3 Clever Ways To Repel Narcissists in the Dating World, According to An Expert

Be self-focused and more “self-centered” in dating if you are accustomed to being a people-pleaser. Decenter your dating partners and relationships by viewing relationships as a potential liability not an automatic benefit.

Although narcissists lack empathy themselves (except for cognitive empathy which they choose to use to manipulate), these types of individuals in the dating world often target empathic people who place the needs of others above their own (or can be molded into doing so, even if they initially seemed like a “challenge” to win over to the narcissist).  People who are searching for a relationship at the expense of their well-being and are willing to tolerate anything just to maintain a relationship can also be vulnerable to the manipulative behaviors of exploitative people who want to prey on their sense of urgency. That is why decentering your dating partners can be so important, especially for women who are conditioned to be people-pleasers and programmed to prioritize their relationship status. Maintain your own life outside of dating and prioritize yourself, your friendships, family connections, hobbies, interests. Think about what you want out of dating more than how to please someone else. Assess compatibility more ruthlessly with cost-benefits analysis of what this relationship can actually give you versus the costs (including the costly sacrifice of your peace, time, and energy).

Resist fast-forwarding and love-bombing. Don’t take future faking at face value.
Avoid dating partners who seem to contact you 24/7 and are excessively persistent. This can be a red flag of love bombing and trying to fast-forward the relationship with a hidden agenda. In many ways, love and dating is the same as doing business. If someone promises something to you, in business interactions you make sure to get it in writing and document it. While you can’t write up contracts in dating or relationships (although I’ve certainly heard some interesting stories of people trying), you can closely look at the actions of your dating partners rather than their words. Resist attempts by dating partners who promise you an ideal relationship, marriage, children, or swear they will take care of you financially prematurely before they even get to know you.

Reserve your empathy and nurturing until organic trust is built over time.
Psychopathy experts note that people with narcissistic and psychopathic personality traits seek out people (especially women) who are very nurturing, generous and caring. It is wonderful to exhibit these traits with an emotionally safe partner but it can leave you especially vulnerable to predatory people who seek to take advantage of your nurturance and empathy. While you can certainly still be empathic to other empathic people, it’s important to balance this with a sense of solid boundaries rather than trying to rationalize or minimize red flags that don’t serve you just in order to see someone else’s perspective or find a reason behind any toxic behavior. Remember, this person is a stranger to you and organic trust has to be built over time. Trust your instincts and trust yourself.

About the author

Shahida Arabi

Shahida is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University. She is a published researcher and author of Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse and Breaking Trauma Bonds with Narcissists and Psychopaths. Her books have been translated into 16+ languages all over the world. Her work has been featured on Salon, HuffPost, Inc., Bustle, Psychology Today, Healthline, VICE, NYDaily News and more. For more inspiration and insight on manipulation and red flags, follow her on Instagram here.