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Get Out While You Can: 5 Ways To Tell If You're Dating A Narcissist

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I once dated someone -- let's call him Randy -- who spent more time in the shower fixing his hair and shaving than I did. I also ate more than him, which was kind of annoying.

While I did admire the fact that Randy always smelled like Paco Rabanne and succeeded in dressing like Chuck Bass, here are five reasons why I’d never make the mistake of dating a narcissist twice:

"Me! Me! Me!" Times Infinity

Being with a narcissist is a full-time occupation -- one that usually involves forgoing your identity to become ensconced in his.

This means listening dutifully to the narcissist's stories for hours on end, whether it’s about his personal heroism or all the grandiose problems he faces. Your only job is to share approval and perhaps the same odd opinion.

If you’re ever in need of verbal or physical consolation, don’t ask a narcissist for help. Just be assured that the story of your grandmother’s funeral makes a perfect segue for why he or she is having a sh*tty day. Don’t ever expect empathy from someone who is too busy internally victimizing him or herself.

Small Gestures Are Blown Out of Proportion

Randy bought me a bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day once when I’d gone to visit him. After that, I spent the rest of the week watching the back of his head while he played video games and drank with his friends.

Acts of kindness don’t come easily to a narcissist.

Everything That Glitters Is Not Gold

Narcissists spend a disturbing amount of time perfecting their appearances, and when they’re not doing that, they’re busy finding faults to fix with yours. Not only are their ideals about beauty impractical, they also like to highlight how inferior you are.

Narcissists will identify with a mirage that you must uphold. They pinpoint trivial flaws and blow them out of proportion, and not just with your physical appearance, but with everything you do.

If you want to know what OCD looks like, make a narcissist his or her favorite drink. This person will count the amount of ice cubes, argue about the percentage of alcohol and then demand you start all over again.

I Love You Me

Narcissists have a hard time coming to terms with who they are fundamentally, let alone falling in love with another person. These people are serial daters because they enjoy the honeymoon phase of any relationship, but have nothing more to offer beyond it.

While they can effortlessly build rapports with lots of people, they lose interest investing emotionally. These people value sex, wealth and using others for their own personal gain.

Narcissistic people are incapable of showing love; they just like the idea of it. It's a bit like Gatsby’s obsession with the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.

Misery Loves Company

If you’re already recognizing a few red flags, get out while you can. Staying with someone this dysfunctional means never getting sick; giving unconditionally; remembering that it’s always about him; and above all, knowing that in order to be loved, you need to look, sound and act perfect -- just not as perfect as him.

Do yourself a favor: Leave Chuck Bass to his empire of broken promises and go date someone who doesn't look like he just stepped out of an episode of "Suits."

Photo via We Heart It