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“Then, the minute there’s some kind of falter in the fantasy of who that person is, they devalue them—almost knocking their knees out from under them—and then discard them.”“That’s a way that narcissists stay safe,” she says.

“They’ll say, ‘You’re amazing…but if you stop being amazing for whatever reason, you’re no longer someone that I want to align my star with.

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“Whether it is a dangerous sport, a speaking engagement, or a leadership role that requires taking on heavy responsibility, we are unable (and ultimately unwilling) to remain in a state of heightened anxiety and mental distress.” Of course, wanting to make a good impression on your partner is no bad thing, but you shouldn’t be feeling on edge.

If you feel this way, it could be because the person you’re seeing makes you feel inadequate and critique yourself.

And studies have shown that scrutinising yourself harshly and reacting in an extreme way to supposed flaws and failures can make you more prone to depression.

You need to find someone who makes you feel good about yourself.

“[Narcissists] try to isolate you from friends and family,” she says.

“I learned, years later, that my ex would go behind my back and trash talk me—all while making himself look good. They’re master manipulators, and they feel a deep sense of entitlement.

Dr Patrick concedes that getting butterflies before meeting a new potential love interest is to be expected, but, she says, as time goes on, every date shouldn’t feel like a performance where you can’t just relax and be yourself.

“In the long run, no one wants to continue participating in an activity that creates stress and discomfort,” Dr Patrick explains.

Rules don’t apply to them, because they’re just so superior to the rest of us.”Obviously, narcissistic tendencies make relationships difficult.

While researching this piece, we received dozens of responses from people who claimed to have been in relationships with narcissists.

When you’re dating someone new, it’s normal to feel nervous before seeing them.

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