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Why Strong Women and Narcissists Attract Each Other

Knowing signs that a new partner may be a narcissist can help with boundaries.

Key points

  • It is a common misconception that narcissists only look for emotionally dependent partners.
  • What appears to be an overabundance of self-assurance in a narcissist, is a protective wall, blocking insecurity and lack of self-confidence.
  • Narcissists often feel safe with strong partners as they have always struggled with a consistent parent figure.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Source: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

One of the most common misconceptions is that narcissists only look for emotionally dependent partners who lack confidence and self-esteem. In fact, narcissists are often attracted to strong, confident, and self-assured women.

While this may seem counterintuitive, it is important to realize that the narcissistic traits of grandiosity and confidence are really a mask for deep insecurity. What appears to be an overabundance of self-assurance is actually a protective wall designed to block the narcissist from acknowledging his own insecurity and lack of self-confidence.

At the same time, the narcissist uses that sense of self-confidence and assurance to portray a personality that is attractive to a confident, successful woman. She looks for a man who does not need her ongoing support and who has the strength and ability to manage any situation.

Confident women can be swept off their feet by an abundance of attention. Most narcissists can assume any interest or focus in the initial stages of dating. They become the partner the woman has always looked for. They do it with enough authenticity to carry on the charade for a short period of time until the relationship has solidified. They can start to reveal their true personality.

Narcissists often feel safe with strong partners as they have always struggled with a consistent parent figure. When you take charge, manage life effectively, and create your own success, this becomes a draw for the narcissist. Coupling this with your ability to show empathy and kindness creates a natural magnet for the narcissist who desperately wants to have those characteristics.

In addition, the narcissist sees the strong woman as a conquest. It provides him with a sense of being equal or worthy of having a relationship with someone successful, independent, and strong.

Signs Your New Partner May Be A Narcissist

As a confident, strong woman, knowing the red flags to look for to identify a narcissist is essential. Remember, anyone can display some of these behaviors occasionally, but if they are repetitive, it is more likely there is a problem:

  • Mr. Perfect – while the new partner may be Mr. Right, there may be a problem if he seems almost too perfect. A narcissist will remember what you say you like, enjoy, or have a passion about and suddenly incorporate everything you like into his preferences, choices, and decisions.
  • Pushing boundaries – a narcissist has difficulties with boundaries and may use jokes, comments, or actions to attempt to push your boundaries. If you note this and bring it up, they try to deflect the issue, make a joke, or even blame you or someone else.
  • Playing on your empathy – through manipulation, the narcissist plays on your empathy or kindness to get his own way. This typically includes blame and attempts to shame you into doing what they want.
  • Wanting to be alone all the time – while it may seem romantic, the narcissist creates a sense of isolation and dependence when they insist on being alone. Be cautious if the new partner never wants to go out, spend time with friends, or introduce you to his friends and family. In some cases, the narcissist may be willing to go out with you but never wants you to spend time alone with your friends and family or out of his sight.

If you believe a partner is a narcissist or has narcissistic traits, considering if the relationship should move forward is a critical step. The longer a strong, confident woman stays in a narcissistic relationship, the greater the challenge in walking away.

Working with a therapist to clarify your relationship needs, boundaries, and expectations is an effective way to evaluate the possibilities. This is also helpful in making a clean break from the narcissist early in the relationship if it is not sustainable. While the narcissist can seek counseling and make changes to become a healthier partner, this is not a common response for those with this personality disorder.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW and Author of Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency to find Everlasting Love and Wake Up Recovery for Codependents

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