Dating After Narcissistic Abuse

Ive started dating actively again, after a period of not putting myself out there.  Dating in today’s day & age, is TRICKY at best.

Once free from the narcissist’s web, I ventured into the open waters by dipping my toe in, ever so safely:

I flirt. I think fondly of a new person, compare and contrast and analyze, to the nth degree how narcissistic they are, how reciprocal their behavior, do they have character, boundaries, do they show respect for me….

All the things I’ve spent the last couple of years learning and applying to my new healthy life & choices post narkopath.

The one issue that keeps arising however, is the issue of TRUST.

One of the most devastating aspects of narc abuse is how it shatters our trust. Our sense of justice, fairness, and somehow that people are basically all good – is completely annhialated by a narc’s careless approach towards the human spirit.

In rebuilding the trust in life that things will be okay, that not everyone will be a ruthless predator, there’s this HUGE SPACE of FEAR (Mistrust) that’s inescapable. Nowhere does it appear more than in new dating relationships.

It goes something like this:

Meet new person.
Interest piqued, you pursue a little, let them know that you’re attracted; maybe shoot them a text…asking them out.
You wait.

Suddenly the ALARMS GO OFF , THE BOMB SQUAD IS CALLED IN, and an in depth investigation ensues….
A-ha! Case solved! We’ve got an unreliable liar on our hands – is this a narc – or just a jerk…a player? Con? What issues do they possess?!!

Their text comes in….”Sure! Id love to!”


So, all the fret, worry, anxiety, catastrophizing and personalizing were for naught.

Which begs the Question:

Does our mistrust CAUSE us to experience EXACTLY WHAT WE DONT WANT, in relationships?

To be abandoned or rejected.

What if expressing our anxiety or giving life to it, through our fearful mistrust & imagination – actually PUSHES people out our lives – due to a self fulfilling prophecy.

How do we come across when we begin showing someone that an action or two of theirs causes great distress in our ability to trust them.

To me, I get the feeling Im coming off a little skiddish out of the gate.

As with everything else I’ve come to grow into or out of in the aftermath of a narc relatio….I will be gentle and accepting with myself. Ill let my authenticity dictate while balancing it out with being sure that I manage (am responsible for) my own mistrust and fear – and not to push that off on someone else, who’s just trying to live life as well.

Dating = trusting + responsibility + self acceptance

Posted on July 28, 2012, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I have a variant of this problem. I am just starting to date a guy who is very reliable and very sweet and giving. This makes me a skittish and squirmish. I am just not used to it. I have written down and talked about all the things I want in a relationship. I have to be patient and just let it sink in, I think. I am afraid of hurting him but that means I believe I will push him away and for no good reason. I think I am acting out the “i don’t deserve it” feeling. I’ve dated two more or less jerks who made me miserable. Critical, perfectionistic pains in the ass – more narcs. This one is NOT like that. Give me patience to get through this and let him be himself and let me be nice to him.


  2. Sandee and Ana, I too feel the same way. Ana I have a lot of work to do shoreing up vulnerabilities and I suspect boundaries and learning to care about rather than care for are keys for me. I will be avidly reading your sight for direction on this. For the first time I’m hopeful in being able to overcome my ‘trust issues’ and engage with another in a healthy way, as a confident, complete self aware person.


  3. Great post Ana,

    I agree, there are many great guys out there and I strongly believe that once we have identified our own insecurities and addictions we can be in relationships that are right for us.

    I would hate for the narcissists to ruin someone’s life so badly that they put them off dating again.

    It’s good to take your time


  4. I imagine that is EXACTLY what it would be like if I ever had the courage to date again. Good for you for making the bold effort! Right now I just want friends. 1 month into divorcing my N after 20 years of verbal abuse. Skittish, oh yeah. 1 in 25 are scary stats. You are being analytical though, taking it slowly and using your knowledge- it’s all good. Good luck, I hope you meet a wonderful guy. 24 out of 25 are good guys!


  5. Don’t be afraid. My “narkopath” (love that term!) made my life miserable for about 18 years. I couldn’t wait to get remarried, though, because I knew there were good men out there, and I was determined to find one. I dated a lot, and trusted my instincts. I didn’t know what was wrong with my was-band at the time, but his terrible treatment of me taught me to recognize bad behavior in every man after him. When I met the one guy who was different, we were married 11 months later. We’re coming up on our 10th anniversary. Marriage is good. 🙂


  6. Those were perfectly spoken words. I feel the Same way


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