Being in a relationship with narcissistic men is nothing short of being on an emotional roller-coaster, with them love-bombing you one moment, and devaluing you in the very next second.
Why do they do this?
“Narcissistic love is riding on the rollercoaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.” — Sheree Griffin
The Narcissistic Love Script: Why he chose you and why he dumped you.
By Dr. Elinor Greenberg
“The Narcissistic Love Script” is the term that I recently invented to describe the very detailed and highly specific fantasy that many narcissistic men construct about their perfect romantic relationship.
Instead of expecting to co-create a relationship with their new lover, they expect her to seamlessly fit into their pre-existing relationship script.
Her role is to embody all of his fantasies about his ideal woman, including how she should look, dress, and behave in public.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that any real woman will perfectly fit into the role he has assigned her. As a result, these relationships are usually doomed from the start. If you have ever been in a romantic relationship where you started out being told that you were “the most wonderful woman in the world” and then found yourself devalued and dumped, you have probably been a victim of a “Narcissistic Love Script.”
After hearing dozens of women discuss very similar painful experiences with what turn out to be highly narcissistic men, I began to realize that all of their relationships went through virtually the same five stages. I have named them: (1) Courtship, (2) Persuasion, (3) Devaluation, (4) Control, and (5) Discard.
Stage 1 – Courtship: “Love Bombing”
Many of my clients have used the term “Love Bombing” to describe how blissful and well-loved they felt during the “Courtship Stage” of their relationship. They were told, “You are the most wonderful woman in the world. You are perfect. Even your flaws are adorable!” They were taken to wonderful restaurants, showered with thoughtful gifts, and received daily texts telling them how they were perfect and special. At this stage, the man may even talk about marriage and want to plan a summer vacation together.
What is going on: Although some narcissistic men are players and are not sincerely expecting to spend the rest of their life with you, many are perfectly sincere when they tell you how perfect you are. Unfortunately, they are not actually seeing you at all, only the role in their “Love Script” that they have projected onto you. You have value in their eyes because they believe that they are finally going to get everything that they want in a mate. It is all about them, not you.
“The lion is most handsome when looking for food.” — Rumi
If you would like to better understand why someone would ever construct a “Love Script,” you might want to consider how many times you have listened to your girlfriends discuss their perfect wedding: the details of their dress, what the bridesmaids will wear, and whether the affair will be rustic or formal. In its own way, the “Wedding Script” is a shortened version of the “Love Script.” The main difference is that she is only planning a day around her desires, while he is planning a lifetime—and, of course, most women would not give up the man they love simply because he is not willing to perfectly fulfill her wedding fantasy. The person is more important to her than the “picture.”
Stage 2 – Persuasion
As the two of you get to know each other better, your narcissistic beau begins to notice the ways that you do not fit into his “Love Script.” The romantic fantasy is still intact because he believes that you are still potentially perfect, just in need of a bit of guidance. As he has spent his life playing a role and pretending to himself and everyone else that he is perfect, special, omnipotent, and entitled; he does not see anything odd in asking you to play a role as well. He will begin to make suggestions on how you might improve yourself—translation: how to fit his script better.
Example: Jim and Carole
Jim: “I want every man at the party to see how beautiful you are. Please, take off that outfit and put on the one I picked out for you. You are so incredibly sexy in that short red dress and heels.”