I Almost Missed This Subtle Red Flag On My First Date With A Narcissist

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bored girl on date with guy who's on his phone

I’d like to blame it on being nineteen and young and dumb. But the real reason I missed our first date red flag was that I had a tendency to make excuses for people.

Combine that with covert narcissism and the warning was less obvious.

I was in school in Scranton, Pennsylvania when I met my husband.

We had a chance meeting at a college kegger and for the next month, he seemed to pop up everywhere I went. I had no interest in him which makes my tolerance of his first date screw-up even more baffling.

I literally said yes because he made me laugh and he wouldn’t relent.

RELATED: 15 Relationship Red Flags You Should Never, Ever Ignore

Enter the first date red flag.

I got dressed to go out and I waited to hear from him.

Nothing, not a word.

Now, this guy had chased me for a month and tracked down my number through other people.

You see when I finally succumbed and said yes, he followed me outside the bar to get my phone number. But after swearing to memorize it, a few Genesee Brews got in the way.

He ends up calling my old freshman dorm number and unbelievably, the girls call another 'Colleen' to the phone. Eventually, she realizes the mistake and gives him my new number.

He’d gone to a lot of effort to get me to say yes.

But yet I sat in my apartment waiting for the phone to ring.

I was irritated and angry.

Finally, at a little past eleven, he calls and asks me to meet him at a party.

This is his version of asking a girl out. Invite her to that night’s college kegger. He is seriously clueless. He has no idea what he has done is rude, offensive, and not how you treat a woman.

RELATED: 4 Telltale Signs The Man You Love Is A Full-Fledged Narcissist

Obviously, I tell him I won’t be meeting him.

I know what you’re thinking, why did I ever agree to a second date?

Even now, when my roommate and I discuss it, we both believed he was just a young dumb college boy. He was too nice to believe otherwise. He was the farthest thing from a rogue player. We were sort of boys will be boys and all that ridiculous thinking.

And here’s the thing.

Narcissism is hard to spot, covert narcissism is nearly impossible.

They don’t present as arrogant difficult individuals. Their passive-aggressive form of control makes them appear laid back and almost innocent. A super easygoing charmer.

They are not as obvious as the overt narcissist.

I had no clue I was attaching myself to one.

But here’s where I went wrong.

Narcissist or no narcissist.

Red flags don’t have to be extraordinary they can be ordinary.

Even if I wanted to make excuses for my husband and rationalize he was too nice a guy to have sinister intentions, I shouldn’t have.

Even if all the other factors made it appear he was clueless, not disrespectful. I should have walked away the first time someone didn’t treat me in the manner I deserved.

Instead of mistakenly believing a boundary was saying no to that particular date.

It’s funny, we eat at restaurants and don’t enjoy the experience so we don’t go back. We try hiking or yoga and decide it’s not for us.

RELATED: 15 First Date Red Flags That Scream "No Second Date!"

But when it comes to actual human beings, we will give them chance after chance.

Red flags don’t have to be massive.

They can seem innocent especially when we have a tendency to make excuses for the bad behavior of others. But the truth is, it might not have been harshly extraordinary, but I knew something wasn’t right.

Hence, why I sought to make excuses for him.

Yet underneath that handsome frat boy exterior lurked a narcissist. He wasn’t oblivious. He was selfish and in his own world. That’s why he hadn’t thought to call me until the party was in full swing.

Even more alarming?

The narcissist had begged for me to share a night in his world — and still forgot about me.

RELATED: How To Deal With A Narcissist — 8 Smart & Simple Steps

Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes bout love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.