You may be slowly and surely falling in love with a narcissist, but you only told them about your feelings recently.
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 Happens When A Narcissist Knows You Love Them
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Narcissistic 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 practitioner 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.
Narcissists are damaged people. They can scar you for life.
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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- Related: Why Narcissists Fake Empathy (And Shed Crocodile Tears)?
- Related: How To Unmask And Expose A Narcissist?
- Related: 10 Frequently Missed Covert Narcissist Signs
- Related: Six types of narcissists. One of them is the most dangerous.
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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 well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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