My Ex-Boyfriend Was A Narcissist

My Ex-Boyfriend Was A Narcissist

I realized I never knew the real him.
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When I dormed in college, I met a guy who lived across the hall from me. He seemed like the perfect guy. When I sat on his roommates black futon in their living room, he told me all about how he is a fantastic cook. He pursued a culinary arts degree but decided to instead be a personal trainer so he considers himself an expert in health and wellness. He told great stories, unbelievable, complicated stories. Usually they were about near death experiences. One time, in Eagle Scouts he ran away from a bear. Another time when he drove home from Maryland, he drove under a tornado and heard his car shake. I didn’t realize in these conversation that I didn’t really talk about myself. I assumed I just didn’t have anything to say.

This guy seemed impossible. He seemed almost perfect. Everything about him had been what I wanted to be. I needed a guy like this in my life. I needed an inspiration. He was fit. He practiced yoga. He seemed like he had his life together, or so I thought. But what I didn’t realize was that all of this was a facade. It was how he wanted to be seen, but not who he really was.

After having been with each other for two year officially and three years unofficially, we had a nasty breakup which I will right about later, because oh my gosh is it a wild ride. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my ex is a narcissist. For those who don’t know and use the term loosely to maybe describe a person taking selfies or maybe someone who might be venting their problems, I will explain what narcissism looks like. It looks like a person who constantly needs admiration- not someone who wants to be complimented, but will fish for compliments and will get upset if there aren’t enough of them. Narcissism looks like a person who cannot take any criticism no matter how small. Narcissism looks like a person who thinks they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want. A narcissist makes promises they rarely keep. They make those promises to manipulate you to get what they want.

My ex didn’t show these signs right away. The thing about narcissists is that they are really hard to notice until it’s too late. You have an idea of them as a person. You believe their crazy stories and their charm until they get what they want, until they push your boundaries, until they take and take until there's nothing left.

It started with the little stuff. He’d pretend to have an interest in the music I liked when I brought it up. I asked him to listen to my favorite band and he said he might later. He never did. I didn’t even realize this because I was distracted by his wit, and his charm. When we’d watch shows together, he never had an interest in anything I’d suggest, but he always had a show he wanted to show me. Then it got worse with other things. He never held down a job because he hated authority. He hated people telling him what to do. He could never hold down a job because he hated being told what to do. He was especially bad with police.

He couldn’t handle any criticism. He claimed he couldn’t handle it from me in particular because I’m his girlfriend and he cares a great deal about what I think. But I notice now, he got bent out of shape from any criticism, whether it be his parents, his brothers, or even teachers. He dropped a class because he couldn’t handle his teacher criticizing his editing skills because he believed he had better credentials than her, a professor with teaching experience and actual industry experience.

He’d take advantage of his parents money, always asking for more hand outs because he didn’t want to work. His parents cut him off. He called them constantly demanding an answer. He called his mom everyday for six hours straight and when she finally did answer, he screamed at her on the phone for almost an hour. I remember that night he asked me if I judged him for screaming at his mom.

I didn’t notice his narcissism because I notice his depression first. I noticed it most when he didn’t have money. I noticed he paired it with drinking. And that when he drank, his true colors came out. His soft boy facade disappeared and he became this monster I didn’t know. Not a monster like large and scary but a monster like arrogant, aggressive, rude, entitled. I saw the narcissist behind the flesh. I hated it. If I knew he drank, I’d hide in my room and wait for him to be sober again. To be him again. And then he’d sober up, and he’d say he’ll never drink again. And then he’d do it again.

I think knowing what I know now, I wish I hadn’t spend so much time on him. I wish I had met other people. Real people who don’t pretend to be the this impossible person. Maybe he isn’t a narcissist and this is me just venting my frustration of a failed relationship. I don’t know. All I know is that I need to be careful. I need to listen to my gut. I need to not waste my time and put people on a pedestal because nine times out of ten, they don’t deserve to be there. If you’re dating a narcissist, you probably won’t realize it right away, and that’s fine. That doesn’t make you a horrible person. Get out when you can. And don’t regret the time you spent with them because even though they never truly cared about you, at least you tried to truly care about another being. That’s something your narcissist may never be able to do.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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I Promise, He Is Not The One That Got Away

You will never have to chase what is meant to stay.

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You miss him. You miss the hugs, the laughs, the inside jokes. You miss hearing his voice over phone calls, you miss the late night drives, you miss the fun adventures. You miss your best friend.

The guy that you loved so much, that you once planned a future with, that you haven't had to imagine life without in so long, is suddenly gone. No explanation will make it easier, or less confusing, or less unfair.

You're probably thinking that you'll never move on. You're thinking that this pain you're feeling will stay with you forever. You think that you lost the love of your life, because how could a bond so strong not be meant to last forever?

Leaving the familiar is terrifying. It is so easy to believe that this was the greatest love you will ever experience. You're afraid to leave behind the memories. You don't want to start over, because no relationship you have with anyone else will ever be the same. Nobody is him, and nobody will ever be him. Scary, isn't it? Actually, no. This is the greatest truth that you can admit to yourself right now. Nobody will ever be him.

He left. He hurt you. He made you feel unworthy. He did not choose to love you the way that you deserve. Yes, he did make you happy for a season of your life. This is a beautiful thing, and you shouldn't deny it. Just because he did not make you happy forever does not erase the time you spent together. Every relationship leaves behind memories, and these memories will always be pieces of your life. It is okay to think about them. You will be thankful for them one day.

Love is not always meant to last forever. Loving someone does not bind you to each other for eternity. It's unfair, and it feels impossible to let a love go. Especially when you were certain you would never have to. You fear that he was "the one that got away". I promise you, this is so far from true. "The one" would not leave. He would choose to love you even through the rough times, instead of walking away. Saying someone is "the one that got away" is a counterintuitive statement, and frankly it's a load of BS. Yeah, sure, he got away, but would "the one" really put you through endless amounts of pain and suffering? Or would "the one" treat you with respect and love you the way you deserve?

I've been in this same situation, fearing that my ex is the person that I am supposed to be with and that I let him get away. But truthfully, I didn't let him get away. He chose to leave all on his own. And that by itself should be a sign that he really is NOT "the one". If you have to chase and beg and bargain with someone for them to be in your life, odds are they're not meant to be there anyway.

It ended because better is out there. It ended because the relationship was no longer best for the both of you. It may feel like you lost the best thing in your life, but there is a reason for it. If something leaves, it means that that something is no longer supposed to be in your life. And that means that you will be better off without it. He is not "the one that got away", because "the one" would do everything in his power to stay.

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