How to prevent dating yet another narcissist?

You’ve been with your share of narcissists, but it feels like these people just keep falling into your lap. 

Despite the pain they cause, you cannot help but find yourself in a relationship with one narcissist after another.

Surely, there must be a way to avoid this curse. After all, you cannot take another round of narcissistic abuse.

What can you do to prevent yourself from falling for another narcissist? It turns out there are steps you can take to protect yourself. 

Protecting yourself from narcissists 

If you want to prevent yourself from dating another narcissist, you need to take intentional action.

Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you might think because narcissists are pretty easy to identify if you’re looking for them. 

By implementing the strategies below, you can keep narcissists out of your romantic life.

Thinking about patterns in your previous relationships 

Relationships with a narcissist tend to follow a distinct pattern: the narcissist showers you with love and affection in the beginning, sucking you in with their love-bombing tactics.

Over time, they slowly let their guard down, revealing their true colors. They’ll begin to criticize you, take advantage of you, and use manipulative tactics, while convincing you you’re the problem.

When you’ve just about had enough, they’ll return to love bombing for a bit to suck you back in. This pattern is pretty typical with narcissistic relationships, and it becomes a never-ending cycle.

Reflect on your past relationships with narcissists, and you’ll probably realize that they all followed this pattern. Now that you recognize this fact, you can stop a relationship as soon as you see the same pattern occurring.

Learning about narcissistic personality disorder 

Learning the ins and outs of narcissistic personality disorder prepares you to identify narcissists and run away when you see one. Take advantage of any opportunity you can to learn about narcissistic personality disorder.

This may involve reading books, engaging in online support forums, or attending a support group for people healing from abusive relationships. 

These resources will equip you with the knowledge you need to protect yourself. For instance, you can learn about common manipulative tactics narcissists use, so you know when you’re being subjected to such tactics. 

Setting firm boundaries

Relationships can proceed healthily when both partners set clear boundaries with each other. These boundaries aren’t meant to control the other person but rather to establish what behavior you will and will not accept from a romantic partner.

The good news about boundaries is that narcissists hate them. So, if you set healthy boundaries and stick to them, you’ll probably scare away narcissists pretty easily.

Setting boundaries means refusing to tolerate abusive behavior and taking time to meet your own needs, even when in a relationship. This could look like walking away from a conversation when your partner calls you nasty names.

Boundary setting could also involve explaining your needs. For instance, you might tell your partner you need to set aside an hour to exercise daily, without interruptions.

A healthy partner will respect these boundaries, whereas a narcissist will not. Set these boundaries and stick to them, and narcissists won’t want to waste their time with you. 

Proceeding slowly in relationships 

Narcissists have a way of sucking people in at the beginning of a relationship. During the love bombing stage, they shower their new partner with love, affection, and attention.

In the beginning, everything feels quite blissful. You’ll feel as if you’ve met the perfect love of your life, and because you’re so infatuated, you won’t notice how quickly things are proceeding.

Here is where you need to slam on the brakes. New relationships should not proceed at a whirlwind pace. A few weeks is not enough time to fall in love and plan a future together.

Take your time in new relationships, and be wary of love bombing. If someone calls you their soulmate and wants to move in together after two dates, this probably isn’t going to end well.

Practicing self-care

Narcissists prey on kind, caring people who will feel sorry for them and give them what they want. If you’ve had several relationships with a narcissist, you’re probably a genuine, giving person.

The problem with this is that you probably tend to put yourself last. You’re so used to meeting everyone else’s needs, that your needs fall by the wayside.

It’s time to break this pattern. Make a habit out of regular self-care, including preparing nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and making time for relaxation and leisure activities. 

When self-care becomes a habit, you simply won’t tolerate someone like a narcissist, who always makes you put yourself last. 

Careful observation 

When you’re in the beginning stages of a relationship, take some time for careful observation. Really examine how this person behaves.

When you notice some or all of the following signs, you’re probably dealing with a narcissist:

  • They’re overly charming and flattering from the start.
  • In conversations, they tend to dominate and bring every discussion back to themselves. 
  • They seem to become upset when they aren’t the center of attention or receiving praise and admiration.
  • They’re constantly in contact with you, calling and texting around the clock.
  • They have no problem asking you for favors, but they never seem to ask how they can help you.
  • Their words don’t tend to match their actions.
  • They are quickly driven to anger when someone disagrees with them.

A person who consistently shows these behaviors may be yet another narcissist. Time to turn and run the other direction. 

Taking time to heal 

Relationships with narcissists are typically unhealthy and abusive, and they can take a toll on your mental health. 

If you’ve had several relationships with narcissistic people, your self-esteem and mental well-being are likely in a bad place. You may blame yourself for the abuse you endured or convince yourself that you’re the problem.

Unfortunately, this mental and emotional damage makes you vulnerable to unhealthy relationships in the future.

One of the best things you can do is take time to heal. Don’t feel pressured to jump into a new relationship right away.

Grieve the loss of previous relationships and the pieces of yourself that were lost in the process. Reaching out to a counselor or therapist to help you process your emotions and work through the healing process can be helpful. 

You can avoid narcissists

No matter what you’ve endured in the past, you can create a future that doesn’t include relationships with narcissists. 

Recognize the patterns and red flags you’ve experienced in past relationships, and avoid them in the future.

Give yourself permission to set boundaries and care for yourself, and you’ll probably begin to repel narcissists. If you’re not convinced, try to put these strategies into practice today.

Hopefully, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

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