On the question of dating after a Narcissist; As we have learned there are Narcissists everywhere!

So you have made it through your Recovery and you want to begin to get your feet wet again.

This is in response to a member's question regarding their frustration with beginning to date again. This answer pertains to this particular member, yet others may also find some of this helpful.

Whether you feel ready not, the biggest thing I hope we all have learned from this experience is SELF PROTECTION and to TRUST OUR INSTINCTS and watch for those RED FLAGS.

NO venue is completely safe or "foolproof." The Internet is a preditors playground. They can pretend to be whoever they want to be. Many have met their narcs online.

Craigslist and many other dating sites, are the worst place to meet people. NO quality man is going to be looking for a quality woman on a free internet site. Think about it. You are a man. Divorced, or a widower, or just single and you want to meet a quality woman for a longterm relationship. Would you seriously even consider trying to find this woman on Craigslist or any other free Internet dating site?

Hell NO.

Most quality men DO NOT NEED to go on the Internet to find women, they are quality so their friends, coworkers, are constantly trying to fix them up or they meet people when they are out. Quality men HAVE FRIENDS, quality men are able to TALK to people; they do NOT need to be all liquored up, coked up, or are so anxiety ridden and shy that they are afraid to speak to someone at an event, the supermarket, the library, ect....

We should reach the point in our recovery where we are no longer looking for the "fixer uppers" the men with childhood issue's, mommy issue's, issues with speaking clearly about who they are and what they want, men who are active addicts, men who are shy and need you to speak for them and do for them, men who require alcohol to "act normal", men who DO NOT NEED the Internet to hide behind to find a "quick fix" "new supply"

Having said all of this about the Internet, there are sites which target who and what you are and what you are looking for and the more you pay, generally the more you get. There are sites for particular interests groups, sites for Christians, sites for mature singles, site for only those looking for long term, ect.. Do the research, find a site which does psychological profiling, background checks, has a proven success rate.

Because there are some men out there who do not have the time to meet potential gf's due to work, children, ect...
Those men are the exception not the rule in my opinion on the Internet and your chances are higher the more quality the site is and the more they do to protect you on the site. There are services where you go in and speak with reps who match you with potential dates, they are expensive and require your taking the time to provide detailed profile information and sometimes an introduction video, ect...

Most people would not buy a car online and pay for it and have it shipped to their house, so most people want to go and look at it, test drive it, compair dealerships and prices. So then WHY would we so casually meet people and allow them into our lives without completey checking them out and also checking out the quality of the service providing these people.

Many people in my area have found long term mates through local singles groups. You have a better chance here, because these men have to do the work. They have to go the meetings week after week, participate in the groups, go to the activities, ect... Sounds to me like someone is a bit more sincere in this venue than a man who wants to go on a free site and get you without having to do the work and pay for it.

AND this bullshit of talking to men online for weeks on end who want to talk about sex and all their problems BEFORE they have even met you, is the BIGGEST SCAM of all. They are bored and are looking for something for NOTHING. Never ever ever engage with a man who wants to talk with you about SEX online before you have even met; this is a HUGE RED FLAG, A HUGE BILLBOARD. Exchanging countless pics before you have even met someone is their way of SCREWING you online, for FREE, without having to lift a finger or make the effort to get their sorry ass up and off the bed or couch to go out and get to know you properly.

Long distance relationships online are primarily designed to use you as emotional and physical WHACKING material. Don't do it, a man looking for long term DOES NOT want someone who is living in Alaska.

GET REAL!!!

Around here we have New Beginnings, Socialble Singles, things of that nature.

Now clearly these groups are NOT free from any players, the difference is that you have the protection of the group, you can watch them for awhile, ask others what they think about this one or that one, as you make friends there, you all will be protective of each other, you know the drill.

Many churches now have singles groups, there are meetup groups for specific activities, where it gives you a chance to watch them in action before you accept their company in your life.

Your odds are better if the group is specifically a singles group because then you know that the participates are all interested in meeting other singles.

However I have gone to some meetups and met some nice couples and women as well, so the social scene is NOT always just about finding a man.

Remember that all these people are watching you just as much as you are watching them, so many like to see how YOU present yourself for awhile before they make their move. A healthy man is not in any particular rush to leap on you and jump on you. I have seen many of them wait weeks or months before they make their moves on a woman they like, because they want to be sure as well, they also do not want any drama in their lives.

The one's who leap on you the second you walk in the door and while it may "appear" to be flattering, it is NOT, they are generally the desparate one's or the players.

I think some women are under the misconception that if a man comes right up to you and starts going on about how great you are that he must really think you are special, not the case, those are usually the players. They have no impulse control and want to suck you in before the good one's get the chance.

WAKE UP!!!

Perhaps you are not being patient enough and getting to know these people and enjoying whatever the activity is. A woman walking into the room LOOKING FOR a quick connect is just as much of a red flag as a man doing it.

No quality man is looking for a woman who is EASY, they never did and they NEVER will.

Do NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT talk to a new prospective date about your relationship issue's, problems, your X, your struggles to find the right man, and all the rest of what we talk about on here.

IT is a major turn off to a quality man and a player will use every last detail of your tale of woe against you in the future. When you give away all of your insecurities, issue's, and vulnerablities to a stranger you are only asking for trouble. Basically you are giving them material a key to our inner workings, in which to manipulate you in the future.

PROTECT YOURSELF!!!

Keep it light, talk about your interests, your animals, the new book you just read, not this one, lol. You get the drift, none of the horror of what we have been through needs to be rehashed with a new date and if they are going on and on about their prior relationships, GET OUT and RUN they are either not over it or looking for sympathy from you and either way, they are not good dating material right now.

Have fun, be yourself, keep it light, enjoy the music, the speaker, the activity, and be patient, great relationships develop slowly over time, there is no rush to jump back into the frying pan.

Do things with women, make new women friends, go out to dinner and a movie. Join a club with a friend. And if you are short on women friends lately because the Narc has been occupying your thoughts over these years then cultivate some women friends as well. LIfe is NOT all about men, because if they leave and you have few good woman friends, then you are not going to have much of a support system in your new life anyway.

Women friends are worth their weight in gold, they will be your friends regardless to who comes and goes and this is the same formular you use for men. Get to know them, stay away from the one's who are just looking for a man and don't treat other women right. Find some quality women friends as well, this will help you to feel more connected and help to ward off those feelings of lonliness.

LOVE YOURSELF AND OTHER WOMEN!!!

First and the whole man thing will take care of itself.

Healthy men like women who have women friends, it makes you look like your life is whole and you are not going to be needly and try to suck them up. They want to have their outside activities and they want you to have yours.

We are so accustomed to men who want to take us hostage, that we often forget how a healthy relationship operates.

Have fun on your journey and God bless you,

Goldie

January 17, 2013 - 9:09am
IncognitoBurrito
IncognitoBurrito's picture

Gem, gem, gems! Yep.

January 18, 2012 - 1:21pm
ladywithatruck
ladywithatruck's picture

I say YES! Sign me up!!

If all women stuck together and respected themselves enough to not get sucked into his sick competition pitting the women against each other it would be a HUGE step towards ending their twisted game. We must remember too that there are narcissistic women. Although I believe narcissists are born that way I think mothers feed their narcissism and it is up to women to teach their son's to respect women so that the line between how a healthy man treats a woman and how a narcissist/psycho treats a woman is not blurred. I was a single mom of a boy and I taught him to respect women and I was always a strong self sufficient woman who didn't take crap from any man(consequently why he was so confused about how I kept taking the abuse from JC). He can cook as good as any woman, knows how to do laundry, keeps his home relatively clean and treats women with respect. Unfortunately he hasn't always been appreciated for it, but that's ok because he isn't looking for a woman to complete him; he leads a well rounded life. And if and when I see my son acting in a way I don't feel is appropriate I will tell him; I know he is not perfect and he knows if I think he is disrespecting a woman I am going to bring him up on it. My ex N's mother thought the sun rose and set on him. She knew he hit me but she just ignored it, she knew he was always pissing off the neighbours and employers and her response was, "people just have to accept that's just the way JC is." I said, "Mom, when does JC have to accept that people don't have to accept the way he is?" His mother and for that matter the whole family kept thinking the right woman would "fix" him. His mother blamed everything and everyone but him. She emailed me saying I was being vindictive because I wanted the car he was driving out of my name because he didn't have a valid driver's license. I emailed back that he is living with a new woman, he has hit me, sabotaged my vehicle, told me to kill myself, destroyed my possessions, and I am being vindictive and should forgive him?? When does he have to be accountable for his actions? Sorry! I went off on a tangent! YES I sign yes! Excellent idea fooled no longer
January 16, 2012 - 8:37pm
LearninToDanceI...
LearninToDanceInTheRain's picture

amazing advice!

Goldie, I am promising myself right now that I will read this post over and over and over and over. It would be nice if I could straight up memorize the whole thing. Haha. Thank you SO much. As painful as this whole process is (knowing my husband is a narc and preparing to leave him), I feel so empowered every time I view this site. It gives me great hopes for the future. You're awesome. You are probably saving lives, and restoring souls with all of your wonderful advice. :)
January 3, 2012 - 4:01pm
HardToBelieve
HardToBelieve's picture

Excellent post!

I wish I read this BEFORE I did everything that you've written. I regret it alot to say the least! I am textbook example of what you wrote. I guess I can't do anything other than learn from my mistakes and move forward.
January 1, 2012 - 9:59pm
Ladydb123
Ladydb123's picture

A new fello

Has showed up during the last few months and I am definitely taking it slow. He has been seeking me out for the last two years. He really seems to be a nice person, however he started out calling me pet names, which doesn't set well with me at all and I told him. He talks a mile a minute. I finally went on a movie date that was OK and now he keeps sending me email cards. I have told him that I have been single and independent for a long time however he keeps coming on. It's so hard to tell what these guys are up too....anymore. My Narc friend was a gentleman, very calm, quiet and listened at first and I liked that. He didn't try to smother me or consume me, however I feel he slowly sucked me into his sick web of lies and used me to help him get over some tax and legal issues in his life. His true mask started to slip last year and I started to distance myself. My feelings are everything that has been said anger, humilation, saddness, betrayal, mad as hell that is sick person thinks he got away with a win. But they don't really win in the long run.
January 1, 2012 - 4:02pm
Classie
Classie's picture

Wonderful thoughts!

Timely, and excellent thoughts, Goldie! If I had only known this prior to the horrific experience with the ex-NARC! Appreciate you!
December 28, 2011 - 6:42am
Hidden Waters
Hidden Waters's picture

This blog entry was just what

This blog entry was just what I needed to read. You are so right about everything. I realize all of those things you mentioned are things I need to cultivate and do in order to become healthier and more stable...after dealing with the emotional abuse I've experienced. Things such as make new quality friends, weed out more and more toxicity in my life and within, continue to improve and better myself, and listen to my instincts and always refer back to the past for lessons learns and dysfunctions to avoid. Now that I am single, I realize this is a time to reclaim myself and truly grow. And I must be patient and appreciative of this. This part in your blog especially stood out to me, "We are so accustomed to men who want to take us hostage, that we often forget how a healthy relationship operates." This is what I worry about the most. I am concerned that I am so used to dysfunctional men and treatment that I am not even sure I'd handle a healthy connection properly. Or even recognize one, although I know I am intelligent enough and emotionally sober at times to objectively pinpoint what it is I need, deserve and shouldn't do. It's a weird duality when you've gone through abuse. You have this warped perspective that makes NO sense, but then you have this inner voice that knows the truth and brings in reason and wisdom. I'd be afraid of not knowing how to temper the development and progress of a new relationship because N's and other abusers sweep us off our feet and become the surreal Prince Charmings right off the bat. As a result, we get used to that and have learned to see that as a sign of "a great budding connection," when it's almost always the sign of a dysfunctional man with ulterior motives. A quality make takes his time to make the right choice too when getting to know a woman...AND he knows that the right women is someone who will become his best friend and confidant and that takes TIME to build. It's never quick and sudden. I am just afraid, period, to meet someone new when the time is right. I want to come to a good authentic man, healthy and whole. Not broken, and bringing in my own dysfunction as a result of being conditioned by abuse from unhealthy past partners. You are also SO right about the arena of internet dating and particularly N's who go OUT of their way to constantly cultivate long distance relationships. My ex-N is now in a NEW long distance relationship AGAIN. He broke up with me THIS year right before summer and just like that he met someone new early fall, has already met her in person after she flew over to see him in his country, and they are claiming to be IN LOVE. I found all of this out, painfully, when I was looking out of obsession and disbelief and the rest of those post-abuse, PTSS responses. She is yelling to the world that he "loves me unconditionally!!" (in just a few months) and I found out that they've already been discussing ideas about living together and marriage styles and preferences. He proposed to me when we were together, too. We were engaged, as well. Anyway, it's a long story and I will share it here, soon. I've been wanting to, but there are SO many lurid and strange details to rehash. I'd have to truly sit down and write everything out. There's a lot to say...and it is still painful to recount... But yes, Narcs LOVE long distance arrangements. And they always get involved VERY quickly with women and make like they are open books ready to bare their soul, because they "value honesty" and want to put everything on the table, when they are only giving you what they want they want you to believe and know - LIES and distortion. A false wonderful image of a lottery jackpot lover that you can't believe you were so incredibly lucky to find. They make a woman feel as if she is truly special, the most beautiful and SO UNIQUE, and that because of HER, he is willing to do all of those things and more. He treats you literally like a precious princess that he'd never ever hurt, reject, abuse, or slander behind her back, among other things. He will tell you that you both get one another, unlike his crazy ex who abused the shit out of him like everyone else in the past. The woman feels as if she has met her soul mate. Her twin flame. She starts to feel that they mirror one another perfectly because, "We have SO much in common! Even down to the very weird stuff!" And let's not forget the smear campaign that the N commits against his supposed psycho X, which includes telling his newfound lover about her and how horrible his X was, unlike the precious new lover, who is nothing like her. He makes sure that he takes away ANY credibility that the X would have if she ever came out to speak against him and expose his lies and his facade to his so-called circle of friends (really mostly worshipers and various people who are duped by his false, over-the-top charm, and performance) and his new wonderful pure woman. If the X did come out to speak up, she'd truly look like the raving mad bitch he told everyone she is...or the jealous fool who is "just mad because a quality man chose someone else better who can truly appreciate such a wonderful catch!" I never took that bait and never will. And it would stop my healing to do so. I've even stopped looking at what goes on with his life and his newfound love. I did enough damage and abuse to myself keeping tabs on all of that stuff. But thank you for this entry. I need to read it often and continue to let it marinate in my system into full praxis. I want 2012 to be a fresh beginning to healthy new paths, choices, and people in my life. Here's to us ALL here walking that path. We deserve it.
January 16, 2012 - 8:28pm (Reply to #9)
LearninToDanceI...
LearninToDanceInTheRain's picture

SAME!

Hidden Waters, I can identify with pretty much everything you said! My "N" did every single one of the things you described. He seriously trashed on his exes. Well now, little does he know I have formed an alliance with the two ex-wives. Knowing what I know now about the narcissist, there is no way I could believe him over the exes. I am still in the process of leaving the relationship (trying to stash money and pretend I don't know he's an "N". ick). So, I have to be super careful when communicating with his exes or using this site, etc. I'm constantly erasing texts, phone logs, and internet history, just as I know he does after wacking it to porn, or talking to who know who on his phone. I know I'm in a dangerous game, so I don't intend on playing too much longer, just long enough to get out with no financial issues. I am seeing a counselor once a week who is helping me through the process emotionally. He has been awesome! I'm already starting to feel as if I'm taking back my power and independence (without him even knowing it). Of course I can't really hide the new happy glow on my face. I know he's wondering what's up with that. LOL. Anyway, I have the same fear as you, of not trusting my instinct when beginning to date again. Well at this point I'm not worried, as I won't be dating for a long time. But I think about my future and whenever I do start dating again. I always think "will I see the red flags? Will I even recognize if the guys are healthy or not? Will I recognize the man with the ulterior motives?" I do think however, that after much therapy I will learn to trust my instincts again. As for now I've lost all faith in myself and my judgement. I can't even trust MY OWN SELF. How sad is that. But I am looking forward to brighter days. :-)
January 1, 2012 - 4:10pm (Reply to #8)
Classie
Classie's picture

Appreciate the insight - Hidden Waters!

You have great insights to the horrible encounters of being involved with the narc(s)! 'circle of friends (really mostly worshipers and various people who are duped by his false, over-the-top charm, and performance) and his new wonderful pure woman' -- So very true!!
January 1, 2012 - 2:27pm (Reply to #4)
ladywithatruck
ladywithatruck's picture

I Can Relate

Hidden Waters, I can relate to your fears and well, everything you said actually. Right down to the slandering. I always used to say to my ex when he would go off on a tirade about a psycho ex,"Gee if I were you I'd be concerned about myself." Of course he'd be defensive and ask why and I'd say, "Well, every woman you've been with is a psycho bitch, don't you ever wonder why you pick them? Or if they weren't psycho bitches when you met them what you did to make them that way".He wouldn't have an answer for that Haha I used to love doing it to him. Its been a year since we split, and I'd like to stick my toes in the dating pool and just see how it goes. I am waiting for some major dental work to be finished but once I have my smile back I am giving it a try. The internet thing doesn't interest me, I've tried POF and OK Cupid and had some real losers contact me. I don't know who to approach on those sites. You can't get a "gut" feeling from them. So many times you meet a man in person and he may not be attractive to you in a photo but his personality makes him get sexier by the minute and sometimes you meet a good looking guy that turns uglier the more he talks. Plus I read those profiles and they all sound great, so did my ex in all his ads, I would have responded to his ad he was leading on these poor women for weeks. I couldn't believe some of these women sending very revealing pictures and he's telling every one of them he feels a real "connection" with them. He has a "gut" instinct that they are meant to be. One time he was using my laptop and when I went on to check my hotmail, his popped up, I closed it, tried to open mine and his popped up again, I figured someone was trying to tell me something so I went in and checked. I got into his POF profile, read the messages he had sent not an hour after "making love" to me. I printed it all off so I had proof then I sent each woman the other women's emails from him, I sent a couple of the more involved ones a personal letter telling them the truth and then I changed his profile to the truth. He didn't realize I'd done it for a while because I had his password and would go in and delete the replies. Some women were really grateful for the heads up. But some believed his story that I was his psycho ex who had hacked into his computer and was trying to ruin his life, and this good thing they had. The one thing I want to say too is that I am shocked at how women treat other women. So many women help the man rub his ex's nose in their relationship, flaunt their "love" to hurt the ex. My ex wanted me to go visit one of his exs with him and I refused, I told him, "I don't know what game you're playing but you can play it alone. Same as my ex wanted to be friends and he'd told his new g/f she couldn't stop him from seeing me. I guess I was supposed to be complimented but I told him I won't be the "other woman" or your pawn to hurt your new woman. Women have to have more loyalty to each other, if he is nasty to his ex and if his ex hates him that much there is probably a reason. Good post Goldie! Lots of excellent points you made.
January 18, 2012 - 3:31am (Reply to #6)
fooled no longer
fooled no longer's picture

Lady with a truck you rock!

Lady with a truck you rock! I agree with every word you said especiaaly how women treat other women. Well done for exposing him. I bet you feture in his nightmares!! ha ha ha. Sign the manifesto wont you. New Our manifesto Pls agree with your yes. January 17, 2012 - 12:33pm — fooled no longer 0 Vote up! Just wanted to say that what I have learned us that without us women enabling these monsters they wouldnt get anywhere. Manifesto 1.We need to start standing together as women speaking out, collectively. We need to stop carrying the shame that belongs to them. These men play one woman against another because we make it easy for them to do so. 2.We need to return to our hearts , our strength our morals. 3 We need to stop competeing with other women over men. 4 We need to stop giving men a higher status than women. 5 We need to stop judging other women, so they feel less afraid of reporting abuse. 6 We need to bring up our sons to respect women, by our own example. 7 We need to stop calling other women whores or ugly because they were next in line with the Narc. 8 we need to bring up our daughters differently. They are not the slaves of men. They will not dress sexily at 10 or 14. They will not be afraid of boys labelling them, they will stand proud. 9. When we call ourselves a woman it is a name to be proud of to revere to comand respect. We need to behave accordingly. 10. I pledge to stop competeing with the women around me and start to support and hold on esteem my gender. Sign your yes below
January 18, 2012 - 7:21am (Reply to #7)
Goldie
Goldie's picture

This is excellent FNL

I wholeheartedly sign this and hope that others will too. Loving and respecting ourselves is also about loving and respecting other women. We need to set healthy bounderies for ourselves and also regarding how we treat other women directly or indirectly. Goldie
January 1, 2012 - 2:34pm (Reply to #5)
Used
Used's picture

The one thing I want to say

The one thing I want to say too is that I am shocked at how women treat other women. So many women help the man rub his ex's nose in their relationship, flaunt their "love" to hurt the ex. My ex wanted me to go visit one of his exs with him and I refused, I told him, "I don't know what game you're playing but you can play it alone. YOU ARE SO RIGHT, EXN WANTED ME TO GO WITH HIM TO HIS EXS, COS I WALK THE WALK AND TALK THE TALK....WTF..... I SAID NO WAY ,YOU ARE BAD ENOUGH AS A FRIEND....HOW SHE EVER LIVED WITH HIM I DO NOT KNOW....BELIEVE OR NOT AFTER 9YEARS APART, WHEN I DROPPED HIM....HE HAD HER ON HIS FACEBOOK IN WEEKS....I THEN THOUGHT SHE DESERVES EVERY THING SHE GETS.....9YEARS AND A CHILD INVOLVED THAT HE DIDNT EVER BOTHER SEEING AND HIS EX ACCEPTS HIM AS A FRIEND.....JEEZE
December 26, 2011 - 8:59am
fraidythecat
fraidythecat's picture

They're everywhere!

The most depressing thing I think so far is that now that I'm aware of N's and the red flags/characteristics, it seems I'm surrounded by them! Family members; my father, brother, cousins, mom to a degree, even aunts! Not to mention the reviewing of past love interests - even my ex husband who was about as exciting as a fence post (very NON N type) showed a lot of traits - such as the witholding sex, ignoring me yet early on in our relationship wanting sex and me to dress up - which I was too shy to do as I was so very young still. Anyway - my concern is that I'll keep seeing these traits and confuse them in otherwise healthy, just confident, men. Please keep writing about what a healthy person is like b/c apparently I'm surrounded by a bunch of whackos!
January 3, 2012 - 4:04pm (Reply to #1)
HardToBelieve
HardToBelieve's picture

Agreed.

I too, seem to have forgotten how a healthy, normal, decent and caring man thinks. And not be confused by confidence. I'd really like a post about how decent men actually approach women. And not the grandiose ''Im here to sweep you off your feet and take you to a romantic make-belief planet'' kind of thing.
February 8, 2012 - 9:20pm (Reply to #2)
Ophelia
Ophelia's picture

Yup HardtoBelieve

My worry is that no man who doesn't appear on a trusty steed and wow me with his charisma/magnetic personality and sweep me off my feet will be the equivalent of Casper Milquetoast and won't even register on my radar as potential relationship material. Dull as dishwater. (Oh no, does that make me an N??) I am really worried about my tendency to gravitate to the alpha males with sparkling personalities....and that while they may not all be, perhaps among that pool there may be a higher than normal proportion of N's. Hopefully therapy will help sort all of these things out.