A relationship with a Narcissist has been compared to being on a roller coaster, with immense highs and immense lows. They have been described as the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde, one way one minute, another the next.
People usually get into relationships for love and the need to connect and bond with another. Narcissists get into relationships for entirely different reasons. They do not feel love and they lack the ability to connect and form normal attachment bonds with others.
Narcissists need people more than anyone. Because their entire sense of self-esteem and self-worth is dependent on the admiration of others, their emotions are a precarious balance of needing others and needing to be left alone.
There is nothing more tantalizing to a woman than the prospect of being the one who succeeds, where all others have failed. To reach the heart of an unreachable, reluctant man and have him fall madly in love with us, change his ways and give us the relationship we’ve always dreamed of. This is so enticing to so many of us because if we win, if we get to go where no other woman has gone before, then we get the validation that we all seek – that there must be something pretty special and irresistible about us.
Hollywood is full of such tales. Just about every Rom Com you watch begins with an Emotionally Unavailable, shady, or Narcissistic male, treating the woman in his life like garbage. Then, enter the heroine and you get two hours of how they stumble through various scenarios, until he eventually realizes that she’s the one, he gets his act together and they ride off into the sunset of wedded bliss.
Many women, while on a first date with a man, are often already picturing the wedding in their heads, before dessert even arrives. If they feel that illusive chemistry, they are so quick to open up before taking the much needed time to actually get to know someone.
You wouldn’t let a stranger into your house and give them carte blanche with all of your stuff and you wouldn’t give them total access to your bank account, just because you thought they were attractive. So why do so many of us not take the same precautions when it comes to dating and relationships?
A reader asked, “My relationship with a Narcissist has scared me so much. How am I supposed to trust anyone after that?” She continued to list all of the atrocities committed by her Narcissist and what isn’t so surprising is that all the stories seem all too similar.
Considering that between 2 and 16% of North Americans are afflicted with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it is likely that the typical women will have at least one encounter with a Narcissist. Due to the deceptive nature of the impairment, a true accounting is near impossible to determine. Fortunately, in relationships, many exhibit similar behavior patterns, which makes them easier to identify.
In the early stages of a relationship with a Narcissist, he seems like the answer to a prayer. He is everything that we ever wanted in a man. He showers you with attention and seems to put you on a pedestal. He is the proverbial white knight, swooping in to save us. Faced with the charm and persistent adoration of such a man, it’s easy to find yourself in the glow of budding love. He appeals to your heart and comes off as a great guy, who is just in need of a good woman, who will love and understand him.
Many would have trouble resisting such temptation, but the difference between a woman who has a healthy self-esteem, firm boundaries and self-respect and a woman who doesn’t, is that when the narcissist shows you who he really is,(blows hot and cold, future fakes, his words never match his actions, the relationship is all on his terms …) the woman with healthy self-esteem puts foot to pavement and doesn’t look back.
You’ve just met someone and you are on top of the world. You’re being lavished with excessive amounts of attention and you’ve never been pursued quite like this before, so it must be love and you are hooked. But then something happens days or weeks into the chase. Your Prince Charming’s red hot pursuit has turned into an icy cold retreat and you are left wondering what the hell you did wrong.
After some time has passed your Prince resurfaces offering little or no explanation or apology. As you start to look back on your relationship, you realize that you were sped through the early stages of the dating process. The relationship is all on his terms, you’re not sure when you will hear from him again and you communicate and hook up only when he wants to. You’re starting to see all of his promises go unfulfilled and his words never match his actions. You are confused and can’t fathom why one day you were treated like a princess and the next day you’re gum on the bottom of his shoe, but you keep hoping the prince will show up again and give you the relationship that you want.