9 red flags you’ve started dating a master manipulator 

“It’s quite an unbelievable story.” “We met at a friend’s wedding, and the rest is history.” “Things happened so quickly, but he’s so charming, and I trust him.” 

“He told me that he never met anyone like me, but sometimes his behavior confuses me.” “It’s probably all in my head; he’s a great guy.” 

Would you ever suspect that she was dating a master manipulator? 

He sounds like a real winner, but truth be told, he’s already been setting his traps by manipulating her into believing she can trust him. 

The rapid pace of the relationship, the love bombing, and the early signs of confusion are all red flags. 

The underhanded tactics of manipulators are hard to spot, but if you suspect that you’re being played, take a closer look at these 9 red flags you’ve started dating a master manipulator. 

1) They’re extremely charming

When you start dating a master manipulator, they never give their game away. What they will do is charm the socks off you! 

A master manipulator is quite alluring. They’re smooth talkers, and before you know it, you think that you’re falling in love. 

Manipulators will say, “We were meant to be together” or, “I think we’re soulmates,” and they’ll do this early in the relationship. 

What does it all mean? 

They want you to trust them, and once you’re in their grip, they deceive and play you to get what they want. When they realize they can control you, the charm gradually fades. 

2) They come on strong

A flashing red flag that you’re with a master manipulator is how strong they come across right at the start of the relationship. 

You’ll hear all sorts of promises about how great your future looks and how much you’re meant to be together. They’ll want to move from casual dating to exclusivity very quickly. 

While you might think, well, if it’s that obvious, I’ll spot their tactics a mile away! 

Believe me, it’s not that simple. 

These people are excellent at pulling the wool over your eyes. You’ll get swept up in their false promises and feel like you’ve met “the one.” 

How do they do this? 

A master manipulator is attuned to your emotions. They are adept at reading your emotional state, and they’ll use this skill to make you think that they understand you. 

If you have a sneaky suspicion that you’re with an emotional manipulator, be aware of the pressure they may put on you to advance the relationship before you are ready. 

3) They love bomb

You’ve just met, and your new boyfriend or girlfriend is rather intense when it comes to complimenting you and showing affection. 

You receive a multitude of messages throughout the day to check up on you and to let you know that you’re the most beautiful human being in the world. 

You are their soulmate. 

Even if your relationship is only a few weeks old! This isn’t to say that you can’t find true love early on, but love bombing is an unnatural, obsessive, and pushy approach. 

A love bomb is intense, and once you get past the flattery, you may feel uneasy about the barrage of words and promises they make. 

Some of the manipulative phrases that you will hear include: “You complete me,” “You’re just perfect,” and “I won’t meet anyone like you again.” 

If you notice clinginess, jealousy, and a flood of compliments, these are typical signs of love bombing

4) They are emotionally intense

In the normal progression of a healthy relationship, you get to know the other person and build trust over time. 

But when you’re with an extremely manipulative person, they dive straight into sharing their deepest thoughts and emotions with you. 

There’s a catch. 

Your new love interest isn’t sharing their thoughts and feelings because they want to build a connection with you; they have an ulterior motive. 

They’ll say, “You know, I’ve never told anyone this.” 

These individuals want you to let your guard down and think that you’re special because you’re the only one they can be vulnerable with.  

You feel connected to them and share your innermost secrets. Once you do, they will store this information in their devious memory banks and use it against you at a later stage. 

5) They’re deceptive

red flags youre in a one sided relationship 9 red flags you’ve started dating a master manipulator 

“Oh, I’m only joking!” “I don’t remember saying that; maybe you misunderstood?” 

Sound familiar to you? 

Master manipulators are good at hiding their deception, but if you pay careful attention to what they say, they can’t hide it forever. 

Even in the earliest stages of a relationship, you can pick up on their deception. Your partner may start with little white lies. They make excuses about being late for your date together, or they twist the truth when explaining their past. 

It’s easy to dismiss these discrepancies or their “forgetfulness,” but the more time you spend together, the more deceptive they become. 

Don’t ignore the signs! 

If you feel that something isn’t adding up, trust your gut instincts. 

Staying in a relationship where there are red flags gives the manipulator more time to influence and control. 

Eventually, they’ll become so deceptive that they’ll completely betray your trust by cheating or talking negatively behind your back. 

6) They’re jealous

When you start dating someone, it’s almost impossible to see a toxic personality if you don’t know what to look for. 

The goal of a master manipulator is to control you. 

You’ll notice that they take the lead and tend to dominate the relationship. It may start small, like constantly deciding where to meet for your next date or suggesting what you should order from the dinner menu.

It progresses to jealousy very quickly. 

Let’s say that you go out with your friends rather than spend time with your new date. A master manipulator will try to guilt you into ditching your friends for them by questioning your interest in the relationship. 

Gradually, you pull away from your friends and give them what they want. They’re always testing your loyalty and commitment by wanting you to prove something to them. 

Whether they put you down and break your confidence or get you to depend solely on them for emotional support, once they’ve got you, it’s hard to break free. 

Look for signs of control right from the start. 

7) They confuse you

There’s something called “gaslighting,” and it’s a typical manipulative technique. You won’t experience it on the first or second date, but it can rear its ugly head only weeks into the relationship. 

A gaslighter will try to confuse you by distorting things. They tell half-truths and whole lies! These tactics make you question your memory of events and can lead you in circles, making you think that you’re going crazy. 

And the purpose of gaslighting

It’s meant to create self-doubt. The more you doubt yourself, the less confident you are. This increases your reliance on your partner, who wants you to become dependent on them. 

You’ll hear a phrase like, “I’m only telling you this because I really love you,” or “I don’t remember saying that.” Their intention is to confuse or guilt you into doing what they want. 

The early stages of gaslighting aren’t that obvious but will intensify as the relationship progresses. 

Remember that gaslighting is emotionally abusive, and if you think someone is doing this to you, you’re probably in a toxic relationship. 

8) They create a false sense of comfort

A master manipulator is great at making you think that they understand you. They have an innate ability to read people and spend time analyzing what you like and dislike, so you think that they’re on your side. 

Sadly, their charm and relatability are not genuine. You might believe that they will support you no matter what, and then they start turning on you like a lion stalks its prey. 

They’ll use loving and caring phrases to make you feel comfortable, like “I’m the only one who really cares about you,”  and then they’ll reel you in. 

It’s not true love

Once you let your guard down, they start manipulating you. 

9) Your instinct is telling you something’s off

Always trust your gut. 

When you’re dating someone and the words they use don’t quite line up with their behavior, it’s a very big red flag. 

When the same person smothers you with compliments, becomes jealous quickly, or leaves you feeling confused, take an intense look at your relationship. 

There’s a reason that your gut is telling you to pay attention to this person. 

Don’t ignore the feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is off. 

Master manipulators are so sly and deceptive that it’s nearly impossible to know that you’re being manipulated unless you’re aware of the signs. 

If you’ve started dating a master manipulator, they’ll try incredibly hard to get you to commit to them. 

In their effort to do so, they’ll tell you all of the things that you want to hear because they want you to trust them. But the more you spend time with them, you’ll pick up on things that leave you questioning their sincerity. 

My advice to you…

Save yourself the heartache and emotional abuse, and move on. 

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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