Feel Like A Narcissist Magnet? The #1 Reason You Attract Toxic Relationships

Your trauma bond is running the show.

Woman facing her trauma bond and breaking it irynakhabliuk, aluxum, pexels | Canva 

I was convinced I had a narcissist target branded on my forehead.

Everywhere I turned, there was another narcissist, and I was the chosen target. Potential love interests, new friends, colleagues, you name it. It was like no one was safe — like no one was healthy.

After ending a long-term narcissistic relationship, I recognized the red flags. I also knew to end those relationships quickly. Yet, the pattern was brutal.

  1. Meet someone new.
  2. Feel excited, even giddy, that this new person came into my life.
  3. Think about them often — first thing in the morning, last thing each evening.
  4. Check my phone non-stop, so I wouldn’t miss a communication.
  5. I stayed up late talking or disrupting what I was doing to take the call.
  6. See the red flags.
  7. End the relationship.
  8. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

My trauma bond was running the show. It was like a beacon, summoning narcissists from all over the world. My trauma bond kept entangling me in narcissist drama, which only strengthened my trauma bond. It was crazy-making.

RELATED: 11 Signs Of Trauma Bonding — And How To Break Free From This Unhealthy Cycle


What is a trauma bond?

A trauma bond is a chemical reaction in the nervous system of the victim. It requires both repetitive abuse and rare or unpredictable pleasure.

Imagine being put down by your boyfriend for two weeks — you’re told you’ve gained weight, you’ve let yourself go, your clothes are frumpy, and you’re turning into your mother.

After listening to the near-constant abuse for weeks, one evening he comes home, wraps his arms around your waist, and whispers in your ear, "You are so sexy…" as he pushes himself up against you. The dopamine hit, or chemical surge from this moment is so great, that you’ll tolerate anything to get more of it — even more abuse.

RELATED: 5 Personality Traits That Attract Narcissists & Abusers


What are the signs of a trauma bond?

The trauma bond connects a victim to their abuser. Initially, it prevents the victim from even seeing they’re being abused. Once they see the abuse, the trauma bond prevents them from leaving. And once the relationship has ended, the trauma bond makes the victim long for the abuser’s return.

It’s seriously messed up.

You’d think the trauma bond would break when you get over your ex and move on. Sadly, that’s just not true. The trauma bond is more than being hung up on your ex.

Years, even decades, after leaving, you find you continue to attract one new narcissist after the next. Worst yet, you seem to be attracted to toxic personalities. That’s the work of the trauma bond, too.


RELATED: 4 Steps To Heal From Trauma Bonding After Ending A Narcissistic Relationship

The lifecycle of a trauma bond

If you’re attracting toxic relationships now, you likely started with toxic or dysfunctional relationships. And if you’re like many survivors, your first trauma bond was with one of your parents. That relationship set the stage for how you behave, what you’ll tolerate, and your desire for that chemical hit.

Your adulthood toxic relationships reinforced the bond. And here you are.

Ready to stop attracting toxic relationships?

The moment you realize you have a trauma bond; you are back in the driver’s seat. No longer are your relationships simply bad luck. You now see you are the flame to a moth.


Fortunately, you have the power to change it. You have the power to break your trauma bond. And when that happens, you not only stop attracting new toxic people into your life, you actually repel them, so you can break the painful cycle once and for all.

That’s when life becomes extraordinary.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of ongoing emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissist, you are not alone.


Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of who you are or anything you've done wrong.

If you feel as though you may be in danger, there is support available 24/7/365 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

RELATED: The Real Reason Why Strong Women Attract Narcissists

Dr. Melissa Kalt, MD is a trauma and covert narcissistic abuse expert who helps high-impact women break free from the longstanding aftereffects of narcissistic abuse.