Imagine for a moment, that you were an emotional predator and that, in order for you to just feel normal, you needed people to like you and to want you. You’ve got to con your way into your target’s life, heart and/or bed, in order to obtain this objective, and you need to do so quickly and with the least amount of effort. What would you do? Where would you go to achieve this?
Online dating sites are ripe with emotional manipulators. At the touch of a button, you can sort through a myriad of profiles, just like you would leaf through a catalogue. And at the same time, you can create your own profile, whose sole purpose is to attract as many prey as possible. In this imaginary online world, you can lie about your age, your profession, your income, your education, your likes and dislikes and if you’re a somatic Narcissist you can even post muscled body pics, or highly provocative cleavage shots, for just the right effect.
“I typed in the nickname he uses on his Xbox and social media accounts. This search led me to his profile on the free dating site, Plenty of Fish…his profile was filled with so many lies, lies about the most basic things. He said “I love my job and work all the time.” He was unemployed 75 percent of the time in our relationship and always had an excuse for it. He wrote that he “loves the beach” and “being outdoors.” I’m a surfer and a beach person — the two years that we were together, he went to the beach with me ONCE and complained the whole time. We lived next door to our city’s version of Central Park, and he never went walking or hiking there with me. Instead, he chose to drink beer, play Xbox and talk on the headset to his friends.”
And since you don’t like to put in a lot of effort, you probably have a few catch phrases that you send out to all your unsuspecting prey, phrases like, “Hey beautiful, how are u?” or “I loved your profile. We have a lot in common. Message me.” You send out so many, that just by the law of averages, you’re bound to get some replies. And when they do respond, you move fast. You could even make plans for a lunch, an afternoon coffee, dinner and late night drinks, with four different people, all in one day. Some of your targets have potential, or you got what you wanted right off the bat, other’s didn’t really buy what you were selling, so you keep some, throw the rest away, and put your bait back in the water, for the next fish, because you can never have enough and you can always find someone better.
The problem with online dating, even for the non-narcissist, is that there’s so much choice. There is, little to no, emotional investment in this type of catalogue dating. It’s entirely superficial and it dehumanizes people. It allows for improper and disrespectful behavior, because if it doesn’t work out – if there’s no immediate gratification, you can act however you want – without consequences, because there’s always going to be someone else.
Don’t get me wrong, online dating can be great and I’m sure there are a lot of fantastic people on these sites. The problem is weeding through the bad ones and finding the good ones is a very daunting and emotionally exhausting process. It can become almost like a second job.
The majority of online dating is all about physical attraction. You’ve only got one date to determine if there’s a spark. So very quickly, if there’s no chemistry, you’re done with that person, or they’re done with you. Online dating really is about how well you deal with rejection, because unfortunately that’s what you’re going to get most of the time. And if you’re just out of an emotionally abusive relationship, chances are you’re still battling with self-esteem issues. So, dealing with all the games that happen online, can set you back and cause you more harm than good, especially if you internalize it and believe that it’s all about you being judged and found lacking. Because let’s be honest, the bottom line is, online dating is really more about rejection than anything else.
If you are still pining over someone, you’re not going to be the greatest date either. If you keep thinking about someone else, you are going to be emotionally unavailable to the person sitting across from you. It won’t matter how great your date is, you won’t recognize it – all you’ll see is that he/she is not the one you’re missing. And you end up feeling worse afterwards, crying into a tub of ice cream and missing your ex even more.
There is also, a lot of catfishing going on, on dating sites too. For those of you that don’t know: a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not. There is a lot of misrepresentation online. Someone could have posted photos of themselves when they were 23 and now they’re 38. You’re expecting a young Brad Pitt to show up and they turn up looking like Nick Nolte. You could spend your time chatting getting to know someone and then bam, you finally meet and realize the fantasy they were selling you, was far from the reality you just stepped into.
Not all websites are created equally either. Many people who have had online dating experiences, state that they have had better success with sites that require a monthly payment. The mere fact that payment is required, usually weeds out the broken downs and the parasites that can’t pay their own bills and take care of themselves financially. And you will generally find people on those sites, are more interested in having an actual relationship, rather than just a one night stand.
When my Narcissist left me for someone else, I was in a big hurry to hook up with someone. I wanted to show him and everyone else, that I was moving on and happier without him, so I jumped into online dating. It was a colossal failure of epic proportions, because I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t ready. Every date felt like I was going on a job interview and after every one of them, I felt like I didn’t get the job, or I had applied for the wrong one. It felt like work and dating is supposed to be fun. If you’re jumping into the dating pool for the wrong reasons – get out of the pool, because I promise you, it will not bode well for you
If you have just broken up with someone and you can’t be alone – get a cat.
If you believe that dating is a competition and you’re trying to beat your ex at his/her own game – play sports and stay off the computer.
If you haven’t healed your hurt and resolved your issues – it makes no sense to jump in the pond with professional swimmers, when you can’t even swim.
If you are still aching for your Narcissist and you’re feeling lonely – call your friends, go dancing, go shopping, but don’t online date.
If you’re still struggling with self-esteem issues and have a hard time with rejection – online dating is not for you.
If you are a co-dependent – cancel your internet connection – online dating should not even be on your radar, until you have healed your own wounds.
If your philosophy is, ‘the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else’ – let me know how that works for you.
If you are hoping to meet someone online, so they can help you pay your rent – move back home with your parents and stay off line until you get your sh*t together.
If you have spent your post-break-up time healing and you’ve done the self-work, if you are discriminating enough to look for someone who adds value to your life, if you’ve got your boundaries firmly in place, if you’re self-esteem is in tact, then by all means, dip your toe into the online dating pool. If you’re not ready, chances are you will find out pretty quickly. You’ll end up feeling worse about yourself and you’ll keep attracting the same type of person and making the same mistakes over and over again.
These days, I’m all about serendipity. I think meeting someone the old fashion way, like a chance meeting, or some type of cosmic synchronicity, is how it’s supposed to happen. You know that old saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear?” When it comes to dating I have a similar stance, I believe, “When the spirit is whole and happy, all by itself, then love, in all its forms, will appear, exactly when and how it’s supposed to.”
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I was diagnosed with npd about 8 years ago i am 38 years old and I am very open and I do tell ppl about my npd because it makes it easier to control and if ppl are for warned they are armed yes my narcissism dus come out some time like when am stressed tired drunk .
Well I am telling you this because Evan though I have npd I am not a closest narcissist but my last girlfriend was and I did not see it coming till the day she sed she was going to pic up my step daughter.and she took my 3 1/2 week old son and never came back at first I forgot it was all me and went on full melt down till I was at rock bottom tacking drugs drinking partying and full on self district then I was first to seek help and Through talking to my therapist about the relationship then certain things about the relationship I was being manipulated and and emotional abused so this is how it is bifor she was pregnant I court her secretly texting the next door neighbour and she would send me to get weed for us and when I was out he would come round my house and when I challenge her se went strat to accusing me of cheating and and threatening to leave me i should of seen it a miles.away because iv done it my self that where I should of left it but because I love her and still do couldn’t be with out her she is my pedestals. But no I did not and we had awer ups and down till the next door neighbour moved and it seamed we where happy then it happend we where having a baby the best moment of my life so she is pregnant and she smocks weed and yes so do I it helps with the rage and my agitations any way we where going to see the midwife and bifor we went in she told me I had to tell the midwife about my npd and that I yous weed to self medicate and if I didn’t she would take my unborn son and I would never see him she you all I ever wanted was a family of my own because never had one any way I dirge’s so I am there telling the midwife about my weed yous and my npd when she asked her she denied smocking it so it to week after awer first appointment and to lady’s from social services come knocking on my door she wasn’t in so I arranged a meeting for the next day when she returned home I told her and then she told me that I had to tell them that she didn’t smock weed and if that found out that would tack my step kids and my baby away so I did and when that tried bullying her for a Substance test I would have to defend her witch I did this went on for 9 months once a week me kicking of with social services because they where bullying her to do the test upsetting her and threatening to tack my step kids so more that one was told to leave any way 3 1/2’weeks after my son Jason was born she left with the help of the social services she got a new life a new house and a new fela and my life was in taters I can see my son because she has disappeared blocked. On social medias. and mobile phone and because she played me like a love sick mug she had social services helping her to keep me away from my son so the moral ov this is there are many levels of npd and convert narcissists are the worst so if you are a narcissist reading this and you want a relationship be honest so yore prospective partner Can research npd and know how to deal with it only drow back is if its a convert narcissist that will destroy you by using yore npd agents you thank you for reading this and remember not every one with npd wants to be like that and will work very hard to be better people ……peace…….
I’m borderline..I can sniff Out covert narcs ,and play them like a fiddle 🙂
I met a woman on a paid dating site. She was small & cute, and had a vulgar profile pic in a little red dress & cleavage. She asked a LOT of questions, I already had a lot of info in my profile and wrote and told her even more. Turned out she was a lawyer, and could go through lots and lots of info, memorizing it. And, it turned out she was a narc. I’m not just saying it, my Life Coach/therapist said it. She was already leaving things at my house, but I gave it all back. Later the same day, she was pounding at my door! And just a few weeks after that, she emailed “just checking” on me, and told me about guys she met on Tinder. Your blog speaks da troof, thank you, and though I can’t 100% explain it, if you are a co-dependent and online, a narc will find you. Guaranteed.
I have definitely dodged a huge bullet recently. I do not date online or have a profile anywhere. However, I would love to meet somebody really nice. My 25 yrs of reletionship with my ex was exhausting, he suffered from Asperger syndrome with all traits. No empathy, understanding, introvert. Hated children, suspicious everyone would like to con or cheat on him. I got fed up with this. But I am on facebook to be in touch with friends from all over the world and there I met Mr Narc ( and probably also sociopath). Long story short : we messaged back and forth for two months, I was love bombed, showered with affection and attention. He was homeless, living in his small car and shortly after his third divorce. After two months I felt I had known him for ages. Maybe even longer. So he flew to my place and moved in. What a horror story! The charming, warm, caring and loving man whom I knew from Messenger was gone.And now I had a bossy, disrespectful, indifferent and uncaring guy with me! And always wanting to make love. Luckily, after only two weeks we had an argument, he got pissed off, grabbed the bag with his few possessions and left. But when he was still with me, one day I saw him fill in a questionnaire on Twoo dating site. His profile was active and status ” not in a relationship”. When I asked him why he was doing this, he replied innocently ” Oh, they keep sending me this form over and over again, I have not had time to complete it yet.” I bet he still has his profile active and is luring in unsuspecting victims, hopefully other women are going to be more cautious as not to fall into his trap. Now I will be extremely careful and suspicious who I am going to chat with, those idiots seem to operate everywhere!
I am actually have court hearing tomorrow, on a narcassist I met on POF. Was awesome for the first two months then the mask fell and his true self came flying out. I dated him for 7 miserable months, he had no boundaries, verbally abusive, demeaning I got a no trespassing on him in January, he has been stalking me every since, I have called the police so many times, I have lost count. He came on strong in the beginning, because he didn’t want me to figure him out. Thank God I did. This has been the most stressful, scary relationship I have ever encountered and I am 50 years old, totally text book Narcissistic Psychopath. Being watched every where you go is really nerve wrecking and creepy. No more on line for me every, this was like a date line movie, I did not want to be in. I would not leave me alone he would show up at my house every day, very intrusive. Ugh I am not looking forward to seeing him in court tomorrow. BYE BYE ONLINE FOR THIS GIRL!!!
I agree many narcissists post personal ads online. I’ve been a victim to them and their personal ad “traps” once or twice. I believe they post their ads or traps merely to gain pleasure and easy self-esteem along with a feeling of superiority. What I’ve noticed is the narcissist will ask a lot of questions when someone replies to their personal ad. They want their victims to do all the talking, it seems. I believe it’s to keep the victim side-tracked or busy because at the same time the narcissist seems to provide as few details about themselves as possible! It’s like doing so shows vulnerability? I really don’t know for sure. All I know is the narcissists I’ve run into don’t seem to like providing details about themselves. Anyway, the more the “victim” talks and shares details, the more pleasure the narcissist seems to feel and wants more and more for the person to talk! It’s like foreplay to the narcissist, it seems! They will soon deliver the blows to the person that cause humiliation and grief! Some narcissists use insults said at the perfect moment. Others use situations where the victim finally catches-on and feels stupid and humiliated while the narcissist feels superior in every way! Also, the narcissist, before delivering humiliation to them will often lead the victim away from the dating website if the dating website provides messenger service! This way the narcissist can deliver the perfectly timed insults or blows without the likelihood of having their personal ad or account removed by the online dating site! Beware if you find yourself doing all the talking when replying to a personal ad and beware if the person invites you to continue the conversation outside the dating website!
I’m 17 months out of being brutally abandoned/ discarded by my soon to be exNPDhusband. I think he’s a cerebral Narc and don’t believe he’s ever cheated. He has lied about everything so who knows. I recently signed up with a paid dating site and I see RED FLAGS of narcs everywhere. They tend to flock to me. They’re full of flattery and in a hurry to meet for drinks! Hello? I don’t even know you man! Scary. I googled your article and am relieved I’m not just paranoid! Thanks so much!
I was with a N/P for 13 years and during that time he went online chatrooms chatting to women until 4am without my knowledge. He would put me down and make me feel like everything bad or negative that happened was all my fault …chatrooms excuse was because i wasnt paying him enough attention – in the end i couldnt take anymore – for my own sanity. After a few months of breaking up ( with N/P still trying to be in the picture) i tried online dating – as after 13 years with the same man you start to think that your best years have been and gone. So i went on – had a few ok dates and then i met a wonderful man – kind – thoughtful – respectful – so strange having a man be like that with me. This was 2 years ago and i am still with him – and guess what …he hasnt changed yet ;0) I think you have to go onto online dating with an open mind and just enjoy dating – not take it too seriously …then maybe you will meet someone who is genuine.
Wow. Slow clapping for you!!! This is brilliant advice!!!!!! I second the old-fashioned thing. Awesome!!
Before I read this oh boy, I just left the violent narcissist entry. Like I mentioned in another comment section on this site I meet my ex narc boyfriend of 7 weeks online.
Once again what the hell is wrong with me?
I’m really being creeped out maybe I should. So I will not repeat this shit again.
Oh man! Thank you for this! I’m just getting out of a very destructive, physically abusive relationship with a narcissist. My friend told me about Tinder, so I downloaded the app. Immediately, I was overwhelmed with all the possibilities. I’ll admit it inflated my hurt ego every time I made a “match” with someone. I had a date scheduled with someone for tomorrow, but my inner voice kept screaming, “This isn’t right!” He looks good and has his own stuff, but even when we were texting he always had more to say about himself than anything. Of course, he couldn’t resist sending me mirror pics of his chiseled chest either. The conversation always turned sexual every time we talked. I knew that if I went to this dinner, which I was looking forward to (he made reservations?! Wow. Never had that before) I would ultimately be expected to sleep with him. I don’t have the time or energy to deflect these advances, and a random hook-up will do nothing for my self-esteem. Thank you for this article. You’ve validated everything I was feeling! Deleted Tinder and canceled the date. I probably dodged a bullet.
I met what I think was an NPD while we were both working. He has a job with a utility company as an emergency response technician and I am door to door saleswoman. He swept me off my feet, called me 6 times a days, talked every night for a couple of weeks. Then he began to say things very coy about the job I have, my kids have and made me feel inferior. When we went out he would ask things like did I go to prom, graduate high school, where did I go to college, do I own property..Then he began to pull away. A day or two would go by and he wouldn’t call. Then he called and started talking sex talk to me. Always wanting to meet me somewhere. Then the kissing and and things would take place in the car. He would never let me go to his house nor would he come to mine. Then he left for a month and a half on hunting trip. He never called. He came back Thanksgiving and began calling. I had figured out he was NPD by that time because I thought this wonderful man was my soul mate and I couldn’t believe I had done such wrong as to loose him. I researched his actions and mine to find how how I could mess up something this bad. Little by little I kept coming across information like yours and knew what was happening. We had a brief time together but it has set up house in my heart and I can’t get away from thoughts of him. I have done no contact, blocked his numbers and he still got through. He said one of his ex girlfriends contacted him and he was going to pursue her no. Other things were said but bottom line is his text book behavior has confirmed to me he is really NPD. Do you think so?
I am 4 months post break up with my (married) Narc. I have tried 2 different on-line sites and just yesterday deleted the 2nd profile. I had some dates and tons of interest from men, but after being stood up twice, lied to repeatedly and the latest one yesterday — being texted by my potential date’s GIRLFRIEND, I decided I’m done. So much of what you wrote here rings true. I’m in therapy and she says many of the same things as well. I feel so desperate to be in a relationship when my entire life has been nothing but BAD experiences with the totally wrong type of men for me. I am seriously going to just TRY to be by myself and enjoy my time and get to know who I am and what I really like. I, too, am a romantic and hope that the right person will come along when the time is right and when I’m ready. Thank you so much for this site…it has helped me immensely the past few months!
I have been in a relationship with a psychopath for just over 2 years. The damage and trauma someone like that does to your inner soul and your whole life is shattering. I cannot thankyou enough for this site. Parts of it was like it was written specifically for me.
I can relate to the internet affairs as my partner had created many fake accounts including numerous online dating sites while denying it time and time again that he had stopped doing ‘that stuff’ then when he would get caught he would promise once again that he was drunk he didnt know he had done it. He recently proposed then I found out 2 weeks after that all the time around the proposal he was contacting woman asking them to meet up.
I had always asked him what it was about me why did he want those woman when I could give him everything he wanted. He said it was about the confidence, knowing that others still wanted him and found him attractive which never made sense to me because I think if you fall in love you stop looking for that.
Not anymore its time to break free from this life that pulls you down and move on knowing that they cannot be changed that I or possibly no-one else would ever be enough to make him stop the behaviour.
He has no remorse other than telling me in a shallow way that his sorry for hurting me but even those words mean very little when you have heard it again and again.
How is it you always know what I am needing to hear the most??? you are an angel and I giving out your web address all day to my many friends struggling with abuse. God bless you always.
I have come to read your articles for many months, both before and after my experience with online dating. I took some time to really try to get myself in order before dipping my toes in the water(of dating). And boy was this experience a bad one for me. Yes, there are predatory types, yes, this is the swimming pool of the spath. Yes, I took my profile down…and no, I don’t ever want to do this again. I am going to get involved with things I’m interested in doing, and if a real whole and healthy, emotionally well man should join me in those steps…then good. I’d rather take a few more months of alone-ness than to swim with the sharks again.
I completely agree that online dating is superficial and can be dehumanizing for everyone. It’s easily forgotten that there is an actual person, with feelings, behind the profile on a computer screen. The entire aspect of how it works is just conducive to jerk-like behavior.
A lot of my female friends have received rude, crude and aggressive messages from men, and my male friends have complained that women they’ve met who they thought they connected with wrote them off rather quickly, because they were being pursued by so many other men on the site. When you’re on a dating site, it feels like you’re just an object.
My best friend met her husband on a reputable, paid dating site, but I think this is a rare exception. No one else in my circle of friends had a successful relationship come from meeting someone online.
I believe in serendipity, too. I also believe that if you try too hard to seek out love, that you won’t find it. Maybe I’m a romantic at heart, but I think it will happen when you’re truly ready and when you least expect it.
Another article that speaks to me – and puts into words what I know is true – thanks Savannah! I’ve seen the dating profiles an ex-boyfriend (of 5 years) wrote on dating sites and the ONLY thing he is honest about is his age. I put out my own profile for the first time this year and came to realize it’s not a good process for me, just sayin’…maybe it’s OK for other people. I was fortunate to get a lot of responses, but something like a wink or someone liking your profile pic takes very little effort. Got a lot of short, poorly written emails, responses from people living far away, the list of prospects went from a lot to nothing very quickly. Plus, I wasn’t ready for the reasons Savannah listed in her article – how did she know? I’m stepping out “the old fashioned” way – if it’s mean to be, it will happen. It’s a new month – September – and a mini-new beginning. Thanks again Savannah for understanding and expressing yourself so well.
Totally brilliant article this is the first time I am healing within myself in my life my ex desperate to meet someone so he can jump ship he may appear to be strong and happy at the moment but he has done no work on himself at all it will all end in disaster I have stayed on my own to fully recover and heal this can be lonely but not forever and the best way to do it xxxx
Oh, and he represented himself as single.
Wow! My soon to be x husband of over 20 years had at least 5 online dating profiles all of which contained lies. He didn’t do well with rejection at all. We had a pretty open relationship so I knew about them, however I was always surprised by what he wrote and communicated with others. He had no consideration for the other person and how they might feel, or how I might feel, everything was all about him and what he wanted. He became very abusive over the last 4 years of our life with no consideration even for our children. This website had helped me so much, THANK YOU!!!!!