If Your S.O. Is “Hoovering” It’s Time To Break Up

It's a typical narcissist trick.

Narcissist Hoovering Is A Form Of Manipulation To Keep You In A Toxic Relationship Unsplash

By Brittany Christopoulos

As if we already hadn’t had enough dating terms that make us hate dating even more than we already do! It’s time to add another one to the list.

At least this one has kind of a funny name that will always be easy to remember.


Hoovering defines a technique that’s used by manipulative and narcissistic people to suck their partners back into a relationship with them by exhibiting improved or desirable behavior. 


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Think of it like a Hoover Vacuum Cleaner; they’ll suck you back into the relationship and treat you like dirt. 

Obviously we all are taught that we should avoid people who are openly crazy, abusive, or manipulating.


Intimate relationships with these individuals should not be common, and yet they are, despite the obvious warning signs. 

However, some people (that you may not even realize) are the masters of hiding their behavioral abnormalities and their private and personal agendas.

So, they use very specific techniques and tricks to get you back and keep you in their lives.

It can be easy to fall into relationships with these kinds of people and not even realize it! 

They’ll do things like text you as if nothing had even happened between you two.

They’ll message you on the smallest of occasion just to get your attention and talk to you, asking you random questions, pretending to care about certain things, praise you, and even pretend to pocket dial you just to talk or start a conversation. 


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Additionally, they’ll play the guilt card and lie through their damn teeth. 

But fear not, I have a few examples of common phrases they use to hoover their victims. 

  • “I’m seeking treatments.”
  • “I’m bettering myself.”
  • “I just haven’t been myself lately and I can’t figure out why but it’s not fair it’s coming out on you.”
  • “I swear I’m not in love with anyone else, they’re just a friend I’ve known a long time.”
  • “Can we be friends?”
  • “Can I make it up to you?”
  • “I’ve had a change of heart.”

There are always ways they try to manipulate you by making it seem like it’s your fault or that you are the crazy one.


These false accusations are another huge warning sign that may go overlooked. 

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These phrases are very common in situations like this:

  • “I knew you wouldn’t want to date someone like me.”
  • “I knew we weren’t meant to be together.”
  • “I thought you’d want to help me through this, but clearly you don’t care about me.”
  • “I knew you never loved me.”

Don’t fall for the mental manipulation!


Hopefully by knowing these warning signs you will reduce the chance of staying with a man like this and hopefully will increase your chance of identifying these traits.

People with narcissism don’t have long lasting relationships because they don’t feel love for anyone else by themselves.

Don’t be traumatized and waste your time on someone who clearly doesn’t want you for the right reasons and tries to break you down. 

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Brittany Christopoulos is a writer who focuses on dating and relationships. For more of her dating content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.