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How Does Dating A Narcissist Change You?

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

In the realm of contemporary dating, it is certainly true that narcissism is prevalent – perhaps even being one of the most widespread and commonplace toxic traits between couples. So, how does dating a narcissist change you?

How Dating A Narcissist Changes You

While the exact cause of such a trait is unknown – and most likely unique to the upbringing of the individual – it is certainly true that our modern, online experience of self-obsession and overindulgence has had a distinct impact on the way we present ourselves and treat other people. 

But what exactly are the signs of narcissism in a relationship, and what impact can this have on you over a prolonged period of time?

What Is Narcissism? 

Generally speaking, narcissism is a personality trait wherein the person has a heightened focus on their own personality, self-interests, and outcomes. 

This is perhaps most typically portrayed as self-obsession – usually with their appearance and placing their needs above others in their immediate group. 

What Are The Signs Of Narcissistic Behavior? 

When it comes to our understanding of narcissistic behavior, numerous traits fall into the category. 


Narcissistic people often think themselves superior to others – their rivals, family members, or even their romantic partners. 

This will usually manifest itself in them putting their needs first or attributing more importance to their needs and experiences. 

Attention Seeking

As human beings, we all need attention from time to time, and in many ways, it is how we feel loved, appreciated, and important to the people around us. 

However, people with narcissism, they will have an exaggerated need for attention – one that usually trumps the needs of those around them and means they are receiving the most attention all of the time. 


They also have a distinct need for control, and will seek to take it whenever the opportunity arises. With regards to friendships and relationships, this can obviously be very unhealthy, not to mention unpleasant for the other party. 

No Accountability

They will also see themselves as somehow being above the rules and laws of society – either because they are so ‘special’, or because they are too intelligent or important for such rules to govern them. 

How Dating A Narcissist Changes You

Of course, narcissistic behavior can really change you, especially if you have been in a relationship with that person for a long time. These changes can manifest themselves in many ways.

You Lose Self-Worth

If your needs are persistently not met, and you are broken down at every turn, then you will eventually lose your self-worth – something that can have distinct implications for your confidence, self esteem, and future relationships. 

You Get Used To It

How Dating A Narcissist Changes You

One negative result of dating a narcissistic person can, unfortunately, be that you get used to the behavior – even leading you to justify it down the line. 

You Become Isolated

It can also be an isolating experience, and the lack of time, appreciation, and care can lead to a lack of confidence and self-love – something that can make you feel alone and isolated in your relationship. 

You Fear Conflict

Conflict, in some sense, is a natural part of life, and we all experience it from time to time. However, when this conflict is happening all the time, for no reason, and with someone who supposedly loves you, it can kill your confidence and make conflict a terrifying concept. 

You Feel Worthless

Our partners are usually the closest people in our lives, so when this person starts treating us poorly, we can quickly start to feel worthless. 

If our needs and thoughts are brushed aside instantly, then this could lead to us feeling inferior – or even unworthy of love – something that can have distinct impacts on future relationships. 

You Feel Anxious/Depressed

Narcissists generally use conflict to get what they want, and if this is persistent, it can lead to anxiety and depression down the line. 

This comes from the fear of living around conflict and tension all of the time, and can strip away at your resilience for life as a whole. 

You Lose Trust In People

When someone close to us consistently knocks us down, trusting strangers can become a difficult thing. Trust issues are one of the main side effects of a narcissistic relationship, which can take years to overcome. 

How To Recover From Narcissistic Relationships? 

Luckily, there are certain things you can do to get over narcissistic relationships and make more informed decisions going forward. 

Educate Yourself

This is the first step. By educating yourself about behavioral traits, you can potentially avoid people who possess them. 

Forgive Yourself

This should also go hand in hand with self-forgiveness. How you feel is not your fault, and you were not to blame for how the other person treated you. 

Establish Clear Boundaries

Moving forward in love, it is important to set clear boundaries. These are not to shut other people out but to protect yourself from falling into the same behavior patterns. 

These could be as simple as making time for yourself outside of the relationship, but they are nonetheless healthy and important. 

Talk To People

It can be difficult, but talking to friends and family members can be a great way to find support and regain lost confidence. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about narcissistic behaviors, and how exactly dating a narcissistic person can change and affect you over time. 

Amongst the many toxic traits, narcissism is probably the most prevalent. However, there are ways to cut narcissistic behavior off at the pass, and avoid such relationships as they present themselves. 

So if you are worried that you are in a narcissistic relationship, then be sure to take note of the signs. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

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