Dating a Selfish Man

Posted by in breaking up with grace, dating a dangerous man, red flags in relationships | 2 comments

dating a selfish manDear Sandy,

I’m one of those who believe that people should be honest and tell the people they are dating the truth if they are interested in or not. I believe I have an issue with narcissistic men… For the last two months, I’ve been dating a selfish man who is just pulling the disappearing act after seeming to be so interested and wanting to find ‘the one to spend the rest of his life with.’ There’s a lot to the story. However I noticed that he is very selfish. He has yet to seem interested in things in my life. Very self-centered. So in other words, I would love to call him and set things straight and say this isn’t working for me. Do you think its worth mentioning to him that he was too selfish? He told me he was a few times and when he said it I always told him I don’t do well with selfish. He seemed to handle that well, and would then turn around his behavior and help me out.

Thank you,


Dear Abby,

If he’s selfish, why would you stay with him? A man can have a fun personality, he can be smart and successful, good looking, and great in bed. But if he’s selfish, you will not have a relationship with a true partner. He’s not a man – he’s a boy. And you’ll always be on the short end of the stick, which is not a fun place to be.

Dating a selfish man

Pay attention to a person’s actions, not his words. He said he wants to find “the one to spend the rest of his life with”, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll be the kind of partner any woman would want to spend the rest of her life with!

It sounds like you’re pretty clear that you don’t want to stay with him. Kudos to you for having the courage and dignity to walk away. The main question is how to end it. Should you be honest and say you feel he’s too selfish for you?

It’s up to you, Abby. Telling him that the relationship isn’t working for you is probably enough. A selfish man won’t really care why it’s not working, because he’s not accepting responsibility for his share in the relationship.

But if you are bent on saying what’s true for you, go right ahead. Just keep your expectations in check. Your words will probably have very little impact on him. And there’s also a chance he’ll get angry.

Here’s a break up script you can use:

“Jerry, this relationship isn’t working for me anymore. I need to be with a man who is more attentive to my needs. I’m not getting that attention or concern from you. So I’m saying goodbye, and I wish you the best.”

That’s it. Keep it short and sweet. This is about what you need in a relationship, not about blaming him. Notice that I left out any mention of the word “selfish”. Labeling people can lead to animosity. Name the behavior instead.

Best of luck to you,




  1. She says he’s already disappeared, so why go there now? Is the idea of conversation a bit of a hook to see if she can get him to change his ways? To come back? I would be inclined to let him disappear and only have a conversation if he reappears, modifying your great script to let him know she doesn’t tolerate this behavior and has moved on.

  2. Walker, thank you for your thoughtful comment. Yes, he’s gone, but he kept coming back. She had a need for closure, to discuss her truth with him. That’s what I was addressing in this post. She was willing to let him go. And yes, I do agree that many women (including me) have held out hope that with the right conversation, a man will change and become the man you hoped he’d be. That rarely happens. The good thing is that we are grownups and we can have mature conversations with men. Most of us have full lives and don’t depend on men to “complete” us. When you clearly know what you’ll walk away from without throwing a hissy fit, you have a much better chance at finding someone with whom you can forge a healthy partnership.

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