Loving a Narcissist – your love will be never be enough for those who don’t know what love is. Love, Lust, London’s Ashley Mae explores and reveals exactly what it’s like to date a narcissist (so you don’t have to) plus, the red flags to look out for
You know they are destroying you, you know they aren’t right for you, you know they aren’t your future – yet you still chain yourself to the hands of their mercy.
You become captivated by the highs and lows, you wait for change, you want to believe that there is hope, you even want to believe that you will be the one who changes them. So desperately, so willingly you fall into the hands of your destroyer.
You think your love will override the pain and that it will be powerful enough to heal even the most broken hearted, but reality is a cruel force.
We have all heard of the famous word narcissist. How about the words gaslighting, love bombing, avoidant and off the spectrum?
When it comes to a narcissist, your only option is to save yourself
Loving a narcissist is like being struck by love at first sight. It consumes you and they become your drug until you want more and more – so much more than a narcissist is able to provide.
Only until you have bled your last drop, does the save yourself mode switch on. Then before you know it, the spell wears off, you suffer withdrawals and end up on a therapists sofa.
But a word of advice from someone who has loved a narcissist. When it comes to a narcissist, your only option is to save yourself. Run fast, run far and don’t look back.
In fact, after speaking to a few victims of such characters, I realised that there is a distinctive pattern within the relationship dynamic – from the same stages and same rounds, they all lead to the same end.
Narcissism Stage #1 Selling Sunset aka Love Bombing
Charming, charismatic, chatty, full of life – you are immediately swept into their whirlwind, high flying word and ecstatic emotions. They love bomb you, put you on a pedestal, show you off, plan a future with you and sell you a dream of how life could be…
But sooner rather than later, the façade starts to fade and you begin to peel through their many layers, finding the true worm holes that reside within.
The shiny joy starts to diminish and little by little they begin the initiation of your fall from grace.
Narcissism Stage #2 The Fall From Grace aka Gaslighting
The compliments stop and they start to pick holes in you, put you down and strip you of the crown they so willingly bestowed upon you.
A narcissist catches you at your most vulnerable time of life, because of this, you tolerate their crazed, inadequate opinion of you, even to the point where you start believing you’re the problem!
In order to control you, they display avoidant behaviour and withdraw any form of affection towards you – holding the reins to your body and the strings to your heart.
Narcissists have no empathy and you cannot sustain a healthy back and forth conversation with them. They deflect the argument continuously, dancing around words and points in order to confuse and gaslight you.
A narcissist catches you at your most vulnerable time of life
Subject changes, constant excuses and an unwillingness to engage with authenticity and heart felt reasoning means that you can never resolve anything with a narcissist.
They will never meet you down the middle, because they are selfish and the world only revolves to serve their needs.
This is their way to manipulate you into behaving and thinking how they want you to, rather than getting to the true point of the issue – a low character flaw (by the way this part is mostly due to their own insecurity).
READ MORE: 6 steps to healing from narcissistic abuse
Narcissism Stage #3 The Closing Act aka when Jekyll turns Hyde
After their relentless push backs and avoidance, you begin to fight even harder to win their love and affection.
You know it isn’t right and that you must be mad to fight for someone so damaging, but they have a way of locking you in to their world and you believe without them you are nothing – it’s like an addict suffering a withdrawal.
You find yourself desperately trying to repair the situation, in order to get back to the ‘selling sunset’ stage where life seemed full of such hope and prosperity.
Oh and it isn’t only the situation you want to repair, but you hopelessly try to hold on to the image of the person you fell in love with.
Once you have fallen from grace, you can’t ever go back
It’s true what they say – when someone shows you their true colours, believe them, don’t make excuses.
The sad truth is, you will never be able to recreate that initial joy you felt when you fist met. Once you have fallen from grace, you can’t ever go back. You end up in limbo with them, wondering how you got there and how on earth it’s possible that they no longer desire you in the way they did, when they fought so hard to have you in their life.
You may no longer be their favourite toy, and they may even have a few other toys they are selling your sunset to – it’s a shocking realisation that should have you running for the hills, but you don’t. Why? Because you’re still addicted to their validation.
They dangle a carrot of hope that one day you will once again be their favourite shiny toy. This dependence is what a narcissist’s ego feeds on.
Escaping your Narcissist…
Narcissists can come in many forms, a lover, a friend, a family member or a work colleague.
From psychotic relationships to controlling friendships – no matter their disguise, a narcissist will find a way to make you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom.
Some do have good hearts, but sadly they just can’t help themselves and boy does the damage they cause stay with you long after they are gone.
It’s hard to shed that skin of hurt, because we are programmed to hold onto the emotions and memories that pain us most. But there is hope, because in time, with the help of therapy and new, loving relationships you begin forget and let go of the trauma.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and it takes a strong person to escape sooner rather than later, so don’t beat yourself up if you stuck around longer than you should have.
a narcissist will find a way to make you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom
Instead, be grateful for the journey – it made you stronger and wiser, and ultimately lead you closer to something healthy and truly worthy of your energy and love.
For the ones who endure years of unstable, turbulent and toxic relationships, the emotional and physical toll can be damaging beyond repair.
If you are struggling with coming to terms with the trauma of a narcissistic relationship, I strongly advise that you learn about narcissism and its different forms, so you are able to accept what happened and look out for narcissism red flags in future relationships.
You only need to walk a mile in those shoes to remember the pain they bring. Learning about narcissism will ensure that the next time, you will already be aware of just how painful those shoes may be, and you’ll start to realise what is comfortable and what isn’t.
Do not hold anger towards your Narcissist, learn to let go, no matter how hard that may seem.
You know what it means to truly love someone deeply, unconditionally and selflessly – they never will. You have the power to find happiness, they don’t – the cracks in them will never seal.
For support on Narcissistic Abuse visit narcissistabusesupport.com
If you have a dating or relationship story you would anonymously like to share with Love Lust London then please email firstname.lastname@example.org