.
- Channel Your Feelings Into Productivity: Instead of sitting around pining for your ex, channel your feelings into productivity. Is there a goal you want to reach? Maybe you want to go back to college or transform your body. Whatever it is, write it down, develop an action plan, and start working towards it. When you fill your life with important things that will make you a better person, you will no longer have time to focus on your ex-boyfriend.
- Talk it Out: Do you have a friend or family member you trust enough to speak to about how you feel? If so, they should be your first point of contact. Arrange a date, whether it’s over the phone or face to face, and let it all out. If you need to cry, go ahead; whatever you do, just don’t keep your feelings to yourself or they will eat away at you from the inside. According to the Mental Health Foundation, talking about your feelings doesn’t make you weak, it helps you keep on top of your emotional well-being when you are going through troubled times.
How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Narcissist?
Unfortunately there is no time frame for getting over a narcissist ex-boyfriend. Most women have had their heart broken more than once. But the heartbreak you experience when a relationship ends with a narcissist is the worst pain you will ever feel.
The person you thought was the love of your life took you to the peak of Mount Everest and mercilessly dropped you, now you have hit rock bottom and picking up the broken pieces of your heart seems like an impossible task.
Many women state that even after moving on to another relationship, the narcissist always has a special place in their heart, and that will never truly get over them. You went on such an impassioned journey with your narcissist boyfriend, and the love you feel is just as strong as the hatred and the anger you feel towards him.
Once you release those negative feelings, you are now faced with the sadness of losing someone so close to your heart. As mentioned, the feeling is synonymous with the process of grief you go through when you lose a loved one.
Although it gets easier over time, you never recover from the death; the same is true with your narcissist ex-boyfriend, the reality is that you may never get over him.
How to Use Self Love to Get Over a Narcissist?
Self-love is essential when you end a relationship with a narcissist because even though they loved you with such passion and vigor, they also have the potential to fire narcissistic abuse at you with the same level of intensity.
You will experience many emotions when you break up with a narcissist, and one of them is low self-esteem and feeling it was your fault that things didn’t work out. Here are some tips on how to use self-love to get over a narcissist.
The Power of Affirmations
Verbal abuse is one of the tactics some narcissists use to keep you bound to them. They are notorious for shattering your confidence with their words by saying things like:
“My friends think you’re ugly and that I’m too good for you, but I always defend you.”
“This is why none of my family members like you.”
“That dress makes you look extremely fat; it’s better you wear this one.”
“I only speak to you like this because you don’t know how to behave.”
When you hear such negativity continuously, you start believing it. Now that you are out of the relationship, it’s important that you start healing those broken places in your soul by speaking kindly to yourself.
Affirmations are powerful positive statements you repeat; they help recondition your mind and focus on all the things you love about who you are. You can say affirmations at any time during the day, its best to get into a habit of saying them first thing in the morning, and before you go to bed.
But you can also repeat them when you start hearing your negative inner voice speak those familiar unkind words. Saying affirmations will feel weird at first, but if you persevere, they will become a normal part of your vocabulary. Here are some positive affirmations to get you started:
- My imperfections make me special and unique
- I feel secure and happy with myself
- I choose to believe in myself
- Giving up on life is not an option for me
- I do not need validation from other people
- I am fearless and wonderful
- I am more than capable of achieving my dreams
Focus on Your Needs
It’s easy to lose yourself when you are in a relationship with a narcissist. It is not uncommon to spend so much time and energy trying to please your partner that you neglect yourself. Now that you are out of the relationship, it’s time to focus on you.
Forget everyone else and make yourself the center of attention. That means learning how to say “no.” This simple word will prevent you from taking on too much and then feeling overwhelmed because of it. Make a list of the things you need emotionally, physically, and spiritually and start working on them.
Spend Some Time Alone:
Spending time alone helps build mental resilience, and you will need this to ensure you don’t return to your narcissistic ex-boyfriend. Humans need to socialize, it is a biological need; however, when you have just come out of a relationship, it’s important to spend time alone to get to know yourself again.
Research suggests enjoying alone time is linked to less depression, improved ability to handle stress, enhanced satisfaction with life, and increased happiness.
After being in a relationship with a narcissist, there is a high chance you have become used to having someone invade your space with no regard for the boundaries you have put in place. It’s time to reclaim your self-respect.
Boundaries tell people how you want to be treated, and when they are weak, you are left in a vulnerable position where people are likely to take advantage of you. Reset your boundaries by following these three steps:
- Make a list of the behaviour you will not tolerate from people when they are around you.
- Make a list of the unfavourable treatment you don’t appreciate from others
- Make a list of the people you feel violate your boundaries the most
Once you have made this list, there is no need to call everyone in your phone book and tell them your new rules. But when they do something that violates your boundaries, let them know.
Getting over a narcissist is probably one of the most challenging things you will ever do. Your emotions are all over the place, you don’t know whether you are coming or going and you can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, take one day at a time, and learn to trust the process of healing. Learning how to get over a narcissist will take a lot of effort on your part.
With persistence and support from your loved ones, you will become a whole person again and live the fulfilling life you deserve.