Narcissism can have a huge impact on relationships, but is it possible for a narcissist to truly love their partner? Understanding the ways in which narcissists interact with those in their life can help you decide if this person is right for you.
Narcissistic traits usually manifest as arrogance and an obsession with one’s own appearance and success. People who have narcissistic tendencies may use others as tools to further their own goals, caring little about how they make the other person feel. In romantic relationships this can be especially damaging as trust and open communication are essential components.
Narcissists also tend to struggle with showing empathy and experiencing true intimacy. They may become easily offended or upset when confronted with criticism, even if it’s constructive. As a result, partners of narcissists typically keep quiet about their feelings or needs in fear of upsetting them or being judged for expressing themselves.
The ability to be vulnerable and honest with your partner is key in creating a strong connection between two people. Narcissists rarely show vulnerability due to fear of exposing any weaknesses of theirs or being perceived as imperfect in any way. This makes it difficult for them to admit mistakes and accept responsibility for any wrongdoings.
The initial heady stage of romance
In the initial stage of a relationship they are charming and give the impression that they are madly in love. The narcissist love bombs their new partner, showering them with gifts, attention and affection.
But once they have you hooked, the narcissist will slowly begin to reveal their true nature. They may become controlling, demanding, and even abusive.
Their main goal is to secure a source of narcissistic supply, and they will use whichever tools they think will do the job – manipulation, gaslighting, hoovering, abuse by proxy….
Narcissists are also known for being unfaithful, as they often seek out new partners who will give them the adoration and attention that they crave.
In addition, a narcissist’s capacity for empathy is very limited. This means that they are unlikely to truly understand or care about their partner’s feelings and needs. In most cases, the love that narcissists feel for their partners is actually more of a self-serving need for admiration and attention.
So can a narcissist truly love their partner?
While it is possible for a narcissist to love their partner, it’s important to understand that their main focus is typically on themselves. Ultimately the narcissist will always be primarily motivated to meet their own needs and desires.
In most cases, the narcissist will love their partner based on their need for the narcissistic supply that the relationship provides. This means that their love is conditional.
Ultimately, a narcissist’s love for someone else will come second after the admiration they have for themselves.
What can you do about it?
If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, it is important to remember that their priority will always be themselves. They may say and do things that seem loving, but their primary motivation is usually to get something from you. It is important to be aware of their tendencies and set boundaries.
You need to prioritise yourself. Do not allow the narcissist to take advantage of you.
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