What Happens When A Narcissist Knows You Love Him/Her

What happens when a narcissist knows you love him/her? The first is how they would react. The second is what you should do to deal with the situation.

You may be slowly and surely falling in love with a narcissist, but you only told them about your feelings recently. By the way, do narcissists like other narcissists?

What happens when you tell a narcissist you love them?

  • The first question is: How would they usually react?
  • The second question is: How to deal with their reaction?

What To Expect When A Narcissist Knows You Love Him/Her

When a narcissist knows you love them, they are elated and ego-boosted because they now have you hooked as a narcissistic supply. It means they have secured control over you and you will not leave them easily. They confirm that you made the right decision to fall for them and begin the next phase of the narcissistic abuse cycle.

When A Narcissist Knows You Love Him/Her

When they know you have fallen for them, it is a victory for them.

They may react to your confession of love for them as,

“You took a long time, but I like the way you gave in. You did the right thing. I love your loving me. I feel proud to own you.”

It signals to them that they can now stop pretending to be hopeless romantics and start being their true narcissistic selves — self-centered, attention-demanding, empathy-less individuals.

What they won’t say out loud is this,

“Now I can dismantle you piece by piece, and make your every living minute a crying hell, and you will have no option but to turn to me for solace.”

Narcissists, when they know you’re in love with them, see you as a pathetic person who can be made to lower their self-esteem and standards to please others.

They realize you are now a slave to your bonding emotions and mentally weak to resist their demands.

They become certain that you will stay on to feed their ego and cater to their needs since you confessed your love to them.

They feel they can now take the relationship to the next level.

Things Narcissists Do When You Tell Them You Love Them

Before they learn that you love them, narcissists may behave like they are besotted by you and desperately in love with you.

The real story unfolds once you tell them you love them.

1. They will react with joyful relief.

When you tell a narcissist you are in love with them, their initial reaction is joy and relief.

This joy, however, is not the result of you two falling in love; rather, it is because they have skillfully seduced you with their charm.

Once they know you are hooked, they relax, because now they can stop their narcissistic mirroring and love-bombing, and move on to the next phase of their narcissistic abuse cycle.

Narcissistic Abuse Cycle
Narcissistic Abuse Cycle

They start laying out their demands from you — attention, favors, labor, housing, money, intimacy, or a mix of those — while showing discarding behavior.

2. They will start to make you compliant with them.

It may sound cruel, but soon enough, they will start to extract from you the cost of loving them.

Their main idea is to transform you into servitude and provide them with their narcissistic supply.

It means you keep giving them constant praise and validation that they need to keep their ego fired up and self-esteem boosted.

To love a narcissist is to commit to constantly feeding their ego.

3. They will isolate you from your other relationships.

Narcissists are masters at the manipulation game. They will most likely manipulate everyone who comes in contact with them.

Now that you are close to them, they will first try to manipulate you into isolating you from your other relationships and friendships.

They will tell you that they want you to be exclusively theirs. What they will do is get you to cut off all your other connections.

They know that if they succeed to make you isolated, you will have no one to reach out to in times of distress.

When you are hopelessly alone, they will start pointing out your flaws. In fact, you may not have ever realized that you had so many flaws in you.

4. They will degrade, humiliate, and insult you.

Then comes the degradation part of the narcissistic abuse cycle.

They start giving out hints, and then obvious monologs, to express how much they feel disappointed at your behaviors.

Actually, what plays on their mind when they see you up close in your relationship is that you do not fit their fantasies of perfect love.

Narcissists cannot accept you for who you are, flaws and all. Your flaws painfully remind them of their own inadequacies.

They are triggered by your weaknesses and mistakes. They may become irritated and frequently erupt into narcissistic rage.

However, through all this, a narcissist will always force you to praise them and their accomplishments.

5. They will try to keep you when you try to leave.

The next phase starts when you find the courage to leave the relationship. This is called narcissistic hoovering.

This is when they begin to fear that you will take away their narcissistic supply, and if you do, they will have to work harder to find another.

All of those they had seduced into admiring them have abandoned them, and they are now completely helpless to impress any new person because their youthful charms are gone forever.

This forced social loneliness is why most narcissists are sad and miserable near the end of their lives.

So, when a narcissist senses a break-up of a romantic relationship, they try to suck you back into the relationship.

They will resume love-bombing you and constantly tell you that they will begin to change for you right away.

In fact, they may even recount the incidences when they observed you “making mistakes” but they kept quiet.

However, they resist making any real changes in themselves, both unconsciously and consciously. They do not change because it would imply admitting that they were wrong.

Occasionally, they might appear to have changed positively. But as soon as stress appears in their lives, the narcissist in them leaps out of the shadows.

6. They will revert to their toxic selves if you return to the relationship.

Once you decide to stick with them, it quickly unfolds that they are still as repulsive as they were before.

They will restart their abuse cycle slowly, and will soon let it escalate into full-scale tantrums and insults.

God forbid, if you are living in a house they own, they may surely threaten to throw you out.

I had a patient whose husband would regularly force her out of the house at night and ask her to spend a few hours on the porch. It was to serve her punishment and prove her loyalty so that he could take her back in.

When the abuse crosses your tolerance threshold, you may again revive your threat to leave them. At this, they will go back to love bombing.

Because of this, many lovers of narcissists stay stuck in on-again, off-again relationships.

If you leave them, narcissists may send in their “flying monkeys” to you to get you back.

7. They will discard you if you have unmasked them.

When the narcissist knows you know that they are indeed a narcissist, they will discard you.

A narcissist will want to leave you and escape if they find out you already know about their true nature.

It is so because they start to get afraid that you might let others know about them and how abusive their behaviors are. This would cause others to see the narcissist with disrespect or at least less respect.

How Does It Feel Like To Love A Narcissist

A narcissist will unexpectedly declare their love for you early in the relationship. They want you to feel idealized and special, and that you’re the one they’ve been searching for their entire life.

This makes you fall in love with them and grow attached to them.

They have, in fact, already begun their manipulation. When they start being mean to you later, you will recall these early love-filled days and overlook their bad behavior.

• Loving a narcissistic person is one-sided, toxic, and traumatic.

Their love for you will be conditional, self-serving, and exploitative.

• You can love a narcissist, but they cannot really love you in the way that humanity understands love.

Sadly, they paralyze your rational thinking so much that it may take months for you to realize: they are not worth it.

Narcissists love you for what you do for them, not for who you are.

When it comes to love, a narcissistic relationship works in reverse. With a narcissist, you feel more cared for in the beginning when you don’t know each other well enough. Then, as time passes, things get worse and they show less and less concern for you.

In contrast, love and mutual care grow over time in healthy partnerships.

Narcissists push you into survival mode, with you constantly trying to do things correctly so that you do not offend them and invite their wrath and abuse.

They instill fear in you that if you do not behave properly and change your ways, they will dump you.

In fact, they will convince you that they are experts at dumping people and trampling over their feelings once they are done with them.

And you are left wondering how you can change yourself, so they are happy and let you stay in the relationship.

How To Handle A Narcissist’s Reactions After They Know You Love Them

1. Use their fears against them.

Two things hurt a narcissist like nothing else.

  • One, they are mortified when they are publicly humiliated and have their masks ripped off.
  • Two, they get unhinged when others point out their faults without giving them a chance to refute the evidence.

Use those fears to stop them.

  • Threaten them that you will unmask them before every one of his relatives, friends, and coworkers.
  • Confront them with solid evidence that they cannot refute to prove that they are gaslighting and abusing you.

2. Do not try to heal them.

You cannot heal a narcissist.

Some of them are extremely revengeful and spiteful.

There’s a reason behind the cruelty and evil nature of narcissists.

Unless you are a qualified specialist, don’t waste your time fooling yourself otherwise or trying to improve them.

Instead, refer them to a mental health clinician and keep your distance and sanity.

3. Move away from them as soon as you can.

Spot them from afar and keep a safe distance between you and them.

They may be too charming and appealing for you to look away from them.

They will pounce on you with their trademark lines and try to sweep you off your feet.

Avoid people you suspect of being narcissists unless you have thoroughly checked their history from other people.


  1. Does a narcissist know they are a narcissist?

    Do narcissists know they are narcissists? Narcissists typically do not see themselves behaving narcissistically due to their highly inflated self-image, which makes them think they are perfect and don’t need to change themselves.

    This resistance to self-introspection and recognition of their own flaws makes them angry when someone suggests they are narcissistic.

    Some narcissists may go to therapy or counseling to accommodate their family, partners, or workplace seniors.

  2. What happens when the narcissist realizes you are done with them?

    When a narcissist realizes that you are done with them, they feel disappointed out of narcissistic injury, and react in different ways:

    Some narcissists try to win you back, called “hoovering,” using tactics like love-bombing (saying they’re in love with you) and making you pity them.

    Others may become angry, defensive, or even violent when they feel rejected or abandoned. Some may move on to a new source of narcissistic supply without much emotional reaction.

    Know the signs when the narcissist is done with you.

  3. What happens when you tell a narcissist you don’t love them?

    Telling a narcissist you don’t love them may make them to:
    1. Become angry, defensive, or even violent when they feel rejected or abandoned.
    2. Try to manipulate you into changing your mind or make grand gestures to regain your attention and affection.
    3. Move on to a new source of validation and attention without much emotional reaction.
    4. Seek support from your friends, family, or colleagues to make you fall for them.
    5. Keep trying to woo you in different ways until you give in.

  4. What happens when a narcissist knows you know about them?

    When narcissists know you know about their narcissism, they will typically react in one of these ways:
    1. They may try to charm you or win you over. This is because narcissists crave attention and admiration, and they will do whatever it takes to get it.
    2. They may also try to convince you that they are not really a narcissist, or that their narcissism is not a big deal.
    3. They may become angry, defensive, or even aggressive. This is because narcissists have a fragile ego, and they cannot tolerate being exposed or criticized. They may lash out at you verbally or even physically.

  5. How do narcissists feel when you move on?

    Narcissists feel a range of emotions when you move on, including:
    Anger: Narcissists hate to lose control, and they will feel angry and threatened when you leave them. They may lash out at you verbally or even physically.
    Jealousy: Narcissists are very possessive, and they will feel jealous when you move on to someone else. They may try to sabotage your new relationship or badmouth your new partner.
    Sadness: Narcissists are also capable of feeling sadness, but they will often hide it behind anger or jealousy. They may feel sad that they are losing you, but they will not admit it.
    Fear: Narcissists are also afraid of abandonment, and they may feel fear when you move on. They may worry that they will never find someone else to love them.
    Indifference: Some narcissists may appear indifferent when you move on. This is because they are trying to protect their ego. They may tell themselves that they don’t care about you, but deep down they are hurt and angry.

  6. How does the narcissist react when he realizes you no longer care?

    Narcissists are very sensitive to rejection, so when they realize that you no longer care, they will likely react in a negative way.
    Anger: They can lash out at you, verbally or even physically. They may try to make you feel guilty or ashamed for not caring about them.
    Jealousy: They may become jealous of the people that you care about. They may try to sabotage your relationships or badmouth the people you love.
    Depression: Narcissists may feel worthless and unlovable and show symptoms of depression when they realize you no longer care about them.
    Indifference: They may try to appear indifferent as a way to protect their ego and avoid feeling hurt.
    Hoovering: They restart their wooing and love-bombing to get you back into the relationship. They may even give you threats of self-harm.

  7. How to tell a narcissist you love them?

    There is no one best way of telling a narcissist you love them. Some general tips that may be helpful are:
    Be direct and clear. Narcissists don’t have empathy, so they may not grasp the unspoken hints you drop. Rather be clear about your feelings.
    Be specific about what you love about them. Narcissists are often insecure and always crave external validation, so it helps to focus on their positive qualities.
    Be honest and genuine. Narcissists can easily spot insincerity and fake praise, so being genuine in your expression of love would help them warm up to you.
    Be patient. Narcissists may not be used to receiving love and attention, so it may take some time for them to fully accept your feelings.

  8. Do narcissists care if you move on?

    Narcissists do care if a person moves on from the relationship. They are sensitive to rejection, and see your moving on as a personal attack. They may become angry and bitter at losing you, envious of the person you are moving on with, take revenge on you by gossiping and slandering, try to hoover you back into the relationship, or move on to seek a new source of supply.

Final Words

Narcissists are damaged people. They can scar you for life.

Despite what they make you believe about yourself, please remember that a narcissist’s reaction is not a reflection of your worth or value as a person.

Fall in love with yourself rather than falling for a narcissist.

Falling for them pitying that they need help, or that you can fix them, can be dangerous to your physical and mental health.

Finally, they make you trauma bond with them, so you keep thinking of going back to them despite knowing what they will do to you.

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Author Bio: Researched and reviewed by Dr. Sandip Roy. His expertise is in mental well-being, positive psychology, narcissism, and Stoic philosophy.

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When it comes to mental well-being, you don't have to do it alone. Going to therapy to feel better is a positive choice. Therapists can help you work through your trauma triggers and emotional patterns.