I’ve Dated a Narcissist and I Can’t Detach

Posted by in breaking up with grace, dating after divorce, self-esteem in dating | 6 comments

dating a narcissistDear Sandy,  

I just finished reading your article on how to know if you’re dating a narcissist.  I’ve dated a narcissist and I can’t detach and move on. I’m in my 40’s, 5 years out of a divorce in which my ex was having affair and left the children and me completely.  Last March, I met a young man online. I’ll call him Jon.  He is 28 and has played emotional battery with me over the past year. I only commented on how attractive he was, and soon he swept me off my feet like no other, constant texts (never talking on phone), compliments like I’ve never heard. He made me feel like the woman I thought was gone.

I am an adult and very aware this was not going to work, but he was so convincing. After several months he refused to meet me, had a harem of woman on social media, and was basically the life of the party and a nice guy to everyone except me. I became so insignificant, but he never lets go.

Finally I walked away and found a wonderful man my age, and it’s a match made in heaven.  But Jon will not stop texting every day, regardless of knowing that I’m in a relationship.

He recently became involved with another girl, and I can see her becoming crazy too. He leaves me exhausted like he is sucking the life out of me. He texts all day everyday, never respecting what I have to do. My life is consumed some days with him, him, him!

As with this other girl, we are left with our heads spinning, no answers. No commitment, no apologies, but don’t you dare walk away. He will come right back and get you. He wants you close, he wants control, and he will do it in the most charismatic and nice way possible.

Please help! I want to stop this and be happy. I don’t want to care anymore. I blocked his number, but he gets through on iMessage, a glitch in technology.  He now moved closer to me with his job. He still juggles her and me, and if I say something, I’m crazy, I’m imagining things, even with the truth right there.  

When confronted again, he calls me names. Then he cools off and comes back sweeter than ever.  I’m at a loss and would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you!


Dear Julie,

Dating a narcissist is a no-win situation. I can understand why you’re at wit’s end. I can only imagine what it must be like to have ‘Jon’ in your life, blowing hot and cold, stalking you via text. And your story about Jon disturbs me on a much deeper level.

First, you might want to check out another article I wrote, How to Stop Dating a Narcissist (for once and for all).

I’ve Dated a Narcissist and I Can’t Detach

I have a few questions for you.

1. Why did you continue to engage with a man who never became your boyfriend? His lack of desire to meet you, his texting instead of talking, his need to be in touch with so many women…these are all HUGE red flags. I don’t care if he’s 28 or 48, this guy was bad news from the beginning. Listen to your intuition, and stop communicating with any man who treats you this way.

2. If you’re happily dating another man, why are you communicating with Jon? You say your new relationship is ‘a match made in heaven’. So why is your heart still attached to Jon? You said you blocked his number, and he still got through on iMessage. Okay, that was unfortunate, but where is your responsibility in ignoring his texts? You could probably contact Apple and have him blocked on iMessage. The main issue is, you have given up your power to this man. That’s the part that concerns me the most.

3. Why are you stalking his social media? Yes, I said stalking, because you know too much about him. You’re way too involved in his life. You know his new woman, you seem to be in touch with her to discuss Jon, and you see the ‘harem’ of other women he’s engaged with on social media. Why??

Julie, your issue is not about dating a narcissist, because he was never your boyfriend. You aren’t dating him. You never dated him. You’re issue is that you’ve given up your power to a man. Whether he’s virtual or not, you gave up your power, and you should never do that for ANYONE.

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

Alice Walker

Your power is rooted in your self-esteem. Your inner strength is what sets the boundaries for how others treat you.

To reclaim your power, write Jon one last text. Tell him you will report him to the police if he continues to stalk you. Then, contact Apple and have him blocked from your iPhone. Unfriend him on Facebook and any of your other social media connections.

And walk away, Julie. Because that’s how you get back your power.

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





  1. and block him on Facebook and block anyone who knows or is connected to him and anytime you think of him pop a rubber band on your wrist so that he will no longer be in your thoughts either.

  2. Good advice, Dana. Narcissists are toxic and should be avoided like the plague!

  3. Thank you both . I’ve really been thinking and it all goes back to the divorce.. My husband left me for a 23 year old and abandoned our life we built together.. I’m still angry and bitter. Jon made me feel alive again and worth something but after all this time I’m feeling actually worse than when my husband left. The social media stalking is because Jon never was upfront and instead of him making me feel secure I felt always as if he was looking for next best thing and he was. Every time I feel strong Jon comes back in .. I have blocked him altogether. Your answers to me have shed a lot of light and I had to answer some difficult questions… I’m a professional woman , raising two boys alone, I can do this and I’m worth more!! Thanks again

  4. Julie,

    Thanks for your question and your thoughtful response. One last piece of advice: if a guy doesn’t make you feel safe, emotionally or physically, dump his sorry ass. No person is should ever have you subjugating your self worth. You are a treasure, and you can do much better.

    Breaking up with a narcissist can feel like withdrawing from an addiction. Make sure you have plenty of support. And if you ever want to talk privately, just write to me on my contact form.

    Lots of love to you,

  5. I am so grateful I found your articles. I’ve thought to myself and said to my husband for years (after exhausting all polite ways to request my simplest of needs be met) pretty much each of your 6 points describing narcissistic behavior. Now I know I am not crazy – there’s a name for this behavior – and there are people out there dealing with the behaviors I am with my partner. My question is: How do I get my power back from the narcissist I live with who is also the father of my children? I am a stay at home mom to 2 small children. Money is extremely tight and I desire to live on my own (get away from the over the top narcissism that has been the last 11 years of my life!) but after school childcare is expensive. I have family but they’re in another state and they do not have money to loan.

    Thank you!

  6. Shelly,

    I am so sorry that you’ve been in a narcissistic relationship. It sounds painful and diminishing. You are not crazy. He is sick and incapable of empathy or true love for anyone but himself. Actually, he probably doesn’t love himself very much either, if he is a narcissist. They have low self-esteem, so they use their power to make you feel bad and feed off of that to build their ego. It’s a terrible cycle.

    My suggestion is that you begin your journey towards personal freedom from this toxic guy by getting therapy with someone who understands narcissism. Build yourself up from the inside, get stronger, learn how to set clear boundaries with him and others in your life.

    Can you move in with your parents for a while until you get your feet on the ground? Even though they don’t live nearby, there are many options open to you that you might not have thought of yet.

    Also, check out co-dependents anonymous. I have heard that they are a great 12 step support group that will help you in your journey as well.

    I wish you and your kids the best of luck. You are not trapped. There are options, and getting help is the first step.

    Stay strong. And please listen to yesterday’s radio show, on the radio player to the right of this message. It’s called, Dating a Narcissist. Tina Swithin was married to a narcissist and gives great advice on my show.

    Stay in touch and let me know how things go for you.


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