Sometimes a relationship with a narcissist can be frustrating because no matter what you say, give, or do, they seem unsatisfied. This is not because narcissists are too hard to satisfy because sometimes you would find them chasing after you even if you have done nothing to attract them. But once you have settled in a relationship or when it’s time for commitment, that’s when they start playing unsatisfied or outright run away.
Most narcissists are not self-aware. Like most people, they have superficial understanding of what they want in a relationship. Most of them are kind of addicted to narcissistic supplies. They can rush into a new relationship just because the new catch is a good supply. But if their partner is merely a supply, this relationship will most likely be unsatisfactory for both parties. This is simply because narcissists want more than just supplies in a relationship.
Note: A narcissistic supply is anything that makes a narcissist feels important. A good looking partner, someone who glorifies them, an admiring audience, can all serve as narcissistic supplies.
What Narcissists Want From Their Partner
First of all it’s important to understand that every narcissist is unique. Even though there are some general similar characteristics and needs that all narcissists share, still there will be unique needs that narcissist A has but narcissist B lacks.
Beyond narcissistic supply this is what narcissists need.
- Compensation for past abuse: I said multiple times in some of my previous posts that most narcissists were abused at some point in their life (especially in childhood) for them to become narcissists. The nightmare of every narcissist who was abused as a child is to find themselves with a partner who is abusive and shares similar characteristics with their former abusive parent. Narcissists who were abused as children usually want someone who is the opposite of their parent. Someone warm, caring and soothing.
- A replication of a good past: Narcissists who want this are those who have been through the opposite of the ones described in the previous point. These narcissists were never abused as children. Instead they were pampered and overly spoiled. Because sometimes the real world cannot spoil and over praise them like their parents did, they usually want a partner who can revive this long gone favourable past.
- The opposite of their bad side: Narcissists usually see people in black and white, totally worthy or totally worthless. This is not only how they see others but also themselves. They have a flawed in self that they always try to get rid of through masks of perfection or striving for real achievements and recognition. A partner who does not have similar defects would help them get rid of their flaws as well. Let’s say a particular narcissist is delivers his supply from his well-built, athletic body. But he hates the fact that he is not as intelligent as some of his friends, which make him feel inferior around them. This narcissist would really fall in love with an intelligent partner.
- Intimacy: Intimacy is a basic emotional need that all humans have. In my post “how to make a narcissist miss you” I said that even though a particular narcissist may be surrounded with dozens of friends and fans, emotional intimacy between them is usually superficial. This makes them live with unacknowledged deep hunger for real emotional intimacy.
Why Narcissists Don’t Get What They Need
Despite how their partner may be perfect for them most narcissists are never satisfied in a relationship. Simply because some of their characters are in conflict with what they need. For instance, even though they need intimacy, many of them are too afraid to make themselves vulnerable by opening up to their partner. Although this is something their partner can take care of if he or she has better understanding of narcissism.
For others, because of their insecurities and aggression, they usually force their partner to become defensive and sometimes abusive in response to abuse from the narcissist.
But most difficulties happen because the narcissist doesn’t understand himself, neither does the partner understands him.