Can a narcissist really fall in love with you?
Of course, we know that falling in love with a narcissist is a self-defeating process. They are constantly changing the rules so that you never meet their expectations.
They can easily criticize a delicious meal you made for them just to show you who’s in control.
Usually, the affair goes this way. You love them, but are never sure if they feel the same way about you. They tell you they love you anytime you ask, but you have a feeling that’s not the whole truth.
So, what’s the truth—can they fall for you?
Can A Narcissist Genuinely Love Someone?
Narcissists have personality traits that prevent them from genuinely loving someone. They are selfish and manipulative, lack empathy and compassion for others, and have a sense of entitlement and arrogance. Pure love is unconditional and requires the polar opposite nature.
A narcissist might make you believe they are in love with you when they are not. They are actually love-bombing you to entice you into an affair with them. It gets them a victim to assert their superiority and satisfy their entitlement.
The love that a narcissist affirms for you is merely a show to help them keep you in the relationship. Their love for you is a chance to get the love for themselves.
You love them purely for the sake of love. But they appear to love you for the sake of receiving affection and attention from you. So, all the love in your relationship goes to them, and you are left dry.
Narcissists crave love and very much want to be loved. However, it is one-directional love, flowing solely toward them.
Can a narcissist fall in love?
A narcissist cannot truly or unconditionally be in love with someone. Their love for a person is equitable to love for an object. They do not deem any person worthy of their love, even themselves. This makes them look for validation and appreciation from others.
They can love-bomb the person they want to fall for them, but this phase is superficial and short-lived. They blame the other person for their own failure in maintaining relationships.
“A narcissist in love is truly amazing, until it isn’t. At some point, they will conflict entirely. You cannot love the way that they love and they cannot love the way you do.” – Phillip Johnson, Quora
How Does A Narcissist Show Love?
In love, narcissists display their “hopelessly romantic” side by wooing you with gestures of kindness, love, flattery, passion, infatuation, and commitment vows. They make you feel lucky to have found someone who is charismatic, charming, nice and caring, and sensitive to your needs.
They approach you as self-confessed high achievers, expecting to sweep you off your feet.
When they plan to make you fall in love, they overindulge you and lavish you with expensive gifts. Their strategy is to kill you with kindness and get you to the point where you can’t say “No” to their advances.
You’re often left thinking something like, “Since he has followed me across three continents, I would be a fool to deny them.”
With that, you are one step closer to diving into a world where everything is about them.
If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you will often find that it is difficult to leave the relationship, even though you know that it is unhealthy for you. This is known as narcissistic codependency.
How To Spot A Narcissist Trying To Make You Fall In Love
Narcissists are usually very charming and charismatic, but deep inside they are selfish and self-absorbed. They are often very good at reading other people, which helps them to manipulate them. Narcissists have a lot of confidence and they love praise, but they don’t like criticism or correction.
The signs of narcissism can be difficult to detect at the start of a relationship. Narcissists can be incredibly nice in the early stages of a romantic relationship, but become controlling as soon as they are sure you are enamored by them.
A narcissist in love will constantly put your trustworthiness to the test. They do not entirely trust you and are always keeping watch for signs of your betrayal.
They are also good at making excuses when caught for their weird behaviors, often blaming you back for their actions.
Understanding the concept of narcissism and narcissistic behavior will help you spot if the person you’re entering a relationship with is a narcissist.
The term “narcissism” comes from an ancient Greek myth about Narcissus. A hunter with exquisite looks, he became so obsessed with himself that he refused to eat or drink anything until he died of hunger and thirst.
Narcissists are egocentric, arrogant, and exploitative people. They are callous to others’ feelings and lack empathy for anyone’s pain. Those features seem to make people who have known them for a long time, avoid them.
Deep inside, however, a narcissist constantly craves people’s admiration and attention.
Narcissists tend to brag about themselves and their abilities, unlike confident people who are modest about their achievements. They can be very competitive if you’re in the same field as them, and will often try to make you feel bad about yourself.
They do not help you handle your hardships. Moreover, they are not happy about your victories and achievements but are envious of them. They might even dampen your joys and demean your successes.
The most common sign of a narcissist is that they harbor a sense of entitlement. They think that they deserve more than others because they are better than others.
Some signs that help you identify if the person you’re dating is a narcissist:
- They are preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- They believe they are special and unique, and that only other special people can understand them.
- They crave excessive admiration and expect you to praise them every time you talk to them.
- They have unreasonable expectations of special treatment from others in any situation.
- They take advantage of others to achieve their own ends, including lying and gaslighting.
- They lack empathy, sympathy, and compassion, and think others are inferior to them.
- Their relationships demand a persistent need to cater to them at the cost of attention, time, resources, and emotions.
- They do not feel guilt, remorse, or regret after abusing or exploiting others.
The American Psychiatric Association defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as a mental condition characterized by self-centeredness, excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. However, NPD must be diagnosed by a clinical psychologist, and not everyone who shows narcissistic traits has NPD.
A narcissist in love is a disaster waiting to happen. In no time, they can go from charming and affectionate to jealous and toxic.
Narcissists usually attract people who are high on empathy (commonly called empaths). The narcissist gives them a sense of security, whereas the empath gives them adulation.
If you are a highly empathic person, watch out if the person you are dating is a narcissist. They will cut you off from your friends and support groups while eroding your self-esteem.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental health, happiness, positive psychology, mindfulness, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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