Dating a narcissist is no ordinary ordeal. The relationship is in a constant battle in keeping the balance between the person’s overinflated self-esteem and the peace of the relationship. 

To further understand what dating a narcissist is like, we will go back in time to the first woman who came close to dating a narcissist and how the relationship felt. 

The Greek Myth of the first Narcissist and the woman who loved him the most

The word narcissist originated from a man called Narcissus in Greek mythology. 

Narcissus was a very gorgeous hunter whose mother was warned at birth that he would live a long life as long as he doesn’t see his reflection.

He managed to avoid his reflection till adulthood. His charms and beauty were without bounds, and it made him very famous among the ladies, but he always rejected their advances.

One faithful day while hunting in the woods, a female saw him and instantly fell in love with him. She followed him secretly, admiring him from a distance until he noticed and made a demand that whoever was following him should come out. 

After a bit of hesitation, she stepped out of her hiding place and proceeded to hug him. He instantly refused, pushed her to the ground, and left.

She was so heartbroken from the rejection that she sorrowed nonstop until she died in the woods.

The god of vengeance saw what had transpired decided to punish Narcissus by setting a pool of water in his hunting path.

Narcissus sighted his reflection for the first time on the surface of the water and fell in love with it without realizing it was just his reflection. 

When he realized it was just his reflection, he fell into deep grief because he was madly in love with a person he couldn’t have. His grief drove him to take his life.

Going by the first-ever relationship with a narcissist, we could see that dating a narcissist doesn’t seem like a good idea. 

Although some people may argue that it is a myth and it’s a made-up, plus they never entered an official relationship. Which are all true

In order to get a more factual answer as to what it feels like to be in a relationship with a Narcissist, I decided to get some real answers from regular people like you and me who dated or are still dating a Narcissist.

The best place to gather such information is our Space on Quora. For those of you that have no idea what that is, it is an online community on Quora (a Question and Answer platform), where we share and answer different relationship questions and share our relationship experiences with others for the sole purpose of helping each other in their personal relationship struggles.

I decided to ask our audience about their daily experiences dating a narcissist. 

The response I got was both shocking and ironically also expected. Most went to great lengths to explain what it feels like.

Real Life Experiences From People in relationship with a Narcissist

These are real life accounts of what being in a relationship with a narcissist feels like. Their names has been changed to protect their identities.

Rachel 

Being in a relationship with a Narcissistic Man (In my case) is Pure Misery, plain and simple. It’s Never Ending. He will turn even the Nicest, Most Caring, Loving woman, Bitter and Hateful. She would get to a point where she wouldn’t even realize anymore that she has changed into someone that she doesn’t even like. She will even start to hate herself, so more reasons than she can keep up with, and anyone that had known her, from her life before she got with him, they wouldn’t recognize her anymore. She will eventually become just an empty shell of a person. I speak from experience because I once was that woman.

Every day just seems to feel more miserable than the day before. Eventually, it gets to the point that…Continue Reading

 

Sophie:

I saw your question the morning after I decided to keep a timed journal to document the … absolute swings …. I go through as a result of being in a significant other relationship with a NPD.

These radical shifts do not happen on a day-to-day basis but can occur multiple times on a single day. Yes, I am trauma bonded.

I decided to journal the status of my relationship and how I am feeling at specific times each day: 8 am, noon, 9 pm.Continue Reading

Deborah:

Constantly tense…walking on eggshells. Nervous…upset a lot of the time. Depressed. There’s the crazy-making behavior (lying and sticking to the lie) the verbal abuse, the guilt…a trapped feeling. Disbelief at your own tolerance for upheaval and abuse. Feelings of worthlessness… I didn’t realize until years later how many PTSD triggers were constantly being used…he knew my weaknesses and poked those sore spots…purposely. Glad I was done years ago. Good luck with your article.

Maggie:

It’s like a game, a game where you don’t know the rules. When you learn how the game is played and the rules, everything changes; the game, the rules, the pieces, the moves. This can happen several times a day, causing you to live in constant fear and anxiety. Even in stable moments, there is a waiting causing you to never really be able to be happy or at peace. It is exhausting

Nicholls

Like every day, you wake up thinking, what will they find wrong today? What will I do wrong today? It is like walking on eggshells every flipping second. They say do this, you do it, and it is still wrong. Every day you go to the bathroom and look in the mirror, wondering where you are, where did YOU go? It’s mumbling under your breath curse words at their nitpicking. When they say something lovely, you wait, wondering when the hurtful comment is coming, so it’s that continual wait for something to go wrong.

Tom 

It feels like being a Prisoner of War (POW) except there is no Geneva Convention. And, at any time you can escape – but, you won’t unless you understand that your captor is demon-possessed and it isn’t your calling in life to save anyone. Only Jesus saves

Loveline

It’s a constant battle of you trying to knock some common decency into them. Not worth your time, they will never understand!

 

After reading all these personal experiences people have dating a narcissist, the first word that came out of my mouth was “WOW!!!”. How on earth could someone survive under such conditions? Living each day on edge and going through 50 shades of torments every day, seems too much for me to bear.

Those accounts sum up what being in a relationship with a narcissist feels like. If you still want further clarification, we would be going through some professional opinions of what to expect from dating a narcissist.

Psychologist opinion of what being in a relationship with a narcissistic feels like

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) first appeared in literature in 1911 but was first diagnosed in 1980 according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Ever since its discovery, scientists and researchers have been studying this disorder, looking for its causes, effects, and solution.

Although we are still far from discovering a definite cure for this Personality Disorder, its true cause, or identifying a person with NPD.

Medical practitioners use questionnaires to diagnose NPD, which a Narcissist can easily trick, coupled with the fact that diagnosed narcissist has a poor recovery rate due to two main reasons

  • Narcissists don’t see anything wrong about themselves and find it difficult to accept help.
  • As of the time of this writing, there is currently no standard procedure for effectively treating NPD. Their best chance is therapy.

Although they have succeeded in finding out the effect NPD has on others, especially those with whom they share an intimate relationship.

Dr. Richard Grossman

He is a Brookline, Mass.-based psychologist. Who for the past 30 years has dedicated his life to helping those abused by narcissists. He said that in a narcissistic relationship, the person who suffers the most is their loved ones. It doesn’t just include the spouse of a narcissist. It also includes their children, relatives, and their closest friends. This is because a narcissist doesn’t realize his/her is ever wrong. In their eyes, they are perfect supreme beings with no error. Everyone close to them is lucky to have them around. Therefore when people leave, they feel no loss. It’s your loss and not theirs.

When Dr. Richard was asked if he could help clients stay in a relationship with a narcissist, his answer wasn’t shocking to me. He made it clear that leaving a narcissist is generally the only option, although it depends on the level of narcissism the person portrays. 

In his professional opinion, when you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you are never truly heard, seen, or valued. You are simply an object used to inflate their already inflated ego.

Dr. Bärbel Wardetzki

She is a German psychotherapist and author of Female Narcissism – The Hunger for Recognition, made it clear that dealing with a Narcissist can take a heavy toll on your self-esteem. They would make you feel worthless and try to change your perspective of who you think you are. 

 

Both from real-life experiences from those who had been in a relationship with a narcissist and professionals in the field of NPD, the bottom line remains the same. “Being in a relationship with a Narcissist is bad for both your mental and physical health” The longer you stay with a narcissist, the deeper you will get hurt. Doctors are yet to find the cure for this disorder. So why do you want to put your sanity on the line in the name of love? 

In our next article, we will be discussing how to identify a narcissist with the instrument used by therapists, to help you differentiate between a narcissist and a person with a higher self-esteem


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