Yes, you can love a man who loves himself too much. But should you?
Lucky girl! You scored a partner who is self-assured, confident, and focused. But at some point, you noticed that he’s more selfish than self-assured, and that confidence is actually cockiness. He’s certainly focused—but on himself. In fact, you’ve come to realize that the main thing you have in common is that you both love him.
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Narcissism is more than just an irritating quality—it’s a bona fide personality disorder. “Everyone wants to be admired and loved,” says Stephanie Buehler, a psychologist and sex therapist who practices in Orange County, California. “But narcissists are grandiose, overly selfish, and exploitive. They have to be in the spotlight and don’t notice when their partners are in distress.”
So ask yourself: Is it worth maintaining a relationship with such a person? Experts say narcissists are unlikely to change, so the answer depends on how deep his self-love is. “Think of this as a continuum, from having a couple of selfish attributes to being a full-blown narcissist,” says Stacy Kaiser, a Los Angeles–based marriage and family therapist. “The latter are the hardest to have a relationship with, because they are so ‘me’ focused.”
Your partner may preen and primp and adore compliments—but if he also shows empathy, concern about your welfare, and compassion, his positive traits may override his narcissistic tendencies. Just be sure to watch out for extreme behavior that could endanger your relationship—or you.
Not sure where your partner stands? (Besides in front of the mirror, of course!) Take this quiz and find out.
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