Dating An Avoidant Narcissist
What’re the chances you’d meet or even know an avoidant narcissist, you might think?
More often than you realize.
While the large majority of the population is reported to be Secure, Avoidants take up a good estimated 22.2 percent. and remaining are Anxious.
You might have heard or even read stories people post on forums of experiencing absolute confusion as to why the person they’ve just spent an amazing, highly intimate weekend with, proceeded to ghost them for the next few days or even weeks.
That is classic Avoidant; Fear kicks in for them when someone gets too close, and they run. It’s a constant push and pulls, and it creates a very unstable dynamic.
How It’s Like Dating An Avoidant Narcissist
Assuming the narcissist’s attachment style has not been triggered right at the beginning, you’d likely think you’ve met the perfect person. Where has he/she been your whole life?
Phase 1: Love Bombing
Narcissists are skilled in manipulation and gaslighting, and they specialize in a technique called ‘Love Bombing’; This person enters your life like a whirlwind. He/she is attentive, loving, around all the time, and wants to cater to your every need. They come across as the most supportive person at this time.
Who wouldn’t fall for that? We all crave love and connectedness, and here’s a person lavishing you with an abundance of that!
The honeymoon phase with narcissists will likely give you a higher ‘high’ than any other relationship you’ve been in – Until the roller coaster takes a plunge, and you’re left screaming, shocked at the abrupt change.
Phase 2: Exerting Control
Now that you’re putty in their hands after having gained your trust and affection, they’ll begin to mold you into their desired partner, likely one without an opinion, one who doesn’t challenge them, for that is way too threatening for their massive egos.
Narcissists have a rather fragile self-esteem, and they do prefer hiding their insecurities and shame.
Forget equal partnership where you both learn and grow together. They want a ‘yes’ man or woman, someone who listens and hangs off their every word.
Avoidants are not immune to craving intimacy. However, where Secure people can allow intimacy to take place, Avoidants run once they sense their autonomy might be potentially threatened.
Phase 3: Gaslighting and Possible Abuse
There are admittedly varying degrees of narcissism, and it might be difficult to detect if you’ve had little experience.
If you are in a relationship with an avoidant narcissist, you might notice in arguments, that the person doesn’t hear you out, and often resorts to accusing you instead of faults, hurling verbal abuse your way, and nothing ever gets resolved calmly, gently nor lovingly.
You might ask for a call, and get rejected.
Perhaps mid-way into the conversation, once the person’s attachment style is triggered, the person might block you abruptly on all platforms, even normal calls, and texts. There you are, left completely bewildered, confused, and hurt.
In more severe cases, it might escalate to physical abuse.
Whatever form of abuse takes place, it is a very serious matter, and should never be taken lightly.
Your partner has probably disappeared for a few days, a week, and suddenly decides to resurface.
You might still be hurt, confused, and naturally so.
They’d return telling you they’re sorry, that they messed up, or you might never hear an apology from them, but you feel relieved all the same now that they’re back, just to try and help you make sense of the shock you were put through.
The next moment, they’d shower you with gifts, and attention – That’s the love bombing on repeat, and you might forgive them, thinking they can change. (Better question though, is are they willing to?)
Before you know it, months or years have passed, and one day you realize you’ve been stuck in a loop.
If this sounds eerily familiar…
If you think you’re currently in a relationship with an avoidant narcissist, do consider speaking to a trusted confidante, or a therapist, and get the support you need. There is zero shame, for this is indeed a very difficult and emotionally draining situation. It would help to put some time and distance between you and your partner, to allow you the mental capacity to re-evaluate this relationship.
In the event you and your partner agree to work things out, couples therapy is an option. Do remember – Changed behavior is the only apology you can accept. Outline firm boundaries with your partner, and keep them.
However, if you’ve weighed the relationship and arrived at a conclusion to leave, it is my hope these loving reminders will help you in some way:
- There was a ‘you’ before them. Remember that amazing person.
- If you dare to allow yourself to be vulnerable and fall in love, that same courage to leave a toxic relationship resides within you too.
- Be kind to yourself during the transitioning out phase, as you’ve suffered a lot mentally and emotionally.
- Surround yourself with a solid support system of friends and family. More importantly, learn to support yourself as well. Get back to hobbies you love doing, things that make you laugh. Have fun with life again!
How to Spot Avoidant Narcissists
Avoidant narcissists tend to think very highly of themselves, believe they’re special and that others may be envious of them, and possess a lack of empathy. They tend to be arrogant and haughty, and they almost crave admiration. They would also likely be the ones who tell you they left most, or all, of their past relationships – and that it’s always the other party’s fault or lack.
Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Deborah Choo loves discussing relationships, platonic or not, as that remains at the heart of human existence. She draws upon learnings from couples’ counselling, and continues to celebrate an incredible journey of growth.