Dating a Narcissist or a Nervous Man? How to tell the difference

Posted by in dating a dangerous man, first date success | 2 comments

dating a narcissistRachel DeAlto, flirting expert and author of Flirt Fearlessly, was on my radio show, Courageous Conversations yesterday. One of her excellent flirting tips was about having fun when you’re on a date. I agree, lightening up and enjoying your time with each other takes the pressure  and ‘interview’ feel out of dating. First dates can be awkward, especially if you feel judged. Some people show their awkwardness by shutting down, or the opposite ~ talking too much. While I discourage anyone from dating a narcissist (it’s lonely when you’re not important to the relationship), I do encourage women to give a man a second chance with a nervous man. If the first date is filled with nervous chatter about himself, he might be a great guy deep down. How can you tell the difference between dating a narcissist or a nervous man?

Dating a Narcissist or a Nervous Man?

Nervous: He talks a lot about himself, doesn’t ask many questions about you. He seems fidgety, on the edge. He has a nervous laugh. He is self-conscious, and asks questions that show his insecurity, like “do you find me attractive?”. He seems good-hearted; he speaks kindly to the wait staff, takes your coat, walks you to your car, and seems to have a full balanced life. But he took up all the space in the conversation. How annoying!

Narcissist: He talks a lot about himself, doesn’t ask much about you. He competes with you, trying to one-up you in conversation and make himself look good. He puts you down in a joking way. He shows up late and doesn’t text/call or apologize. He is short tempered with the wait staff. He doesn’t walk you to your car or do anything else chivalrous. He boasts about his accomplishments. How annoying!

A nervous guy might just be an inexperienced dater. Or maybe he is so attracted to you, he’s lost his ability to self-monitor. There are many wonderful men who get nervous on a first date and end up turning off some quality matches. That’s too bad.

A narcissist can be very charming and fun to be with in the moment, but he doesn’t have your back (or your front, for that matter!). He gives himself away pretty quickly if you pay close attention to his words and actions. They usually don’t line up. He is not there for you, and that’s the bottom line.

Give the nervous guy a second chance.

Dump the narcissist.

What’s your experience been with nervous vs. narcissist? Please share your comments below.

And remember, if you want to immediately turn around your online dating success, sign up here for my FREE report. Happy dating!







  1. I just went on a date with a guy and he talked alot about his accomplishments, the top resorts he worked at and famous people he knew. He didn’t really ask many questions about me and when I told him stories he used this as a way to put me down in what he thought was funny ( I did not). When the date was nearing the end and he wanted to book in the second date and I didn’t respond positively straight away he said ‘That’s why you’re single’ I was quite shocked not sure how to take it, he kept pressuring me to make a decision and when I didn’t he repeated his comment ‘That’s why you’re single’ I am not sure what the purpose of the comment was, but it definitely turned me off.

  2. Mandy,

    This guy sounds self-centered, controlling, and unkind. Please don’t waste any more energy on him. A kind man doesn’t make jokes at your expense, talk about himself incessantly without asking you anything (although some men who are nervous may go on and on, and when you interrupt him, he is grateful), and pressure you for a second date. NEXT!


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