Can a narcissist fall in love?
The answer is yes. However, it’s probably not the type of love you’re thinking of right now.
Love is different for everybody. Ever heard of this phrase? Well, it applies especially well in the case of narcissists.
Since they have physiological deficits that impact emotional assessment, they tend to show their love in a weird, selfish way.
So if you’re an average person who sees love as something along the lines of understanding, acceptance, and compromise, then you’re in for a surprising ride, because this is what truly happens when a narcissist falls in love.
FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER: This article is not made to attack anyone who may display these signs or anyone diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but rather to understand them and bring more awareness to the topic! We hope you learn a lot from this!
1. They won’t change.
You may think that when a narcissist truly falls in love, they change for the better.
Unfortunately, in most situations, that is not the case.
Research shows that they have structural abnormalities in brain regions associated with emotional empathy. (Schulze, et al. 2013)
And because of that, they tend to turn abusive or remain self-absorbed.
2. They’re turbulent in their ways of affection.
Narcissists can be extremely warm one second, and cold the next.
It’s also common for them to love-bomb their partners.
Since they’re playing a game of wanting to receive praise and admiration, they know exactly which buttons to push to elicit a good reaction.
However, since the act of receiving pleasure is somewhat like a game to them, they naturally lose interest once they win it or receive the prize.
So it won’t be a surprise when one moment, they’re buying gifts and booking honeymoon tickets for their partners, and breaking up with them the next.
3. They prefer casual dating or long-distance relationships.
Commitment is a difficult thing to expect from narcissists.
Since they’re sponges of attention, a single person’s appreciation will tire them out quickly.
For them, the more people to receive praise from, the better.
This is why they’re especially comfortable with casual dating or being in long-distance relationships.
In these types of setups, there are low expectations for intimacy but enough opportunities to satisfy their desire.
4. They’re passionate… at first.
Narcissists are supposed to be “vain, selfish” creatures, right?
Well, while it’s true that a sense of entitlement characterizes them, narcissists have also been proven to possess emotional intelligence.
This means that they’re highly capable of showing their interest, especially to gain what they want – adoration.
For this reason, they may be highly motivated to act all lovey-dovey during the early stages of a relationship.
They may be touchy, generous, dreamy, and all the good things – but don’t be fooled, a narcissist’s love also means putting themselves first always.
5. They won’t know how to resolve conflicts.
Disagreements and arguments are common in relationships.
If handled well, they may even promote growth and closeness between partners.
But since narcissists always want to seem perfect, they tend to avoid things that may make them seem like a bad person.
This means that when there’s conflict, they’re highly expected to shift the blame, point fingers, and use manipulation tactics to get the upper hand.
6. They may commit narcissistic abuse.
Narcissistic abuse is defined as a type of emotional abuse where the abuser only cares about themselves and may use words and actions to manipulate their partner’s behavior and emotional state (Cuncic, 2021).
Since narcissists tend to see themselves as superior beings, they often forget about the needs of their partners.
They do everything for themselves first, and this behavior can be especially damaging to who they’re in a relationship with.
Victims of narcissistic abuse may experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, loss of self-worth, and more.
A MESSAGE FROM PSYCH2GO
Narcissists are stubborn.
Their arrogance and grandiosity often make life difficult for who they love and vice versa.
According to WebMD and medically reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD, there isn’t a cure for NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), but therapy may help.
And if this article is relevant to you or someone you know, please don’t hesitate to reach out for guidance or help.
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Hope you learned a lot today.
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Burgemeester, A. (2022, February 8). Can a Narcissist Fall in Love? Will a Narcissist Ever Find True Love? The Narcissistic Life. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://thenarcissisticlife.com/can-a-narcissist-fall-in-love-will-a-narcissist-ever-find-true-love/
Cuncic, A. (2021, November 18). Effects of Narcissistic Abuse. Verywell Mind. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/effects-of-narcissistic-abuse-5208164#:%7E:text=Narcissistic%20abuse%20is%20a%20type,endure%20these%20types%20of%20relationships.
Kjærvik, S. L., & Bushman, B. J. (2021). The link between narcissism and aggression: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bul0000323
Lancer, D. (2021, December 10). Can a Narcissist Love? – Narcissism and Abusive Relationships. Medium. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://medium.com/narcissism-and-abusive-relationships/can-a-narcissist-love-fc1e6c625d3
Lancer, D., JD, LMFT. (2018, July 31). Can You Tell Whether a Narcissist Really Loves You? Psychology Today. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/201807/can-you-tell-whether-narcissist-really-loves-you
WebMD. (2006, February 2). What Is Narcissism? Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/narcissistic-personality-disorder#:%7E:text=develop%20it%20later.-,Narcissistic%20Personality%20Disorder%20Treatment,Sometimes%20people%20call%20this%20psychotherapy.