After more than a decade of dating narcissists, I’ve finally cracked the formula on how to spot them on the first date. Knowing it has saved me years of pain and despair.
Whilst I certainly have developed a sixth sense over time, the presence of all the following 9 signs can help you identify narcissistic people immediately.
If you pay attention to them in dating, you can finally stop falling for narcissists.
1. They Sell Themselves like a Product
One way to debunk narcissists is the way they talk about themselves.
Consider this example:
Non-Narcissist: “In my first job, I was working as an intern at Company X.”
Narcissist: “I applied to Company X and they told me they don’t hire people who only speak one language. But I kept convincing them why I am the best candidate and why my other skills compensate for the language deficit. So I became the first person in history who only speaks one language to get this internship. Can you believe it?”
Deep inside, narcissists are so insecure they constantly try to get approval from others. They can’t face this pain so instead, they keep convincing themselves of their superiority — and they’ll try to convince you of it, too.
So if you ask your date a simple question and the answer feels like you signed up for a sales pitch, it’s not a good sign.
2. They Talk About Themselves Nonstop
Grandiose narcissists tend to talk all the time. Sure, there are lots of extrovert people who aren’t automatically narcissistic. So it’s essential to pay attention to what your date talks about:
- Do they answer your questions or talk about God and the world with you?
- Or do they talk about themselves mostly, sharing things of their life you didn’t ask them about?
If the latter is the case, chances are (combined with the other signs) you are seeing a narcissist. They’ll exaggerate everything they say. They compensate for their insecurity by oversharing and presenting themselves like a prize you should want to win.
3. They Rarely Ask Personal Questions
When you go on a date, both parties will naturally ask a lot of questions to get to know each other.
Narcissists rarely do that.
They don’t show interest because they aren’t interested in you, they’re only interested in themselves. Their only goal on a date is to make you want them.
You’ll rarely go home from a first date with a narcissist finding yourself having answered very personal and deep questions. If so, pay attention if they only used it as an opportunity to answer them too and put the focus back on them.
4. They Go the Extra Mile
They’ll drive you home even if you live 1 hour away. They’ll walk you to the bathroom when you ask where it is. They’ll bring you a pricey present.
Many consider this “cute”, “attentive” or “gentleman-like” but remember this is only your first date. This person doesn’t even know you. If you find yourself with someone who constantly goes the extra mile, it’s likely one of their charming manipulation techniques.
This is not only a common narcissistic tactic but also a way to convince themselves of their worth and mask their insecurity.
5. They Chat with People Around
That’s a tricky one as there are genuinely chatty people who simply talk to everyone.
Yet, narcissists particularly like to chat with people who might be present on a date like a waiter or a taxi driver. Importantly, they’ll do it only when you are around.
Because they want to come across as extremely loving, caring, and fun. They want to make a good impression on you. They’ll joke with the waiter or compliment the taxi driver on their great car. Don’t fall for that.
6. Non-Stop Compliments
Instead of asking questions, narcissists will shower you with compliments. This technique is called “love-bombing”.
Beware their compliments are beyond delusional. They likely won’t say things like “Oh you look nice!” or “That’s a cute dress!” but the following:
- You‘re the best thing that happened to me this year!
- You’re the (wo)man of my dreams. I finally found you!
- You’re my soulmate!
- You’re the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop looking at you.
This might come across as extremely flattering, but it’s not. They can’t call you perfect or the (wo)man of their dreams because they’ve just met you. They don’t know you and they’re not interested in getting to know you.
All they want is to manipulate you until you give in. Then they’ll make your life a nightmare.
7. They’ll Order the Same Food
Coincidences exist but narcissists mirror everything you say and do.
They’ll like the same music as you, have the same hobbies and love the same food as you. So if they order the same dish for dinner on top of other “coincidences”, it’s not a coincidence anymore.
This might be a tiny cue, but a powerful one. Narcissists want to give you the feeling they’re your “soulmate”. If things seem too good to be true, they probably are.
8. They’ll Say “I Love You”
Most people can’t even love themselves, yet narcissists claim to love you after one date.
Phrases like “I love you”, “I’ll miss you”, and “I want to marry you” are totally out of place on a first date.
A narcissist will try to move things as quickly as possible — they’ll rush you into a relationship, marriage, or moving together. The above phrases are the first indicators of this behavior.
Don’t fall for their empty words. It has nothing to do with you.
9. They’ll Push Your Boundaries
A narcissist can’t accept a “No” and will try to turn every “Maybe” into a “Yes.”
It can start with something small like “Oh c’mon, just one more drink!” and end with you having sex on the first date despite previously saying “No”.
A narcissist won’t stop until they get what they want and use every technique to charm you into doing it.
If you find yourself making sacrifices you usually wouldn’t on a first date, this person is clearly a boundary crasher and very likely narcissistic, too.
I know analyzing subtle signals and behavioral patterns in dating isn’t sexy. But if you have a history of dating narcissists, it’s partly unavoidable.
By paying attention to the above hints you’ll stop falling for the chemistry and start seeing who the person truly is. If you find yourself dating someone who checks all the 9 boxes, you should run the other way.
The article originally ran on Medium. You can follow on here: