BY CHRISTINE-MARIE LIWAG DIXON
No relationship is perfect, but some relationships are downright toxic. If you find that your partner is more preoccupied with themself than, well, pretty much anything else, you just might be in love with a narcissist. Should you stick things out, hoping you can change their narcissistic ways, or should you break up? Is a narcissist even capable of love?
The short answer is no, or at least that they can’t love you the way you deserve to be loved. “If you’re in love with someone who’s narcissistic, your needs will always come second,” licensed marriage and family therapist Virginia Gilbert told HuffPost. “They’re too busy assessing what they need from you to see you as a whole, separate person with your own needs and desires.”
This doesn’t mean that a narcissist can’t care for you, but it does mean that your relationship is bound to be a toxic one. A narcissist may make you feel loved, at least for a while, but even this is a sign of narcissism. Narcissists specialize in a technique called love bombing, turning up the charm and making you feel like the luckiest person in the world.
If they say they love you early in the relationship, it might be easy to get swept up in the — but don’t be fooled. “If you think it’s too early for them to really love you, it probably is,” licensed therapist Rebecca Weiler told Healthline. “Or if you feel like they don’t know enough about you to actually love you, they probably don’t.”
The good news is that true narcissists, that is, people who meet the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, are fairly rare. Less than 5 percent of the population has full-blown NPD, although far more people have narcissistic traits.
At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter if your partner is a true narcissist or not. If you don’t feel like you’re being valued, or that your needs are being met in the relationship, it’s time to move on.