If you’re reading this you’re either dating a narcissist or your ex is a narcissist and you’re searching for answers. I get it, I used to be you. Dating a narcissist is not for the faint at heart. They can make you feel insecure, uncertain, and downright crazy. You invested so much time trying to prove to them that they should choose you that you probably lost yourself in the process. Now you’re wondering if you should walk away without a return on your investment or if there is a possibility that they can change.
Can Narcissism be Cured?
Yes, it can. But it is not up to anyone but the narcissist. You have to understand that many narcissists see people as resources. They use you for energy, confidence, validation, money, a place to stay, and the list can go on. So can a narcissist change? Yes, but they will have to wake up one day and decide they want to change. They have to become aware that a change needs to happen. That would mean something has to cause this awareness and it’s definitely not a woman. Something has to be better than the benefits they receive from their narcissism. You can’t cure a narcissist with love because that’s not why they’re dating you. They don’t like feelings and their empathy is nonexistent so they won’t recognize the love you’re giving either way. So yes they can change with self-awareness, extreme effort, and a great therapist who specializes in narcissism. But they will not change because you’re the right woman.
What Should a Woman Dating a Narcissist Do?
I hear this constant debate online that a man will change for the right woman and I feel this is 100% false. I think that until a man is ready to change, he won’t change for anyone but himself. There’s nothing a woman can do to force that. You can be the prettiest, the smartest, the richest, the most loving, but until he wakes up and says “I think I want to be a better person” then no change will happen. The thought of change sounds great but the work of it is brutal. So to actually implement change takes extreme intrinsic motivation. If you’re a woman dating a narcissist and you really want him to change, I offer this advice to you.
1. Accept the Truth
After being love bombed and gaslit, you’re probably utterly confused. You met this seemingly perfect guy that gave you all this effort in the beginning and something went awry now he’s completely different. You keep hoping he’ll go back to the guy you met but that guy doesn’t exist. When you confront him about the situation, he gaslights you and makes you feel like it’s your fault or that there’s no issue. But you can feel the issue and you know something is wrong. Trust your gut and face the truth. He is not who you thought he was. There is nothing you can do to change this. You are not crazy, he is manipulating you.
2. Affirm Yourself
Most times we fear losing relationships with narcissists because they have somehow convinced us that we are the problem. Once you accept the truth, you have to affirm yourself. Says these affirmations out loud.
- I am worthy of a love that makes me feel safe.
- I am beautiful.
- There is an abundance of men who will show me the love I deserve.
- I don’t chase love, it chases me.
- I am the prize and someone worthy will choose me.
3. Take Your Power Back
Narcissists like to be in control. They will often do things to emotionally manipulate you into retreating and not rocking the boat. Don’t do that, stand your ground. If you aren’t ready to walk away, at least set boundaries. When they attempt to gaslight you, stand your ground. Speak up for yourself firmly and often. When they insult you or talk down to you, tell them you won’t accept disrespect. Stop walking on eggshells to appease them. Take back the power you’ve given them. This will build your confidence.
4. Let it Go
When I dated a narcissist, he would say he was ready to change just to keep me. This “change” would last for two weeks tops then he was back to his foolishness. You have to build your strength so you can let it go. It’s easy for me to tell you to walk away but I know how it feels to be manipulated for so long that you lose your strength to leave. You have to rebuild it so you can let it go. Even if they actually want to change, it’ll take an extreme amount of work and time. This can be very taxing and may cause you to lose yourself in the process. The best way to regain your power and confidence is to never be afraid to let it go. You can walk away and be completely restored. You don’t have to wait for them to get better. If they really care, they will get better and then come back to you. In the meantime, focus on regaining your own identity and self-esteem.