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How to Know a Narcissist is Finished With You? 3 Key Signs
Relationship Advice

How to Know a Narcissist is Finished With You? 3 Key Signs

They leave you, come back, leave you again, come back. Learn how to know a narcissist is finished with you and the signs to pay attention to.

Together Team
February 18, 2022

A narcissist can be very charming, charismatic, and loving to you in the early stages of your relationship. But, in a blink of an eye, you are trapped in a cycle of emotional abuse that keeps on repeating. So, how can you know when a narcissist is finished with you for good?

This relational dynamic is more common than you’d think. The narcissistic personality disorder is generally found in 6% of people. Statistics suggest it has the potential to affect over 1 billion people’s lives through narcissistic abuse.

If you suspect you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you may feel confused, vulnerable, and not very confident in yourself. Your relationship feels like a fairytale that's turning into a psychological drama.

You’re probably wondering if your self-absorbed partner is done with you. In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • How to better understand the narcissistic relationship pattern
  • How you’ll know if a narcissist is finished with you
  • How to handle yourself after the end of the relationship with a narcissist

Loving a Narcissist: 4 Stages of the Relationship

Being in a relationship with a narcissist means being the victim of emotional, and sometimes physical, abuse. Because you become the narcissist’s source of praise, they start a cycle of abuse to keep you forever. 

Understanding a narcissist's abusive cycle will help you determine how to know when a narcissist is done with you.

Stage 1: Idealization

This is the beginning of the relationship, when the narcissist puts you on a pedestal, praises you, and makes you feel wanted. They shower you with compliments, are affectionate, and are physically close to you. It is an enhanced version of the traditional honeymoon phase of any relationship. 

It seems as if your narcissistic partner is creating an extreme emotional bond between you two. They may be genuinely happy with you for a period of time. But his or her narcissistic personality will soon come into play.

Stage 2: Devaluation

After a rather short period of time, the narcissist may start changing their attitude towards you. As soon as you disagree or speak up for yourself in any way, they will get you off the mentioned pedestal. 

Narcissistic personalities are very sensitive to any kind of criticism and are not open to others’ perspectives. This means that a narcissistic partner may suddenly overreact. They will criticize, humiliate and belittle you anytime you express a point of view.

Stage 3: Discard

Often, the narcissist will leave you, will move away, or stop contacting you, as a threat. They might say something like: “If you do not comply to my terms, I’ll leave you.”

In this stage, they will cut you off, treat you as if you’ve never existed for them, and blame you for the end of your perfect relationship (referring to the first stage of the cycle). When this happens repeatedly, you’ll start wondering if your narcissist partner is finally finished with you.

Stage 4: Hoover

These break-ups are usually short-term and a narcissistic partner may re-engage with you. Sometimes they may have even started a parallel relationship, but they are still wanting the validation they receive from your dependency on them. 

At this stage, they may contact you when you miss them the most. They’ll say sorry, make promises, and recreate the first stage of the relationship, to some degree. Because of this hoovering behavior, it's difficult to tell when a narcissist is really done with you.

Why it’s Hard to Know When a Narcissist is Done with You?

Given the repetitive nature of a narcissistic relationship, the rules are set by the narcissistic partner. Two reasons why it is hard to know when a narcissist is done with you are:

1. Narcissists don’t give you closure

If you’ve spent some time in a relationship with a narcissist, you probably know that they don’t really end the relationship at the discard phase.

Moving out in a huff or giving you the cold shoulder are strategies to make you miss them, question your thinking, and fear losing them. You may feel like you’re caught on a hook after they leave.

Narcissists often leave without explanation, they may tend to answer your messages selectively, and act in certain ways to make you jealous. Narcissists avoid serious conversations about why they left. Similarly, they also avoid talking about the fight when they decide to return.

2. They keep you guessing

This is happening at both the discard and hoover stages. They are using the initial emotional bond that you’ve created and gaslighting techniques in order to make you confused, unsure of your own intentions, and feel dependent on them. 

Narcissist partners may create uncertainty in you in order to make you search for them, need them, and wait for them indefinitely. The tension of not getting your messages answered, the constant guessing on if or when they will come back, the fear of having your reputation harmed, are all part of the narcissistic manipulation.

These methods, alongside others, are probably making you wonder, how do you know when a narcissist is done with you? The truth is that it’s not them, but you who ends the relationship for good. 

Ending things with a narcissist is a complex process of recovery and it may not be an option at the moment. If you still want to know how to tell when a narcissist is done with you, you’ll find some signs below.

How to Know a Narcissist is Finished with You for Good?

Even if they are not the ones who will end the relationship that benefits them, there are some guidelines on how to know if a narcissist is finished with you. Here are 3 signs:

1. They avoid going public with you

Because narcissistic personalities do not want anyone to talk badly about them, they will put up a public image of a perfect life and relationship. They do not want to associate with you if you are hurting their image or reputation. 

If your narcissistic partner starts “keeping you secret”, even if they didn’t end the relationship with you, they may not be very fond of your bond. They tend to not talk to other people about you, they do not take you to gatherings, and cut you off from their group of acquaintances. They may even tell the others that you’ve broken up, and victimize themselves.

2. They are seeing someone new

Because of their lack of empathy and consideration for others’ feelings, narcissistic partners will likely engage with other people while being committed to you. Meeting someone new doesn’t mean they will let you go. It means that the relationship they have with you may not be as "profitable" for them as they’d like and they want to "discard" you temporarily.

You can guess if they have a "new target" when they are constantly on their phone, going out a lot, grooming themselves more, or even by seeing them dating publicly. 

3. They make themselves totally unavailable to you

This is a good way for you to take initiative and break ties with a narcissist. But, if it is not possible for you yet, you can use it as a sign a narcissist is done with you. 

When a narcissist is not fulfilled with the relationship they are in, they may take “breaks” to mend their public image or to fill up their "validation tank" in other ways. It means that they may change their phone number, they can block you on social media, and even change their residence temporarily. 

They will likely call you from their new number, come to your door unexpectedly, or contact you on social media again whenever they will feel like it. But, you can make yourself unreachable too or ignore them when they are “coming back”.

How to Deal with a Narcissist After Your Relationship Ends?

After you’ve found out how to know a narcissist is finished with you, you may be more motivated to confront them or ask for professional help. 

But ending a relationship with a narcissistic partner is neither easy nor pretty. Being rejected or seen as a bad person hurts them the most, so they will fight back and may try to crush your self esteem again. 

The best way to deal with a narcissistic partner after ending the relationship is to build yourself a strong social circle. This can be done by starting therapy, reaching out to different communities, and asking your friends and relatives for help. 

Moving on from a Relationship with a Narcissist

Loving a narcissist can be difficult, and may, over time, erode your self esteem. Narcissists tend to prefer themselves to others and often use intimate relationships for their own validation and praise. This can leave their partners with a fragile sense of self, low self esteem, and a fear of abandonment. 

A narcissist may act as if they are done with you, but they are often reluctant to let you move on.

Breaking the abusive cycle is essentially up to you. You can also make yourself inaccessible to them. If needed, ask for help and seek a professional for support.

Together Team

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