If you listen to a podcast or follow social media accounts that talk about the dating world, I’m sure you’ve heard about the new trends such as Narcissistic or Borderline people, and also about people with commitment phobias.
I love social media and the digital world because people now have access to knowledge from experts that back then, we did not have. We are more conscious about the people we date and what red flags to look for. But sometimes people take one thing that may look or sound a bit narcissistic, and we assume our partner is narcissistic.
Before I dive in, let’s look at the definition of Narcissistic and borderline separately:
- Narcissist: a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of the self, needs admiration from many, and lacks empathy toward others.
- Borderline: is characterized by a long-term pattern of unstable relationships, a distorted sense of self, and strong emotional reactions.
I am giving these definitions because I think it is important to know them, but also be careful to not get stuck in them. If the person you’re dating glanced at themselves a little longer than they should or bragged about something they accomplished, it does not automatically mean they are narcissistic. More than anything you have to see how often they are engaging in such behavior, and this is something difficult to determine on the first date. Nonetheless, here are some trends happening in the dating world that you should be aware of:
- Gaslighting: Manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
- Breadcrumbing: The act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages
- Ghosting: The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.
- Love Bombing: Going the extra mile more than usual. At first it may make you feel like you're in an amazing relationship, but then it may suddenly stop. Most of the time, love bombing displays forms of attention that seem really unnecessary.
- Orbiting: When someone you dated stops communicating with you in real life, but continues to like and view your social media posts
Great, these are all the bad things in the dating world, but you might be wondering, ok so what should I look for?
I’m all about finding solutions to problems, so here are some things you should look for when you are dating:
- He has his own life together
- She sees finances similarly to you
- Relationship with their family, for example, is he too clingy to his parents? Is her family too conflictual? Remember that you marry the person and their whole family. No family is perfect, so don’t look for perfection but something that you can work with or learn to understand and accept.
- She has a support system
- He has his own goals and aspirations
- She have their own hobbies and interests
- He supports your own hobbies and interests
- She is ok with you asking for your needs being met
- He is ok with asking you for his needs to be met without playing games
- Your relationship issues/fights are not blasted on social media
- He talks positively about you to others
- It's ok to agree to disagree in the relationship without it becoming WWIII
- Life-altering decisions are discussed openly
- He can become accountable when he’s at fault —but remember that it takes two to tango. Always try to see how you are part of the problem at hand.
- Life is not a fairy tale: He or she has a healthy understanding that a healthy relationship is not like a fairytale movie
- You feel you can be yourself — obviously considering the other person’s feelings
- Humor is always a plus
- But more importantly, are you able to be yourself?
Like I said before, it is very hard to tell by just a few dates if a person is borderline or narcissistic. You have to pay attention to the pattern and how often it happens. Sometimes the person might not even be aware of his or her actions. Make space to speak your mind, make sure that you can be yourself and that you and your partner have similar core values.
To your Relationship Success,
Your therapy friend,
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SOFIA M. ROBIROSA
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining.