Love – Narcissist Style

Those who love me, follow me…

My father used to say that all the time… but what did he mean by it?

What he meant was that you – whoever you were, his wife, his child, his brother, sister, parent, colleague, friend, mistress (he had a lot of those), etc,Β  – were supposed to love him no matter what he said, did, didn’t say, didn’t do. Your love was required by his law to be unconditional. He on the other hand could only love you on condition… on endless conditions. The first in the long list of which was that you had to love him unconditionally.

Confused?

Confusion is the least of your problems with a narcissist, but sometimes seems like most of them are made of it.

Love is confusing…

especially when it involves a narcissist…

especially when the narcissist has decided that they love you… and that you must love them because they have chosen you to be the very special object (and you are an object to them) of their affection.

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center of attention

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Love is very important to a narcissist.

They’re obsessed with the stuff!

They want it more than anything else… they crave power, control, money… especially money because it gives them power and control, and they love those things very much, but love… in its abstract form obsesses them more than money, power, control, because love is money, power, control.

Confused?

It’s simple really – when someone loves you they give you money, they give you power and control over them and their money.

These are things which represent love to a narcissist, and of which they can never get enough… they always want more, and more, and more…

these things are loved with an obsessive all-consuming darkness by the narcissist… and if they see you as having the key to them getting these things, you too will be loved by them with an all-consuming obsessive fervour, dark… growing darker…

However…

at first it will seem as though you’re in a spotlight, the sun is shining just for you, only on you…

They can only see you… special angel, where have you been all their life, why have you been hiding your magnificence…

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obsession

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at first it will be everything you’ve ever dreamed, hoped, wished, yearned for… love narcissist style when it is in its early stages is nigh on impossible to resist.

It’s a thing of fantasy but it seems so real… and while you’re embodying the role of their very special someone, it is real, even though it is a delusion, illusion, too good to be true…

they believe it… and because they believe it, so do you… because you want this, need this to be true… so do they…

but their ideal of love, of you as their lover, their special angel who will heal their every pain, wound, hurt, with your love… is too idealistic and that bubble will burst, their expectations will be disappointed cruelly as your immortal wings burn revealing you to be human… a human who can’t fly as they need you to… as they do…

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jose n. harris - betrayal

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Before Twilight, True Blood, Being Human… there was Interview with a Vampire…

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… before that vampires were occasionally sexy but not as sexy or seductive in a humanly appealing manner, they were supposed to be but really… were they sexy or just funny old bats wearing too much make up… to be laughed at, having a bit of a thrill while safely chomping popcorn.

It’s strange how our fascination with vampires, with zombies, the undead, the supernatural… coincides with our increased awareness of people known as narcissists…

Myths sometimes are what we use to make sense of reality… or escape it…

If you’ve ever been involved with a narcissist… you may feel as though they’re a vampire, sucking the life out of you yet still keeping you alive, never quite killing you off or gifting you with immortality but perhaps keeping you hanging, promising it (death or immortality), maybe, one day… and you may end up feeling like a zombie during the long wait as they decide whether to finish you off, finish it off with you or keep you forever by their side.

I was a zombie for many years, mostly around my mother. To put up with her version of ‘motherly’ love, I had to die a little inside every day until I was just an animated corpse going through the motions of living.

Of course… I could have gotten away… or could I?

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monsters have nightmares too

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Try getting away from a narcissist whose story is all about how much they love you… if they have to kill you or get you to kill yourself to prove their love for you, they will… find a way. Their love conquers all.

The narcissist isn’t the only person keeping you tied to them, there are others who, like you once were, are caught in their thrall, upon whom they’ve worked their glamour… sometimes they’re worse than the narcissist because there are more of them, surrounding you, working for the narcissist…

some of them wake up and when they do… sometimes that’s even worse than when they were hypnotised because… if they can’t face what has happened to them, then they won’t allow you to do it either.

Confused?

As always… confusion tends to blur things until no one knows what’s real or what is not, and everyone is playing murder in the dark… trying to hide the traces of their fingerprints, footprints, and what they’ve done while they were not of sound mind, when they were in love with an ideal, a dream, a beautiful illusion… deluded by a desperate desire to be loved, and would do anything for love, just a morsel or droplet of it…

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the exception

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So…

What can we learn from narcissists about love?

They excel as teachers of love… of what not to do, of what love isn’t… and sometimes that’s far more valuable for us, we learn more from our pain than we do from our pleasure.

What I’ve learned about love from narcissists is – get used to it being confusing. More than that – Pay attention to what people do rather than what they say.

A narcissist will tell you everything you want to hear…

They are quick to say – I love you – but do their actions confirm what they say?

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They sing pretty songs to you while serenading and seducing you (they’re serenading and seducing themselves with their hero self who loves you… it’s all about them, not you)… but… words… words about things they’d do for you… but do they do these things?

And I’m not talking about filling your room with flowers, buying you diamonds, chocolates, sweeping you off your feet and carrying you off to Paris, making you feel like a hero saving a damsel in distress, the man whom the siren can’t resist, or whatever they do in films and romance novels… narcissists are good at doing those things, they take their cue from fictional versions of romance and love, about how to woo you, just as you do, only more than you do…

and they’ll expect those things from you if you’re wooing them…

they’ll expect you to remember the anniversary of the day they broke a nail or got a splinter while lifting a finger to generously help you, and be rewarded for such a sacrifice… when any normal person would have helped you before you pointed out to them that some help was needed, would brush off any wounds as par for the course, and wouldn’t expect you to recall or reward them for an incident which they considered normal.

When a narcissist does something for you… be prepared to spend the rest of your life trying to prove how grateful you are and never succeed.

My mother still expects me to prostrate myself at her feet and kiss them, lick them clean just for giving birth to me (that ain’t happening anymore, but for a while I did that shit) as though I forced her at gunpoint to do that.

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narcissistic traits

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… but are those things really about love or are they about ego? The narcissist’s need to feed a starving ego?

The greatest profession of love isn’t in the grand gestures… it’s in the ordinary every day things, those tiny details which can sometimes get overlooked because… we’re human.

We sometimes don’t see real love when it is right in front of us because it’s not glamorous. It’s quiet not shouty. It’s just love not a flashy thing pretending to be love. It doesn’t come with a deafening soundtrack, sentimental gumph, or fireworks. It’s just a touch, a look, a word… subtle… too subtle. Ordinary… too ordinary.

We’re late for an appointment and the person waiting for us not only doesn’t say anything but is happy to see us.

We look like hell, but someone looks at us as though we’re gorgeous, perhaps more so because they see our real selves, disheveled, distraught, messy.

We stink… we’re rude… we rant… grumble… whine… they smile, and give us a thumbs up in some way which isn’t obvious. With them we can be ourselves… if you’re after unconditional love, that’s it! You’d run a mile from yourself… but they don’t, they move closer and accept you as is… ???

That’s real love…

A narcissist wouldn’t recognise real love if it hit them in the face and had a label on it screaming in bold – REAL LOVE!

But you… you can… and sometimes you can because once upon a time you didn’t.

Best film I’ve ever seen reflecting this is – Don Jon (2013) – hint: the narcissist is not a man in this film, and it’s not Julianne. It’s not for the faint of heart who want everything wrapped up with pretty bows, and who prefer fantasy over reality.

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Don Jon film

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We can all be a bit narcissistic when to comes to love…

that’s normal and natural for humans…

we live, love and learn…

some… never do…

but we can learn from their inability to do so… and sometimes what we learn enriches our ability to love… to really love what is real.

 

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30 thoughts on “Love – Narcissist Style

    1. If you’re looking at a WordPress blog when logged in to WordPress the Follow button disappears as soon as you scroll – you have to be at the top of the page to see it, the slightest movement of the page and poof! it vanishes and only reappears if you go back to the very top.

      It didn’t used to be that way, the follow button used to be permanent and on the fixed tool bar at the top which made following so much easier, but then they tweaked things as they so often do making something which works well not work well, and now it’s a game of cat and mouse. Perhaps they wanted to test us to see how much we really want to follow a blog πŸ˜‰

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  1. I just re read this, and it couldn’t be at a better time. She was professing her love to me with numerous emails, but the actions didn’t confirm as you stated. It was a bitter-sweet hynosis attempt, and extremely subtle. It took me a few days to realise she even tried the gaslighting again, which is what first put me in the throes of my internet search. It’s just repeat, reset as you claimed before as well. I just stopped responding and she vanished. I don’t think she’ll show up. She’s far too much a coward to face the rejection.

    I’m hoping this finds all well on your end of the pond. I’m doing a little better, just some health issues that has left me very tired. It was good to take a haitus for a bit. It allowed me to gain more perspective. Warm wishes as always.

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    1. No worries… I have to admit I can’t see the ‘yikes’ bit. Blame it on my dyslexia or my warped mind or whatnot. Everything seemed okay to me :/

      And thank you πŸ™‚

      It’s an intriguing thing to explore. Exploring experience opens us up… to something or other which opens something else up and maybe we figure something else out… something something πŸ˜‰

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      1. I meant “yikes, I left out half a sentence.” πŸ™‚ It seems that the last week or two I’ve been prone to making lots of those sorts of mistakes. I am feeling tired but have the final push for the move over the next several days. Can’t wait to get it finished. πŸ™‚

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        1. I’ve made quite a few mistakes of perception this week too. One of which was hilarious and involved an optical illusion I was convinced was real. Summer can be a strange season for the mind. And with everything that is going on in your life right now, I’m not surprised you’re tired, it’s worth it though, you’re doing something amazing for yourself! πŸ™‚

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  2. I watched Don Jon just recently. It was very well done – a good representation of the narcissist at work.

    Your description of what occurs in a narcissistic “love” relationship. This is pretty much exactly what I experienced.

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  3. I am so confused about something that just happened to me! I was married for years and widowed for 7 years and never had a date all that time. A neighborhood website referred me to a guy who could do some work on my house and he came over and we talked for hours. He ended up working my house for a week and wouldn’t let me pay him saying I was so cute he just wanted to be around me. He really swept me off my feet taking me to dinner every night, involving me in his life and introducing me to his family and friends. Then he said he’d been in a relationship 8 years that wasn’t working anymore. She treated him badly and his family and friends always told him to leave her and he didn’t know why he didn’t leave her. He had left her 3 times and returned but this last year was the worst. He left her for me! (I was too naΓ―ve to see the red flags.) Things were perfect for 6 months until we had little problem that he was going to work out but just gave up and informed me that it was his fault, not mine – he still loved me but couldn’t please me and oh yeah, his old girlfriend may be coming back. And that was it – he dumped me. PS during the last two weeks of our relationship, he came into quite a bit of money. He and his ex loved to gamble and I suspect that the money got him back in with her. So he left her 4 times and left 4 women for a total of 8 break ups in 8 years.

    So, is this guy a narcissist? He never really abused me except when he suddenly broke up with me. I’m not sure how I will be able to date someone again – how can I tell if they’re an N? I feel like an idiot.

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    1. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      There’s no need to feel like an idiot, be gentle with yourself. Overall it sounds as though the relationship was a good one for you. Don’t let it put you off dating and finding love. There are a lot of lovely guys in the world and most of them are not narcissists, and they’re just as worried about being hurt and falling for a narcissist as you are. We all feel vulnerable when it comes to relationships, falling in love, opening ourselves up and letting someone in to our hearts. And when things don’t work out we all feel foolish – don’t let hindsight be a reason to be hard on yourself and cause you to close yourself off from others.

      Everyone has become a bit obsessed with the whole narcissist thing, it’s a hot topic and a popular accusation when things don’t work out in a relationship – most people aren’t narcissists. We can all behave narcissistically, but behaving narcissistically does not mean we’re a narcissist and have NPD.

      This is worth a read – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/it-s-fine-line-between-narcissism-and-egocentrism

      As is this – https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199403/soul-mates

      The whole red flag spotting trend is worth knowing about, but you’re not naive just because you didn’t know about it, in fact I would say that your ‘naivety’ is actually a good thing, it means that your experience of relationships has been healthy. Those who are aware of red flags, and are looking out for them, tend to have had bad relationship experiences which have taught them to be wary.

      Spotting red flags is not easy because they’re not as obvious as the lists which spell them out tell us they are. And also most of us don’t approach relationships with a paranoid mindset, we don’t meet people and look for what’s wrong with them, we tend to look for what’s right with them. We hope for the best, we want to like people, we want to fall in love with them.

      As for whether this guy was a narcissist, I don’t know, from what you’ve shared it just sounds like he’s typically human, has baggage as many of us do, a complicated love life, and never quite got over his ex. Perhaps he’s narcissistic but a narcissist would have more likely blamed you for the break up and caused a lot more drama. A relationship with a narcissist usually leaves people feeling shattered, exhausted, very confused, and you never get closure. They always leave people hanging on the line. If he was a narcissist you probably wouldn’t be wondering if he was or not.

      If you want to read more about romantic relationships with narcissists to ascertain whether you think he is or not, and what to look out for, then I recommend a blog like this one – http://letmereach.com/ – and this site – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html – which lists all the signs of NPD in detail.

      It’s good to be aware that narcissists exist, but most people aren’t narcissists. Don’t let the fear of narcissists stop you from meeting people, there are some wonderful guys out there. Trust your instincts and intuition, if something feels wrong in an interaction, pay attention and investigate it. Take time to get to know people. You’ll be fine.

      Best wishes!

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      1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I will read the articles. And I’ll keep working on myself as I have found out from this experience that I tend to be a little co dependent.

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  4. This is spot on! It was not real love! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy being out on a pedestal and being swept off my feet! But yes, it’s the little things in life and you know they are not truly there for you and never will be !! X

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    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      When a narcissist has just discovered you, has fallen in love with you… it’s hard not to be blown away by their attention and admiration, the full works of it, and it’s an interesting experience to have, you can learn a lot about what’s awesome about you. That part isn’t a lie. It’s what comes later that causes the pain and makes a lie even of what is true.

      If you can remember the good part of it and not let it be tainted by the awful bit afterwards you can actually find out some great things about yourself which are worth knowing even if a narcissist pointed them out to you.

      When they tell you what’s great about you – it’s true. Unfortunately later on they take what is great about you and dismantle it – that’s the lie. They have to take you apart to figure out what makes you who you are and to try to capture that formula for themselves.

      I used to watch my parents do this… they were looking for the perfect human being so they could become that.

      They will never be there for you, but they certainly show you how to recognise those who are and how to be there for yourself!

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  5. I just felt RELIEF reading this – I have been trying to sort out my life for the last 2 years – what went on – YOU described it absolutely PERFECTLY. Thank you – you have helped to unjumble a lot of my thoughts – love reading your posts – yes, some are a bit weird – and I do get worried when I actually understand them!! Keep them up – you know yourself what its like to have your mind run around trying to sort all the questions out.

    One thing I will definitely agree with – I used to stand at the sink and think “why do I think this guy is just like a leech, sucking me dry”? I feel so drained! Why dont I just appreciate the garden he dug for me, the flowers he bought me, the gifts? A HUGE thank you to you for explaining and making clear what I couldnt quite put my finger on. Thanks, Heather

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    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      Made me chuckle… I also worry when people understand my posts πŸ˜‰

      It can be very confusing to figure things out because narcissists really are just winging it most of the time, shifting gears, changing pace, the story – they don’t get their own crazy, they’re partly trying to get away from it, which makes it even more crazy… but then you have those moments all to yourself when a penny drops and you know, may take a while for it to sink in, but it eventually does and then you know for sure no matter how weird it is, and the understanding grows out of that.

      Give yourself time and be gentle with yourself as you put the pieces of the puzzle together.

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  6. I’m not confused any more.. I’ve learned self-love, and this was biggest lesson ever taught, so I’m very thankful. She wasn’t even my ‘type’ but my type wasn’t working and she was so dem persistent! But I was her hero for a little while, and realize this only fed my ego, not my heart. These experiences kinda scare me what my lil one will go through, but thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Yes, to me this is the main feature: a big gap between words and acts. i don’t trust words anymore, they don’t cost anything and are there to manipulate you.

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    1. It’s a powerful formula! Those small things people do give them away, sometimes it gives away how much they care for you and sometimes it shows you how much they don’t. Works the other way too, what we do gives our hearts and true intentions away to others too πŸ™‚

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      1. I was thinking that too, how the things we do tell others who we are. There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t have liked that concept. But thanks to a lot of healing and growth, today I am (mostly) happy to know that my actions are speaking louder than my words. πŸ™‚

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  7. I haven’t watched that movie yet. Started but haven’t seen it all the way through I should. Cause now you’ve got me wondering who played the role of the narcissist. Hah.

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    1. It’s an excellent film, a great piece of writing, lots of subtlety and red herrings, observations about being human, plenty of natural, normal and social narcissism, but for those who know narcissists ‘she’ stands out loud and clear πŸ™‚

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  8. Thank you for writing this: reading well-written, informative posts like this is what helps me make sense of, and accept my past experience with the narcissist. I guess I’ll have to keep reading many, many more before I’m fully healed.

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    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      Takes a long while to heal from a relationship with a narcissist, they have a way of getting under the skin, always give yourself what you need and be gentle with yourself!

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