Concerning a #Narcissist: 1
In 2014, I met a man who changed me forever. I met him via a dating website. His profile painted a portrait of someone who was funny, geeky, intelligent, artistic and attractive in a quirky way. He stood out by a mile from the other people I’d matched with, quickly our conversation moved from the website to Facebook - because he looked me up and I had the same profile photo on both, the photo above. We *clicked*. He explained he hadn’t long got out of a long term #relationship (8 years, ending 6 months before) and wanted to take his time getting to know himself again, meeting GOOD people doing that.
We met in the Pavilion Gardens in Brighton, it was summer, so we sat outside and shared a bottle of wine and talked. He smoked a joint. It was a lovely evening. I mean really. I hadn’t felt a connection like it for years. I was in a state of flux, between permanent houses, #mentalhealth not in the best way but managing and I was, looking back, EXTREMELY vulnerable. Meeting this man felt like the start of a new, positive phase. .
We seemed to be absolutely in sync. He was charming to my friends, liked ALL the same things as me, complimented me, said things that sounded genuine. Loving. It all happened very quickly: within a week we were a couple, within a month we were living together. He told me he loved me already. He said that he’d been seeing a couple of girls since the end of his last serious relationship but they’d ended badly/he wasn’t ready/they weren’t right/they were just so crazy and clingy and he was so lucky that I wasn’t like *them*. And I was, horribly, flattered by that. Because he said it with such a smile on his face, his hand warm on the small of my back. .
That phase is known as #LoveBombing. When everything is overwhelming, wonderful, you're showered with love and the kindest words you’ve *longed* to hear and it feels so *right*. And NONE of it is real. The #redflags which you might notice? You dismiss them as your own paranoia or insignificant compared to the GOOD chemical stuff you’re feeling. Remember those “crazy” girls he mentioned, we are going to learn a bit more about them tomorrow.
Yes female narcissists exist too - but this specific post is not about that. It’s about how toxic this dating culture has become and how hookup culture has enabled and rewarded toxic masculinity, often at the expense of the same women attempting to bend themselves backwards trying to “get” a man who usually isn’t even going to give her the respect she deserves. And dating coaches continue to teach women how to cater to that toxicity rather than to combat it and walk away and honor their singlehood rather than settle for subpar crumbs. We need more dating coaches which teach women to note the red flags, to honor their boundaries, needs, desires without changing themselves for a potential partner.
I grew up seeing violence against my Mom. Thankfully, she broke that cycle and met a wonderful man that loved us unconditionally. A few years later, as a teen, I met the man who would later become my husband. I brushed off the #redflags by then it was too late.
After 20+ years, I am safe, remarried, and sharing my story with others so they can learn the signs and break free. If any of this resonates with you please know you are not alone.
I will be speaking about the signs of #teendatingviolence
at @the_librarium_cafe in Hobart, IN from 4:00 to 6:00 this afternoon. Stop in for great coffee ☕, coversation, a bit of my story of surviving and signing my books, #callmemaster and #risingfromtheashes 💜. BIG HUGS!