When you fall in love with a narcissist what you have most in common is the love for them. You both love the same person. Then when the relationship ends the hardest task isn’t just it being over, it’s having to reteach yourself what an actually healthy relationship is.
When you are in one of these relationships it’s hard to see the actual effect it has on you. But it becomes clear when you begin to date again. There’s this uneasiness not just about others but about yourself.
In psychology today Stephen Johnson says “this alternate persona to the real self often comes across as grandiose, “above others,” self-absorbed, and highly conceited.”
So when you date someone like this your role is to solely aid their ego and their needs and you will always come second to that.
After that, you have to relearn your own self-worth but there is a lot of baggage you take into your next relationship because even when you move on a narcissist’s effect lingers long after they are gone.
It takes a very special man to show you what you never deserved in the first place.
1. He’s confident in you.
Your confidence had been completely shaken. Not only do you doubt others but you doubt yourself for the choices you made. You wonder will this person deceive you? But your doubt is met with confidence.
2. He works to build your trust.
In your last relationship, it wasn’t built on trust. It was built on an unstable ground of high intense emotions where everything was always your fault. Where cheating, (if it happened) was a result of you not pleasing him. Where him losing his shit was triggered by something you did. You didn’t trust what he said because the relationship was built on uncertainty.
But with this new guy, he’s patient. He’s gentle. He works to earn your trust not just assume he has it. In learning to trust him you learn to trust yourself all the time.
3. He’s kind all the time.
You never knew when your exes personality would change, while he wasn’t nice all the time he had a way of charming you and making up for whatever happened. The unbalance of everything left you confused.
I think the saddest part is that moment you realize a simple act of kindness all the time became so unfamiliar to you.
4. He wants to hear what you have to say.
Every conversation resorted back to your ex. The amount of times he used the word “I” made you cringe.
But now you find yourself talking about yourself more to someone who wants to listen. Someone who asks questions and cares about knowing about your interest. Cares about learning about your past. But more than that cares about not repeating the mistakes someone else made.
5. He apologizes when he is wrong.
You might be used to always saying sorry even when you weren’t at fault. You might be used to fights and screaming and yelling which leads to someone always walking out. The toxic thing about these relationships is this rollercoaster of emotions becomes normal and as much you hate it, in a way you become addicted to it also.
But in a new relationship, you wonder about the first fight. You attempt to apologize and overcompensate. But there are three unfamiliar words you haven’t heard ever in the past, “I was wrong.”
Someone owning up to their mistakes and making it up to you by talking out the issue almost brings you to tears.
6. He spoils you.
You were always trying so hard for that person and everything you ever did fell short of unrealistic expectations. No matter what you did it was never enough. But more than that, the person never reciprocated anything you had to give.
But here is someone buying you flowers because they feel like it. Surprising you on dates. Constantly reminding you what it is you deserve and that they value your time and attention.
Someone who comes out of a narcissistic relationship does not expect much at all. Their expectations in another person are so low it’s heartbreaking.
But to finally have someone treat you the way you deserve is everything you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a reality.
7. He’s humble.
He’s not boastful or bragging or has an inflated ego. His accomplishments aren’t something he flaunts. In fact, he’s more praiseworthy and in awe of all you do. But after your last relationship, that type of attention makes you uncomfortable. The fact you don’t realize you are as beautiful and as special as you are, might be what attracts him more.
You think back to the past, it was always about complimenting your ex and making him feel worthwhile, even though he never met you half way with it.
And as you praised him more and more it just fed into his ego.
According to Huffington Post, they say “You find yourself resorting to flattery just to maintain the peace with a narcissist.”
8. He’s positive and upbeat.
Narcissists thrive on negativity and drama. They put themselves in the center of it often creating problems just to see how people respond to it.
But now you find yourself not overcome with issues or problems. You realize how much happier your life is without your ex and you look over at this new person counting your blessings.
9. He doesn’t manipulate you or throw guilt.
Narcissist men are kings of control. Because there are parts of their life that aren’t within their control, they try and take that out on others. When you are in a relationship with one, you realize how careful you have to be. It’s like walking on eggshells with them.
And they always know exactly what to say to make you feel bad.
They use words as draggers to control you and make you feel bad.
The effect something like this has on a person is becoming passive, letting others control them, not sticking up for themselves.
So when you enter a new healthy relationship you realize normal people aren’t like this at all. You learn that relationships are a 50/50 thing.
10. He teaches you what love really is.
You realize love isn’t sacrificing your self-respect to be what someone else needs. You realize love is someone meeting you halfway. Love is someone always caring. Love is someone who enjoys your company as much as you enjoy theirs. Love are three words you say and you don’t wonder if you’ll hear it back.
Then you wake up one day and realize that old relationship was never actually love but love’s greatest disguise that almost tarnished your own definition.
Then you look over at this person sleeping next to you and that’s when you realize what love actually is.
And while the lasting effect of an awful ex-does impact the person you are today and the relationships you have, when you finally meet someone who treats you better, you begin to wonder how you tolerated anything like you did before.
But you don’t look at your reflection with disbelief of the person you used to be, you at her with admiration because it takes a very strong woman to love a narcissist. But it takes an even stronger one to walk away.
And you might never get the sorry you deserve because those words are unfamiliar to them but you will find comfort in forgiving yourself.
Healthy Place said, “One of the tragedies of narcissistic abuse is that victims never get the validation so desperately wanted from their abuser(s), to help them recover from narcissistic abuse.”
Sometimes recovery isn’t just healing but rather someone else learning to love your scars.