True narcissism isn't just a proclivity to flood everyone's Instagram feed with tons of selfies. It's an extreme obsession with oneself and a need to constantly feel loved and appreciated. There's a huge difference between someone being selfish or having a more-than-healthy appreciation of themselves, and someone whose self-obsession might actually be damaging your relationship. Here are some signs you might be dating someone whose self-esteem is actually a detriment.
1. Nothing is ever his fault.
Not just within your relationship, but he's always blameless whenever something in his life goes wrong. If something goes wrong at work, it's always because of a coworker. If he forgot to pay a bill on time, it's because whoever he owes screwed something up.
2. He dominates your conversations and always steers them toward himself.
Not only is he always the one talking, but he's always trying to talk about himself. He's dismissive about your problems or accomplishments and gets antsy when you talk about them for "too long." It seems like he rushes through your day at work so he can talk at length about his.
3. He always manages to make you feel guilty, even when he was in the wrong.
Not only does he never feel as if he's at fault, but he also manages to spin things back on you. You might go into an argument feeling vindicated because you haven't heard from him in a week, but you'll leave feeling bad that you were bugging him because he was so busy. He likely can't accept responsibility, and so if something went wrong, it has to be someone else's fault.
4. He's charming AF.
Guys like this tend to be really charming and endearing. That kind of self-centered overblown sense of esteem can be compelling. It might wear thin, but it tends to draw you in, and when things are good, they're really good. But when things are bad, they're beyond frustrating.
5. He loves compliments and attention. He loves hearing positive things about himself, to the point where you almost feel the need to do it constantly. In fact, you've noticed that compliments can sometimes get you out of "trouble" or keep you in his good graces. He's at his happiest (and your relationship feels at its best) whenever you're putting him first.
6. He can never take criticism, even when it's constructive.
If you've ever tried to intervene when he's, say, complaining about a problem at work, he won't hear it. It's not just that he can't handle you disagreeing with him about who is at fault. It's not even just that he can't stand the idea of being wrong. It's that he refuses to believe he's not handling the situation the best way possible. He doesn't hear you trying to be helpful or add a fresh perspective. He just hears you telling him he isn't right.
7. Your relationship is full of double standards.
If he goes away with friends for a weekend, it's not a problem. If you do that, it's a huge issue and he flips out because you're "abandoning" him. He might even criticize you for "talking about yourself too much." And yet when he does the same thing (because he does) he doesn't see it. He's never in the wrong, but even if you acted exactly the same way as he does, he has a meltdown.
8. You're always doing what he wants to do.
You rarely get to choose what you do on date night, or what you watch together, or who you hang out with. And it's not because you're laid-back. You've tried getting him to do things you're interested in, and he just finds excuses or throws a tantrum.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.