Can a narcissist love? Are you troubled or worried about this? We’ll find out this challenge together.
Love is difficult to measure, but research shows that people feel loved through words of affirmation, spending quality time, acts of service, giving gifts, or physical touch. But what if you fall in love with a narcissist, where you keep asking yourself “does he love me” or “does she appreciate me” you will be torn between love and pain, with a lot of confusion.
A narcissist can show passion in the early stage of dating. However, we can’t choose who to love, because mostly nobody can control the heart, our heart might love a narcissist along the way, although it is challenging, you can have a healthy relationship with someone suffering from this disorder. Learn the coping strategy that can make your relationship work.
What is a Narcissist Personality Disorder
According to psychiatrists, narcissistic personality disorder also called NPD is a disorder where a person has an inflated sense of self-importance which is found commonly in men, although the cause is still unknown, it can be due to genetic and environmental factors. A narcissist is a word used to often describe someone full of himself or herself.
In psychological terms, it means someone obsessed with an idealized, grandiose image of themselves. They are in love with this image because it allows them to avoid feelings of insecurity.
Narcissism involves a pattern of self-centered behavior, these kinds of people are often arrogant, cocky, manipulative, they are obsessed with admiration, and they are demanding among many. And this way of thinking is embedded in their life, including their love, family, and friends relationship.
Most narcissists find it hard to change their behavior even if it is causing problems, instead, they blame it on others, they are sensitive humans who reach badly to even small criticism. Most people living with a narcissist will opt to go along with the narcissist’s behavior to avoid coldness and rage.
However, this cannot go for a lifetime, if you have a narcissist around you, be it a lover or a family member, understand everything about narcissism, establish healthy boundaries and protect yourself from their power plays.
Signs and symptoms of a narcissist
Most narcissists are calm and charismatic. Symptoms of narcissism don’t often show right away, especially in relationships, they often like to surround themselves will people that feed into their ego. These are some common behavior among narcissists that you can spot
Sense of entitlement
A person with narcissism will feel like they are superior and deserve special treatment. They are selfish and believe that other people should be obedient to their rules withing doing the same.
Most narcissists have controlling and manipulative behavior. At first, they will try to impress you but eventually put their needs first. They are always looking for the benefits, they will keep people at a distance to maintain control.
A narcissist will always crave admiration, they are constantly in need of praise, they often exaggerate, brag about their achievements to others, and wants to feel appreciated to boost their ego.
Lack of empathy
One of the traits among narcissists is they don’t care about others’ needs and feelings, they don’t take responsibility for their behavior.
Most people with narcissism feel they are superior to others, they tend to be rude and abusive when they didn’t receive the respect they think they deserve. They act arrogant especially to those that are inferior to them.
Can a narcissist love?
This is a question that runs in many people’s minds. While every relationship is designated to be a heaven for partners, where they can express mutual romance, emotions, feelings, attention, and care. But if your partner does not have all these characteristics, it can be termed he or she is a narcissist, and nobody will be comfortable while being in a confusion about whether their partner loves them or not. And this keeps many people with the question, can a narcissist love?
Do they feel loved or desire to love? A narcissist desire to be loved and receive 100% attention but often feel uncomfortable when the love and care they desire begin to manifest. They only know self-love and often doubt the authenticity of the love, care, respect, and attention their partner shows them. However love is beyond self-care and admiration, it is interpersonal while narcissism is intrapersonal.
A narcissist in love is not a rare sight, because they can love also. There are things beyond love, which is life, and this life is full of ups and downs. Love needs practicality although love can happen alone, it will be challenging. Narcissists can love but depend on how much they want to address their behaviors.
And some challenges influence a narcissist love pattern including
Absence of empathy
Narcissists often withheld affection from their partners because they entirely focus on themselves, so they lack the empathy to entirely express their love. However if your partner is ready to address this problem, that means they are ready to be a better version and overcome their narcissism.
Selflessness is one of the important attributes of love. And true love is define by how much you are willing to sacrifice for your partner. A narcissist is focused on himself and doesn’t make sacrifices for his partner.
A narcissist can love if you as a partner are willing to be patient, resilient, and selfless to deal with that narcissism. This does not work with a faint heart, people only change when you are patient so if you are not this type, don’t start what you can’t finish. So if your partner is making positive changes to stop being a narcissist, you need to encourage them and your relationship will improve.
Can a narcissist love be permanent?
When people are ready to start a healthy relationship with a narcissist, they often find themselves asking if the love is going to be permanent. Yes, they can, but they don’t like feeling vulnerable so they self-sabotage themselves. So they have to overcome every obstacle before they can love permanently.
How to cope when you are in love with a narcissist
People often feel powerless when falling in love, and as stated earlier, you can’t choose who to love, and maybe you have met a narcissistic partner and is willing to take things forward. In this case, below are some coping strategies that will make your relationship work.
Learn about narcissism
Research on the disorder, learn as much as you can, read on everything including symptoms, causes, and treatments. Understand that they are also humans, and they might not like how they behave. Gain a better understanding of the behavior and demonstrate patience.
Pick your battles wisely
Learn to be patient with their mistake, don’t turn every mistake they take to war, moreover, for your mental health, you have to choose what to reply to and what to not. Set boundaries that work for you, pick your battles wisely, remind your partner about apologies when necessary.
Channel your emotions wisely, sometimes your partner might be sad, disgusted, and frustrated. Don’t suppress his or your emotions, rather encourage him to tell you what he is feeling without shouting or cursing. Communication is the key in every relationship, if he is not willing to talk at that moment, calm down and be patient, tell him you will only address the issue when he can control himself. But don’t give him the emotional reaction he is looking for.
Sometimes give yourself a break
Being with a partner who is mentally not stable is exhausting. Give both of you a break, especially at times when the symptoms are escalating. Remove yourself from his presence for the time being to recover your energy, enjoy the company of your friends and family, bend your anger in a ball, tennis, or other related events. Don’t allow your partner to make you feel guilty for taking a break.
Encourage them to go for therapy
Sometimes, the answer to all these problems is therapy, however, many people with this disorder don’t easily accept the truth so you have to encourage them. If they insist on not going for treatment, then you can decide to stay or leave. If he accepts to go for the therapy, you have to follow the therapist’s guidelines to support the treatment.
How to overcome narcissism
Whether you are clinically diagnosed with it, discover it yourself, or even accused by your partner, being a narcissist in love is not easy because it is hard to think of anybody other than yourself, narcissism starts from infancy however you are also human. Being a narcissist does not stop you from falling in love or doing activities that you love. It only takes a little change to be a better version of yourself, below are a few points on how to be a better partner and person entirely.
Make things two-way
Since narcissists usually focused their attention on themselves, make things two-way. Whatever you are going to do include your partner, is it a book you want to order buy for your partner, or are you feeling cold, offer both of you a sweater or blanket and many more. Extend your self-care to your partner so they will feel love too.
Check on them frequently
Ask your partner how their day is going, what they are thinking about and other related questions. Let them understand that you are a changed person now and are trying to work things out. Love and cherish them with questions like “did you encounter any trouble while I was gone”
Fulfill your promises
Try as much as possible to fulfill your promises, use a life organizing app, online calendars, or even write on your hand to remember important events and dates. Be understanding when others are forgetful.
Ask about their feelings
Often send your partner a text message like “how do you feel this morning, what do you feel like doing today” and other related questions
Offer to help them
When you are energetic, offer to help your partner with their activities, be it house chores or office work, doing things together is emotionally enjoyable and connects you.
Compliment your partner
Find a way to appreciate and thank your partner whenever they do something good, this will encourage them to do more good, show them credit and compliment them.
Don’t forget that you don’t need to face your relationship challenges alone, seek help from professionals, when you find yourself asking can a narcissist love? Give yourself a positive answer, and understand that all it takes is patience to achieve whatever you want in life.