Narcissists are extremely self-involved people. And loving a narcissist is no smooth sailing!
They have an exaggerated sense of self, regardless of how they may be in reality. They admire themselves for no reason in particular and are habitual in making everything about themselves.
Such people can generally not tolerate any form of criticism. They also expect and demand constant attention and praise from others. These people have reached a high level of self-actualization in their minds.
They may not necessarily be what they believe themselves to be. On the face of it, they show themselves to be very confident, while deep inside lies a fragile little ego.
People who suffer from this disorder claim attention and care from others, and as a result, they exhibit certain traits that make life difficult for themselves and those around them.
These traits include:
The belief that they deserve the attention they demand
Considering themselves to be superior
Taking advantage of others to get things done their way
Making everything about themselves and ignoring the needs and wants of other people.
Difficulty in listening to issues raised by people they associate with
As a result of such traits, narcissists often face troublesome relationships at home and work.
To understand the psychology of a narcissist, watch this video.
How to make a relationship with a narcissist work
If you are in a relationship and are facing serious issues due to your partner’s negligence, it is important to recognize where the problem lies.
If your partner tends to overlook and ignore all your concerns and is ever ready to make it all about themselves, the chances are that you are in love with a narcissist.
If you are loving a narcissist, you might often wonder how to deal with a narcissistic boyfriend/ girlfriend or how to love a narcissist in a way that they approve of.
Loving a narcissist man or woman can prove to be energy-draining. The survival of such a relationship usually requires a great effort from the other partner.
After putting in all possible efforts, there are still chances that the narcissistic partner might not approve of all you did, making you ponder if you can ever have a successful relationship with a narcissist.
Narcissists tend to make it all about themselves, meaning that even when you decide to share your views or problems, they will indirectly link all of it to themselves and consider it a form of criticism.
You will always face trouble when sharing your emotions with them.
If you love a narcissist, you will always face trouble when sharing your emotions with them. As nice as they may be, they are poor listeners and often fail to accept criticism.
And since they believe they are entitled to any and every form of attention, they never feel guilty about it.
10 signs you are in love with a narcissist
Loving a narcissist is not easy. The trouble begins right at the beginning – understanding or identifying that the person you are in love with is a narcissist. Here are some signs that you are in love with a narcissist.
1. They are charming for their benefit
When you are in love with a narcissist, you will see they are super charming. They will do everything they can to woo you at the beginning of the relationship.
While there is nothing wrong with grand gestures in a relationship, the real problem is that these actions are short-lived.
More often than not, when you are in love with a narcissist, these actions are to make you fall for them. When you are impressed with them and love them, it gives their ego a boost they enjoy.
2. It is all about them
When you are in love with a narcissist, you will notice that everything is about them. The relationship seems one-sided when you constantly ensure their needs and wants are met. Sometimes you may feel like a passive participant in your life due to being in love with a narcissist.
3. You feel unheard
Since everything is about them for a narcissist, you may feel unheard in the relationship. Even as you voice your concerns or tell them what is troubling you, they do not care because it does not affect them in any way.
Being in love with a narcissist can be difficult because they feel they are entitled to feeling like the king/queen of the world. They believe they deserve all the best things, irrespective of what costs it comes at.
5. They love to talk about themselves
One of the signs that you are in love with a narcissist is how much they love talking about themselves. A narcissist is just all about them. If your partner would rather talk about themselves than anything else, you may be in love with a narcissist.
6. You can’t rely on them
One thing about a narcissist – you cannot count on them. Reliability is one of the basic virtues of any romantic relationship. Anyone would want to be able to count on the person they love.
However, if you feel you cannot rely on your partner, chances are you are in love with a narcissist.
7. You feel manipulated
Have there been many instances where you have felt manipulated? Maybe you did not want to go to a certain event, but your partner convinced you by lying about it or saying they would take someone else instead.
Manipulation is one of the habits of narcissists. So if you are feeling manipulated in the relationship, it is one of the signs you are in love with a narcissist.
Maybe there was something they asked you to do or asked you to do a task a certain way. When a narcissist doesn’t get things the way they want or doesn’t get their way, they tend to take a condescending tone.
Commitment is an important pillar of any healthy, secure relationship. It is not just about the label but about being committed to making things work irrespective of what troubles arise.
However, a narcissist is never ready to commit. If your partner wants to be in a relationship without taking responsibility for one, chances are you are in love with a narcissist.
10. They constantly put others down
The traits of a narcissist in a relationship include the need to put others down. Narcissists do not just feel better about themselves because of their huge egos; they do so by making others feel small.
If your partner constantly puts you or others down, they may be narcissistic.
How to cope when you love a narcissist
Coping when you are in love with a narcissist can be challenging. If you identify with the signs mentioned above, here is how you can cope when you are in love with a narcissist.
1. Educate yourself
Educate yourself about the disorder if you find out that you are most likely in love with a narcissist. This will not only help you get more clarity about their behavior, but it will also help you disassociate yourself from it.
2. Manage your emotions
A narcissist can make you feel guilty and manipulate you into believing that certain things are your fault. Gaslighting is also very common when it comes to relationships with narcissists.
Acknowledge your emotions, and do not push them aside, as it can lead to a lot of anxiety later.
3. Take breaks
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be difficult, and coping can be even more challenging. You may find yourself physically and mentally exhausted from trying to keep up with it.
Take breaks from it. Speak to friends or family, or even a professional if need be.
5 ways to maintain a healthy relationship with a narcissist
While loving a narcissist is difficult, it does not mean you cannot have a healthy relationship with someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. Of course, it is more challenging than a normal relationship.
When you are in love with a narcissist, unfortunately, you will never come first for them. Therefore, you must put yourself first. Make yourself a priority and give yourself the necessary things to feel loved and valued.
When you indulge in self-love, the lack of it from a narcissistic partner may be easier to deal with.
A narcissistic partner is likely to make you feel manipulated or gaslit. If you feel these things, you must evaluate and check if they are true. For instance, sometimes, a narcissistic partner may make you feel like something is your fault, even when it is not.
In that case, evaluate and acknowledge that you are not at fault.
3. Be honest
Honesty goes a long way. If you want to maintain a healthy relationship with a narcissist, being honest with them and yourself can help.
If you feel they are trying to be better, telling them when they need to act right, and helping them with it can be one of the ways to maintain a healthy relationship with a narcissist.
One of the most important things when it comes to a healthy relationship with a narcissist is to ensure that your mind is healthy.
Practice mindfulness through meditation or simple exercises and stay in touch with your emotions and feelings.
5. Seek help
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be harmful to you. If you wish to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist, it is recommended that they seek help for their behavior. Meanwhile, you can also talk to a relationship therapist to keep the relationship healthy.
Here are some frequently asked questions about loving a narcissist.
1. Can you have a loving relationship with a narcissist?
It is possible to have a loving relationship with a narcissist, but it can be emotionally and psychologically draining.
If you wish to have a healthy, loving relationship with a narcissist, it is recommended that you follow the tips given above. Apart from this, accepting the problem and willingness to seek help on your partner’s part can help you have a better relationship with them.
2. What is the best way to love a narcissist?
The best way to love a narcissist is to keep the relationship as normal and healthy as possible.
It is also important to pay attention to the tips above when coping with loving a narcissist. You should set the right expectations and be honest if you want to love a narcissist in the best way for both of you.
3. How does a narcissist react to love?
Narcissists love being loved. They mostly react positively to love and like to be the center of the universe for their partner. However, when it comes to loving, people with narcissistic personality disorder tend to see it as transactional. While they do not mind being loved unconditionally, they have certain conditions attached to loving back.
Wrapping it up
Loving a narcissist certainly has its own set of challenges. Before diving deep into a relationship with them, you must consider all the pros and cons.
If you are already loving a narcissist and do not wish to step back, you must try talking to your partner about how their behavior is hurting you.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.