How long can a covert narcissist hide his/her disorder from a significant other?
By Sonia Cee
If they are a passive introverted covert narc with a 6th sense for honing in on naive empaths or sufferers, it can take a while for the victim to see it. Narcs don’t just go for any random person, especially not a covert narc. A narc isn’t going to date a person with average empathy and healthy boundaries and then out himself and shrug “well, I can’t hide that I’m a narc, it was your own fault”. They don’t create the settings for this to happen. They target empaths or sufferers or naive people and they rush the relationship so they can sink their hooks in with trauma bonding. They immediately discard people who they know will not be good sources of supply.
A covert narc is… covert. Their false self can be the image of an introverted, geeky, harmless type of person. Some with borderline co-morbidities etc are great at painting themselves as a victim.
Covert narcs tend to not attract or keep around mentally and emotionally stable people. They don’t seek people with healthy boundaries. I myself was not mentally or emotionally healthy nor were my boundaries strong, when I met my 1st cluster B ex, and when I met my 2nd malignant narc, I was in the middle of needing 3 surgeries within 18 months— my mental state was not sound. They can sense this. Now that I’ve done a huge amount of work on my core traumas, strengthened my boundaries, tremendously improved my confidence and sense of self… I STILL attract cluster Bs because they are drawn to my empathetic nature. I am also often told I am “sweet” and people have told me many times in my life that I have a wholesome aura. But this time I have the experience, skills and knowledge to spot them. Not everyone does. Most don’t.
I tried online dating sort of as a social experiment (no real intention to date at that time in my life) several months after I left my narc. I met 7 men. 6 were neurotypicals and 1 was not. It took me 3 dates in to see it although now that I look back, there were subtle red flags prior to that. I thought my complex ptsd was making me paranoid. He told me he liked me because I “seemed like a good person”. I was very vague about my past despite his attempts at trawling for information on my past relationships. I believe this man was a covert narc. The intelligent, nerdy, introverted type. He pretended to be whatever he was pretending to be, until cracks started to show on the 3rd date. I saw his emptiness and rage in the cracks. I ended the date and I blocked him without explanation. I’m sure he was pissed that he wasted his time trying to trap me and it blew up in his face. He was sure I was naive, empathetic or suffering enough to fall for his false self. He was positive he could outsmart me. He sensed I had traumas even though I never told him anything about myself in depth.
This was about 6 months ago… now my “narc-dar” is even stronger. If I had met him today I could spot him in 1 date. It is crucial for all empaths to have a very strong “narc-dar” as well as working through any traumas they may have, or else they are CATNIP for cluster Bs.
Now, I’m sure if he trolls the dating site hard enough, he’ll eventually find a naive empath who either won’t notice the red flags or will dismiss them. Empaths are good at making excuses for other people. That or he’ll find a sufferer to inflict more suffering on. Narcs like to rush relationships because they want their victim to trauma bond as soon as possible, because they know their chance of being outed are far higher if they take their time dating. They need to rush intimacy, profess their feelings for you very soon, tell you how special you are, how much they want a relationship and so on for only 1 reason— to hook you in so you will trauma bond, so you will stay. They don’t put all this effort into any average person. They intentionally seek certain types of people. These people are more at risk for “not seeing the signs” and at a very high risk for trauma bonding.
Narcs may not do this fully consciously, but nothing they ever do is by accident either.