Can a Narcissist Love?

Anyone who ’ s loved a narcissist wonders, “ Does he actually love me ? ” “ Does she appreciate me ? ” They ’ rhenium tear between their love and their pain, between staying and leaving, but can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate look to do either. Some swear they ’ ra loved ; others are convinced they ’ re not. It ’ randomness confusing because sometimes they experience the caring person they love, whose company is a pleasure, only to be followed by behavior that makes them feel insignificant or inadequate. Narcissists claim to love their family and partners, but do they ?

Romance vs. Love

Narcissists may show passion in the early stages of dating. But that kind of heat, according to jungian analyst Robert Johnson, “ is constantly directed at our own projections, our own expectations, our own fantasies … It is a love not of another person, but of ourselves. ” such relationships provide positive attention and sexual satisfaction to support a narcissist ’ second self and self-esteem. For most narcissists, their relationships are transactional. Their objective is to enjoy available joy ( Campbell et al., 2002 ). They ’ rhenium playing a game, and gain is the goal. They ’ re prosecute and energetic and own emotional intelligence that helps them perceive, express, understand, and pull off emotions ( Dellic et al., 2011 ). This helps them manipulate people to win their sexual love and admiration. They brag to be respected, loved, and gratified. additionally, their good social skills allow them to make a good initial first mental picture. They can show great sake in amatory prospects and seduce with generosity, expressions of beloved, flattery, sex, romance, and promises of commitment. amatory narcissists ( Don Juan and Mata Hari types ) are adept and persuasive lovers and may have many conquests, yet remain single. Some narcissists lie and/or rehearse love-bombing by overwhelming their raven with verbal, forcible, and material expressions of love.

Narcissists lose interest as the anticipation of closeness increases or when they ’ ve acquire at their game. many have trouble sustaining a relationship more than six months to a few years. They prioritize world power over closeness and abhor vulnerability, which they consider weak ( Lancer, 2014 ). To maintain control, they avoid nearness and prefer laterality and transcendence over others. Game-playing frankincense strikes the arrant poise to both get their needs met and keep their options open to flirt or date multiple partners ( Campbell et al., 2002 ). A sudden separation can be traumatic to their ex-wife, who is bewildered by their unexpected change of center — proposing one moment, and then exiting the next. They feel confused, crushed, discarded, and betray. If the kinship had continued, finally they would have seen through the narcissist ’ south seductive veneer.

Some narcissists are hardheaded in their approach to relationships, focusing on their goals. They may besides develop positive feelings toward their collaborator, but more based on friendship and divided interests. If they marry, they lack the motivation to maintain their amatory façade, and hire defenses to avoid closeness. They become cold, critical and angry, specially when they ’ re challenged or don ’ t get their way. They ’ re likely to support their spouse ’ mho needs and wants only when it ’ south inconvenient and their ego is satisfied. After devaluing their spouse, they need to look elsewhere to prop up their inflate ego .

How is love defined?

real love is not romance, and it ’ s not codependency. For Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, it ’ sulfur “ to will the effective of another. ” In The Psychology of Romantic Love ( 1980 ), Nathaniel Branden states that “ To love a human being is to know and love his or her person. ” It ’ s a union of two individuals, which requires that we see another person as separate from ourselves. Further, in The Art of Loving ( 1945 ), Erich Fromm emphasizes that love entails attempt to develop cognition, duty, and commitment. We must be motivated to know another ’ mho wants, needs, and feelings and provide encouragement and support. We take joy in their happiness and try not to hurt them. When we love, we show active concern for their life and emergence. We try to understand their experience and worldview, though it may differ from ours. Caring involves offering attention, deference, support, compassion, and adoption. We must devote the necessity meter and discipline. romantic sleep together can evolve into love, but narcissists aren ’ thymine motivated to truly know and understand others ( Ritter et al., 2010 ). According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, narcissists “ miss empathy and have difficulty recognizing desires, subjective experiences, and feelings of others ” ( p. 670 ). inquiry shows that they have morphologic abnormalities in brain regions associated with emotional empathy ( Schulze et al., 2013 ). Hence, their ability to appropriately respond emotionally and express manage and concern is significantly impaired. Narcissists have s several hurdles to loving. First, they neither see themselves nor others clearly. First, they experience people as extensions of themselves, rather than separate individuals with differing needs, desires, and feelings. Second, they overestimate their own emotional empathy ( Ritter et al., 2010 ). Third, their defenses distort their perceptions and interactions with others. They brag and withdraw to control closeness and vulnerability, project onto others undesirable, negative aspects of themselves, and they use abnegation, entitlement, and egotistic maltreatment, including blame, contempt, criticism, and aggression, to ward off shame. Perfectionistic narcissists callously put down others and may attempt to destroy adversaries in order to sustain their magic trick of paragon ( Lancer, 2017 ). All these issues impair narcissists ’ capacity to accurately take in another person ’ south reality, including that person ’ s love for them. In fact, narcissists emotional intelligence helps them fudge and exploit others to get what they want, while their mar emotional empathy desensitizes them to the pain they inflict.

Can we measure love?

Love is unmanageable to measure, but research shows that people feel love expressed by : 1 ) words of affirmation, 2 ) outgo timbre clock time, 3 ) giving gifts, 4 ) acts of service, and 5 ) physical touch ( Goff, et aluminum. 2007 ). Another study revealed that participants besides felt loved by a collaborator who : 1 ) showed interest in their affairs ; 2 ) gave them emotional and moral digest ; ( 3 ) disclosed intimate facts ; 4 ) expressed feelings for them, such as “ I ’ thousand happier when I ’ thousand near you ” ; and 5 ) tolerated their demands and flaws in holy order to maintain the relationship ( Swenson, 1992, p. 92 ) .


People who love narcissists are starved for many of these expressions of beloved. sometimes, narcissists are outback, dismissive, or aggressive ; other times, they show worry and concern and are helpful. It ’ s not that narcissists are incapable of feeling or tied intellectually understanding person ’ sulfur feelings. The problem appears to be rooted in childhood trauma and physiological deficits that affect emotional appraisal, mirror, and appropriate empathic expression. ( unconscious or unexpressed : “ I love you, but ” ) ; Expressed : “ I ’ m excessively busy to come to the hospital, ” sounds pretty cold, but may not reflect the narcissist ’ second love for the person hospitalized. When the importance of a visit is explained to them, they might make the trip. They may show love when they ’ re motivated. Their love is conditional, depending upon affect on the narcissist. My record Dealing with a narcissist explains in detail how to navigate and beneficially use this in relationships with narcissists, addicts, or anyone highly defensive. Because self-love exists on a continuum from mild to malignant, when it ’ s severe, selfishness and inability to express love become more apparent when greater demands are placed on a narcissist. Dating or long-distance relationships that have fewer expectations are easier.

bottom line : Wondering whether a narcissist loves you is the incorrectly interrogate. Although it ’ s wise to understand a narcissist ’ south judgment, like Echo in the myth of Narcissus, partners excessively focus on the narcissist to their detriment. rather, ask yourself whether you feel valued, respected, and cared about. Are you getting your needs met ? If not, how is that affecting you and your self-esteem and what can you do about that ? References:

American Psychiatric Association. ( 2013 ). diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 5th ed. ). Arlington, VA : american Psychiatric Publishing. Branden, N. ( 1980 ). The Psychology of Romantic Love. Los Angeles : J.P. Tarcher, Inc. Campbell, W.K, Finkel, E.J., & Foster, C.A. ( 2002 ). Does self-love leash to love for others ? A fib of egotistic game play, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83 ( 2 ), 340-354. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol : //

Delic, A., Novak, P., Kovacic, J., & Avsec, A. ( 2011 ). Self-reported emotional and sociable intelligence and empathy as distinctive predictors of self-love ” Psychological Topics 20 ( 3 ), 477-488. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol : // Fromm, E., ( 1956 ). The artwork of Loving. New York : Harper & Brothers Publishers.

Goff, B. G., Goddard, H. W., Pointer, L., & Jackson, G. B. ( 2007 ). Measures of expressions of love. psychological Reports, 101, 357-360. hypertext transfer protocol : // Johnson, R. A. ( 1945 ). We, Understanding the psychology of romanticist Love. San Francisco : Harper & Row Publishers. Lancer, D.A. ( 2017 ). “ I ’ molarity not Perfect, I ’ m entirely Human ” – How to Beat Perfectionism. Los Angeles : Carousel Books. Lancer, D.A. ( 2014 ). Conquering Shame and Codependency : 8 Steps to Freeing the True You. Center City : Hazelden Foundation. Ritter, K., et aluminum. ( 2010 ). lack of empathy in patients with egotistic personality disorderliness, Psychiatry Research. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol : // Schultze, L., et aluminum. ( 2013 ) Gray matter abnormalities in patients with egotistic personality disorder. Psychiatric Research, 47 ( 10 ), 1363–1369. hypertext transfer protocol : //

Swenson, C. ( 1972 ). The Behavior of Love. In H.A. Otto ( Ed. ) Love Today ( pp. 86-101 ). New York : Dell Publishing. © Darlene Lancer 2018

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