If you listen to a podcast or follow social media accounts that talk about the dating world, I’m sure you’ve heard about the new trends such as Narcissistic or Borderline people, and also about people with commitment phobias.
I love social media and the digital world because people now have access to knowledge from experts that back then, we did not have. We are more conscious about the people we date and what red flags to look for. But sometimes people take one thing that may look or sound a bit narcissistic, and we assume our partner is narcissistic.
Before I dive in, let’s look at the definition of Narcissistic and borderline separately:
Narcissist: a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of the self, needs admiration from many, and lacks empathy toward others.
Borderline: is characterized by a long-term pattern of unstable relationships, a distorted sense of self, and strong emotional reactions.
I am giving these definitions because I think it is important to know them, but also be careful to not get stuck in them. If the person you’re dating glanced at themselves a little longer than they should or bragged about something they accomplished, it does not automatically mean they are narcissistic. More than anything you have to see how often they are engaging in such behavior, and this is something difficult to determine on the first date. Nonetheless, here are some trends happening in the dating world that you should be aware of:
Gaslighting: Manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
Breadcrumbing: The act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages
Ghosting: The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.
Love Bombing: Going the extra mile more than usual. At first it may make you feel like you're in an amazing relationship, but then it may suddenly stop. Most of the time, love bombing displays forms of attention that seem really unnecessary.
Orbiting: When someone you dated stops communicating with you in real life, but continues to like and view your social media posts
Great, these are all the bad things in the dating world, but you might be wondering, ok so what should I look for?
I’m all about finding solutions to problems, so here are some things you should look for when you are dating:
He has his own life together
She sees finances similarly to you
Relationship with their family, for example, is he too clingy to his parents? Is her family too conflictual? Remember that you marry the person and their whole family. No family is perfect, so don’t look for perfection but something that you can work with or learn to understand and accept.
She has a support system
He has his own goals and aspirations
She have their own hobbies and interests
He supports your own hobbies and interests
She is ok with you asking for your needs being met
He is ok with asking you for his needs to be met without playing games
Your relationship issues/fights are not blasted on social media
He talks positively about you to others
It's ok to agree to disagree in the relationship without it becoming WWIII
Life-altering decisions are discussed openly
He can become accountable when he’s at fault —but remember that it takes two to tango. Always try to see how you are part of the problem at hand.
Life is not a fairy tale: He or she has a healthy understanding that a healthy relationship is not like a fairytale movie
You feel you can be yourself — obviously considering the other person’s feelings
Humor is always a plus
But more importantly, are you able to be yourself?
Like I said before, it is very hard to tell by just a few dates if a person is borderline or narcissistic. You have to pay attention to the pattern and how often it happens. Sometimes the person might not even be aware of his or her actions. Make space to speak your mind, make sure that you can be yourself and that you and your partner have similar core values.
To your Relationship Success,
Your therapy friend,
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