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dating new after dating a narcissist


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After what I thought was a mutual break up with my ex back in May, some things have come to light and I am realizing I was in a relationship with a man who, if not already is a narcissist, has extreme narcissitic tendencies. He's done some insane things since we've broken up, but not going to get into that. Long story short my friends, family, and therapist have all helped me see what he is. Despite it, he was still one of the healthiest relationships I have had and it wasn't even healthy.

 

ANYWAY. I've been on 3 covid-friendly dates with someone new. He's sweet, patient, and seems to be a really great guy. When I started dating my ex, everything was kind of rushed and pushed but from the few dates I've been on with this new someone, I feel more at a comfortable pace and more myself. BUT I can also feel myself sabotaging this already. I'm almost expecting it to blow up. I can't explain it well, but I feel like I can almost hear my ex's voice in my head making me doubt everything. I don't want to ruin something before it can even start. I do plan on bringing this up at my next therapy session, but I was curious if any of y'all had advice on getting past the lingering effects of dating a narcissist.

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Yes getting back out there can help in some circumstances but you have PTSD. If you are still reeling from the horrors of the mental abuse from the last relationship, dating isn't going to help you get over it. You still need to do some self refection, and work on yourself before you can be involved with someone.The only way to get past this is time, and spending time on self esteem, self worth. Your therapist should be able to give you some mental exercises, to get you started.

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I feel like I can almost hear my ex's voice in my head making me doubt everything. I don't want to ruin something before it can even start. I do plan on bringing this up at my next therapy session, but I was curious if any of y'all had advice on getting past the lingering effects of dating a narcissist.

 

I'm sorry to hear this - it doesn't sound like your thoughts are your own. Finding your own voice again is a journey and that exploration makes you stronger each day. If you find yourself worrying about things, wait on it and sleep on it. It never pays to rush anything or make any assumptions. If something doesn't rub you the right way even after some time has passed, you have to be strong enough to either agree with it or disagree with it and follow your gut instincts. People (your friends and family members and your therapist) can help you along the way but you'll have to cultivate that strength on your own. Continue believing in yourself and have faith that you will ​get stronger each day.

 

Can you give examples of what these negative thoughts are or what your "ex's voice in your head" is saying?

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It sounds like you are not ready to date if you are still sending him texts.

 

It's best not to get into the 'my ex is a narcissist' mindset. That doesn't help you.

 

Work on you, not whatever trendy armchair diagnosis just about every ex has these days.

09-11-2020,We didn't have an ugly break up, it was mutual, but we're not really friends. His birthday isn't for a few more days, but one of my friends asked if I was going to wish him a happy birthday still. I remembered he put a lot of effort into my birthday when we were together, I figured a birthday text wishing him well wouldn't be horrible contact. The more I think about it the more I think it'd be rude not to, but I keep seeing stuff about people using holidays/quarantine/events(birthdays) as a reason to check in and cause pain but that's not really the vibe here.
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I never texted him. Yes, he's blocked and I feel great about never having to deal with him again. I don't want to go into what happened, but I felt really free from him. I was excited to start seeing this new guy, but when we're having fun conversations, the voice in my head starts saying things like "it's dumb of you to say that" and things my ex would say or imply. I have therapy next week, so I'm hoping I can figure that mess out.

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Please do not make this new guy pay for the sins of your ex. It simply is not fair to him.

 

You could be totally straight with the guy and let him decide if he wants to continue dating you. Don't go into to much detail but let him know you really like him (I assume you do) and would like to continue to get to know him and see where things go but you still have some lingering wounds you are working on from your last relationship.

 

If he wants to continue seeing you then it is his choice with all the facts. If you do continue let him know you like the pace things are going at so you both can get to know each other slowly and not rush through this part.

 

Lost

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I never texted him. Yes, he's blocked and I feel great about never having to deal with him again. I don't want to go into what happened, but I felt really free from him. I was excited to start seeing this new guy, but when we're having fun conversations, the voice in my head starts saying things like "it's dumb of you to say that" and things my ex would say or imply. I have therapy next week, so I'm hoping I can figure that mess out.

 

Good for you. Keep having him at a distance and don't initiate any contact. He's an ex for a reason so keep things civil and very distant. Those kinds of thoughts will wear off the more positive affirmations you have about yourself and the people around you. Keep focusing on healthy habits while dating - don't get too ahead of yourself, don't assume things about your new beau, ask more questions and learn more from each other. If something doesn't seem right to you, ask more about what he means and be willing to communicate. I don't think it's unreasonable to date again. Sooner or later you'll need to continue rehabilitating those thoughts back to more positive ones.

 

You don't have to be a doormat either or agree to everything that this person in your life is suggesting or second-guessing yourself. Look within - you'll find everything you need there as soon as you start validating your thoughts and everything that matters to you. This person doesn't make or break you either. If it doesn't work out, be willing to move on and find greener pastures.

 

What your ex says about you doesn't matter anymore. Any time you feel yourself slipping into self-doubt or thoughts that reinforce low self-worth, do the opposite. All this hard work is up to you. It's good to speak with your therapist about those kinds of thoughts and how you can overcome them.

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I think you'll find yourself in a much healthier headspace for romantic connection when you can think of your past relationship as something that just didn't work out rather than the story of getting emotionally torqued by a narcissist. I'm not saying that to negate whatever happened, but just to stress that there is only so much comfort to be found in finding it through loaded diagnostic language.

 

From your earlier posts, the impression I got is that the relationship was casual, blurry, immature, less than intentional—on both sides. Untangling from those dynamics can be tricky, since a lot of the time we kind of lie to ourselves to stay in them, putting up with iffy behavior, pretending to be "cool" with things we're not really cool with, including our own choices. In time, perhaps, you can see your time with your ex more in those lines—as something that wasn't as mature as you'd have liked, that didn't serve either of your mature sides, but that ultimately helped you understand a little clearer what it is you want from romance.

 

This new dude? He's just a dude. It'll go where it goes. And if 3-5 dates with him ultimately reveals that you're not quite ready to date? No shame in that, no sabotaging. Just bad timing.

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I was curious if any of y'all had advice on getting past the lingering effects of dating a narcissist.

 

First, stop diagnosing people when you have no qualifications to do so. You did this with your friend's BF as well. I also find it very inappropriate and unethical that your therapist would label someone without ever meeting them.

 

That's not to say that the guy you were dating previously wasn't a selfish jerk.... I believe you when you say he was. At the end of the day, there is no magic fix to getting over the damage caused by a toxic relationship, however I can say that by allowing yourself time to feel your feelings, to grieve, and to reflect on why you chose to be in such a relationship in the first place, you will be able to make better decisions about future relationships.

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If you do tell him I would do so simply and directly without gossip or psychoanalysis/diagnosing. "I'm really enjoying getting to know you! I might have jumped into dating a bit soon given a recent breakup so if it's ok I'd like to take things slowly."

 

I think you can tell those negative thoughts to go take a hike and keep dating this guy -it's normal to feel somewhat insecure in general when you first meet someone you like and who has potential.

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Excellent you blocked him. If you are ready to date, keep it light. Do not talk about an ex on dates.

Yes, he's blocked and I feel great about never having to deal with him again.

I was excited to start seeing this new guy, but when we're having fun conversations

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If you do tell him I would do so simply and directly without gossip or psychoanalysis/diagnosing. "I'm really enjoying getting to know you! I might have jumped into dating a bit soon given a recent breakup so if it's ok I'd like to take things slowly."

 

I think you can tell those negative thoughts to go take a hike and keep dating this guy -it's normal to feel somewhat insecure in general when you first meet someone you like and who has potential.

 

At barely three dates in, she should not be dumping her personal issues, ex problems and insecurities on her new date. What does let's take it slow even mean? Nothing. Both people can set a pace that works for them, but it's done through actions and the power of NO. If she is already comfortable with the pace and the fact that the guy is not pushy, then there is nothing to say or do about that. If he asks for more and she is not ready, then all she has to do is say NO, let's do this instead for now.

 

It really comes down to her working on herself, her insecurities, and her issues and NOT burdening anyone else with that. It's not the guy's responsibly to walk on eggshells around her because she has issues. It's on her to resolve her issues either while she is dating or by deciding that dating right now is counter productive to her journey of growth and healing.

 

At the end of the day, OP, as easy as it is to blame your ex for your issues, the harsh reality is that his mean words resonate because they reflect deep down what you think about yourself. Your very own very poor self image and insecurities. If you were a confident person and secure in who you are, his mean words would sound a bit absurd to you and enough of an insult for you to send him packing after a few times he utters them. You wouldn't tolerate that, let alone take it on board as truth.

 

The speed with which you are jumping into dating again while still not having sorted out yourself and where you are post break up, shows again a deep rooted insecurity and inability to stand on your own two feet and become your own person without leaning on someone else, which is what you are doing right now - setting up this new guy to be your next crutch. In fact, you are already putting him on a premature pedestal he is good, he is this or that. After three dates....you don't know jack about who or what he actually is.

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I was married a N and for quite some time after I saw the boogeyman everywhere I went. I was hypervigilant, looking for all the signs and absolutley freaked out that I'd miss them. l did some pretty cringeworthy things that I thought would protect myself.

 

What time taught me was that while I was only focused on someone I could trust, my energy was better spent on learning to trust myself. That takes time.

 

People will disappoint and surprise you all the time. What matters here is that you trust that you have what it takes to roll with it, learn when to stay, when to walk and know that no matter what you'll be ok.

 

If you are feeling fragile and so uncertain, you may not be ready. At the same time use dating as a learning experience. An exercize if you will. Relearn to listen to your intuition and learn to read people. But don't get involved too quickly or at all for the time being.

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Separate the two men because they're both individuals. They're not the same man.

 

Don't create drama when there isn't any. Give this new guy a chance to prove he's a nice guy. You've mentioned that he's sweet, patient and great. Well then, let him be all that.

 

Put the past narcissist guy in the past. He is history and should remain there. You have a new guy in your life so enjoy being with him. Stop dwelling on your ex-boyfriend because he does not matter anymore.

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At barely three dates in, she should not be dumping her personal issues, ex problems and insecurities on her new date. What does let's take it slow even mean? Nothing. Both people can set a pace that works for them, but it's done through actions and the power of NO. If she is already comfortable with the pace and the fact that the guy is not pushy, then there is nothing to say or do about that. If he asks for more and she is not ready, then all she has to do is say NO, let's do this instead for now.

 

It really comes down to her working on herself, her insecurities, and her issues and NOT burdening anyone else with that. It's not the guy's responsibly to walk on eggshells around her because she has issues. It's on her to resolve her issues either while she is dating or by deciding that dating right now is counter productive to her journey of growth and healing.

 

At the end of the day, OP, as easy as it is to blame your ex for your issues, the harsh reality is that his mean words resonate because they reflect deep down what you think about yourself. Your very own very poor self image and insecurities. If you were a confident person and secure in who you are, his mean words would sound a bit absurd to you and enough of an insult for you to send him packing after a few times he utters them. You wouldn't tolerate that, let alone take it on board as truth.

 

The speed with which you are jumping into dating again while still not having sorted out yourself and where you are post break up, shows again a deep rooted insecurity and inability to stand on your own two feet and become your own person without leaning on someone else, which is what you are doing right now - setting up this new guy to be your next crutch. In fact, you are already putting him on a premature pedestal he is good, he is this or that. After three dates....you don't know jack about who or what he actually is.

 

I didn't think what I suggested was dumping. Certainly she can say NO but he might read into it a lack of interest in him - and that's another awkward convo - so my approach would be tactfully and discreetly -without dumping -nip it in the bud. I agree she's moving too fast and overwhelming herself.

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I didn't think what I suggested was dumping. Certainly she can say NO but he might read into it a lack of interest in him - and that's another awkward convo - so my approach would be tactfully and discreetly -without dumping -nip it in the bud. I agree she's moving too fast and overwhelming herself.

 

Didn't think you were. Sorry if it came across that way. It was more directed to the OP that "take it slow" is really a pointless conversation. You either do it or you don't do it, it's not something you say as such because it's a meaningless phrase that implies, "I don't know how to conduct myself" and in practice usually works out as mouth and feet marching in opposite directions. For example, "I said that I want to take it slow and then we had sex. Will he/she call me in the morning?" I mean we see way too many threads like that here.

 

As for him feeling rejected, I mean.... if you are happy with dates on weekends and he wants to set up one up during the week as well, it's easy enough to say, "hey I'd love to see you but I have this work project going on, so I'm only free on the weekends for now. Would love to do X with you on Saturday if you are free." It's tapping the brakes without being off putting. If that puts him off....honestly.....that relationship never had a chance to begin with. You don't want to date someone who will run away screaming because you said no to something or were busy.

 

Overall though....if she is spending the date thinking about her ex (good or bad) or comparing the new guy with her ex, she really needs to take a time out from dating and actually just heal and get her feet back under her. It's all too raw and too fresh and doesn't lend itself to healthy judgment.

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Hi, it’s best to heal yourself before starting something new. You either without meaning to, end up comparing the new guy to the old guy. Or you look for a white knight to heal the wounds for you.

 

Anyone can bandage your old wound but to find the right person it’s best to fix what has cut deep beforehand.

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my friends, family, and therapist have all helped me see what he is.

break up with my ex back in May

- I am concerned.. so soon getting into someone else, again.. so fast after you have even been in therapy... shows you are having some issue's.

 

BUT I can also feel myself sabotaging this already. I'm almost expecting it to blow up. I can't explain it well, but I feel like I can almost hear my ex's voice in my head making me doubt everything. I don't want to ruin something before it can even start.

- Then be honest, with him & yourself. That you just aren;t ready/ can't do this.

 

Getting past your experience? Do not get involved again, for starters... continue your therapy to keep working on YOU and getting yourself back to good.. best you can.

 

To get involved again- Is not what you need at this time in your life.

Not sure why you feel you should start seeing someone again?

 

Can you not take a good year or two at least and take care of just you? To be dependent is no good.

 

Slow it all down.. focus on YOU. Not another partner. :/

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Didn't think you were. Sorry if it came across that way. It was more directed to the OP that "take it slow" is really a pointless conversation. You either do it or you don't do it, it's not something you say as such because it's a meaningless phrase that implies, "I don't know how to conduct myself" and in practice usually works out as mouth and feet marching in opposite directions. For example, "I said that I want to take it slow and then we had sex. Will he/she call me in the morning?" I mean we see way too many threads like that here.

 

As for him feeling rejected, I mean.... if you are happy with dates on weekends and he wants to set up one up during the week as well, it's easy enough to say, "hey I'd love to see you but I have this work project going on, so I'm only free on the weekends for now. Would love to do X with you on Saturday if you are free." It's tapping the brakes without being off putting. If that puts him off....honestly.....that relationship never had a chance to begin with. You don't want to date someone who will run away screaming because you said no to something or were busy.

 

Overall though....if she is spending the date thinking about her ex (good or bad) or comparing the new guy with her ex, she really needs to take a time out from dating and actually just heal and get her feet back under her. It's all too raw and too fresh and doesn't lend itself to healthy judgment.

 

Great advice.

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This is what the narcissist does and you are right to talk about it and you know what needs to be done but the narcissist still has a hold on you. That's what they do. You have to make a clean break and be clear of all the control and manipulation, stop second guessing yourself, listen to your gut and get away from that person.

Work with your therapist on your insecurities and just trust your intuition in your next relationship, don't give the narcissist what they want...control.

Best of luck

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