Ever curious about where my visitors come from, I review statistics that tell me what searches have helped people find The Legendary Narcissist website. Today, I noticed that someone had searched for an answer to the question, “How can a narcissist fake love for so long?”
As I pondered my own circumstances, I remembered wondering the same thing. My narcissistic ex was proficient at creating a feeling of love that seemed so real to me. Over the course of time since that relationship ended, I determined that he could not ever have loved me. But, the fact remained, I loved him.
Consider the narcissist as an actor. They thrive on admiration so they select an audience that fulfills their need. As good actors do, they draw from the audience to create a reality that is believable and we, as the audience, become engaged with the story and empathize with the characters in that script. But we don’t know it is an act at the time for our hearts are ruling our heads.
If we honestly evaluate what has happened during the aftermath, we can identify times where we were in full-fledged denial of the obvious facts. Our partners had changed and we chose to believe that their viciousness was caused by something we had done wrong. We tried to fix ourselves and, in so doing, our narcissist was receiving the supply they required. Their acting out “trained” us to prove to them that we loved them enough to change for them. We gave them power and each change we made eroded our sense of self.
Think about it…
That is, perhaps, the most devastating outcome of a narcissistic relationship. When it is finished and you’ve found the strength to abandon your cruel partner, you are left with the arduous task of finding yourself again.
But, let’s get back to the narcissist as an actor. When the actor gets a bad review, they implode because they are forced to see themselves through the critic’s eyes. From what I’ve read on the topic of narcissism, they don’t like what they see when they are forced to look honestly at themselves. We, as the critics who believe that honesty in a relationship is important, don’t know that we have inadvertently set the stage for narcissistic attacks that will result from a narcissist’s fear of NOT being admired. Like a petulant child, a narcissist will act out in rage against the individual who is keeping them from getting what they want … which is admiration.
During my processing phase, I reviewed all the arguments that seemed to come from no where and escalated out of control for silly reasons. I reflected on some of his statements that seemed so uncharacteristically childish to me at the time. It was such a surprise coming from a man in his 50’s but I wrote it off as his “artistic nature.” I wanted him to be the man I believed him to be when my heart assigned itself to loving him and I was resolved about my belief that you cannot change people and, if you love them, you will accept them for WHO they are.
So now we are here. We must clean off the rose-colored glasses that we donned at the onset of our love and realize our own culpability in the exchange. We chose to believe it was love when it wasn’t.
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