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3 Dead Giveaways Of How Narcissists Act In Romantic Relationships

dead giveaways how narcissists act

Have you ever been in a relationship with a narcissist and do you know how all narcissists act in romantic relationships? 

Narcissists have MANY predictable patterns, and their romantic relationships are no different. If you can learn their patterns, you can better protect yourself from them and their manipulation.

They usually follow a certain and predictable pattern throughout the course of any romantic relationship they are in.

Here Are The 3 Ways Narcissists Act In Romantic Relationships

1. Love Bombing

At the beginning of a relationship, narcissists often “love bomb”. This is where they shower excessive praise and attention on you.

During love bombing, the narcissist is funny, kind, considerate, and all the other things you look for in a partner. They frequently tell you how great you are and how you mean the world to them. The narcissist contacts you all the time and spends most of their spare time with you. They seem to share many of your interests and have similar opinions to you. You begin to wonder if you’ve found “The One”.

The narcissist is often quick to rush to the next stages of the relationship. They might suggest you live together, get married, have children, or all three! If they’re wealthy, they might persuade you to quit your job.

It can be quite a whirlwind romance.

Related: Love Bombing as a Narcissistic Attachment Style

2. Devaluation

Once the narcissist feels they have you “hooked”, the devaluation phase begins.

A narcissist may feel you’re hooked if you’re showing signs of emotional bonding to them. Or you’re dependant on them due to moving in with them, getting married, or having children. See what they were doing in the “love bombing” stage?!

They sink their claws into you, and then the games begin!

Narcissists often start with subtle put-downs. If challenged, they claim they were joking. They might even blame you for being too sensitive. This causes you to question yourself, and you let their snide comments slide.

But really they’re gradually eroding your boundaries. Like the sea relentlessly pounding at the rocks. They wear you down into accepting their negativity, and the comments grow nastier and more frequent.

The narcissist stops being interested in your “mutual” interests. They used to love hiking around the countryside. But now it’s the last thing on their mind.

They start to talk more and listen less and become more controlling. You may kick off at the bad treatment you are receiving, and either leave or threaten to leave. Narcissists HATE being single, so they act quickly. And return to the “love bombing” phase.

They make excuses for their behaviour – stressed at work, depression, frightened of losing you etc. And they start treating you nice again. For now.

You naturally forgive them and enjoy being treated like royalty again. But you probably know where this is heading…

Once they feel you’re “hooked” again, they gradually return BACK to the devaluation stage. And the put-downs and the insults recommence.

Your relationship flits between the love-bombing phase and the devaluation phase, over and over again. And the more times this happens, the less time you spend in the love-bombing phase, and the more time you spend in the devaluation stage.

This naturally strips you of your self-confidence, and depression and anxiety become a common thing. You begin to accept their bad behaviors, and cling to the “good times”. You may feel you don’t deserve any better. So you become more accepting of their increasingly negative behaviors. And just when they’ve driven you to your lowest point…

Related: Invalidation and Narcissism: Why They Slowly Erase You

3. Discard Phase

Out of the blue, the narcissist decides they don’t want to be in a relationship with you. Except they won’t say it like this.

They’ll blame YOU for why they’re ending it. You weren’t showing them enough love. You’ve become too “sensitive”. You’ve changed. Etc.

But the real reason is usually they’ve found someone else. Narcissists HATE being single. So they only end things when they’ve someone else lined up. They may or may not be cheating, but they usually have something in the pipeline.

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Jon Rhodes

I am a clinical hypnotherapist, mental health professional, and narcissisms blogger.View Author posts