How Narcissist LOVES YOU To ( YOUR) DEATH!

Uploaded 7/8/2023, approx. 34 minute read

Now we are all acquainted with the concept of libido.

In psychoanalytic theory, it is the psychic energy of the life instinct, especially the sexual instinct.

So initially libido was narrowly sexual, but now libido includes all the expressions of love, pleasure, self-reservation, eros and so on. So libido is a crucial concept in psychoanalytic theory when it comes to the analysis of love.

What is love? How is it manifested? What are the energetic sources of love?

In analytic psychology of Carl Jung, the general life force that provides energy for all types of activities is called libido, biological activities, sexual, social, cultural, creative and so on and so forth. So libido, and today we use libido and libidiness and so on in the Jungian sense, actually.

Now here's a very important and blood curdling distinction, something I have to tell you.

Healthy, normal human beings love other people in whatever way, passionate, companionate, you name it, romantically, erotically. Healthy people, normal people, not so healthy, but normative people. People who see around you, statistically speaking, they love other people via the life instinct, via the life force, via the love psychic energy, via in short the libido.

The narcissist loves other people in his mind. He interprets it as love. It's not love actually, but in his mind, if you ask a narcissist, he says, "Yeah, I'm in love," or "I love her," or "I love him." It's not real love, but that's how the narcissist misinterprets his internal processes.

Okay, narcissist experiences what they call love, not through the life instinct, but through the death instinct. That is terrifying.

Disrealization, disunderstanding, this insight is terrifying because when other people love, healthy love, romantic love, passionate, companionate love, whatever type of love, when you love someone as a healthy person, you want them to live as long as possible and to be happy and to experience well-being and to actualize their potentials and to accomplish things. You want them to flourish and thrive.

When the narcissist loves you, he wants you to die. He wants to kill you, metaphorically, of course. He wants to kill you because narcissists, and to some extent, borderlines, are besieged by an incomprehensibly unfathomable, profound sense of abandonment and grief and shame and guilt and self-loathing and self-hatred and inferiority. They're terrified of losing you.

The fear of loss, the imminence of loss, is imminent, is everywhere in the narcissist mind. One could even cast the entire narcissistic pathology as a desperate attempt to avoid loss by divorcing reality and killing what is left.

Because, you see, if you kill the love object, then the body, the corpse, is always there. If you disable, deactivate the love object, if you remove the ontological attributes of the love object, in other words, if you render the love object not real, if you internalize the love object and convert it into an internal interject, an internal object, if you disable the love object, if you freeze the love object, then this love object will never abandon you.

Coercive snapshotting completes this process. It's about forcing you as the narcissist's love object, as the narcissist's intimate partner, as the narcissist in a significant other, forcing you to conform to the inert, dead, mummified vision of you in the narcissist mind. He wants you to be as dead as the internal object that represents you in his mind. He wants you to be as controllable. The narcissist wants to have 100% control over you, but how can this be accomplished if you're alive? I mean, you have to go to the toilet, don't you? You go to the bathroom for these two or three minutes, the narcissist is, you're out of the narcissist's control.

So, optimally and ideally, you would never go to the bathroom. In short, you would be dead.

Healthy people love through the libido, through the life instinct. The narcissist loves through fanaticism, through the death instinct.

Narcissists equate love with life-threatening shame and with inevitable death.


Because in early childhood, the narcissist chose death over life. The narcissist sacrificed his true self, human sacrifice, and created a dead entity, the false self. And the narcissist did this, all this, to avoid pain and hurt and shame and to somehow secure the love of his parents, especially his mother.

Narcissists learn to equate love with dying, disappearing, vanishing. Their love is inanimate. Their love is an artifice or artifact. Their love is not dynamic, it's static. Their love freezes the world. It's an icicle, it's an iceberg, and you are trapped in it like an ant in amber. You're a fossil in the narcissist's mental archaeology and paleontology. You're just a fossil, and the narcissist never bothers to excavate for you because you are safe in the ground and you will never ever go away.

The narcissist is in love with death and with a death instinct. The death instinct in psychoanalytic theory is a drive whose aim is to reduce psychical tension, anxiety, to the lowest possible point, to mitigate it.

Death, in death, there's no anxiety, there's no fear, there are non-negative emotions in death.

So the death instinct is directed inward as a self-destructive tendency and is later turned outward in the form of aggression, the aggressive instinct.

In the dual instinct theory of Sigmund Freud, the death instinct or Thanatos, later called the superego and so on, it is opposed to the life instinct or Eros.

The superego is opposite of libido, life instinct, death instinct, Eros, Thanatos.

The death instinct is a drive underlying such behaviors as aggressiveness, sadism, masochism.

There's even a Nirvana principle. In classical psychoanalytic theory, the Nirvana principle is a tendency of all instincts and all life processes to remove tension, to seek the stability and equilibrium of the inorganic state, the dead state, the inanimate objects.

The trend of the death instinct is to render you a lifeless object, thereby incapable of inflicting hurt and provoking or triggering shame in the narcissist.

The narcissist emotionally invests in all this.

It is a common mistake to believe that emotions and emotional investment is only about life and love. No, it's not. It's also about death. All of us, we all are emotionally invested in death-like processes.

For example, materialism is a death cult because in materialism we prefer inanimate objects to animate objects. In materialism we prefer objects to people, so it's a death cult. It's a death cult with a lot of emotional investment.

This emotional investment is known as consumerism.

Similarly with the narcissist, he is heavily emotionally invested in the death instinct and in the way he exercises the death instinct to attain control and subsume his intimate partner, rendering her dead, at least emotionally dead, in the process.

So there is cathexis.

Cathexis in psychoanalytic theory is the investment of psychic energy in an object of any kind, dead or alive. So a wish is cathexis.

So we can affect a wish, we can affect a person, a goal, an idea, a social group. We can even affect ourselves. If we over-protect ourselves, we are narcissists.

These objects are cathected. In other words, they are emotionally invested in and there is emotional significance to these objects.

Some of the emotional investment is positive. Other types of emotional investment are negative. You can hate someone. It's a form of emotional investment.

You can love someone. It's a form of emotional investment.

And so cathects in healthy, normal people to affective discharge or affect display. Affective discharge or affect display is the expression of emotions, anything, sorrow, anger, love, happiness, you name it.

So people express emotions and if you leverage the affect display, if you work on the affect display somehow, you can access your emotions on a much deeper level.

In other words, you can go from affect to emotion, not only from emotion to affect.

So in love, we have both elements. In true love, we have positive cathaxis coupled with enhanced affect display.

But with the narcissist, there is exactly the opposite. Negative cathaxis with reduced affect display.

The narcissist doesn't show you that he loves you. He abuses you. He controls you. He humiliates you. He breaks you apart. He prevails over you. He brainwashes you. He coerces you. He forces you to conform to his idealized vision of you. He resents your autonomy and independence and agency.

In short, the narcissist doesn't display any positive affects. He displays negative affects.

And there is reduced positive affect display in the narcissist's so-called love.

Another reason to think that narcissists are incapable of true love.

In classical psychoanalytic theory, there's something called object cathaxis. It is the investment of libido or psychic energy in objects outside the self.

I mentioned a person, but it could be a goal, an idea, activity, and so on and so forth. Object libido.

Narcissists don't have that. Narcissists, I repeat, don't have that. They have narcissistic libido. Narcissistic libido is self-directed.

So what the narcissist does, he internalizes reality, meaningful people, situations, even, ideas that internalize. He is internalized. He converts them to internal artifacts or internal objects. And then he directs his libido and very often his death instinct. He directs onto, internally onto these objects.

So he doesn't have object cathaxis or object libido.

In short, all the interactions that you've had with a narcissist, all the interactions you thought you've had with a narcissist were never there. He was not interacting with you.

And when I say he, it could be a she, of course. 50% of all narcissists are women. They don't interact with you. They interact with their internal world within a fantastic space. They're no longer with us. Very often when the narcissist, when you confronted the narcissist and insisted on being loved, on being attended to, on some affection, on some compassion, on some understanding, a monocle of empathy, being noticed at least, very often when this happens, the narcissist went through a process known as anti-catharsis.

In psychoanalytic theory, anti-catharsis is when the ego withdraws psychic energy from certain unconscious wishes and ideas and uses it to strengthen other wishes of ideas capable of blocking, decafected material, entrance into the consciousness.

Wow, that was a mouthful. Let me first, before I explain anti-catharsis, because anti-catharsis is the narcissist's reaction.

Decafaxis and anti-catharsis, these are the narcissist's reactions to your attempts to love them.

Narcissists and psychopaths are terrified of love and intimacy. When you try to love them, they think that you're faking. They think that you're trying to be manipulative. They think that you may be stupid and gullible. They think anything except that you actually love them.

So when you love a narcissist, he's likely to react very adversely, very negatively, because in his mind, it translates to some kind of conspiracy or ploy. He becomes paranoid, actually.

And he then develops decafax and anti-cathaxis. Decafaxis is simple. He takes back the emotional energy. This is decafaxis.

Now, classical decafaxis, typical decafaxis, is taking back emotional energy from an external object, falling out of love, unloving someone, breaking up with someone, divorcing someone that involves decafax.

With a narcissist, the decafax is internal. The narcissist's decafax, the internal object that represents you in his mind. And this into an enemy, a persecatory object.

Initially, the narcissist hyper-cafaxes this internal object. He comes across a potential intimate partner. He takes a snapshot of it. He introjects the snapshot. He photoshops the snapshot. So he becomes ideal.

And then he hyper-cafaxes the snapshot. He invests a lot, too much exaggerated mental energy, psychic energy, in the imagined, idealized internal object that represents you in his mind.

But then he proceeds when you become demanding, when you ask for reciprocated love, when you doubt him, when you disagree, when you criticize, whatever the reason may be, whatever the trigger may be. Or much more commonly, when he feels the need to separate from you as a maternal figure and individually, in all these cases, the narcissist decafaxes the internal object that represents you in his mind and proceeds to anti-cafect it.

Anti-cafect it, he diverts, he withdraws psychic energy from his unconscious wishes and ideas and strengthens wishes and ideas which are intended to block you in his mind.

So what happens is, when the narcissist falls in love with you, when he develops a shared fantasy with you, he is cafected in the internal object that represents you. This internal object is partly unconscious. It reflects wishes, ideas and even fantasies which are not accessible to consciousness. They are unconscious.

So the minute the narcissist decafaxes you, he withdraws cafaxes, he withdraws emotional psychic energy from this unconscious, from the unconscious part of the internal object and he uses it to block, to block your entrance to his consciousness, your access to his mind.

You have become a decafected object so you must be forgotten.

To accomplish this, the narcissist invests in wishes, ideas and fantasies that exclude you passively or actively as an enemy. And this whole process is known as anti-cafaxes.

The anti-cafected material could be very similar to the original or could be opposite to the original but somehow related to it and so on and so forth. So I will not go into all this.

But these are the mechanisms that the narcissist uses.

He hyper-cafaxes, emotionally over-invesse in the internal object that represents you in his mind. Then he decafaxes it, takes away the energy.

Then you become an enemy, a secretary object, a devalued object.

He needs to forget about you.

So he takes the energy, that same energy and invests it in a new fantasy or a new wish or a new idea which blocks you out of his mind and he dissociates it. Literally forgets about you. You remain there as an introject and this explains hovering.

So I have a video which explains the process of hovering. You remain as an inert deactivated introject in the library of his introjects but you're no longer active in his consciousness. You're no longer an active agent in his consciousness.

Finally we need to discuss the distinction between love and a shared psychotic disorder.

In the previous version of the DSM, the text revision of the DSM-4, there was a disorder. It was called shared psychotic disorder.

The essential feature was an identical or similar fantasy or delusion that develops in an individual who is involved with another individual. So one of the two is the inducer or the primary case and the other one is the inductee or the secondary case

and that's a great description of the mechanism and structure of a shared fantasy. In this sense a shared fantasy is a shared psychotic disorder.

The primary case, the inducer, already has a psychotic disorder with prominent delusions.

In the case of the narcissist, the primary case, he is the primary case, he's the inducer and you already have a fantasy which has many many psychotic elements.

The shared psychotic disorder can involve a single individual, the intimate partner, but it can involve a family. But it's most commonly seen in relations between two people. That's why we used to call it folie adun.

In the DSM-5 this disorder is not recognized, not included, it's subsumed under delusional disorder.

So induced psychotic disorder or shared psychotic disorder is what the shared fantasy is.

But as you see it cannot be love. There's nothing here in common with love because one of the the primary case, the narcissist, is already a devotion reality. He's psychotic, he's delusional and he lives in fantasy. He doesn't even see you and what he tries to do, he tries to infect you via training, via coercive snapshotting.

The narcissist tries to brainwash you, to mind control you, to induce you into the shared psychotic disorder, to render you sick, as sick as is, as psychotic as is, as divorced from reality as is.

Is this love? Does this strike you as love?

Does this remind you of any definition, however remote and cold of love? Of course not.

But this is the relationship with the narcissist.

Folie adun, two intimately related individuals who simultaneously share similar or identical delusions.

Folie adun in French means double insanity. It's a common form of shared psychotic disorder and it is a delusional disorder.

A delusional disorder involves misspeaking reality. In the case of the narcissist, the delusions are non-bizarre, the delusions are plausible, they're divorce from reality and sometimes substance induced.

For example, cocaine can induce delusional disorder.

But we distinguish between bizarre delusions and non-bizarre delusions.

The narcissist's delusions are plausible. They can mislead people into believing that they're real.

The narcissist's fantasy is so elaborately constructed and contains elements of the truth and of reality to the point that it's very misleading and deceiving and people fall for it.

And yet it is a delusion because the narcissist cannot tell that it is a fantasy. He thinks it's reality.

That's why narcissists don't gaslight. Narcissists don't gaslight.

Psychopaths do. Narcissists confabulate.

Narcissists believe their own fantasy, believe their own lies, believe their own confabulations, they believe their own deception.

The first victim of the narcissist's deception is the narcissist's self-deception.

So narcissists create this environment for you and then invite you in.

When they invite you in, they love on you. They misuse language, abuse language. They call their internal experience love and they're trying to convince you that it is love.

They try to make you resonate with their internal experience, go through the same experience. They try to make you adopt and accept the way you are seen by the narcissist, the snapshot.

They're trying to make you see yourself through the narcissist's gaze and then they deceive you into adopting this as reality.

But of course it's not.

The narcissist is exactly like the borderline mislabels his or her emotions, mislabels them.

What he calls love is not love. It's an initiation right, an induction process, conditioning, call it what you will, but love is not.

And yet he coerces you, cajoles you, induces you, incentivizes you, rewards you, punishes you, you name it, intermittently reinforces you into accepting whatever it is that he's experiencing as love.

And then you say he loves me, you see, but I don't see. And he doesn't see. Only you see, because you have been entrained and brainwashed and infected, hurrying to the healing and recovery from narcissistic abuse, playlist on this channel to learn how to undo the damage before it's too late.

Dokertov, wetselalim, oov, salzalot. Look it up.

Yesterday I made a video about the power of belief in healing, the power of faith, and everyone and his dog and his mother-in-law wrote to me to say, "You see, you're contradicting yourself. You don't believe in the principle of awaken the giant within."

Well, let me explain the difference.

Your ability to induce healing, mental healing definitely, but also some physical healing through your mind, by leveraging and using your mind, by wishing for healing, by believing in healing, by auto suggestion, by convincing yourselves that you are about to heal and so on and so forth. This is scientifically established in thousands of studies, including, for example, the power of meditation, practices such as yoga, prayer, religious faith. All these have been linked in numerous scientific, peer-reviewed academic university studies. All of these have been linked to healing, especially healing from mental health issues.

Awaken the giant within has nothing to do with reality. It has to do with grandiosity, which is a pathological cognitive distortion. It is sick to the core. It has to do with magical thinking, which is a primitive, infantile defense mechanism.

In short, awaken the giant within is not a principle that can even be examined by science. It is so divorced from reality, so rich of unethical conduct, so money-oriented, so narcissistic, so grandiose, so delusional that there's no way you could link this to other forms of belief or faith.

So what I've been advocating in yesterday's video are scientifically proven practices, which unfortunately has been excluded from the mainstream of psychologyowing to the vanity of mental health practitioners who want to pretend that they are scientists.

Principles such as the secret law of attraction, awaken the giant within, this is unmitigated, rubbish and nonsense. It has nothing to do with reality or with science. It is the exact opposite of mental health. It is mental illness, reified, manifested, extrapolated, magnified, amplified. Until it takes over the psyche and renders it corrupt and sick for eternity.

Stay away from these kinds of messages.

And apropos reality and delusional thinking and magical thinking and what have you.

Today's topic is, did the narcissist ever love you?

Many victims come to me and say, many victims of narcissistic abuse say, but he did love me. I felt his love. It can't be that I've been so deluded and deceived. I know love when I experienced it. I've experienced it before. And there was a period. There's been a period. It's been short. It's been truncated. It's been superseded by abuse. But there's been a period where he did love me. He really did.

And this is the topic of today's lecture.

Is there such a thing as narcissistic love? Is the narcissist capable of loving at all, capable of love? And if he is, did he ever love you? And who is better qualified to discuss love than your blue former visiting professor of psychology, Sam Vaknin.

Author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism, Revisited and currently on the faculty of SIAS, Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies, Canada, United Kingdom, Nigeria, and so on and so forth.

Let us, as has become our tradition, delve right in.

And first and foremost, we need to discuss a few basic concepts.

I'm going to start with psychoanalysis, but then I'm going to resort or revert to other schools in psychology.

Now, people are accusing me that I'm promoting psychoanalysis. That is absolutely not true. For example, in one of my previous videos, two or three days ago, I discussed existential psychology. I discussed humanistic psychology. I'm open to all schools of psychology.

I'm not a partisan of any of these schools.

However, there are good insights in each and every school.

And we should not discard the baby with a bathtub, with a bathroom, and with the apartment and with the city.

You know, we should be more humble as people who work in the field of psychology. We should be more humble and we should seek to extract wisdom from all our predecessors, all the previous thinkers.

So let's start with actually not psychoanalysis. Let's start with Maslow's motivational hierarchy.

Remember Maslow? He described the needs of people. The uppermost need is self-actualization.

But to start with, you need food, you need shelter, etc.

One of the needs is the love need. It is the third level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is characterized by the striving for affiliation and acceptance. Maslow calls it the social need.

Now that's very fascinating. That's very interesting.

Because in today's world, we tend to conceive of love as an individual act, or at most, an act between individuals. While Maslow, in the wake of the object relations schools, suggested that falling in love, being in love, the act of loving is actually a social act. It's a relational act. It's embedded in a much bigger context.

Yes, there are two individuals who love each other, but they bring to the table their upbringing, their families of origin, previous lovers and experiences of love, other relationships, etc.

Love is the nexus, the hub, the meeting point of hundreds of other extraneous relationships. It's like a Venn diagram. The two circles overlap and the area of overlap is love.

So this is the love need. Love withdrawal is a form of discipline where parents threaten to withdraw their love and affection from children if they misbehave or if they don't perform.

So love withdrawal is a very dysfunctional parenting mechanism.

And many people grow up to many children grow up to be narcissists and co-dependents and so on, so forth, because they have been intermittently reinforced when it comes to love. The parent conveyed or signaled, I love you now, but this is temporary. This is conditional. If you don't act the way I tell you to, if you don't obey me 100%, I'm going to withdraw my love.

And we bring these insecure attachment styles. We bring them into adult relationships, especially adult intimate and romantic relationships.

Now there's something called a love map. A love map is a person's mental image of the ideal lover, the ideal love relationship, the ideal sexual activity with a partner. So a love map is a form of fantasy, but it is a fantasy that is then translated to reality, sometimes via coercion and sometimes by being selective.

So we all have a love map. And in this love map, there's the ideal partner and ideal love with the ideal partner and ideal sex with the ideal partner within the ideal love.

And then what we try to do, we try to select mates according to the specs, the specifications of the love map.

Sometimes if we are, for example, narcissists, we select mates at random and we try to impose the love map on the mate, on the selected partner. And this is known as the shared fantasy, which is essentially, essentially has strong coercive elements.

The love map incorporates issues of sexual orientation, desire for specific behaviors, even deviant behaviors. It is a map of the totality of how we use sex to express love and use love to reach or to communicate via sex.

It was first proposed by John Money. Money makes the love go around.

Another concept is the love object. The love object is the person towards whom the individual directs affection, devotion, and usually sexual interest.

In psychoanalytic theory, the object is the person who is loved by someone else's ego.

So in psychoanalytic theory, to be able to love, to truly love, you must have a full-fledged functioning, healthy, reality-tested ego. And if you don't, you are not capable of love.

And this, of course, explains why narcissists are not capable of love. And this answers your first question.

Narcissists are not capable of love for two reasons.

Number one, they don't have an ego.

Ego formation and ego constellation. In early childhood, the early childhood of the narcissists, they have been disrupted.

So the narcissist did not complete putting together an ego, a functional ego.

Consequently, according to psychoanalytic theory, the narcissist is incapable of loving someone else because love is done or mediated via the ego.

Why is that?

The ego is in charge of reality testing. The ego is the interface between us and the world. The ego is a kind of boundary condition. It regulates our interactions. It inhibits us. It encourages us. It is the gauge of what we can and cannot do, taking into account the consequences of our actions.

Now, to love someone is to go out into reality. The love object is an external object.

And so when we love someone, we direct a lot of mental energy. We'll discuss it a bit later. We direct it at reality, at a real object out there.

Since the narcissist doesn't have an ego, he is incapable of operating in reality.

What the narcissist does, he substitutes fantasy for reality. He resides in fantasy. He inhabits a fantasy. He doesn't have an abode or a location in reality. He is dislocated from reality.

And whenever he comes across external objects, which are of interest to him, for example, as an intimate partner, he then snapshots them. He introduces them. He converts them into an internal object within the fantastic space in his mind.

This sense, the narcissist is a kind of psychotic.

So narcissist is incapable of loving you because there's no you. There's no external object as far as the narcissist is concerned.

That's reason number one.

Reason number two, the narcissist is unable to access positive emotions.

That is not to say that the narcissist does not have positive emotions.

Every human being, the live ones at least, possesses emotions, negative, negative affectivity and positive. Everyone, including narcissists, including psychopaths. But narcissists are incapable of accessing and activating positive emotions because positive emotions in the case of the narcissist are linked inextricably and very powerfully to shame and to other negative emotions.

So the narcissist prefers not to experience, to not experience positive emotions rather than be threatened by shame, overwhelming, overriding shame, shame that is life-threatening or depression.

So the narcissist is incapable of love because love is a positive emotion and narcissists don't do positive emotions.

They do fantasy, they do negative emotions, they do snapshotting.

Now love, being capable of loving another person, it's also known as object relations.

Relations with objects, objects are people. Being capable of loving another person crucially depends on being capable of loving yourself.

Self-love, when the self is the first object of love, narcissistic love in early childhood is very crucial because it's like loving yourself is like a rehearsal. It's like you're trying out the act of loving on a safe object which is yourself.

And so you try it out, there's trial and error, it's a rehearsal process and you're ready to go out on stage and look for an external object to love.

The self-love is the initial crucial indispensable stage in mature adult love. It is a regard for and an interest in one's own being and well-being, contentment.

When self-love persists in a malignant way into adulthood, when it becomes excessive at the expense of other people, entitled "disempathic", when the narcissist develops auto-erotism, sexual attraction to his own body, when he misperceives and misapprehends, exaggerates and misjudges his own abilities or personality or accomplishments etc. That is narcissism used to be called egotism, that is narcissism.

So self-love can go awry when there is no transition from self-love to object love.

When the child is stopped dead cold on its tracks, when the mother does not allow the child to separate and become an individual, the child remains stuck in the self-love phase and as the child grows up and becomes an adult, he is still immured and immersed in the self-love phase, unable to transition or to exit this phase and transition into object love.

Love is a very complex emotion, it requires maturity, it requires also some experience, it requires self-love but a healthy one, it involves strong feelings of affection and tenderness for the love object, pleasurable sensations in the presence of the love object, devotion to the love object's well-being but not self-sacrificial devotion, sensitivity to the reactions of the love object to oneself in one's behaviors and traits.

So love takes many forms, you could have brotherly love concerned for other fellow beings, you can have erotic love, you can have as I mentioned self-love, you can identify with the totality of creation and then that's godly love or god's love, etc.

There is a theory of love, it's called the triangular theory of love and it proposes that in love there are three essential, very important components, passion, desire, urge, drive.

One could almost say instinct in psychoanalytic terms, intimacy and commitment, I repeat passion, intimacy and commitment. If one of these three is missing it's not love, it's something else, it's dependency, it's show-off, it's fantasy but it's not love.

Social psychological research in the area of love is focused mostly unfortunately on passionate love, sexual desire, excitement, limerence, infatuation and so on. There's been some recent research about companionate love in which passion is weak but commitment is strong. So there can be a cocktail, a mixture of the three elements.

In some types of love passion is strong, commitment is weak, in others commitment is strong, passion is weak, etc.

But the qualifiers love, all three, must be present to varying degrees and love should be distinguished from limerence and infatuation, they're not the same.

Limerence is an intense sexual desire, a strong concern for the other person in a romantic relationship, sensitivity as to how the other person is reacting but all this within the context enclosed by extreme sexual desire, intense, overwhelming sexual desire. This is why limerence diminishes in intensity a month or two or three after a relationship is formed and then it is converted, it is transformed into other forms of love like romantic love or even passionate love but not dating texts or companionate love.

Now all this is the work of Dorothy Teneth, US psychologist, so you may wish to read up on it.

Back to the triangular theory of love.

Various kinds of love can be characterized in terms of the degree in which they possess these three basic components as I said. These are the vertices of the triangle.

The intimacy component is about closeness, connectedness, bondedness, it gives rise to the experience of fuzziness and warmth in a relationship, safety.

Intimacy is crucially founded on a sense of safety and safety is founded on stability, predictability and honesty.

The passion component is the drive, it leads to romance, physical attraction, sexual consummation and other related phenomena.

The commitment component is the decision that one loves someone.

Yes love is a decision, it's a choice coupled with a decision. You choose a mate and then at some point you reach a decision that you love them.

It's not actually a realization, it's more like a decision because there is some ambivalence, there is some equivocation, you're not quite sure, do I want to love him?

Because you realize the minute you say I love you, that's a commitment. That's a commitment and many people are commitment folks, they're afraid of commitment, so it's a decision.

And then once you decide that you love someone there's a question of maintaining that love and desiring that person.

Maintenance must include sex among other things and so there are cognitive elements that are involved in decision making about the existence and potential long-term commitment to a loving relationship.

And this is actually the work of Robert Sternberg, another US psychologist. US psychologists are focused on love it seems, while German psychologists are focused on biking us apart on giving the parts names.

Ja, ja boer.

Now onward to romantic love.

I'm giving you a background concerning love so that you can immediately see the differences between what true love is and what you have experienced with the narcissist.

Because what you've experienced with narcissists has nothing to do with anything I've been saying hitherto.

Romantic love is a type of love in which intimacy and passion are the prominent features.

The love part is sometimes idealized. The love as sexual arousal is an important component of this kind of love.

In some taxonomies of love, romantic love is identified with passionate love and distinguished from companionate love. In other taxonomies it's seen as involving elements of both.

It's not very important. Important is to understand that romantic love is a phase, it's connected intimately with limerence, it involves minimal idealization, not maximal or total idealization.

Sensitivity to the partner is an external object, her needs, her reactions and so on. And desire of the partner, sexual desire of a partner, not using sex as a form of control, not using sex to get the partner addicted, but using sex to communicate, to communicate the underlying love, sex as a language.

And this is distinguished from companionate love.

Companionate love is a type of love characterized by strong feelings of intimacy and affection for another person. Not necessarily strong emotional arousal in that person's presence, but just wanting the best for that other person.

It's not passionate love. It rarely includes passion.

But there's a lot of commitment and as I said a lot of intimacy.

In erotic love there is strong sexual desire and so it is indistinguishable from passionate love.

Erotic love is missing in companionate love.

Passionate love is a type of love in which emotional arousal and sexual passion are prominent features. It's very intense.

People who are in the throes of passionate love, they are hugely preoccupied with each other. One could say obsessed. They want their feelings to be reciprocated. They're very distressed when their relationship seems to go awry.

And so passionate love is the closest to shared fantasy we know, but it's still a healthy version because in passionate love reality testing is maintained.

It is not fantasy love. It's the real love of the external object.

We have a love scheme. It measures the strength of one's feelings of love for another.

Again, love is a complex state. It has various forms.

So there are many sub-scales or other scales and so on and so forth. So there are scales developed by Elaine Hartfield. There's a scale developed by Zeke Rubin, etc.

But you should know that there is a love scale and a liking scale. I'm not going to go into it right now. Suffice it to say that narcissists fail on both miserably.

When they are tested for passionate love, that's Elaine Hartfield's scale, they fail actually. And the romantic love scale developed by Rubin, the same thing. They fail. And they fail also on liking scale. They actually don't like the partner because they don't see the partner. There's no partner. There's no external partner. They're interacting with a totally imagined, idealized snapshot of the partner, an internal object that gradually drifts away from the partner. The actual external object partner drifts away from the snapshot. There's a huge divergence and deviance.

And so this leads to devaluation and discard.

And so love is a form of psychic energy, if you wish. Of course, love is embedded in the brain and there are numerous effects in the brain. Neuroscience tells us that there are numerous changes in the brain, numerous activities in the brain, areas of the brain which are triggered and activated and then other areas which are suppressed.

And so this, when I say psychic energy, it's physical energy, it's actual energy, it's electric, electrical and chemical reactions in the brain. This is real energy.

And so, Sigmund Freud suggested that the sources of this energy, of psychic energy, are the drives and that this energy is directed at finding pleasure. Jung also believed in psychic energy, but he said it's not about pleasurable gratification.

Of biological instincts, it is energy childing to the development of the personality and the expression of cultural and spiritual values, mental energy.

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Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, but it is always onerous and often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist, maintaining a relationship, preserving it, insisting on remaining with a narcissist, indicates therefore the parameters of the personality of the victim, of the partner, of the spouse. The partner, the spouse, and the mate of a narcissist who insists on remaining in the relationship and preserving it is molded by it into the typical narcissistic mate, spouse, or partner. The two, the narcissist and his spouse, collaborate in this dance macabre.

Victim of Narcissist: Move On!

The narcissist lives in a world of ideal beauty, achievements, wealth, and success, denying his reality. The partner is perceived as a source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissist pathologizes and devalues them to rid themselves of guilt and shame. Moving on from a narcissistic relationship involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, educating oneself, and gaining emotional sustenance, knowledge, support, and confidence. Forgiving is important, but it should not be a universal behavior, and no one should stay with a narcissist.

Mourning the Narcissist

Victims of narcissistic abuse often struggle to let go of the idealized figure they fell in love with at the beginning of the relationship. When the relationship ends, they experience a cycle of bereavement and grief, including denial, rage, sadness, and acceptance. Denial can take many forms, including pretending the narcissist is still part of their lives or developing persecutory delusions. Rage can be directed at the narcissist, other facilitators of the loss, oneself, or be pervasive. Sadness is a paralyzing sensation that slows one down and enshrouds everything in the grave veil of randomness and chance. Gradual acceptance leads to renewed energy and the narcissist being transformed into a narrative, another life experience, or even a tedious cliché.

Narcissist: Confabulations, Lies

Confabulation is a common human trait, but the distinction between reality and fantasy is never lost. However, the narcissist's very self is a piece of fiction, concocted to fend off hurt and pain and to nurture the narcissist's grandiosity. The narcissist fails in his reality test and is unable to distinguish the actual from the imagined, the real from the fantasized. The narcissist's countenance, no disagreement, no alternative points of view, no criticism. To him, his confabulation is reality.

Shame, Guilt, Codependents, Narcissists, and Normal Folks

Shame motivates normal people and those suffering from cluster B personality disorders, but it motivates them differently. Shame constitutes a threat to normal people's true self, and it constitutes a threat to the false self of narcissism. There are two varieties of shame when we talk about narcissists in effect. There is narcissistic shame, which is the narcissist's experience of the grandiosity gap and its affective correlate. The greater the conflict between grandiosity and reality, the bigger the gap and the greater the narcissist's feelings of shame and guilt.

Narcissistic Abuse: From Victim to Survivor in 6 Steps

To move on from being a victim of narcissistic abuse, one must abandon the narcissist and move on. Moving on is a process that involves acknowledging and accepting painful reality, learning from the experience, and deciding to act. It is important to grieve and mourn the loss of trust and love, but perpetual grieving is counterproductive. Forgiveness is important, but it should not be a universal behavior. Human relationships are dynamic and require constant assessment. It is not advisable to remain friends with narcissists, as they are only nice and friendly when they want something. Inverted narcissists who remain in relationships with narcissists are victims who deny their own torment and fail to make the transition to survivors.

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If You Love a Narcissist, This is For You

The text describes a relationship with a person who is emotionally unavailable and causes pain and rejection. The person craves love and intimacy but pushes the other person away and hurts them first. The relationship is described as a form of self-harm, but the other person cannot let go. The relationship is a mix of good times and bad times, and the person is described as fleeting and penumbral.

When Narcissists Become Codependents

Living with a narcissist can be harrowing, and the partner of the narcissist is often molded into the typical narcissist mate, partner, or spouse. The partner must have a deficient or distorted grasp of herself and of reality, and the cognitive distortion of the partner of the narcissist is likely to consist of belittling and demeaning herself while aggrandizing and adoring the narcissist. The narcissist is perceived by the partner to be a person in the position to demand these sacrifices from her. The breakup of the relationship with the narcissist is emotionally charged and is the culmination of a long chain of humiliations and subjugation.

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