Narcissists in Love? Really?

Distorted love criteria creates danger.

Posted Feb 21, 2011

Are you searching for the love of your life? Are you currently married or in relationship and wondering if either you or your partner has narcissistic traits? Living today in a narcissistic culture where the focus on image and what we DO rules the scene... can certainly cause confusion for many. Awareness of what to look for in healthy relationships is key. If you are an adult raised by narcissistic parents, or just experiencing our image-based culture, you might be asking the wrong questions. It is time to throw away the old criteria on how you are choosing love partners because you might be accustomed to listing things like: "Is he good looking,?" "Is she financially well off?" "Does he have an impressive job?" "Does she drive a classy car?" "Can he dance or play golf?" For those of you involved in on-line dating, does this profile look familiar?

It is time to start asking different questions like: "Is she good looking on the inside?" "Can he manage feelings like he can handle his own company?" "Can she show and feel authentic emotions and display empathy?" "Can he dance internally with his own soul and mine?"

The following factors may be helpful in your love search:
("He" is used for convenience in reading below, but you can insert either gender.)

• When you are with him, is he kind and compassionate? Does he act with integrity?

• Is he committed to, and does he have the capacity for a lifetime of learning and growing with you?

• Is he capable of genuine empathy? Is he interested in working through pain and problems?

• Does he have his own personal style, life, interests, hobbies, and passions - separate from yours? 

• Are most of your values and worldviews (philosophies of life) similar? 

• Do you share common interests so that you can be playful and spend leisure time together that you both enjoy?

• Does he have a sense of humor? Does he use it without hostility but with a good heart?

• Does he want to be your best friend and soul mate, and is he capable of being that? (Does he act like your best friend?

• Does he talk about his feelings and yours, and is he in touch with his own emotional world?

• Can he handle ambivalence and shades of gray and not be too rigid about failures and weaknesses in you, himself, and others?

• Does he add to your soul life as well as your material life, and thereby making your world a wonderful place to be when you are in it together?

• Does he bring out the best in you?

It seems common to worry if we are going to be liked by others. But, we should really be aware of our own feelings and if we have cause to like someone else. So, here's a final question to ask: "How do I feel in the presence of this person?" The right person should be bringing out your authentic self and when that happens, you know it! Even good ole Freud from back in the day said, "Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism." And, Coco Chanel leaves us with, "Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity." Changing your love criteria may change your life.


Additional Resources for Recovery:

Resource Website:

Book: Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Audio Book:

Workshop: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Virtual Workshop. Work recovery in the privacy of your own home, complete with video presentations and homework assignments:



Daughter Intensives: One on one sessions with Dr. Karyl McBride

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