No one does self-preservation better than a Narcissist and perhaps it’s for this reason, that Covid has really disrupted their “supply” chain.
Fear, masks and lockdowns have really put a damper on dating and social interaction. With millions of people world wide having been infected with the virus, a large majority of potential daters, aren’t jumping into the dating pool to hook up and meet new people. As well, restaurants, bars and coffee shops are closed in many areas, so there often is no where to go.
It’s simple enough to swipe right and message, but dating as we know it, has changed. For those brave and creative enough, meet-ups are happening in parks and other outdoor venues, but they do seem to be at arm’s length and that makes it very difficult for a Narcissist to love bomb a new target.
This is perhaps why Narcissist Exes are popping up like spring daisies.
Over the last couple of months, my Instagram account has blown up with messages from followers, clients and friends shocked that their Narcissist Ex has made contact. Most of them excitedly exclaiming, “You’re never going to guess who text me last night?”
Some of these relationships have been in no contact for months, some for years and one even for a decade. The emotional distance that No Contact gave them allowed them a new perspective on what was really going on and in what areas they needed to work on, so the last thing they needed was to have their ass from the past make another attempt at connection.
What Do They Want?
You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t want to know. The answer though, hasn’t changed. What they want is supply (love, attention, ego strokes, money, sex, resources). They are still the same people they were when you decided to go no contact. What’s happened is there’s a shortage of supply or they don’t feel safe enough because of the virus, to go out and round up a new target, so they looked through their phones and you were next in the batting rotation. They hadn’t heard from you in a while and wouldn’t it be fun to mess with you again.
They are not thinking:
- Boy I really messed up with Jackie. I really miss her and I’ll do anything to get her back.
- I feel so guilty for what I did to Michelle. It’s time we had a heart to heart and I told her how sorry I was.
- Alex really was my soul mate. I only just realized it after breaking it off with Jonathan. I need him in my life.
They may verbalize statements like these to their exes, but there is nothing behind the sentiment. For a Narcissist people are interchangeable. They do not form normal, healthy attachment bonds to anyone. They are not thinking of you and all of your special characteristics. They are thinking of themselves and what they want at this very moment.
The contact lines my friends, followers and clients received were variations on:
“I just heard this song and it made me think of you.” (After a decade of no contact – it mustn’t have been a very popular song).
“Just checking in to see how you’re holding up during Covid”
“I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. I truly hope you’re happy. Miss you.”
“Hey beautiful. You were on my mind. Just wanted to say hello, see how you were doing.”
The purpose of these messages were to find a way in and they were all generic enough not to mean anything and be easily explained away if they didn’t fall on receptive ears.
What these messages are trying to accomplish is to measure your level of interest and/or how much effort they will have to put in to start things up again.
When you really hurt someone and the relationship ended badly, most people wouldn’t want to stir up painful memories for someone, trigger them or interfere with their healing. If you’re healthy and have an ounce of compassion you probably wouldn’t say anything. You’d realize that you don’t know what situation your ex is in and you wouldn’t want to interfere in their lives anymore. You might be remorseful and want to say you’re sorry, irrespective of whether or not you should and it probably wouldn’t be a one or two sentence message.
Sorry, Not Sorry
Narcissists don’t do “sorry.” They may actually say the word, but it’s an empty sentiment. You were always a pawn in their game. The only reason a Narcissist reaches out is because they want something. When you boil it all down what they really want to know is that they can still have you. Are you still an option for them? Yes, great – supply obtained. Now off I go again and you’re left feeling the fool for letting them con you again.
To be really sorry and want to make amends takes a lot of insight and a lot of emotional growth on the part of the transgressor, the type of which most toxically unhealthy people can’t/won’t even attempt. You have to be able to see the part you played and own your bad behavior and poor choices and even when you reach that level of clarity, if you have any humanity, you have to ask yourself – Why am I reaching out? Will it help or hinder my ex? Am I doing this for me? Is it to rid me of my guilty conscience?
If you’re curious how it ended for a few of those that reached out to me here’s what happened:
One held out 2 weeks before responding, though the contact sent him in a downward spiral of emotions. It was as if he was gut punched and he ended up having dreams about his ex, that he would awake crying from. While he had done some work on himself, his typical coping mechanism is to not deal with things, tuck them away and soldier on. This style led him to pile on the trauma and when his trigger button was pushed, he exploded in an eruption of devastatingly painful emotions from his previous relationships. He eventually settled on angry – angry that she had interrupted his relative peace. He looked at her social media accounts and saw that she was in a steady relationship with another man, so he text her back asking her not to contact him again and that he didn’t want to watch her life from the sidelines. A month later he is still depressed and struggling.
Another one also held out two weeks, but when he didn’t try again or try harder, she feared she had lost her chance to reconnect, so she dove in trying hard to be casual, while hopping he would come rushing back. She tends to be obsessive and struggles with impulse control. She found a way to justify making contact and when she did, she told him she would always love him. There was a huge part of her that still wanted him back and by giving away her power so easily, just like she had done in the past, showed that she was still utilizing old patterns and old coping mechanisms. He likely was taken aback that she didn’t answer him for two weeks and tried to explain that all he wanted was to see how she was handling Covid and then later told her that he was in a serious relationship. She is still dealing with the fallout.
Six others had moved on and were rather annoyed by the attempt. None of them replied, nor mentioned it again.
Covid, curiosity or loneliness isn’t a good enough reason to break No Contact. You took that stand for a very good reason. Before you respond to any attempt at reconnecting make sure you ask yourself – Do I really want to open this door again? Will this be good for me? What does he/she really want? When you can act in your own self-interest you will know the answers to these questions instinctively and you’ll leave the door firmly closed, as you continue on your path forward.
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