You Can See ‘Em Comin’ From A Mile Away

I met a narcissist this weekend.   I’ve been single, now, for three years.  My family and friends keep asking me when I’m going to ‘get back out there’.  I have to admit that I haven’t trusted my judgment.  I’m an accommodator, by nature.  What’s going to prevent me from getting back into another relationship with a narcissist?  I’ve done my homework, but I’m still leery of repeating history.  Up at my parents’ cabin, we’re all having fun playing cards with another friend.  The kitchen door opens, and voila, there he is in all his glory.  He was so self-assured that he didn’t even feel that it was necessary to knock first.  He’s a long time friend of a family member.  I’d only met him one other time, a long time ago. 

He provided me with a whole bunch of clues, that in my old, uninitiated days, I would have totally ignored.  He was impeccably dressed and coiffed for a guy who was by himself, out in the woods, on a weekend night.  He’s going through a bitter divorce, and his ex is literally walking away from the gorgeous house, almost all the furnishings and the family cabin.  (She’s desperate to leave.)  He is completely clueless as to why she “just snapped.”  He still loves her, and can’t see that he’s done anything wrong.  He talked candidly, almost embarrassingly, about the details of their separation with a group of people that barely know him.  Every one of his sentences was prefaced with, “I did …,” I am …,” I felt …,” “I have …,” and “I am going to …”  He referenced his religion several times.   (Typically, narcissists are very religious.)   When someone attempted to get a word into the conversation, his response had nothing to do with what that person said.  He had the stage, and didn’t plan on relinquishing that stage until he was done.  He didn’t once take a breath or pause during his monologue to ask how anyone else had been or what anyone had been up to.  He was handsome, charming, and completely thrilled with delighting us with his presence.

While he was going on about his life, a friend was standing behind him, facing me, motioning and pointing at the narcissist.  Her eyebrows were raised, and she had a look on her face that clearly said, “Hubba Hubba.”  I deliberately looked back at her and politely, but firmly shook my head, with a look that must have said, “NO WAY!  NOT EVER!”  Clearly, the friend was sucked in by his charm.  I was almost repulsed by his presence.  His behavior was all too familiar.  When he left, the friend was stunned that I wouldn’t want to scoop him up and take him home.  Been there. 

By the next morning, I still hadn’t expressed any of my judgments about the previous night’s visitor.  I didn’t allude to the fact that dating him would be history repeating itself.  Mostly, I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the family member that had known this fella for so long.  I didn’t even bring up the subject.  As we were standing at the wood stove cooking breakfast, my mom says, “So …..   another narcissist, huh?”  I have to say that when she said that, I was able to erase all doubts about my ability to avoid another relationship with a narcissist.  We have been through enough, and learned enough, by now, that we can see ’em comin’.

 

2009-09-13-072

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