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Do Narcissists Target Single Moms?

by | Mar 26, 2024 | 0 comments

The term “narcissism” on this blog is used to describe a specific set of personality traits. It is not intended to be used as a professional diagnosis.

Dating as a single mom is fucking hard.

Not only do we have to figure out how to get out there and meet people, then we have to worry about the type of people we’re letting in.

And if you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, that adds a layer of fear to the whole process.

If you’re a single mom and want to start dating, you’re probably wondering if narcissists target single moms.

The ugly truth is: They certainly do.

Narcissists are notorious for their self-centered and manipulative behavior and will prey on people they see as vulnerable.

Single moms have unique challenges and responsibilities, which make them appear weak to a narcissist.

And I’ll be honest, being a single mom is lonely, so I can understand why many of us end up in shitty relationships.

But I don’t want you to end up in a shitty relationship, so let’s take a look at how narcissists target their victims, the warning signs, and how to protect yourself:

What Type of Person Does a Narcissist Target?

Narcissists are smart and possess a keen ability to identify the perfect prey based on certain personality traits and vulnerabilities.

If you fall into any of these categories, don’t beat yourself up! Remember, no one deserves to be abused by a narcissist.

They take normal traits and use them against their victims. Understanding what they hone in on can help you spot a narcissist: 

Validation, Attention, Admiration

Narcissists are drawn to people who give them validation, attention, and admiration. They thrive on praise and will find people who fulfill this need.

In order to get this treatment, narcissists will exaggerate their accomplishments or their “tough” past to show you how far they’ve come.

They will do nice things for you (a part of “love bombing,” which we’ll get to) to get your gratitude.

Empathy, Compassion, Eagerness to Please

Narcissists are also attracted to people who are empathetic, compassionate, and eager to please.

They manipulate these qualities to their advantage, using charm and manipulation to get sympathy and support from their targets.

Low Self-Esteem, Lonely, Desperate

Sadly, narcissists will also target people who seem lonely, desperate and have low self-esteem.

These vulnerabilities make it easier for the narcissist to control and manipulate their targets. They exploit their insecurities and emotional fragility to get what they want.

Do Narcissists Target Single Mothers?

Yes, narcissists prey on single moms. Think about the characteristics we went over above – these sound like a single mom, don’t they?

So it’s not surprising that narcissists see single moms as easy targets.

The combination of their need for validation, empathy, and potential vulnerability can make single moms particularly susceptible to their manipulative tactics.

It’s scary, I know. I’m a single mom who had a child with a narcissist, so the dating world can seem downright terrifying at times.

But you can protect yourself! Let’s look at how narcissists treat women and the red flags you can use to avoid getting involved with one:

How Does a Narcissist Treat a Woman?

Love Bombing

Narcissists will start off with a tactic known as “love bombing.” Love bombing is when they shower their target with excessive attention, affection, and flattery.

This intense and overwhelming display of affection can easily sweep any woman off their feet. Our brains can get addicted to dopamine hits, so it can be easy to stay with a narcissist in hopes of getting another “fix.”

This is done intentionally to rope you into a relationship with a narcissist.

Manipulation Tactics

Once they have their hooks in, they will start manipulating and controlling their victim. These tactics can include:

  • Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where the perpetrator seeks to make the victim doubt their own perceptions, memories, and sanity.
  • Emotional Blackmail: Emotional blackmail involves manipulating someone by using their emotions, vulnerabilities, or insecurities to compel them to act in a certain way or meet certain demands.
  • Projection: Narcissists often project their own negative traits, behaviors, or feelings onto others, deflecting blame and responsibility away from themselves and onto their targets.

This is all done to keep a woman under their thumb.

Emotional Abuse

Over time, the narcissist’s behavior can escalate into emotional abuse. This can happen in different forms:

  • Devaluation: Narcissists may devalue their targets by belittling their accomplishments, dismissing their feelings, or undermining their self-worth, in order to maintain a position of superiority and control.
  • Silent Treatment: Silent treatment involves ignoring or refusing to communicate with the target as a means of punishment or control, leaving them feeling confused, isolated, and emotionally manipulated.
  • Smear Campaigns: Narcissists may engage in smear campaigns, spreading rumors, lies, or negative information about their targets to undermine their reputation, credibility, and social support network.
  • Isolation: Narcissists may intentionally isolate their targets from friends, family, and support networks in order to exert greater control over them and limit outside influences that could challenge their dominance.

At some point, the narcissist may abruptly dump their victim once they no longer serve their purpose. Or, if the victim breaks up with the narcissist, they may try to “hoover” them back into a relationship with promises of change and flattery.

Narcissist Red Flags to Avoid

Moving Too Quickly

Narcissists love to rush things and will push for commitment and intimacy very early on while dating. They will do things like say “I love you” way too soon, want to buy things together, want to move in together, etc.

This is all purposeful – the narcissist wants to trap their victim before they figure out what’s going on.

Future Promising

They will also make promises about the future, painting an unrealistic picture of what the relationship could be like to keep their victim hooked.

For example, they may talk about buying a house together, starting a company together, or traveling together.

However, they won’t follow through on these exciting plans. They’ll just keep dangling them like a carrot.

Lack of Empathy

A lack of empathy is a hallmark trait of narcissists. Early on, you may notice it more in regards to other people.

Pay attention to how they talk about the less fortunate, people they have wronged, etc.

Eventually, you may start to notice that they dismiss your feelings, not recognizing your emotions and blaming you for feeling them.

Pity Parties/Victim Stories

Looking back, one of the first signs that my ex was narcissistic was his constant pity parties and victim stories.

This is actually a red flag that has popped up time and again while online dating, and has likely saved me a huge hassle or two!

When a narcissist talks about their past and their struggles, they are always the victim and everyone else is to blame for their problems. They are always grossly mistreated and every former partner is a horrible person.

They are trying to manipulate people into feeling sorry for them and giving them that validation, attention, and admiration they are looking for.

Focused on How Awesome They Are

Narcissists like to boast about their achievements and talents, often exaggerating them.

They have an inflated sense of self-importance and will go on about how awesome they are to get praise.

It’s okay to talk about these things, but narcissists will do this ALL. THE. TIME. And they will likely start to one-up your achievements as well.

Lack of Responsibility

It is very rare for a narcissist to take responsibility for any wrongdoing. Either they deny what they did, or they shift the blame to someone else.

This is actually called “shiftblaming” and it’s pretty easy to spot early on.

Going back to the victim stories – their break ups are always their former partner’s fault, the were fired from a job because of someone else’s mistake, and so on.

Over time, they will start shifting blame to their partners, making them feel like they deserve the terrible treatment they get from the narcissist.

They Don’t Really Listen

A narcissist may pretend that they are interested in your life and what you have to say, but they really aren’t.

They’re only paying attention to spot weaknesses and vulnerabilities they can exploit.

Click here for more red flags!

Protect Yourself as a Single Mom

Trust Your Instincts

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t try to justify icks and hold off for changes in a partner (dating or otherwise).

I’ll give you an example:

I was chatting to a guy on online dating. He sort of dumped his entire relationship past one but it didn’t really faze me because this seems to be what a lot of guys do nowadays.

Except, in every relationship, he was cheated on and treated horribly by his partner. He was always kicked out of their home and had to struggle to get back on his feet again.

Sound familiar?

However, I continued the conversation just to see where it would go. At one point, out of the blue, he asked me my daughter’s name.

Um, no. Ick.

I ended the conversation and later found out that he was abusive toward his girlfriends and once tried to groom a sixteen year old.

TRUST. YOUR. GUT.

There are are so many people out there with narcissistic traits and if you know what to look for, your gut will tell you when to stay away.

Set High Standards

If you don’t want to be a single mom dating a narcissist, then set your standards high! 

Do not settle for less than you deserve. I know that being a single mom can be lonely but, trust me, it’s not worth getting trapped in a shitty relationship just because you want a partner.

Think about how you want to be treated in a relationship and accept nothing less!

Maintain Your Independence

Narcissists will target women who are struggling. They swoop in like a “hero” and “take care” of her until they have total control.

Don’t think that you need a partner in your life in order to be an amazing single mom. Maintain your independence, both emotionally and financially.

Never rely on someone else to take care of you. Look for someone who complements your life and makes you feel good.

Don’t Involve Your Kids Too Early

A huge part of protecting yourself when it comes to getting involved with a narcissist is also protecting your children.

Narcissists will form bonds with kids and use that against you. Pedo dude that I mentioned above talked about how he was so close with his partners’ kids and how devastating it was to break up.

Boo hoo.

Plus, you don’t need your kids forming an attachment to a garbage person that you will (hopefully) get rid of sooner rather than later.

When it comes to dating as a single mom, it’s always a good idea to wait a few months before introducing any new partners to your kiddos, even if they aren’t narcissistic.

Take a Listen:

Healthy Relationships Only

When it comes to romantic relationships as a single mom, you have to be so, so, so careful.

There are tons of wolves out there in sheep’s clothing who will make you feel like a rockstar just because you are an easier target as a single mom.

Watch out for people who are too good to be true. Look for the signs and follow your instincts.

Remember, you are worth it, mama!

How do you feel about dating as a single mom? Have you run into any narcissists in the wild? Let us know in the comments!

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