RELATIONSHIP

The Aftermath Of Dating A Narcissist

Views

What nobody tells you about narcissists is that they are really good at the art of disguise and a girl who dates a narcissist will never be aware that she’s dating one until it’s too late. Until she’s left alone, broken and drained to pick up her own pieces. And it will take her a hell of a time to heal because the aftermath of dating a narcissist is immense.

A girl who dated a narcissist will have her self-worth crushed. As the aftermath of dating a narcissist, this girl will be completely lost. She’ll have very low self-esteem—if there appears to be any left after the narcissist is done with her. She’ll lose her dignity, all the value and all the faith she had in herself before a narcissist walked into her life.

A girl who dated a narcissist will be vulnerable and afraid all the time. The consequences of dating such a toxic guy will be so visible because she’ll try her best to hide that she’s afraid or that everything in this world touches her, but she won’t make it. Everything about her—her eyes, the way she behaves when someone new approaches her—everything will scream that she is at her most vulnerable because of her past.

A girl who dated a narcissist will only smile because she has to. She won’t feel like smiling but in order not to make those who care for her worried, she’ll put a smile on her face. She forgot how happiness feels and she hasn’t smiled from the top of her lungs for a long time. It’s the price she had to pay for welcoming the narcissist in her life.

A girl who dated a narcissist will avoid talking about what happened. She’ll develop some kind of defense mechanism of her own. She’ll become guarded, she’ll avoid people and she’ll try to keep herself busy in order to forget the hell she’s been through and the hell she’s living as the aftermath of dating a narcissist.

A girl who dated a narcissist will have anxiety and depression as her best friends. She might’ve not been like this at the beginning, she might’ve not been anxious or depressed, but dating a narcissist doesn’t come without a cost. Usually, anxiety and depression come as side effects of a toxic relationship and it’ll take her quite some time before she starts feeling normal.

Recovering from a narcissist and surviving the aftermath of dating a narcissist won’t be easy. Healing will be a hard and long process, and plenty of people won’t understand why it takes so long and why she doesn’t “just get over it already”. Only those who care enough will actually care to stay as long as she needs them. Only those who truly love her will be with her through her whole period and will be her biggest support because she’ll never be able to get over it alone.

This girl who dated a narcissist forgot about the good in humans. You can’t wrap your mind around it because you have probably never experienced anything like it and you should be lucky that you dodged the bullet. Unfortunately, she didn’t. She fell for the wrong guy and she lost so many things. But the worst part is the fact that she doesn’t believe there are any more good people out there. She just can’t see it because her past forces her to see her tormentor in each person she meets.

She isn’t recovering from love lost or even the failure of a relationship but from warfare.

The Aftermath Of Dating A Narcissist

She won’t be able to get over what happened to her so easily. She’ll need more time than you think. And your impatience will just harm her. If you won’t help her, don’t make things worse by judging her. You think she wouldn’t want to be normal or happy or the way she was before she got herself into the narcissist’s nest? She would, but she just doesn’t know how.

She’ll need constant reassurance. She forgot a long time ago how it feels to be fearless—how it feels not to be scared or not to have to be careful. She forgot how it feels not to anticipate anything bad. Therefore, she’ll need to hear from you a lot how the nightmare is over and how everything will be okay. She’ll need to hear from you how she doesn’t need to be scared and that she doesn’t need to worry because you’ll always be there to be her rock.

She’ll have a hard time trusting people. Her past taught her not to trust anyone because the one she thought was closest to her, pushed her closest to hell. That’s why she’ll be doubtful whenever someone new tries to enter her life. She’ll take any act of good towards her with a dose of suspicion, thinking she’ll pay for it later—and she’ll pay for it big time.

She’ll need some time before she welcomes someone new in her life or decides to love. Love is now a very strange and unknown feeling to her. What she once thought was love turned into the most toxic feeling and it made her a prisoner of her tormentor. She won’t allow herself to develop feelings towards anyone—let alone the feeling of love. That’s how bruised she is.

She’ll apologize constantly. Because she went through hell, she’ll have this need to apologize—even for the things she doesn’t need to. She learned that the best way to avoid emotional beatings is taking all the blame and that’s what she did when she dated a narcissist. This is something she’ll have a hard time shaking off, so don’t be surprised when you hear her saying “I’m so sorry” for the smallest thing because that’s her defensive mechanism and it will take a while before she gets rid of it.

She’ll hide her feelings. In her previous relationship with a narcissist, ‘to feel’ always came with a price. The more she showed her feelings, the worse he treated her. That’s why you’ll never be able to see what she truly feels. She’ll be scared to come off as clingy, too emotional, overly sensitive or even boring with all those emotions of hers. She’ll be scared you won’t understand so she’ll take the ‘easy’ road by always choosing to bottle her feelings up.

Nothing in this process of recovering will be easy. She’ll have frequent mood swings. Often, she’ll want to be isolated and she’ll guard her heart more than you’ve even seen. She’ll need constant reassurance—you’ll need to prove her day after day that you’re there, that you’re not leaving and that you understand what happened to her. You’ll need to show her that she isn’t alone, that you care and that together, you two can overcome whatever happened. She’ll need a lot of time and she might never become the person you’d want her to be. All of this will be overwhelming at moments.

But it will be worth it. It’s not her fault that she’s the way she is now. She just doesn’t know how to live otherwise. She’s an amazing person—or at least she was before she fell into the claws of a narcissist—but she can get better. It takes a lot of work, but she may become a normal human after all.

She needs someone who’ll show her that there are good people in this world. She deserves someone who won’t just talk, but who’ll be there for her, who’ll make promises and actually keep them. She needs someone who’ll put her first after she’s been on the bottom for such a long time. She needs someone to prove to her that she matters and someone who’ll be her shoulder to cry on.

She needs someone to help her heal and to show her that there is more to her life than what she went through with her narcissist. She needs a good guy in order to finally break free from the aftermath of dating a narcissist. So if you care, care enough to be the next good guy for her. She deserves to get the love she gave to the wrong person. She deserves to matter.

There is still an amazing girl in her. There is still a girl who’s ready to conquer the world and that’s destined to live life to the fullest—only this girl is hiding at the moment because she was broken and now she’s scared. Show her that she has nothing to be afraid of and all your effort will make sense after she recovers.

4 Comments

  • If one were to rely primarily on generalized internet searches that use the terms “narcissist,” “relationship,” “breakup,” “healing,” etc, then one might conclude that all narcissists are male, and all of their targets/victims are female. You won’t find many articles like this for men that have been through this kind of turmoil, or much of anything that acknowledges that they go through anything similar, or much of anything that would suggest that their feelings or psychological health matter at all.

    I have been through the lovebomb, de-value, discard process with one of these types of Cluster B women. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Though it wasn’t nearly as bad or as long-term an experience of narcissistic abuse as that of other people, I experienced the sort of aftermath described here, and needed much of what’s being suggested in the way of care from others. I got very little support or understanding of any kind – mostly a lot of “man up,” “get over it,” “let it go,” “stop letting it affect you,” etc. The only people who can genuinely understand and empathize are people that have been through the same sort of thing, or that have acquired their PTSD from some other experience.

    If you look at the rest of this site, and most every similar site (Thought Catalog, Elite Daily, Elephant Journal, Bolde, etc), you will find countless articles by female authors, advocating that women leave men who are similarly damaged, or who are psychologically unhealthy in any capacity – that they’re not worth the time, energy, or investment. If they’re not utterly ruined, then they must heal on their own – either way, it’s their problem. Somehow, people manage to wonder about the reasons why the amount of successful suicides for men is four times higher than that of women.

    Men aren’t supposed to feel emotional pain, because men aren’t supposed to feel any intense emotion. That’s not sarcasm, or a jab at “toxic masculinity” – that’s reality. There’s no room for emotions when you have to fight off a large predator or a conquering tribe/nation, carry your wounded back to camp, or do anything else that men are supposed to do. It is not natural or befitting to a man, and women know this at a primal/sexual/biological level.

    “Basically, men live under the pressure of one unrelenting message: Do not be perceived as weak. Here’s the painful pattern that emerged from my research with men: We ask them to be vulnerable, we beg them to let us in, and we plead with them to tell us when they’re afraid, but the truth is that most women can’t stomach it. In those moments when real vulnerability happens in men, most of us recoil with fear, and that fear manifests as everything from disappointment to disgust. And men are very smart. They know the risks, and they see the look in our eyes when we’re thinking, C’mon! Pull it together. Man up.” –Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

    As much as Dr Brown espouses and advocates for the glory of vulnerability, she has yet to provide an answer or solution for changing this – because it can’t be changed.

    The things you’re advocating that men do here, while kind and benevolent Disney ideals that we’ve all been taught to believe in and tell our sons to uphold, are ultimately counterproductive. A man showing this kind of persistent love, patience, compassion, etc (emotional availability) to a woman may be welcomed and even appreciated during her healing period, but it will not earn him any kind of substantial or lasting intimacy, romance, or loyalty. As soon as she’s recovered and reasonably well-adjusted again, she will find this behavior (and him) boring, pathetic, and worthy of contempt – and will resume her attraction to the confident, charming, handsome, mysterious, and un-tameable kind of male (the type likely to be narcissistic), because he possesses the sort of survival qualities and genetics that her body wants for her offspring.

    I have seen it happen too many times to recognize it as anything but a natural pattern. Women are attracted to bad boys (the primary form of strong alpha males in western culture), not good men. This is nature at work, and our cultural ideals do not override our biology, hormones, and root-level psychology.

    If we want real equality, perhaps, our culture should treat women who’ve been through this kind of experience the same way it does men, for a while – sadly, that seems much more realistic and natural than trying to get women to apply empathy, compassion, acceptance, and non-disposability to men.

Leave a Reply