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‘What it was like living with my ex-girlfriend, the narcissist’

Robbie fell in love with his girlfriend Katie because he was attracted to her ‘huge’ personality. But it didn’t take long for him to realise he was in love with a narcissist and he left the relationship five months later, a different man.

I knew what I was getting myself in for when I started dating Katie, because she once told me, ‘Everyone knows I’m a narcissist!’ She said it as a joke but, because she laughed, I didn’t take it seriously. So when she kind of ‘big noted’ herself a lot, and talked about how great she was doing at work, about how she’s the best looking woman at work, and things like that, I just laughed along because I thought it was just part of her having a huge personality.

I fell in love with her very quickly because along with her big personality came a soft side, though she didn’t show that side very often. The five months I spent with her were an eye opener and if I ever met another narcissist again, I would run a mile.

There were a lot of red flags that I ignored in the beginning.

She was always exaggerating her talents. She would tell me what a fantastic singer she was but, when I heard her sing, I would think to myself, ‘Oh dear, she cannot sing in tune!’  But that was her fun side, too, so I just accepted it.

She also exaggerated her achievements – she would tell me that she is the most productive team member at her office but when I went to her office party and mentioned that I was proud of her achievements there, I could see a few people sniggering. One of her colleagues told me, ‘She likes to think she’s the most important person at work but she’s very junior. She acts like she is running the office!’

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The most exhausting thing about being with Katie was that she needed constant praise. It didn’t matter if I told her she looked pretty, she needed to be told she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Whether it came down to her cooking, her clothes, her singing voice, even her speaking voice, nothing I said was enough – I had to keep telling her several times a day that she is the best at everything. It was totally exhausting.

One glaring truth about narcissism which I recognised in Katie is the lack of empathy.

Her brother was in a car accident which meant he couldn’t work for a couple of months. Instead of feeling sorry for him, Katie was the opposite.

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