Q: I have been divorced from my narcissistic ex for a couple of years now. Now that I feel I am ready to date, where do I meet genuine guys? I work in a field dominated by women (less than 10 men on site), don’t have many friends, and with small kids I have little time for my hobbies (arts/crafts- not particularly masculine interests). A lot of people say date online and I am hesitant. Some say go to bars but I am not in to the bar scene. Many people suggest church- but I am afraid. My ex spent thousands behind my back on donations to the church to make himself look good. They loved him there and even recognized him in a special ceremony! No one even noticed how he never actually sat in on a church service if I didn’t force him, or that he would drop the kids off at Sunday school while he left the church and never attended an adult class. The new minister never noticed how he introduced himself alone instead of with us. He used to go for “counseling” with the minister and painted a false picture filled with lies about me, soliciting pity for himself. Meanwhile, he enlisted the minister’s help to call me and beg me to get back together with him. Of course, church is just one thing that the narcissist ruined. To explain it briefly, he cheated, lied, and even stole money from the children! I feel I am more educated about narcissists thanks in part to your website. However I am still afraid I will make the same mistake I did years ago. Where can I go to meet someone new?
A: It is wise of you to worry about meeting another narcissist…people do tend to repeat their history unless they are aware that they have made mistakes in the past and actively seek to change their future. It sounds like you are ready to do that. There are plenty of nice, genuine guys out there-remember that NPD is only 1% of the population. That means 99% are not. Have you considered a different church- perhaps in the next town? Sure, it may be a bit further to drive but you would have a fresh start and a lot of new people to meet. Online dating is pretty common these days and can be safe as long as you take the safety precautions that are common sense (meet in a public place, get to know him online for a while first before meeting, etc). I would highly recommend that you read articles on “How to Identify a Narcissist”, How to spot a narcissist, What is a narcissist, etc to become familiar with the behavior that a narcissist exhibits so that when you see these red flags you’ll know not to keep dating (or meeting) that man.
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