Just stumbled on a really good video for men (and lesbians) dating or married to female covert narcissists. She recommends being proactive, which is the next best advice to avoiding them from the beginning.
The red flags for women are expressed differently than for men. However, the point to run away screaming is at the beginning: “Love bombing”.
Since men usually define the relationship, while women set the pace, male narcissist love bombing is usually defining the relationship as a committed one right away, and then pressuring the woman to increase the pace beyond reason. He’ll give the woman an “all or nothing” choice, and she will go along with the “all” because she likes him enough to want to someday make it a relationship. The better choice when faced with this is to take the nothing. If a man says some crazy shit like, “I can’t keep seeing you unless we are in a relationship,” or something along those lines, within the first three to six months, then stop seeing him.
A female narcissist, on the other hand, will decide that you are her boyfriend when you haven’t defined the relationship, within the first three to six months. It’s normal for a woman to be disappointed or even angry, or pull back and become indifferent, if you don’t stake a claim in a reasonable amount of time. She’ll get the point that she was just a booty call, if you’re especially uncaring, or accept that you’re taking it slow if you’re expressing caring but just not defining.
The female narcissist however, jumps ahead and defines the relationship right away. She tells you she loves you on the first day and isn’t joking or using any disclaimers that she’s aware this is an emotional response to good dick or something, and not real. Since you’re male, and love or something close at first sight is actually possible for you (due to “hunter” instincts), you’d take this as her being in synch with you, when for a woman, it’s usually a sign of crazy.
Most balls out crazy narcissists will show clear signs fairly soon, but covert narcissists are very good at staying below the radar. However, they all have a pattern that, at the beginning, involves entitlement to relationship status and attention that they haven’t earned. They are needy and suspicious and blame you for stuff that is only going on in their heads. They resent you requiring that they prove themselves in any way before you’re willing to take it to the next level.
So be careful out there.