3 Red Flags That You're on a Date With a Narcissist, Therapist Says
Keep an eye out for these cues.
When you go on a date, you know the basic behaviors to take note of: They show up late with no apology, they make inappropriate jokes, or they keep looking at their phone, to name a few examples. However, certain less-obvious signs could indicate that your date is actually a narcissist. Luckily, Alina Kastner, MSc, couples and sex therapist, and narcissistic abuse specialist, shares three red flags that you're on a date with a narcissist. Keep reading for her advice so you know what to look for.
You immediately feel like you've met your soulmate.
Kastner, who shares her advice on TikTok, says the first red flag to look out for is that you immediately feel like you've met your soulmate.
"If you feel super excited, on edge, you know, all that anxiety… that is not how you should be feeling," she explains.
You'll want to feel calm and safe with the person you're seeing, as those feelings are indicators of a healthy relationship. "You should be feeling like you've arrived at a very homey energy and not an exciting energy," Kastner adds.
They're love bombing you.
If your date is "complimenting you to the extreme" or saying superficial things like, "You're the one I've been waiting for" or "You're gorgeous," Kastner points out that they may be love-bombing you.
This is a form of manipulation that narcissists often use to make their partner "feel like they're the most special person in the world," Laura Wasser, a relationship expert and chief of divorce evolution at Divorce.com, previously explained to Best Life. "But the thing is, it's not genuine—it's just a ploy to keep their partner hooked and under their thumb."
On the other hand, when you're dating a healthy person, you'll be talking and they'll be asking questions to get to know you better, says Kastner. When the conversation is solely focused on superficialities like your appearance, you're likely out with a narcissist.
They're inviting you on vacation.
Kastner says the final thing to watch out for is if your date is unrealistically planning for the future, assuming that you've already made up your mind about them.
"He's inviting you on vacations six months down the road in your first week of being together," she says as an example. It might feel exciting and flattering at the moment, but it's a major red flag. "What he should be doing… is asking you for your next date," Kastner explains.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, she advises taking a step back and asking yourself whether they're putting in enough effort with the current state of your relationship or if it's all surface-level.
Don't assume you're immune to narcissists.
In a separate video, Kastner quickly dispels the misconception that narcissists choose "weak" people to date. "Narcissists love to choose a strong person," she says.
Someone who has a solid career, confidence, and a good support system is a likely target. "It's because it's so much more fun to take that strong person and break them down into nothingness than take someone who's already weak," she explains, cautioning people with these qualities not to think they "will not fall for this stuff."
For more relationship advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.