Relationship Stages With A Narcissist or Borderline And Triangulation

Relationship Stages with Narcissist or Borderline and Triangulation

So you thought you’d finally met the woman or man of your dreams. Sure, they came on a little strong at first. The compliments seemed a bit excessive and even premature. Ignoring that nagging voice in your head, the relationship developed at a fast pace, faster than most of your other relationships and friendships.

At some point, perhaps you questioned their sincerity and insta-adoration? Maybe you even had doubts about them such as, “Is this person psycho or is it love at first sight?” After all, how can someone really know you well enough after just a few weeks (or a few days) to see all of your admirable qualities in such technicolor magnificence? How can someone who barely knows you seriously love you in such a short amount of time and be willing to commit to you so quickly?

The answers are they don’t and they can’t. You were being drugged with flattery or love-bombed.

A client once asked, “Well come on, what guy wouldn’t fall for a beautiful woman who says you’re the most amazing man she’s ever known and best sex she’s ever had?” Actually, quite a lot of men and women don’t fall for it. In fact, they become sceptical and concerned especially if the compliments are way over the top and they’re being pressured to make a fast commitment (e.g., going engagement ring shopping after only a week or wanting to move in together right away).

Relationships with narcissists, borderlines, histrionics, sociopaths

— whatever the DSM classification may be — begin in reverse.

Meaning the relationship starts with a really intense, decadent dessert, and by the relationship’s end, you’re dumpster diving for the measliest scraps of sustenance. A relationship between two emotionally mature individuals with boundaries and healthy senses of self develops steadily over time and builds up to dessert after pesky little things like friendship, intimacy and trust have been established.

Not so with narcissists and other emotional predators and con artists. They’re like the stereotypical used car salesmen or saleswomen of relationships. For example:

Well hello there, Carl/Connie Codependent, do I have a deal for you today! Only someone as smart, savvy, sophisticated, cultured, travelled, intuitive, honest, loving, handsome, beautiful, sexy, talented, blah, blah, blah as you can see what a GREAT opportunity this is. And because you’re soooooo special to me, I’m going to offer this deal to you and only you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Your life will never be the same if you hitch your wagon to my star. Together we’ll create crazy works of genius! What do you mean it sounds too good to be true? I thought you were more intelligent than that? It’s okay, I forgive you for doubting my motives. Now, I’ll just need you to sign here, here and here. Don’t worry about that, it’s just the fine print. Yes, and the devil is in the details.

Related: Narcissus And Echo: The Heartbreak Of Relationships With Narcissists

Now, if an unscrupulous salesperson slithered up to you at the local used car lot and laid it on nice and thick like that, wouldn’t you reflexively raise an eyebrow to their patter? You’d wonder, and rightly so, if the salesperson was trying to unload shoddy goods for their own personal gain at significant cost to you. No matter how shiny and attractively presented a narcissist might appear to be at first glance, under the hood they’re all lemons. And not the plump, juicy ripe lemons from which you can make lemonade. They’re the hard kind that only yield a few drops of juice even when using an industrial-grade juicer.

It’s a painful thing to accept once your narcissist reveals who they truly are. Seeing behind the mask may cause you to go into extreme denial. How else could you stay after that, right? If you don’t understand the dynamics at play, it’s difficult to comprehend how things deteriorated from the initial intense love fest you shared with your narcissist to being vilified and tossed away onto the scrap heap. It’s actually pretty easy to grasp once you know how relationships with narcissists and borderlines begin, develop and devolve. Abusive personalities repeat these patterns over and over again with each new target and relationship.

12 thoughts on “Relationship Stages With A Narcissist or Borderline And Triangulation”

  1. Avatar of Chelsea Flowers

    It’s troublesome to me that you lump borderline and npd in together here and essentially equate the two and the behaviors. This leads to further misunderstanding and stigma around bpd that is even more damaging to those suffering it. While bpd is a cluster b disorder, what drives it, the thought processes and triggers are totally opposite from those of a narc or sociopath and their motives are completely misrepresented here and in a lot of current literature about the topic. New studies approached from a more empathetic and understanding point of view would educate you that borderlines are not emotional con artists as you described, as narcs are. They don’t have shallow or no emotions like a narc. They don’t manipulate others for the purpose of getting what they want and then discarding them. They do feel remorse. In fact borderlines experience such deep, intense emotions they have trouble containing them, they’re desperate for love and affection they never received as children and act out in child like ways to achieve it without realizing it, they have severe fear of abandonment and so may never discard even the most toxic relationship let alone one that is providing them love and understanding. They are so remorseful that causing someone else pain can lead them into a spiral of self loathing and even self harm. Their outbursts and rages etc aren’t calculated as a means to an end, they are instant, uncontrollable reactions to triggers that cause them to think irrationally in those moments.
    Please don’t perpetuate the misunderstandings about bpd. One of the hardest things for someone with bpd is always being misunderstood, their intentions twisted, and vilified when all they wanted was love

  2. Avatar of cosmicvoices

    Enjoyed your article. Thank you. I’m wondering how much work you’ve done or presently do with people formerly tangled up with spiritual gurus and their communities? There is an exceedingly high rate of narcissistic sociopaths heading up these spiritual communities now more than ever, yet it is often quiet subtle in presentation; a signature combination you might say that is becoming more difficult to detect. These types of gurus don’t always fit perfectly into the narcissist/borderline/sociopath profile in many ways (yet it’s there) which only confuses those recovering from these experience more as they are just learning that a profile even exists; it’s extremely painful for them to find out the guru is not as special as they once believed, and the present followers of that guru still believe. I’ve also observed this guru type intentionally created a prolonged courtship, i.e. it’s not always full-on at first, rather they appear to not care whether the potential ‘student’ joins (the opposite tactic you might say). Ultimately, when the student decides to leave extreme exile is punishment; the student is cut off over night from the community they’ve belonged to, some for many years (and their children), and they are shamed beyond imagination (just for leaving). This exile is often followed by the rapid dissemination of a run of the mill ‘backlash story’ used to keep the troops in check, that is, the students’s ego is out of control, they did something dishonest, they can’t handle the energy field, etc. etc. You get the picture 😉
    I am collecting research on this particular profile and subject matter for a book and would be very interested in hearing more of your thoughts and experiences in this field, or references, if or someone reading this has direct experience with this growing phenomenon as well.

  3. Avatar of Mark Patton

    Talk about my life story with my ex! lol, it’s unbelievable wish I could have read this 20 years ago! Would have explained what was happening and why and maybe not saved the pain I went through but shortened it!

  4. Avatar of Brad Ingram Dawson

    Love at first sight is nonsense always has been. Physical attraction.

    A soul touching another soul a little more possible but really who is actually in touch with their higher being or soul?

    I can barely find my keys

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