By Chris Seiter

Updated on July 13th, 2021

All of the stories begin the same way.

“When we first met things were so different.”

“He was so different.”

Almost every woman ever has looked back on an relationship after it’s ended and noted the differences in their ex from the start to the finish. The longer the relationship, the more likely there is to be a stark difference in any relationship.

The thing is, everyone puts their best foot forward at the beginning of a relationship. So, it’s not unfathomable that they would be different people at the end of a relationship. After a couple has been together a while, it’s not unusual for them to settle into a bit of normalcy, complacency even. I mean, over time people grow, learn and morph into new versions of themselves.

However, when looking back at an unsuccessful relationship (I really hate saying failed, because they  become learning experiences regardless), especially if the split was unexpected, it’s easy to feel like you never really knew the “real” person your ex is.

Feeling this way, can lead to a lot of unresolved questions.

“Did I just get played?”

“What the heck even happened?”

“Was he a narcissist in disguise?”

I know how you feel.

Take it from someone who is incessantly attracted to narcissists, their charisma and charm can be intoxicating. And the aftermath can be utterly devastating.

Narcissist has become a bit of a buzzword lately. Especially in attachment style circles.


Well, in a world ruled by social media, and the incessant need to get feed back on everything we do, even what we have for lunch, it’s easy to assume everyone is somewhat self-centered.

But being self-centered doesn’t solely make someone a narcissist.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

How do you spot a narcissist?

There is a difference between someone who simply has narcissistic tendencies and someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The fact that the term narcissist gets thrown around more than hashtags these days. The difference between having narcissistic tendencies and actually BEING a narcissist is the number of standard narcissistic tendencies that the subject displays.

But, who determines these standards? That would be the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM.  The 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists the same nine criteria for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as did the previous version, published 19 years earlier.

These characteristics of Narcissists are as follows:

  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
  4. Requires excessive admiration [regularly fishes for compliments, and is highly susceptible to flattery].
  5. Has a sense of entitlement.
  6. Is inter-personally exploitative.
  7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling [or, I would add, unable] to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty [rude and abusive] behaviors or attitudes.

Narcissism is anything but pretty. So, putting it in pink helps a little bit… right?



A lot of these functions are internal, things only the person doing them would recognize. That is why studies of narcissism are so various in their findings. Most studies require the subjects to answer a survey of sorts, meaning that the subject could easily lie.

There are other studies that are trying to study the immense-ness and grandiosity of the characteristics and how they interact. The result of this study was that some narcissist’s perception of themselves was so over-the-top that they might be more inclined to act out in unethical behavior.

Simply having a few of the characteristics would mean solely that the subject has narcissistic characteristics, but if your ex personifies five or more of them, he could be clinically classified as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. However, there are very few cases in which all nine are found in one person. I believe I read that there are only two cases to date in which this is the case. So, don’t go trying to check off all of them.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

So, yes you could go around deeming people narcissists simply because they are self-centered and have a few of the characteristics, but unless you were an expert in the field of Sociology you’re word wouldn’t mean much.

It is speculated that most cases of narcissism go unnoticed simply because it means that the narcissist would have to admit the possibility of being a narcissist. Most narcissists wouldn’t admit that unless they saw it as a positive trait because heaven forbid they have short-comings.

Even if a narcissist was self-aware in the fact that they display narcissistic tendencies, you’d be hard-pressed to hear them admit it openly.

It would be hard to tell if someone is a full-blown narcissist they doesn’t want to admit it to themselves.

You can see the predicament.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

75% of the diagnosed narcissists in the world are male. When considering this you have to take into account that the mere machismo of a male narcissist would make it almost impossible for them to come to this conclusion on their own or to accept a clinical diagnosis.

Most narcissist are self-diagnosed or merely assumed to be by the people in their lives and usually they are simply on the low-end scale and only display a few of the characteristics.

Male narcissists focus on different areas of life that female narcissists. So, you have to look outside of how you would manifest narcissism. Men are more likely to place emphasis on intellect, power, aggression, money, or social status.

So, how would you ever know if you were dating a narcissist? The real ones are basically chameleons, making themselves into whomever they need to be to receive the attention and admiration they crave.


Well, you can pay attention to other things about him.

He might insist on have in having the “best” of everything regardless as to whether it is actually the best.

He pays very close attention to who he is affiliated with and the institutions that he is linked to.

His self esteem would be incredibly fragile.

He would care very much about how others perceive him.

He would expect preferential treatment to others.

He would find the emotional needs of others as a weakness.

He would assume that everyone around him is overly concerned with his welfare.

He would be drawn to leadership positions.

Then, if you still aren’t certain, you can look at yourself.

There are two different speculations across the board when it comes to relationships with narcissists. The first is that narcissists are attracted to other narcissists, which is something I am hard-pressed to believe would last very long. I’ll explain why momentarily.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

The second, and the one I am more inclined to believe, is that narcissists and empaths are naturally drawn together.

When I say empath I mean someone who can empathize with the feelings of others without effort. It comes naturally to them.

Most people inherently just assume that people have good intentions. However, empaths are deeply in tune with the feelings of others to the point of being able to put themselves in the mental or emotional state of others. This makes them a great source of understanding and trying to fix things.

So, narcissists would hold a certain level of intrigue for a highly empathetic person. When you are used to being able to get and maintain a certain level of an emotional read on people, meeting someone who is hard to read would be like being faced with a challenge.

So, if you are reading this and going,

“You know what I DO empathize easily with people and I DID see my ex as human Rubik’s Cube.”

Don’t worry. You aren’t just a sucker for punishment if you find you’re drawn to narcissistic personalities. Narcissists are drawn to people who give of themselves to other people.

  1. Namely, empaths feel and absorb other peoples’ emotions and or physical symptoms by filtering them through their own intuition.
  2. Here are a few traits of empathetic people:
  3. Empaths are highly emotional, and good listeners. Regularly told that they are “too sensitive” or “need to toughen up.”
  4. They tend to lose themselves in relationships. Spending too much time with someone on an intimate level might have them taking on more characteristics of their partner, leaving them feeling a bit lost. This might lead to avoidance of intimate relationships.
  5. They will take absorb both negativity and positive emotions from the people around them. So being surrounded by negativity will be draining, whereas positive people give them energy and they will thrive around them.
  6. They are overwhelmed in group settings, as the influx of emotions is too much.
  7. Due to their ability to channel other people’s emotions, they need alone time to recharge.
  8. They also find energy in peaceful settings such as in nature. It allows them an opportunity to let go of the emotions that overwhelm them and simply “be.”
  9. Empaths also often feel like they aren’t doing enough.



If you find yourself with several of these qualities, just know that narcissists, along with other types of what psychologist refer to as “energy vampires,” are likely to be drawn to you. So, it is much more  likely that your ex might have had some narcissistic tendencies if you have empathetic ones.

Basically, where empaths can empathize emotions and needs in others, narcissists can intuit the desire in an empath to understand and fix things. As the stated above, a narcissist will exploit this desire to their benefit without recognizing or caring about the effect it has on the person they are exploiting.

The Dynamics of a Narcissist’s Relationship

Most relationships are founded on the desire to build connections. In a relationship with a narcissist, things play out in a very specific manner though.

This kind of relationship is not unlike any other in the beginning aside from it’s intensity.

The narcissist will do everything they can to make their target feel like they have set aside their own self-involvement to make this person the center of their world. They give the impression that their whole world stopped the moment that the target showed interest in them.

Suddenly, they will engulf the target with attention, making them feel as if the narcissist is the only person who can care for or even understand them on this level. This is especially effective with empaths, they will feel over the moon with the amount of love and admiration they are both taking in and amplifying outward.

Through this tactic they will slowly isolate you from your family, friends, and your interests because the rest of the world will suddenly seem very dull compared to the connection you have with this person. Your life will become about them and them alone. They make you feel loved, special and cherished. Your mind is consumed with thoughts of them. All the while, he will be feeding off of the love and admiration you are filtering his way.

You feel almost powerful having someone so enamored with you. Without them you would be nothing.

This is what is referred to as the narcissist’s “false self.”

The downside, after being lavishly draped in attention for the duration of the beginning of the relationship, the “false self” is in fact… false. I t will eventually end. So at some point you will have begun to see that there is a whole other side to this person that you had fallen for. The shift could either be gradual or seem to happen completely all at once. Either way, looking back there would be a definitive difference in the man you met and the man you ended up with.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

He would’ve become distant and indifferent. Any promises they may have made will have gone unfulfilled. You most likely thought you had done something wrong.

Which, if your ex is a narcissist, is highly unlikely since narcissist find it hard to create actual bonds with people. Instead, when a narcissist backs away, you will feel the need to cling. Instead of cutting you off cold turkey or at least amicably, a narcissist will insist on not only making you feel like you’ve done something wrong. They will try to portray you as the bad guy or the reason things went wrong.

Once you’re in a state of complete confusion, the narcissist will continue to back up and revel in your turmoil. They not only feed off of your admiration, but off of your reaction. So, becoming clinging and acting out at them will only feed into their actions.

The narcissist will not ever really acknowledge their actions. They simply have no regard for your feelings. They may, however, string you along as if they “don’t know what they want” until they find another supply of admiration, because narcissists don’t see the people in their lives as people. They see their targets as pawns to maneuver or objects to be used and discarded.

So, you can’t blame yourself one bit as narcissists are incredibly skilled at deceit and they feed off of the misery of others.

They will continue to continue feeding you bits of attention to keep you interested until they get bored, they find another supply of admiration, or until you put a stop to it.

This is when the final stage of the relationship comes to a head. Once your narcissist has decided that you are no longer an adequate source of the attention they crave they will walk away without a second thought.

So, now that you have an idea of what a relationship with a narcissist plays out like, is that what you’ve been dealing with?

Is your ex a narcissist?

Well, that depends. According to an overview of all of the various studies done on narcissism and it’s relation to cultural trends, done by W. Keith Campbell, PhD, head of the University of Georgia Psychology Department, narcissism is prevalent in today’s generations. Really, are you even surprised with all of the selfies we take?

How Do You Deal With an Ex that is a Narcissist?

So, you are just figuring out that you’ve been dating a guy with the emotional range of Patrick Bateman, from American Psycho?

How are you supposed to react? Do you just let him feed your broken heart into a shredder repetitively?


Now that you realize the situation you are in, what are you going to do about it? The only real thing to do about it it to make a clean break. However, if you do this the Narcissist will feel as if you’ve taken the power in the relationship away from him. You’ve been his “Narcissistic Supply” up until this point.

First of all, it is important to be mindful of his fragile ego. The last person I told this to got in an argument with her ex and she straight up told him he had a fragile ego! Don’t do that! The idea is to be as non-confrontational as possible.

If you know that you have a tendency to say things without thinking when you are angry, then ask one of your friends to help keep you in check so you keep your cool.

Every person in existence has a pattern behavior. The narcissist’s is driven by their need for admiration and respect. Everything they do is in search for this. Where this attention comes from isn’t necessarily important. If they can get this attention from someone they see as superior to them, then that is what they will choose.

So, once you’ve determined that your ex is a narcissist, if you can find a way to walk away from the breakup without causing a scene, begging, or trying to fight for some form of closure then that will benefit you greatly. I hope that this article will help eradicate your need for closure that will never come from your narcissistic ex because he is most likely too wrapped up in his own needs to actually notice that you have emotional needs of your own.

If your ex only displays a few of the characteristics of being a narcissist, you might make it away unscathed if you just slowly back away from the breakup and make a clean break of it.

However, if you find yourself face with a full-blown narcissist who displays five or more of the characteristics, it might insult his pride if you don’t make some gesture of regret for the loss of the relationship.

For example, I was seeing a guy who displayed at least five of the characteristics earlier last year. He found himself seeking his adoration in another woman and proceeded to ask me for “space.”

Here’s how the basic conversation went.

“I think we need to take some space. I really just need to focus on work. You understand.”

“Absolutely. I understand. I’ve enjoyed spending time with you, but I wouldn’t want to interfere with the things that are important to you. I know you well enough to know what you want and respect it.”

“Most women wouldn’t be as understanding as you are. I hope you aren’t mad. I feel like a jerk.”


“Because I’m sure this conversations wasn’t what you wanted to hear.”

“Well not exactly but I get it.”

“Thank you.”

See what I did. I let him do the walking away while also leaving his ego unbruised. All the while I avoided the soothing that he was going for. Generally when someone goes, “I feel like such a jerk,” the knee-jerk reaction is to try and convince them that they aren’t.

Of course it bothered me. It was a jerk move. He was simply into someone else.

The thing is, I knew he was a narcissist going into the relationship in the first place. Our shared friends had clued me into his dating patterns days after he and I began talking. And I knew he would eventually and inevitably get bored, not because of anything I did, but because that’s just what narcissist do.

But, like the empath that I am, I found him intriguing and yes some sadistic part of me thought I could “fix” him. But here’s the deal, you aren’t going to change a narcissist and you certainly aren’t going to do so right after he tells you he’s ready to break things off.

Finding a way to walk away unscathed is literally your only option unless you want to start a fight worthy of it’s own reality show. Seriously, those kinds of fights go on for many many seasons. There are better things you can do with your time.

Avoiding Narcissists in the Future

So, now that you can recognize narcissistic characteristics in any potential boyfriends in the future and you can recognize the characteristics in yourself that attracts them, hopefully you can use this information to build stronger relationships in the future with people who actually care that you enjoy it too. Even better, perhaps it will give you the courage not to let people like that have power in your life all around.

Because, sometimes, even though there are people in this world that don’t have the emotional capacity to give as much as they take, understanding how to spot them before you get involved can afford you more time to partake in relationships that are a bit less one-sided.

What to Read Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

61 thoughts on “How to Tell if Your Ex-Boyfriend is a Narcissist”

  1. Regina Burton

    November 15, 2022 at 5:15 am

    I am recovering from narcissistic abuse symptoms and I need to find out if I can recover from this and I seem to be attracted to this type of man please help me

  2. tom

    November 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    I was wondering if you can help me, rather please help me figure this out. My ex Narc left me just over 2 years ago now. he stole most of the equity we had in our home. He at the time blamed me all the usual and I tried to defend myself for maybe a year after but failed and just played into his hands as crazy. My question is am i safe of getting no contact at this time from him. He hates me I am told or have been told and he has me blocked on everything. He has also went into hiding for the last maybe 6 months, like he vanished. Does not have a new supply as far as I am aware. Although all this is leaving me so confused. At this stage. I don’t know but my gut tells me he is biding his time. some background on me, since this i was unwell for a year and somehow have clawed my way back and i lost weight i look so different, i have a better job and a better house, my situation improved and from what i can see his deteriorated. So because of all these facts does that mean i am clear for good. I still am sort of trauma bonded to him but i try to help myself and work on that daily.
    Any advice you can give me i would really appreciate it.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 23, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Tom, so honestly I think you have been lucky to lose someone like this as he does not sound like a good person at all! You need to do the work to get over what you have been through and you have done so well to get as far as you are. So keep working on you and doing better. The trauma bond you speak of, if you feel you need help with that I do suggest you seek a local therapist to help you through it but do not go back to a person who has done such things to you. Keep building yourself up and you are getting stronger every day.

  3. C

    March 22, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    So, I am currently trying to actually come to terms and accept that this is basically an article on the man I fell in love with and still love. We have broken up for about a week now and its probably the 100th time we have over a four year relationship. I think I am an empath and was naturally drawn to him, Im going to keep my story short but this article really hit the nail on the head for me and im sitting here in tears. I feel as if I actually became addicted to him thats how I describe it. I always made an excuse for him in my head because the emotional abuse and neglect was hardly ever even given an excuse by him, god forbid he ever had to admit he was wrong about something or even worse apologise. The amount of nights I have lost sleep and cried myself to sleep. He got full custody of one of his children and ill never knock him on being a dad never, but our relationship started to get pretty serious after that I was going through court proceedings to be a legal guardian to his child and he talked about marriage ect and I wanted this even more when I found out unexpectedly after a hospital stay that I may not be able to have children. The legal things did put a extra amount of pressure on our relationship but I kept coming back to him thinking it could be something so great and hes the love of my life and only acts the way he does because of this and that I always had an excuse in my head. Ive caught him with potential cheating like real valid reasons for thinking that way and he always managed to turn it around and frequently called me crazy. I think thats what they call gaslighting. Over time not only because of work see here I am again making excuses he gradually saw me less and less and I really started to wonder if he was even attracted to me and id have all the lovely things he would say in my head. We would argue and it would turn nasty but he would take it to excess and everytime he emotionally and verbally abused me its like it took a piece of my heart away each time but I would still be the one crying and begging and he would just ignore me completely ignore me for days or carry on being nasty then all of a sudden it would change again he would love me I was the best thing in his life alongside his children. He wanted to marry me and go through ivf. Give it a week or two then id be dropped again. I already have attachment problems because of my childhood but its literally like I have been addicted to him and my head had this picturesque family life with him and I feel as if id never feel this way about someone again. I dont know its all just so confusing its really damaging being with someone like this especially if you believe like I do that your an empath because your always seeking and believing the good in them but its only until youve been through so much of it and start to realise your worth a little more than what you have been getting that you see what the relationship is doing and has done to you. Its been especially hard because ive known this child since he was born and I guess I need time. Even today he has been emailing and trying to call me and im so tempted to talk to him but I know this will probably end up killing me. Ive actually harmed myself before at one of the lowest points thinking I was so unworthy and unloved even then the man that would say he had never loved anyone as much as me would call me a freak for begging him to stop tearing me apart and support me give me a bit of love back. If your reading this article and feel the same as I do that it really opens your eyes to what youve been going through I can only say keep strong, because this is what im battling to do everyday. Hopefully this time I will stay away even if its breaking my heart so bad to do so, I know he will destroy me completely if I stay. 🙁

  4. SH

    December 12, 2017 at 6:31 am

    My ex is a narcissist. I have tried a bunch lf different programs in the past. I changed my behavior DRAMATICALLY in order to communicate better and be more understanding–despite this already coming naturally for, what with being an empath. But absolutely nothing worked at the end of the day; everything revolved around him tearing me down through gaslighting, manipulation and devaluation which was quickly followed by a wave of idealization to keep me hooked to him and tolerate his abuse.

    What people don’t realize is that narcissists tend to be extremely emotionally abusive–not just sometimes, virtually ALL the time. Mine just happened to be both physical and psychologically abusive. So that is why it is important to hit the road and IMMEDIATELY implement No Contact after realizing one’s partner is a narcissist. They will harass you, they will stalk you, slander your reputarion so that you look like the crazy and abusive one. My ex had a terrible habit of just vanishing for weeks without contacting me despite my begging and pleading, hoovering me back in with over-the-top adoration when I’d finally give up and smothering me with affection and promises to be better when I’d finally take him back, only for his loving false self to disolve along with his empty promises and leaving me with the distant, angry and abusive true self who kept me around solely to feed off not only my empathetic and compassionate capacity but also to eat up every last drop of my constant turmoil and low self worth after he’d break me down completetly from all the rude remarks and putting his hands on me.

    It is NOT easy to just “walk away” without bruising their fragile egos. In fact, it is virtually impossible, since they will continually come back to you when they drain their newer supply or find you an easier tartet than coercing someone else entirely. The second I rejected my narc’s attempts at getting back with me, he first acted calm and understanding until I kept rejecting him. Then, he exploded on me with narcissistic rage (yes, an actual term). I had to understand that his kind is incapable of giving or receiving love and that they will NEVER change and can NEVER be fixed. They will continue to leech off the emotions od others until they no longer boost their extremely fragile ego, to which they’ll be discarded–but always remaining on the sidelines… You know, just in case.

    Narcissistic abuse is a very real thing and if you believe your partner or ex partner is a narcissist, DO NOT GET BACK WITH THEM. Even if they come back to you. Even if they profess their undying love for you, or promise you a thousand times over that they’ll change or have changed. It is a mask to reel you back in.

    I’m sorry for the rant. But I feel that it is article is lacking in vital information regarding narcissistic relationships. One should nevee try to be civil with a narc, as they will do everything in their power to cause drama and pain in your life. It is best to simply walk away, no questions asked and going full-blown no contact.

  5. Jenn

    June 10, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I broke up with my ex slightly over a week ago after being together for almost 6 months. When we first started out he was very attentive towards me, making me feel wanted and needed. However after the first 2 months he started to slowly distance himself from me.
    Initially it just started off as meeting me lesser which I agreed to as I felt meeting 5 times a week was too excessive, however as time passed I started to get upset as he’d often claim that he had no time to meet me even though our houses are only a 15min drive apart. This led to several conflicts which I then realized he’d always opt to ignore me despite having full knowledge that I’m hurt.
    He also started blaming me for our fights, admitting that he went overboard with his actions but I deserved it as I wanted to talk things out with him despite him being tired. Finally last week I couldn’t take it anymore after he ignored me again and went to his house hoping to solve things as he’d always avoid the problems when I raised them up either on text or through phone by shouting at me, thinking that he cared about our relationship, just that he didn’t know how to communicate properly. However contrary to my expectations he told me he admitted that his actions shouldn’t be how he treats a girl he loves, but he doesn’t feel like he’s at fault at all as he no longer loves me and we should break up. I was shocked but agreed to the breakup as I didn’t think it was possible to force someone to love you.
    He then followed up by saying I’m still precious to him and would like to stay friends before walking me home that day. The following days he messaged me everyday and asked me out once a few days after our breakup to just hang out which I agreed to, however I was very quiet throughout the entire outing as I couldn’t bring myself to face him properly as I still loved him and wanted to get back together.
    Eventually I decided I needed some time and asked him for a 2 days break for me to gather my thoughts before he contacted me again which he agreed to, however he failed to contact me after the 2 days. I thought that would be the end of our conversation as he didn’t reply till I heard from a mutual friend that he asked about me and said he was hesitant to contact me. Thus I decided to contact him first telling him I have gathered my thoughts and wanted to speak to him which he then told me he was busy with a new business he was setting up and didn’t have time to speak till the end of the day which I trusted him. However my trust was misplaced as I found out afterwards that he wasn’t busy with his business the entire day, he had played online games with our mutual friends for hours.
    I sent him a message telling him I know he was in fact lying to me and that I wanted to talk when he was done gaming as I wanted to get a clear direction on how he feels, as he was the one who said he wanted to be friends yet find excuses to lie to me when I told him I needed to talk. During our talk I also found out he had broken a few promises to me, which he failed to feel apologetic for, instead blaming me for not reminding him of them and that he simply “forgot” or failed to find them important, which was a dealbreaker for me as I value promises very highly. However he claimed that he still wants to be friends when I told him it’s hard for me to be friends with him or take the initiative to talk to him, promising me that he’ll change and start taking the initiative to message me and invite me to our online games as well from the next day onwards, as I mentioned to him as well that I feel left out as he no longer invites me for games. I told him I hope he keeps to his promises before hanging up.
    The very next day contrary to his promises, he failed to message me and continued to leave me out of the game. At this point I realized that he’s treating me like that because I am easily accessible to him and thus there was no need for him to keep to his promises.
    I am since on day 2 of NC as I still wanted him back, also I had stupidly thought that there’s still hope for us as his profile picture is still that of us. However after I chanced upon this article I’m conflicted as to whether I should do the NC and contact him again or totally move on from him as he exhibits several characteristics of a narcissist, while I exhibit several of an empath. I’ll admit that I blamed myself for our break, thinking that if I didn’t insist on settling the problems between us he wouldn’t have been chased away by me as he attributed his loss of love for me due to the fact I tried to solve our issues by talking about it instead of tolerating them and sweeping them under the rug. Which I have since realized that I shouldn’t be blaming myself, and if he feels he’s absolutely faultless, even if I do get back with him he’ll fail to change and the problems would repeat themselves.
    I’d like to add that ever since the break I’ve been actively going out with friends and family to take my mind off things instead of staying depressed at home all day.

    1. Jenn

      June 18, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks for the reply, but what I was asking was more of is it worth it to try getting him back or should I just give up and move on based on how he has acted thus far. (Breaking promises and hurting me repeatedly, and then blaming me for them)

    2. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 21, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      that would depend on you totally.. maybe he’s just angry when he did those.. but you know him more, if that’s really he’s character, then you should move on.

    3. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 14, 2017 at 7:05 am

      Finish at least 30 days of nc first and and then slowly rebuild rapport while you continue improving yourself and being active in posting

  6. sad to know the truth

    March 5, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    So I spent 3 years invested in a relationship with a man I didn’t recognize as a Narc. I’m not sure if Narc is the right word because he wasn’t always about himself and doesn’t meet many of the criteria. Anyway, about 8 months ago he basically just disappeared without warning. I was devastated. I had no idea it was coming. I had been away on a 4 month trip and we kept in contact every 2-3 weeks. He had said at the time of my departure he wasn’t able to be in a relationship because he was in therapy(post divorce) yet he continued to tell me he loved me and texted me while I was away, so I was utterly confused when I returned and he was nowhere to be found. A person I recognized that knew him started attending my yoga class and I asked her about him. She said he was happy and that he no longer had his old phone number and basically told me to leave him alone. I was angry, hurt, and confused. I told her he had been contacting me while I was away and that I was confused at his behavior. She put me in contact with him so I could speak my peace. Well he denied “ghosting” me and basically admitted cheating on me before I had even left on my trip. Needless to say, I was hurt and angry that he just couldn’t say it was over BEFORE I left so I could date while I was away(which I had several opportunities) but what upset me more, was that he was still contacting me telling he loved me while he was with another person. After discussing all this and giving him a few choice words, I got over it. After not talking to him for about a month, he contacted me asking for help in a situation and he KNOWS I would not not reply because I know this other person. So I gave my advice and he continued the conversation. I ended the conversation and haven’t spoken to him in 35 days. I sent him a text a couple of days ago just about some business and nothing more. He has not responded. Even though he hurt me and I know he’s seeing someone else, I can’t move on. I see people he knows daily and it always triggers thoughts of him. I’m at a loss what to do. I still love him and even though I know he’s dating someone else, I still want him back. The last time we texted( before I texted him) he reminded me of the good times we had and used affectionate language with me( which I did not respond to) so it made me feel as if he still had feeling for me. Oh yeah.. he did contact me when he found out I had been seeing another guy( or thought I was.. I work out sometimes with a really attractive man and his friend may have told him) but that was after I spoke my choice words to him and before I sent the text a few days ago. I’m feeling hopeless about the situation and even though I know I’m able to attract some really great men, I can’t move on.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      March 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm


      even if you didn’t contact him at that time, were you very active in improving the health, wealth and relationship aspect in your life and in posting in social media? Relationship means with friends and making new friendships.

  7. Julie

    February 5, 2017 at 4:32 am

    So my boyfriend wasn’t a full blow narcissist but he definitely had traits. And was more of The low self esteem high need of affirmations difficulty relating to my emotions type.
    However – he was able to relate to my life very well. Why is this article all about deciding your ex is a narcissist and no tips on how to react?
    I’m not sure then I contact is the way to go toward someone that wants the admiration.
    The relationship ended (I think) because after two years of being together – the honeymoon doting on him period ended. Now immnot about to change myself for someone – but I know I could definitely have been more caring.
    So how do we handle getting the narcissitct tendency ex back?

    1. Julie

      February 28, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      He reached out
      We agreed to a clean slate going forward so I’m struggling a little with making demands. I don’t want to push him away
      One of our issues was he felt I didn’t trust him
      So how do I navigate some of this

    2. EBR Team Member: Amor

      March 1, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      If he felt you didn’t trust him, use that when you’re talking to him. Tell him you know he think you don’t trust him, so this time, you’re going to be more honest with him because you know he would be willing to listen, and you don’t want to judge but trust that he would understand and he’s willing to make this relationship work. Don’t say it’s demands. Just be communicative. Do more of what you want. Text good morning, good night and then tell him, you hope he’s not uncomfortable but it makes you happy when he does the same too. About the Facebook status, are you going to meet up in person? If you are, do it right then and there. Tell him let’s play a game, maybe while you’re eating, identify things that you love with each other and things that you like and also would like to improve. And then go for, ok one of mine is, “I want our social media presence to level up, so let’s make it official.. ”
      That doesn’t have to be the exact words. You can play around that if you want.

    3. Julie

      February 28, 2017 at 8:41 am

      And how do I navigate Facebook. He isn’t very active. It took 3 months of being back togerher after the last breakup for him to change his status I don’t want to cause a fight and I want to show I’ve changed and I trust he’s in this – but I also don’t want to be a secret girlfriend. How do I go about this ? Can I ask him to put his profile pic of us ?

    4. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 28, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      That’s good! How did you get back together? If he’s the one that reached out, that means he’s willing to listen and work out what your demands are.

    5. Julie

      February 28, 2017 at 8:20 am

      So I got him back. He contacted and asked to get back togehrr we talked about what we’d like different and he admitted his faults which is good
      Since we are back together and long distance and after being broken up – I read the how to keep him …. but how do I proceed with my expectations for example we used to call and talk daily and then say goodnight
      He’s also leaving in a month and we won’t have that liberty and I feel it’s important for him to be use s to talking to me again so he feels that void
      How do I discuss this ?
      Also – one of his problems was that he doesn’t communicate and holds things in how do I get him to open up more

    6. Julie

      February 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      And – if he converses about why I decided it’s a good idea how do I handle that ? Do I mention any reasons why I don’t want to get back together or just be vague and leave it at you’re right this is best

    7. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 25, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      I think it would be better to tell that if he texts or calls you. So, that it would be more natural. If he doesn’t, then that means you just continue on until you finish this nc before initiating contact..

    8. Julie

      February 24, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      We haven’t talked since the call he said he didn’t want to get together- it’s been 4 days so how do I convey this message to him.
      If he ends up contacting me this weekend because he knows I’m in town do I decline ?

    9. Julie

      February 24, 2017 at 12:06 am

      So before going no contact again – do I let him know that he’s right – it’s better we don’t see each other / get back together ?
      How would I say that nicely if so?
      I’m in good with his close circle – can I keep talking to his mom?

    10. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Yeah, you can let him know before doing the no contact.. You can say it exactly like that, that he’s right and yes, you can continue talking to his mom..

    11. Julie

      February 24, 2017 at 12:04 am

      That’s where the confusion came
      I had emailed him saying that I wanted to talk about getting back together and that’s when he sent me the sentimental pics – we’ve only actually talked 3 times
      He called once but I didn’t have time to talk
      The first time was 2 hours and it seemed like he wanted to get together and he talked about me visiting
      That’s why I was so confused
      I felt it was super shitty to send me a sentimental pic right before calling to say no I don’t want to get back together
      And why I felt I couldn’t keep talking to him now
      After our first conversation I wasn’t sure he was going to be willing to continue building rapport or what he was Doug so I decided I didn’t want to play games and just Layed it out there in an email.
      I think leading me on with a sentimental pic is super shitty. This happened
      4 days ago and I haven’t reached out since.
      We ended the call with him saying how happy I made him and that I was very good to him and saying that he wanted to see me again someday but didn’t think it was a good idea to do so right now which is why I felt he was playing games and inneed to enter no contact and then build rapport while he’s gone ?

    12. Julie

      February 23, 2017 at 7:21 am

      But doesn’t that violate all the rules of being ungettable … moving on without moving on … push pull…

    13. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      he responded now that he didn’t want to get back together? Then that changes your approach..

      This is not to blame you, but because you already broke it and said you wanted to get back together, so he already knows you want him back, there’s no push and pull there anymore. That’s why I just allowed you to talk to him because changing your mind suddenly after that will look like you’re playing him.

      It’s going to be different if he doesn’t know you want him back or if you said you realized you were wrong, and you’re not ready to get back and then you’re going to restart the no contact again. But I sensed that you wouldn’t get peace of mind because you already broke it, you might break it again if you didn’t just talk to him. Because you might wonder what if he was willing to rebuild the rapport.

      But now that he already said that he doesn’t want to get back together, that means your last chance, is to restart the no contact rule, stick to it, change genuinely, move on without totally moving on and then build rapport while he’s away..

    14. Julie

      February 23, 2017 at 2:24 am

      I sent the email asking to talk about getting back together
      Then that’s when he texted me the very meaningful relationship pic and called me and said he didn’t want to get back together
      So now that I emailed and he responded very oddly do I keep making contact ??

    15. Julie

      February 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      I don’t have to go back into no contact after asking to get back together?

    16. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 23, 2017 at 1:20 am

      Correct me if I”m wrong, what I sense is you just want to talk to him because you sent that email even if you know you’re going to violet the rules. It’s already violated and if that’s what’s going to help you have peace of mind and have answer to most of your question, like if he’s a narc, do it.

    17. Julie

      February 21, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      I guess I just feel that knowing I wanted to talk about getting back togehrr – sending me that photo before calling to tell me he didn’t want to – was super sketchy….
      I do love him and it’s been a great two years. Since he’s leaving the country it’s going to be hard for me to build rapport but still possible
      Do I go back into no contact again based on the last convo we had ?

    18. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 22, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      I mean, do what you want.. talk to him, if he continues showing signs that he’s being a narcissist instead of working things out with you, then it would be easier for you to move on. If he’s being conversational, then continue building rapport. If he ignores you, then you have to move on..

    19. Julie

      February 20, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      Also — I had sent an email laying it out there saying that after speaking with the relationship and spending two hours reminiscingin that I wanted to lay it out that I want to discuss getting back together & that basically we aren’t friends … I mean I violated the rules but he’s leaving so I didn’t care – and it was after that email that he texted the picture and said I’ll call you later today
      So wouldn’t someone read that and be like
      Oh he got my email here’s a sentimental pic he’s going to talk about my email!

    20. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 21, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      from what I read, I think you need to build rapport.. You’re smart. I think you need to do that to know if continues being a “narc” or if it works out. If it doesn’t, it would be easier for you to move on because you’ve done what you can.. even risking getting hurt.

    21. Julie

      February 20, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      He cheated on me 6 months in
      I caught him – he didn’t talk to me for a few days then came back and apologized saying I’d done nothing wrong blah blah I decided to move forward then 3 months later he broke up with me – completely blind sided – I made all the mistakes and reached out and he didn’t respond at all he couldn’t even tell me anything about some stuff he had of mine
      Then he called 2 months later and we talked for 1 month before we saw him again. When I saw him I was there a week and he planned a super romantic getaway acted like my boyfriend but I left with not getting back together (we got back togherr a month later because I kinda stopped talking to him as a priority and I guess played a game & got him back) we’ve been back togehrr a year and there’s been silent treatments and stuff
      I should also add that for the first 6 months we were local then he moved due to work and so we’ve been LDR for the rest of this.
      So it’s hard
      Do I keep building rapport or realize he’s a narcissist ?
      He’s telling me we have potential and sent me a sentimental picture and was super happy to talk to me to tell me that I shouldn’t see him this weekend
      I want to get togehrr unless I’m being duped by a narc….he’s going to be out of the country for 6 months

    22. Julie

      February 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      I need to know if he’s a narcissist or if I’m just stupid. And I know enough about this to know their are traits and diff kinds as I’ve stated …. once I dated a blatant narcissist – super grandiose self absorbed no emotion etc. I got sucked into that one just thinking he was antisocial….

      So My recent ex / love of my life has me going crazy. I did no contact I mailed his stuff back about 21 days NC and then caved and reached out a month of nc. I figure he answered due to the NC and getting his stuff back he figured I was done. I didn’t chase him or contact him at alllll after he broke up with me.
      He was extremely charming. There are some traits he exhibited that could mean anything and I’m just not sure how to tell!
      He wasn’t verbally abusive. He put me on a pedastiol to the very end. He cheated on me in the very beginning of the two year relationship and told me a few days later (after I caught him) and seemed remorseful and apologized – wouldn’t a narc nkt do that ?
      He ended the relationship supposedly because we are long distance and sometimes I would get a little anxious if he didn’t call me back in a timely manner or when he typically did …. and he got upset one night when I asked why he was on Facebook all of the time all of a sudden and decided to just end it saying I love you but you don’t trust me and this isn’t healthy. And then basically refuses to talk about it, except saying he knows he causes the mistrust but it’s not healthy and then hung up and I didn’t beg.
      So I guess – many other things happened Of course – but the fact that he admitted his wrong doing is what has me wondering am I wrong ? Was he really not a narcissist?

    23. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      A narcissist, invests enough to get you hook and then pulls back and wants more investment from you. Investment can be different ways;giving attention, giving gifts, apologizing, saying the right things.. But what’s apparent is, they do things that really hurt somebody else repeatedly. It’s like the bad boy kind of boyfriend. You know they’re bad but it’s hard to let go because of how they make you feel. But right now, you have to assess your standards, basing on your latest talk. He said he misses you but doesn’t want to lead you on. That means he doesn’t want a relationship. Yes, he sent that message, but that can be because, as he said, he misses you.. but not enough to want to be back in a relationship. Because you’re talking now, you’re being nice, it doesn’t make sense for him to say he doesn’t want to lead you on if all he wanted was a permission or sign from you that he can get back with you. So, you have to decide. Do you continue to slowly build rapport and set a limit until when or move on.

    24. Julie

      February 7, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Well I was leaning more toward a 21 day no contact because he’s leaving the country for 6 months. So I shipped the box thinking it would get there around Day 25. I just wasn’t sure if I should reach out before he gets his box

    25. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 7, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      you have to approach it like a long distance relationship because even if you break nc earlier, that will not stop him from leaving. You still need to build rapport when he’s already there.. It will just lessen your time in focusing in improving yourself.. if he really needs the things, you can talk to him and see him about that

    26. Julie

      February 6, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      Can my first contact post no contact be sending his stuff ? If I sent it today I’d be around the 25 day mark when he gets it
      I cried and asked him not to break up and asked why and asked to talk and asked what I needed to do — in the moment but then I haven’t contacted him since

    27. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      if you’re going to send it during nc, just only talk about that…that’s not breaking nc.. but if you want to use it as first contact, why not just send it after nc?

    28. Julie

      February 6, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I get that. But if one of the problems was I was being s little selfish and not feeding his ego – then wouldn’t not reaching out to him just keep him away?

    29. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      the thing is there shouldn’t be ego in a relationship. Of course sometimes when we’re angry we’re proud or cold but that shouldn’t always dominate and we should learn not to repeat that and handle conflicts in a mature way..

      There should be self respect and knowing that a person who tells you they love you should show you that or at least be respectful towards you and of course if you love them, you would do the same because that’s how a relationship works..
      but it’s different when you broke up with somebody and you still want that other person to make you feel good while you’re hurting that person. That’s selfish. If you want the other person to make you feel good, great, loved, have you considered how you treated them and how you treated yourself?

      You’re like saying he wants you to chase first, assure him that you’re still hooked before he tries it with you. If he really loves you, he would think more of how not to hurt you further(because girl, he broke your heart) and how to have a harmonious relationship with you after that because of the memories you shared.

      If he’s angry then nc helps because of the space and seeing you happy, moving on and growing(which what a person should do after being broken up with) can make him realize he’s the only one angry. If he’s narcissistic, he would think you shouldn’t be happy, even if he hurt you.

      If he’s just waiting, dont worry after nc,you can initiate..

    30. Julie

      February 6, 2017 at 1:19 am

      He broke up with me and hasn’t contacted me. I anticipated him expecting me to cry and reach out like I did the last time he did this. But I discovered this site last time and learned from my mistake.
      I want to reiterate he is definitely not a full blown narcissist. He just has some of the vulnerable type traits. There isn’t any abuse in the relationship. Just some silent treatments (I know it sounds bad – but some people don’t express their emotions)
      So he broke up and hasn’t reached out to me at all. And I feel that’s what he’s wanting

    31. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 6, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      I understand..keep in mind he’s the one that broke up with you.. he should be the one that’s worried on how to get your affections back. If he has a big ego, dont feed it. He has to value you more than his ego..

    32. Julie

      February 5, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      He’s the vulnerable type — it’s just traits and he definitely doesn’t exhibit full blown disorder. Since he is vulnerable and needs his ego fed – isn’t the silence going to just tell him I don’t care?

    33. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 5, 2017 at 11:24 pm

      so, you mean after he broke up with you, he wants you to keep talking because he needs his ego fed? wouldn’t that be telling him that
      “Hey, even after you hurt me. And I still haven’t healed, I’m still here ready to give you what you want even if you dont commit.”

      if he is feeding his ego, doing that will send a message that you dont have standards, that you’re ok with him to just keep hurting you, just to keep him.

    34. EBR Team Member: Amor

      February 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Hi Julie,
      Becaus if he’s a narcissist, dont go back to him.

      If he’s not a narcissit, just a guy that exhibits some of it, which is more likely him being insecure, same steps of doing the nc rule apply BUT you have to be more aware of when the guy is just plain narcissitic because we dont advise going back to that kind of guy. That’s why Ashly said your only option is to walk away unscathed. He can just be using you for his ego.

  8. Cara

    January 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Hi ,
    It would be good to see an article on Borderline and histrionic personality disorders as they are similar to narcissistic PD. It may give readers insights into whether or not they truly want to get back with an ex .

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Cara,

      I’ll forward your inquiry and suggestions to Chris ok?

  9. Cara

    January 20, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Hi Ashley ,

    This is a decent and well-intentioned article on the true diagnosis of Narcissism and I especially like that you listed the specific criteria for someone to be diagnosed as a narcissist . Having worked as a masters level therapist, a true narcissist can only be diagnosed by a licensed therapist or psychologist . You have to meet at least 6 -8 if the criteria and even then it takes a good chunk of analyzing the persons life and how they relate to others . 90% of narcissist are men .per hundreds of research studies . Women who display similar characteristics tend to be Borderline personality .
    I have a couple of issues with some of the comments made in your article as I’ve always cringed whenever others are so quick to call their exes a narcissist. We all display narcissistic tendencies from time to time and studies show that when people are under great amounts of stress like a break up , they may display narcissistic features .
    I disagree with the comment that taking selfies implies we’re a narcissist. As you stated yourself there’s more to it than just admiring yourself . An study in psychology today indicated that women who take selfies and post them are actually shown to have increased self image , self esteem , and confidence . Teenage girls are more likely to accept their bigger nose and /or a feature that others made fun of them for . So if posting my selfie on fb means I’m a narcissist then I would have to meet all the other criteria right ? ( But then we’re told to post pictures of ourselves to attract an ex back . )
    Thanks for accepting my comment .

  10. C.C

    January 15, 2017 at 4:53 am

    After reading this, I strongly identify as an empath, and my ex-boyfriend displayed many characteristics of a narcissist. When we broke up several months ago he strung me along while he continued to pursue other women secretly. I’m currently engaged in “no contact” and he has only reached out once when I was trying to get stuff back through a mutual friend. I still care about him and would like to get him back, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it/will be effective if this kind of behavior is his true personality.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      Hi CC,

      are you actively improving yourself? whatever happens, it’s not a waste to choose self respect and love..

  11. Laura

    January 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I wish I had read this article months ago. I was dating a narcissist and I have done other research. Our “break up” resulted in him trying to discard me, and me bruising his ego and being overly emotional , and then him saying awful things to me.

    I beat myself up everyday for not walking away “unscathed.” I gave him all of the power. I am glad you included this article on your site because I think a lot of women are trying to get back men that have been emotionally abusive or narsassistic. the problem is that narcassits often return, and so the no contact rule, would be perfect for them to go “do their thing” and return as if nothing happened. I think, Chris, you need to include more resources on abuse and what guys to “let go of” on this site.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 14, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Laura,

      I’ll forward your suggestion to Chris.

  12. Daphane

    January 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Since young , I was always told to be “not that sensitive ” , I was told to control because being more emotional in difficult situation cannot help to solve any problem. But people dont understand , likely an ” empath ” thinks much more then what they need , and likely to be “putting others before ourself ” . Meeting a narcissist as first love for an empath is the most broken love story because she/he wouldnt even know how to handle the situation and what they mostly do is letting them hurting you, while you kept believing that you can fix it , fix the love and fix the situation but only more and more chances to get hurt and losing self esteem . Stop being that way , it’s not you , it’s not your fault , give yourself an opportunity to see this clearler , to just stand outside of the picture , people as understanding as you would understand what i want you to know , that is this kind of love really worth for you to put in so much effort just to ” fix it ” . This website is really good , think before you really want the relationship back yet

  13. Lisa

    January 13, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Hello ,
    I’m on day 22 of no contact and as hard as it is , so far I’m going strong . I was planning on doing 45 days because I feel 45 days for my situation would be the best but I just found out my ex has recently signed on to tinder and has been getting girls numbers on there . I’m so worried that he will meet someone else . Should I shorten my no contact to 30 days Bc of this ? Or should I stick it out to 45 days ?
    Please help !

    1. Lisa

      January 13, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      I feel 45 days is better because I was a major text and call gnat . Have you seen people be successful with getting their exes back even though they were a text and call gnat ?!?! Please help

    2. EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Yeah, especially if they genuinely changed and were ok to lose the guy if it didnt work out

    3. EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      whatever he does during no contact should matter more than your improvement because in the first place, you shouldn’t have been social media stalking him but I understand, and if the break up is not that bad it’s ok to do just 30 days.

  14. Lisa

    January 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Hi ,so I’m on day 22 of no contact . I was planning on doing a full 45 days and have been really doing a good job of sticking to it . But recently I found out he’s on tinder and been getting girls numbers so I’m worried he will start talking to someone so should I cut it down to 30 days of nc or stick to the full 45 days ?

  15. Jade

    January 12, 2017 at 5:25 am

    After reading the article about narcissists, I realized I am an empath and my ex definitely had narcissistic traits which I suspected all along.

    1. Chris Seiter

      January 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

      Hey Jade,

      What behaviors did your ex exhibit that made you think he is a narcissist?