The dating world can be a complicated one — especially if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why rules and lists of “do’s” and “don’t do’s” seem to be endless. But sometimes, those can get in the way of a good thing.
According to a recent Huffington Post article titled “How To Spot A Narcissist On The Very First Date,” there are six common traits people should be looking for in order to avoid a first-class narcissist. Psychologist Craig Malkin, author of “Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad — And Surprising Good — About Feeling Special” told HuffPo:
“Although there are many varieties of narcissism (outgoing and bombastic, shy and introverted, or proudly self-sacrificing), there are common traits. What they all have in common is a powerful aversion to sharing authentic emotional vulnerability.”
While some of the six reasons listed seemed to fit the bill, some of them also seemed as though they could pass for just run-of-the-mill first-date nerves.
Rule #1: “They’ve planned your date itinerary to a T.”
“Instead of asking for what they want, narcissists often arrange events to make them happen. If your date insists on planning out the entire date, it could be a fun sweep-you-off-your feet experience, but it could also signal something far more ominous: someone who demands that everything always goes their way.”
However, it could also be that a person wanted you both to have a wonderful, fun night and tried to plan accordingly.
Rule #2: “They love-bomb you.”
Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapist Virginia Gilbert told the Huffington Post:
“The adoration is so intoxicating that you may ignore the fact that it’s way too soon to be planning a future together. Reality check: Your date is using love-bombing to hook you so you’ll give him what he wants ― most likely physical intimacy, money, connections, or taking care of them.”
Although excessive flattering can definitely be a bad sign, what if, just maybe, someone means what they say when they meet someone as awesome as you?
Rule #3: “They subtly slip humble brags about themselves into the conversation.”
Tina Swithin, a divorce coach and the author of “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield,” told HuffPost:
“A highly skilled narcissist may casually mention the high-end gym that they belong to or that they only fly first-class, but it is done with such subtle sophistication that their target may not even register it as a red flag. The less-skilled narcissist will openly and obnoxiously discuss their Ivy League degree, or the square footage of their new apartment.”
This one definitely isn’t pleasant so stay cautious, but it might just be a nasty reflex from nerves.
Rule #4: “They’re rude to the waitstaff.”
Darlene Lancer, author of “Codependency for Dummies” and “Dealing with a Narcissist” told the Huffington Post:
“How do they treat the waitress, the car hop, or staff at the ice cream shop? Rudeness and arrogance signal low self-esteem and narcissism. Their rudeness to the waiter and hostess could hint at pent-up rage and demanding and possibly emotionally abusive behavior.”
Whoever is rude to a waiter or bartender is probably a jerk — narcissist or otherwise.
Rule #5: “They assure you they’re looking for long-term love, but most of their relationships were short-lived.”
“Chances are, their relationships have frequently ended after intimacy developed. They’re looking for perfection but usually find some flaw, and end the relationship so they can continue their search.”
While there’s always a potential problem with someone who’s never been able to settle down, that could also mean he or she simply never met the right person … yet.
Rule #6: “They pry about your insecurities but never reveal theirs.”
“The two of you will talk about your vulnerabilities or tough experiences you’ve had, but they’ll never once volunteer their own struggles. You feel like you’re opening up, until you realize you’re the only one who’s laid your soul bare. It’s a great strategy for the narcissist to feel stronger in an inherently uncomfortable situation, but it spells huge trouble down the line. With a narcissist, it’s likely that you’ll always be in the hot seat.”
Dating someone is also the time to get to know someone. So, getting into a deep conversation may not be a bad sign. However, watch out to make sure the exchange of vulnerabilities is even.
These six rules undoubtedly make good points and are things to look out for when grabbing dinner with someone new. But it’s also important to remember that no one’s perfect. And sometimes, it’s only a matter of first-date jitters.