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Lights, camera, action! Ever felt like you’re co-starring in a telenovela titled “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?”

Spoiler alert: It’s adoration and control! But hold onto your popcorn, there’s more to this plot than meets the eye. Through laughs and gasps, our article takes you on a riveting journey, unmasking narcissistic desires and dishing out survival tips. We’ll delve into:

  • Narcissism 101: The Backstory
  • Entitlement: Their Royal Highness
  • Emotional manipulation: The Hunger Games
  • Coping Strategies: The Great Escape!

Roll credits! 🎬

Table of contents

A Glimpse Into Narcissism

Alright, let’s dive right in! Picture this: You meet someone and they’re the sun, the moon, and all the stars in your sky. But, before you know it, they seem to be the black hole consuming all your energy. You, my friend, might have stumbled upon a narcissist.

But hold on! What on Earth is narcissism? Narcissism, my dear Watson, is like that friend who not only loves looking at themselves in the mirror but expects the mirror to applaud. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an actual psychological condition characterized by grandiosity, a hunger for admiration, and a lack of empathy. You might have heard of the famous Greek mythological character Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. Let’s just say Narcissus wouldn’t be out of place at a narcissists’ gathering.

Why it’s Vital to Know What a Narcissist Wants in a Relationship

“What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?” Ah, that’s the million-dollar question! Like solving a Rubik’s Cube while blindfolded, understanding the desires of someone with NPD in a relationship can be, well, complicated. But, hold your hats because understanding this is as essential as knowing that you shouldn’t mix stripes with polka dots (fashion faux pas alert!).

  1. Self-Preservation: Knowledge is power, and knowing what a narcissist wants can save you from emotional exploitation. These emotional vampires can suck the joy right out of you!
  2. Preventing Emotional Damage: By knowing what you’re dealing with, you can avoid falling into the dark abyss of gaslighting, manipulation tactics, and the heartache of unreciprocated emotional investment.
  3. Helping Others: Your BFF, your brother, or even your postman might be entangled with a narcissist. Your insights might just be the lifeboat they need.
  4. Navigating the Relationship: If for some reason, like being stuck in a never-ending soap opera, you decide to stay in the relationship, understanding their needs can help you set boundaries.

So, whether it’s overt narcissism with its attention-seeking, self-centeredness, grandiosity, and entitlement, or the more sneaky covert narcissism, where the person is subtler but equally self-absorbed, knowing what a narcissist wants in a relationship is the compass to navigate these tumultuous waters.

Buckle up, as we embark on this journey to unravel the mysteries of narcissists. What does a narcissist want in a relationship? We are about to dive into the depths of emotional manipulation, psychological exploitation, and even some tips and tricks to keep afloat amidst the storm.

Remember, in the wise words of G.I. Joe, “Knowing is half the battle.” So let’s arm ourselves with knowledge and don the cape of wisdom to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the perils of narcissistic abuse.

Stay tuned, the adventure has only just begun!

10 Traits a Narcissist Wants To See in a Partner

Ever wonder what Dracula would look like in dating form? Well, brace yourself! When it comes to the realm of relationships, narcissists are the emotional vampires. “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?” you ask? Let’s sink our teeth into the top 10 traits they crave in a partner

#1 Loyalty

Narcissists demand loyalty akin to a royal court. They yearn for subjects that never question their authority. Staying by their side through thick and thin (mostly thin), and not so much as thinking about mutiny, is high on their list.

#2 Someone That Doesn’t Ask Questions

Sssh! It’s like a library in here. Narcissists prefer partners who keep the questions to a minimum. Like a magician, they don’t want anyone to reveal the secrets behind their illusions. The less inquisitive you are, the more attractive you become in their eyes.

#3 Unstable Self Esteem

Low self-esteem is like catnip to narcissists. They are pros at emotional exploitation and know exactly how to manipulate someone whose self-esteem is as shaky as a Jenga tower nearing its end game.

#4 Guilty Feelings

Narcissists thrive on partners who are like Dickensian characters – full of guilt. It makes it easier to control and manipulate them. If you’re constantly feeling like you should be attending Guiltaholics Anonymous meetings, you’re the perfect prey.

#5 Empathy

Empathy is good, right? But to a narcissist, your empathy is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. They relish in your ability to care for others (especially them) and will exploit this to keep you focused on their needs.

#6 Someone That Feels Responsible For Others

For a narcissist, finding someone who can’t help but feel responsible for everyone’s happiness is like striking gold. They’ll pile their problems onto you until you’re bending over backward and doing cartwheels to keep them satisfied.

#7 High Status

If you have status, be warned! Narcissists love to hitch their wagon to a shining star. By aligning with someone who has status, they seek to bolster their fragile ego and borrow some of your limelight.

#8 Someone Who’ll Set Aside Their Needs

Ready to set your needs on the back burner, perhaps in another country? Narcissists love partners willing to serve their desires, while theirs collect dust. If your diary reads “Me-time: rescheduled to 2045,” you might be in the narcissist’s sights.

#9 Passivity

If you’re passive, it’s a narcissist’s dream! They’re like directors seeking actors who won’t question the script. If you’re content to let someone else call all the shots, you might as well wear a sign saying “Auditioning for the role of Narcissist’s Partner.”

#10 Forgiveness

Does your forgiving nature rival a saint’s? Narcissists crave forgiveness like a desert craves rain. With a partner who perpetually forgives, they can engage in the same toxic behavior with impunity.

Final Takeaway

Now you know the top 10 traits a narcissist is fishing for. If you see yourself in these traits, it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship. Remember, the key to a healthy relationship is mutual respect and reciprocity, not a one-sided emotional feeding frenzy! So, throw that garlic around your neck and wield your stakes – don’t let the emotional vampires get you!

The Core Desires of a Narcissist in a Relationship

What Does a Narcissist Want in a Relationship Find Out!

So, you’ve mustered the courage to ask, “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?”. Well, kudos! Let’s dive into the enigmatic world of narcissists and explore their core desires in relationships like intrepid explorers unearthing ancient treasures.

Control and Dominance: The Puppeteers in Action

Imagine a puppeteer, pulling strings and making the puppets dance to their tunes. That, my dear reader, is a metaphorical glimpse of a narcissist’s first love: Control and Dominance. They adore having power over their partners, making them mere extensions of their grandiose selves.

Why do they do this? Control helps them ensure that their partners won’t abandon them – one of their deepest, darkest fears. They’ll use every tool in their manipulation toolkit, from gaslighting to guilt-tripping, to keep their partners right where they want them. This power play is like a chess game, and the narcissist always aims to say “checkmate”.

Admiration and Validation: The Applause That Never Ends

Imagine a rock star on stage, basking in the applause. Now, imagine the narcissist, who wants that applause to never end. No intermission, no breaks, just an everlasting standing ovation. That’s right! A narcissist craves admiration and validation like a cat craves catnip.

In the narcissist’s eyes, their partner’s primary role is to be the doting fan club president. They want their ego caressed and massaged constantly. Their self-esteem is paradoxically both through the roof and fragile as an eggshell, which means they need external validation like plants need sunlight.

Lack of Empathy and Emotional Support: The Irony

You’d think with all the emotional manipulation, narcissists would be experts in emotions, right? Well, think again. Narcissists are like smartphones with no signal when it comes to empathy; they just can’t find it. They’re infamous for their lack of empathy, and ironically, they don’t want emotional support from their partners.

A narcissist’s emotional vocabulary is basically non-existent when it comes to others. They want to be the star of their relationship, with no screen time for anyone else’s feelings or needs. They’re the leading actors, and their partners are the props.

The Holy Trinity of Narcissism in Relationships

So there you have it, folks! The Holy Trinity of a narcissist’s desires in a relationship – control, validation, and a lack of empathy. It’s like a cocktail that’s all alcohol and no mixer. This understanding is the first step in recognizing the signs of narcissistic abuse and safeguarding oneself from the emotional exploitation and the toxic whirlwind that is a relationship with a narcissist.

Stay woke, and remember, knowledge is your shield and armor in the mysterious and tumultuous realm of narcissism in relationships.

The Narcissist’s Charm: Initial Attraction

Ahoy mateys! As we sail further into the tumultuous waters of “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?”, let’s make a pit stop at the enchanting island of Initial Attraction. It’s here that the narcissist’s charm takes center stage like a superstar at a sold-out concert. But beware, this is the siren’s song, my friends, and if you’re not careful, you might just crash into the rocky cliffs of narcissistic abuse.

Love Bombing: A Blitzkrieg of Affection

First off, let’s talk about the narcissist’s blitzkrieg of affection, known in the realm of psychology as “love bombing”. Picture this: a hailstorm of compliments, gifts, affection, and promises of undying love. It’s like they’re the overzealous contestant on a shopping spree, grabbing everything in sight.

But wait a second, let’s pause. Is this genuine love? Nope! It’s a cunning ploy. Love bombing is the narcissist’s go-to move to reel you into their spiderweb. They make you feel like the center of the universe – all in an attempt to gain control and power over you. Think of it as the bait that lures you into the trap.

False Promises and Idealization: Building Castles in the Air

Now, we enter the phase where narcissists are architects building majestic castles, not in prime real estate, but in the air! They become masters of false promises and idealization. They will promise you the moon, the stars, and a trip to Mars if that’s what it takes. They will tell you that you are the soulmate they’ve been searching for all their lives.

The key here is idealization; they’ll put you on a pedestal so high, the air gets thin. You’re not you anymore; you’re the idealized version of what they want. But remember, this pedestal is made of quicksand. The narcissist doesn’t love you, but the image of you they have created.

Why, oh why, do they do this?

Narcissists have an insatiable need to feed their egos and they need a willing participant in their me-centered universe. By showering you with affection and promises, they make sure you are emotionally invested. They need someone to reflect their grandiosity back at them.

Don’t Be Hooked!

Now that you know what’s behind the intoxicating charm of the narcissist in the initial stages of a relationship, you’re forearmed! Think of love bombing and idealization as the glossy cover of a book. It’s enticing but tells you nothing about the actual content inside.

Stay savvy, be vigilant, and remember that when it comes to a relationship with a narcissist, all that glitters is most certainly not gold; sometimes it’s just cleverly-disguised pyrite.

Hold on tight as we continue to navigate the stormy seas of narcissism. Our journey into understanding “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?” is just getting to the juicy parts!

The Cycle of Emotional Manipulation

Fasten your seatbelts, folks! We are now venturing into the rollercoaster that is the narcissist’s cycle of emotional manipulation. Buckle up, because “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?” just got a lot more sinister. You see, it’s not all love songs and roses with our narcissistic friends; they’re also fans of dark arts such as gaslighting, devaluation, and the push-pull technique. So grab your garlic and your stake, and let’s dive in!

Gaslighting: Mind Games Galore

Gaslighting is like the David Copperfield of emotional manipulation; it’s where a narcissist turns your reality into a smoke-and-mirrors magic show. They’ll deny facts, manipulate events, and make you question your own sanity. In the world of gaslighting, up is down, left is right, and somehow it’s raining while the sun’s out.

You might hear things like “You’re too sensitive,” or “You’re imagining things.” This is all part of the narcissist’s repertoire to exert control. It’s like being in a psychological thriller where you’re the unsuspecting protagonist.

Why Gaslighting?

Because it’s the perfect smoke bomb. The narcissist keeps you off-balance, ensuring that you’re too busy questioning yourself to challenge their behavior.

Devaluation: From Pedestal to Rock Bottom

Remember the idealization phase? Well, now you’re on a free fall from grace. The same person who said you hung the moon is now critiquing how you hung it in the wrong part of the sky. Suddenly, everything you do is wrong.

Devaluation is where the narcissist starts to pick you apart. Their critiques can range from your appearance to your intellect. And, like a twisted form of Stockholm Syndrome, you may find yourself trying to regain their approval. It’s like a toxic game where the narcissist keeps moving the goalposts.

The Nefarious Purpose?

By breaking down your self-esteem, they can mold you into someone who serves their narcissistic needs.

The Push-Pull Technique: Emotional Yo-Yo

Last but definitely not least, we have the push-pull technique. Imagine you’re a human yo-yo. Now imagine that yo-yo being in the hands of a fickle child. The narcissist will pull you close (through idealization) and then suddenly push you away (through devaluation).

This emotional see-saw is as exhausting as it sounds. It’s the narcissist’s way of ensuring you are constantly striving for their validation and attention. You’re the dog, and they’re holding the bone.

But Why?

The push-pull technique ensures the narcissist maintains power and control. It keeps you hooked. You become addicted to the highs and are willing to wade through the lows.

Break the Chains!

Understanding the cycle of emotional manipulation is essential in answering “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?”. Knowledge is power. Recognize these tactics for what they are, and take steps to protect yourself. Life’s too short to be someone’s emotional yo-yo.

Now go forth, dear reader, and may your relationships be narcissist-free zones!

The Double Standards in a Narcissist’s Relationship

Alright, let’s play a game called “Spot the Double Standard.” Our protagonists in this game are the narcissists. Now, when it comes to answering “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?”, remember, they’re more complicated than an unsolved Rubik’s Cube. They’ve got a special rulebook which only applies to them, and guess what? Double standards are their bread and butter. Expectations of perfection? Check. Inability to handle criticism? Double-check.

Expectations of Perfection: Because Only the Best Will Do

Ever been on a tightrope? That’s you in a relationship with a narcissist. They expect you to balance the weight of their ego, self-esteem, and a gazillion other things on your tiny, human-sized shoulders. Your narcissistic partner may expect you to look perfect, talk perfect, and act perfect. Anything less, and you’re just not cutting the mustard.

This might include:

  • Being a mind reader (bonus points if you can read the narcissist’s mind through walls).
  • Having the perfect look, because apparently, you are their trophy.
  • Being available for their whims faster than a pizza delivery service.


Because to the narcissist, you’re an extension of themselves. Your perfection reflects on their grandiose self-image. They are Michelangelo and you’re their David – though a lot less chiseled and with more clothes on.

Inability to Handle Criticism: Fragile Egos Ahead

Now, here comes the twist! While they expect you to be flawless, narcissists handle criticism with the grace of an elephant on roller skates. Criticize them, and brace yourself for a tempest of defensive rage or a sullen withdrawal. You see, their egos are so fragile, they make glass figurines look like tanks.

This can manifest as:

  • Deflecting the blame onto you. Suddenly, everything including global warming is your fault.
  • The infamous silent treatment, where you are thrown into the abyss of non-existence.
  • Gaslighting you into thinking you’re the real problem (see Cycle of Emotional Manipulation).

What’s the deal?

Their fragile egos are like inflated balloons, and criticism is the sharp needle that can burst them. They must protect their self-image at all costs. It’s like they are wearing a suit of armor made of eggshells.

The Golden Nugget of Wisdom

The double standards in a narcissist’s relationship are a one-way street that leads to the land of frustration. If you find yourself on this treacherous path, remember: you are not a circus performer. You don’t have to jump through hoops. Know your worth and consider if this is the emotional toll you’re willing to pay. Sometimes the admission fee to the circus just isn’t worth it.

You, my friend, deserve a relationship where double standards are double-ditched. Now go, be free from the chains of the narcissistic double standards! 🚀

The Effect on the Partner: Watch Out for Emotional Hurricanes

Hold onto your hat because we’re about to dive into the stormy seas that follow when you are in a relationship with a narcissist. We’ve been over “What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship?”, but now, let’s talk about what it means for you. Here, you’ll find no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but an assortment of destructive effects: erosion of self-esteem, emotional exhaustion, and being cut off from your support systems like a ship lost at sea.

Erosion of Self-esteem: I Came in Like a Wrecking Ball!

Imagine your self-esteem as a glorious sandcastle. Now, imagine the narcissist as an excited puppy that just can’t wait to jump all over it. They might belittle you, criticize you, or even make you feel like the gum under their shoe.

Some tactics they might use to erode your self-esteem:

  • Constant comparison to others: “Why can’t you be more like Karen?”
  • Name-calling and belittling: “You’re as useful as a screen door on a submarine.”
  • Manipulation tactics to make you feel never good enough: “I got 99 problems and you are definitely one.”

Here’s the takeaway: It’s not you, it’s them. Their need for dominance and control is so voracious, they can’t help but knock down anyone who’s around.

Emotional Exhaustion: I Need a Nap for My Soul

Ever tried running a marathon with no training? That’s your emotional state in a narcissistic relationship. The never-ending drama, the emotional manipulation, the gaslighting, it’s like being on an emotional treadmill set to ‘ultra-marathon’. You’re left feeling drained, empty, and ready to wave the white flag.

Signs you’re emotionally exhausted:

  • Feeling overwhelmed or on edge.
  • No energy for hobbies or things you used to love.
  • Feeling detached from your own emotions.

Being Isolated from Support Systems: Welcome to Lonely Island

Narcissists are like those annoying pop-up ads that just want all your attention. They isolate you from friends and family because they want to be the center of your universe. They might guilt-trip you for spending time with others or bad-mouth your loved ones until you start to distance yourself.

What isolation might look like:

  • Fewer invitations to social gatherings because, well, the narcissist scared everyone away.
  • Feeling disconnected or out of touch with family and friends.
  • Being criticized for wanting to spend time with people other than the narcissist.

Grab the Lifeline

If you’re reading this while nodding and thinking, “Yup, that’s my life,” know that you don’t have to stay stuck in the storm. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional. There are lifeboats waiting.

Remember, a relationship should be a partnership, not a battleground. Don’t let a narcissist turn your life into an emotional action movie where you’re not the hero, but the one constantly ducking for cover. 🌈💪

How to Cope with a Narcissistic Partner: Get Your Survival Kit Ready

Alright, partner in survival! Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of dealing with a narcissistic partner. You’ve been trying to figure out what does a narcissist want in a relationship, and by now, you may feel like a contestant on a bizarre reality show. Fret not! We’re about to equip you with a survival kit to cope with the emotional equivalent of a zombie apocalypse.

Setting Boundaries: Lay Down the Law

First and foremost, setting boundaries with a narcissist is like building a fortress around your precious sanity. Think of it as your very own Game of Thrones wall. These boundaries will guard you from the narcissist’s emotional exploitation and manipulative tactics.

Here are some solid gold tips:

  • Communicate Clearly: Say it with me, “No is a complete sentence.”
  • Consistency is Key: Stick to your boundaries like glue. If they see a crack, they’ll pounce.
  • Be Firm but Fair: Keep the emotions in check, and be as composed as a British guard.

Remember, boundaries are not meant to control the narcissist (good luck with that) but to protect yourself.

Seeking Support: Phone a Friend!

You’re not an island. Well, unless you’re Madagascar, in which case, congratulations on your geographical status. But as a human, it’s crucial to have a support system. Sharing your experiences with friends, family, or professionals can be as refreshing as an ice-cold soda on a hot day.

Your support crew checklist:

  • Friends: The ones who don’t get bored of your stories.
  • Family: The ones who have to love you (Kidding! They adore you).
  • Professionals: The ones with diplomas and comforting words.

Knowing When to Leave: Exit, Stage Left!

Okay, real talk. Sometimes, the best way to cope with a narcissistic partner is to pack up your emotional baggage and hightail it out of there. Like a bad movie, you don’t have to stay till the end.

Signs it’s time to scoot:

  • Walking on Eggshells: If you feel like a tightrope walker in your own home, it’s time.
  • Unhealthy Sacrifices: Are you giving up hobbies, friends, and dreams? Red flag central.
  • The Bad Outweighs the Good: If your relationship was a sandwich, is it 90% yuck and 10% yum?

Look, no one deserves to be in a toxic relationship where they’re being drained like a vampire’s midnight snack. So, arm yourself with boundaries, get your support team on speed dial, and know when to say, “That’s all folks!” You are not alone, and you are certainly not at the mercy of someone’s narcissistic personality disorder. Know your worth, and don’t be afraid to fight for your own happiness and well-being. 🌟🛡️

The Finale: Let’s Take A Bow and Sum It Up!

Now, my friend, we’ve reached the end of our enlightening quest to decipher What Does A Narcissist Want In A Relationship. From navigating treacherous waters to dodging emotional cannonballs, let’s take a breather and summarize our findings.

The Nitty-Gritty Recap: A Narcissist’s Wish List

  • Admiration Galore: Like a cat demands to be worshipped, narcissists crave an endless supply of adulation. They’re like admiration vacuum cleaners!
  • The Royal Treatment: Expecting the red carpet wherever they go, a sense of entitlement is a narcissist’s middle name.
  • Sneaky Power Plays: They’re like puppet masters when it comes to control and dominance. Be wary!
  • Double Standards Extravaganza: Oh yes, narcissists want perfection from you but despise criticism themselves. It’s their twisted version of “Do as I say, not as I do”.
  • The Emotional Hunger Games: They play with emotional manipulation like it’s an Olympic sport. Watch out for gaslighting, devaluation, and the push-pull technique.

Your Wellness, The VIP

Alright, let’s get serious for a hot minute. You, dear reader, deserve happiness, respect, and emotional stability. So, if you find yourself entangled with a narcissistic partner, remember that your well-being is priority numero uno.

Don’t feel like you have to be the hero in this movie. Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is make a graceful exit. Think of it as switching channels from a horror movie to a relaxing nature documentary.

Empower yourself with knowledge, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be like a panda – cute, cuddly, but ready to climb away to your own happy branch when things get prickly.

So, go forth! Embrace your journey, surround yourself with positive vibes, and never forget the importance of your mental and emotional health. As the great philosophers of yesteryears probably didn’t say but should have: “Don’t let narcissists rain on your parade”.

And, remember: When in doubt, choose YOU. Always. 🌈💪💙


What are the signs of a narcissistic partner?

A narcissistic partner often displays arrogance, needs constant admiration, and lacks empathy. They might manipulate, gaslight, and make everything about them. Their fragile ego can turn tiny disputes into full-blown arguments.

How does a narcissist manipulate in relationships?

Narcissists use a cocktail of manipulation tactics like gaslighting, playing the victim, guilt-tripping, and exploiting your weaknesses. They twist words and situations to make themselves appear superior or to gain control.

Why do narcissists seek constant admiration?

Narcissists have a bottomless hunger for admiration to feed their inflated self-image. The constant praise acts like a safety blanket, shielding them from deep-seated insecurities and maintaining their grandiose sense of self.

Can a relationship with a narcissist improve?

Improving a relationship with a narcissist is tough because they rarely acknowledge their behavior. However, setting firm boundaries and urging them to seek therapy might lead to some positive changes.

How can I protect myself in a relationship with a narcissist?

Protect yourself by maintaining a support system, setting boundaries, and being aware of manipulation tactics. It’s crucial to remember your self-worth and seek professional help if you’re struggling to cope with the narcissistic abuse.

What Does a Narcissist Want in a Relationship Find Out!


This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for clinical care. Please consult a health care provider for guidance specific to your case.

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