I have dated at least one person with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) and it was a fatal attraction. It made me wonder if there is a reason behind that. It was the relationship that most impacted my life. So, I did a google search and it turns out that there is, in fact, a reason for that.
NPD is characterized by:
-Arrogance and being domineering
-Preoccupation with success and power
-Lack of empathy
-The belief of being unique
-Sense of entitlement
-Needs excessive admiration
-Envious of others
Most people choose romantic partners who are their approximate equals with regard to understanding how to sustain intimacy.
It feels addictive to date someone with NPD. There is an unusual bond and attraction.
We have the BPD woman, for example, who is emotionally volatile and has a fragmented sense of self. The NPD man, on the other hand, is emotionally numb.
It does not feel good for the person with NPD to be numb inside, so all that feeling the person with BPD provides is like nourishment for the person with NPD—it allows him (or her) to feel “something”—someone else’s intense affect. And the NPD provides safety and stability for the BPD.
If the person with BPD is a woman, she can’t blow her NPD man away or flood him the way she has all the more “sensitive” men in her life. He allows her to feel more secure and contained. BP Disordered people are often desperately dependent and their dependency can make NP Disordered people feel very important, which is necessary to them.
The woman with BPD is attracted by the grandiosity and larger than life personality of the man with NPD. He seems cool and calm, it gives her security and stability. The adoration and charm of the woman with BPD are highly attractive to these individuals because of their need to be the center of the world.
It’s often an explosive combination: rapidly falling in love with each other only to find themselves trapped in an highly conflicted and ultimately disappointing relationship.
Dating a narcissist is very challenging. The idealization phase of the relationship is very rewarding. We are showered with attention and gifts. The man is kind and flatters us. It’s all fake. Most people have a strong PR sense and narcissists excel at this. So, the person with BPD opens up and vents. This information starts to corrode the idealization. Then start the unkind comments and mocking, which are very invalidating. This invalidation leads the person with BPD to crave it more and more, always hoping that the person with NPD delivers. They tell you the sweetest things and then put you down as if you were the worst person in the world. This creates the type of “I hate you, don’t leave me” relationship, that people with BPD know so well. This conflict can be addictive and rewarding, in a twisted way.
It’s a destructive type of relationship and you know that people with BPD can have self-destructive tendencies so it can last for a while. In my case, it lasted almost 1 year and a half. I broke up with him twice. I was tired of being let down, of believing when he said he would change. He would cry and make promises like some abusers do.
Living with him was a nightmare. Arguing, bickering, the whole nine yards. An experience that hurt me and affected me for many years. Maybe still a bit today but nothing compared with the past.
I still seek his validation but not as much. We share songs and talk once in a while. We may see each other soon, have a cup of coffee somewhere and talk. It would be good.
Don’t hate the narcissist. He has his own limitations and reality tunnel. He is doing the best he can with the tools he was provided. But don’t forgive him so much that you go back to him unless you are aware of what you will deal with. Some people do it. I don’t know if they turn out fine or if the relationships last but I’d love to know.