5 Brutal Truths About Whether Or Not A Narcissist Can Love You Back

If you believe your ex was a narcissist you may be wondering if they ever loved you.

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By Maria Hakki

Anyone who’s loved a narcissist wonders, “Does he love me?” or “Does she appreciate me?”

They’re torn between their love and their pain, between staying and leaving, but can’t seem to do the one or the other. The reason for these doubts is that sometimes people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder really could show love and affection, while other times they try to push their partner away.


It’s confusing! One time you see the caring person you love. The one whose company is a pleasure. While next time your significant other’s behavior makes you feel worthless or pathetic.

Narcissists claim to love their family and partners, but do they?

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The problem of whether or not a narcissist can love is a tough one as mentioned above. Here are some experts’ opinions on the matter.

Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D., a psychotherapist seems to explain the process of falling and staying in love very accurately:

“If you (exes of narcissists) thought that your romantic Narcissistic ex loved you and wanted to marry you, you are not crazy. Even though he is now gone, your guy meant what he said when he said it to you. He was in love with you, or at least his own romantic fantasy of the two of you as the perfect couple.”

So, it turns out that narcissists may show passion in the early stages of dating. However, that kind of passion, according to Jungian analyst Robert Johnson, “is always directed at our projections, our expectations, our fantasies … It is a love not of another person but of ourselves.”


And although a narcissist can fall in love (feel strongly attracted) — they can hardly remain in love because they lack the range of emotions and perceptions necessary to actually feel, experience, and give love.

For most narcissists, their relationships are actually transactional.

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These people aim to enjoy uncommitted pleasure or to achieve a goal. On top of that, narcissists use manipulation to win other people’s love and admiration. They brag to be respected, loved, and gratified.

If you still cannot believe that your narcissistic partner is incapable of strong feelings for you, below are outlined sad truths about narcissists which prove these people are unable to love.


Here are 5 brutal truths about whether or not a narcissist can love you back:

1. They cannot stand a partner who’s better than them

Individuals with high levels of narcissism are obsessed with being perfect and this becomes evident from their interactions with others. Such people are envious of anyone whom they think of as better than them; they become angry when they’re outdone by another person, especially if this is their partner.

2. Narcissists have no patience with imperfections in others

They expect themselves to be perfect, and so everyone else should be, too. So it’s almost impossible for the partner to live up to the narcissist’s expectations and this makes the relationship feels heavy and unhealthy.

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3. They use others to achieve their own goals

It exists a term Narcissistic supply which was first used by Otto Fenichel, a psychologist, at the beginning of the 20th century. It stands for admiration, interpersonal support, or sustenance coming from a person’s environment and essential to their self-esteem.


Here is how Laura 29, who was married to a narcissist for five years, explains the narcissistic supply:

“Like a parachute to a parachute jumper, we just give them the supply of what they need at that time, and, like the parachute, when they have no more need for us, we’re completely forgotten.”

4. They don’t give love, but manipulation

Narcissists use indirect ways of controlling others. They do it because they’re afraid of their Narcissistic supply running out. They try to manipulate, humiliate and belittle their partner so that he or she is totally under their authority and serves their purposes.

Below is the story of Bob who was also married to a narcissistic woman for quite a long time:


The person that I spent 21 years of marriage with does not know the meaning of the word “love.” For, her it is just a word that she uses to manipulate people into doing what she wants them to do. I do feel sorry for her but she has destroyed far too many people, and love is nothing but a tool for her. My advice is to presume a narcissist is incapable of feeling love.

Hopefully, the partner will see the narcissist’s true colors and end the relationship before the poisonous behavior has completely ruined their mental health and self-esteem.

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5. Nothing is ever good enough for narcissists

They always want more, that is the life motto of all of them. When such people get what they want they might decide it’s not that good for them anymore and shift their attention to a new goal.


The reason why they behave this way is that narcissists’ desires are always in flux. Consequently, these people aren’t interested in anything for very long, and their decisions are hardly ever final. That along with their highly materialistic nature makes every narcissist an individual who can never get satisfaction.

Here are a few anonymous quotes from individuals who had a narcissistic tendency, provided by Preston Ni, a behavioral psychologist which reveal that narcissists are very materialistic as said above.

“My accomplishments are everything.”


“I never want people to look upon me as poor. My fiancé and I each drive a Mercedes. The best man at our upcoming wedding also drives a Mercedes.”

We could say more things, but they would also gravitate around the same idea — that sadly narcissists cannot feel and give true love. And the expressions of their so-called love are the expressions of their negative personality traits.

Sadly, people who love narcissists usually fall victim to these false expressions of love.

Hence, if you have a relationship with a narcissist, you better end it. Don’t believe the idea that if you try hard enough, you could find a way to create an authentic connection with such a person. That would only keep you tied up in a relationship that only revolves around functionality, but, is, in fact, poisonous and you are better without it.


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Maria Hakki is a writer and translator. She has been featured in I Heart Intelligence, Australian National Review, and more.