Swept off your feet with compliments, fancy dinners, and generous gifts—you think you’ve found McDreamy. When you describe the surreal time you’re having with friends, it feels like you’re talking about a movie. Yet, as the dating continues, you start to notice that it’s really all about him. He constantly talks about himself, prioritizes his needs over yours, is overly sensitive to any form of criticism—and is obsessed with status (the fancy dinners dates at the exclusive restaurants are starting to make sense).
You find that emotional intimacy is impossible, and your relationship starts to fizzle— and you realize it’s happened again.
You dated a narcissist. Again.
Only 7.7 percent of men have a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), but you may have dated one, or maybe even several, as they often flock to a certain type of woman. If you’ve frequently dated guys who make it all about them, you might have noticed a pattern. After the intense wooing is over, he’s quick to criticize you and put you down if you express any sort of resistance to his need to put himself first.
As a therapist, I’ve seen this seriously damage women’s self-esteem and well-being. And over time, I’ve noticed that narcissists seek certain traits in potential romantic partners. So I spoke with other experts in my field to discuss trends and discovered that there are five common traits a narcissist looks for in a woman.
Do any of these sounds like you?