5 Sad Truths about Why Narcissists Are Unable To Love

5 Sad Truths about Why Narcissists Are Unable To Love

At best, narcissists are unable to love; at worst, they are emotionally violent. A narcissist does not have to physically hit or stab someone to inflict pain. They only have to speak and act, and people would end up broken. They feed off weakness and subjugation, and these qualities make it impossible for them to fall in love. 

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance. [1] Narcissists are usually identified by self-centered behavior, arrogant thinking and dispositions, lack of empathy or consideration for others, and an insatiable craving for validation, admiration, and worship. Essentially, narcissists need to feel better than everyone else.

There’s nothing you can do to change a narcissist — the major problem with most personality disorders. Psychotherapy may help the person relate better with others over time, but there’s no permanent cure for this disorder. [2]

Narcissists are only truly capable of loving themselves, although they may claim to unconditionally love their family and partners. For a narcissist to express an emotion similar to love for someone else, they must prove that you cannot survive without them. They can only “love” people who depend on them for something. They need to know they have the upper hand before they can try to love you. This is why having narcissistic parents would often cause children to grow into dysfunctional adults. [3]

If your (exes of narcissists) thought that your romantic narcissistic ex-loved you and wanted to marry you, you are not crazy,” says renowned psychotherapist, Ellen Greenberg. “Even though he is now gone, your guy meant what he said when he said it to you. He was in love with you, or at least his own romantic fantasy of the two of you as the perfect couple.”

They are incapable of feeling passion for too long

Narcissists may experience a brief window of passion at the start of a relationship, but they lack the emotional range to maintain the stream of affection. In the end, you’d discover that this short-lived passion “is always directed at our projections, our expectations, our fantasies … It is a love not of another person, but of ourselves,” according to Jungian analyst Robert Johnson.

Narcissists mostly go into relationships because they need an emotional devotee, someone they can manipulate into loving them unconditionally and feeding them with the adulation they always crave. Their relationships are often one-sided because all meaningful efforts would be made by the other person.

Whoever dates a narcissist will have a painfully difficult time, and below are 5 reasons why they are incapable of love. [4]

No one can ever be good for a narcissist

It’s tough to keep up with insatiable people. They will want everything perfect to a ‘T’, and when it finally comes through, they want perfection to an ‘N.’ They are constantly belittling and complaining about their partners because they are convinced they deserve to have their fantasy partners in real life. You are never going to be good enough, loving enough, or submissive enough for a narcissist. They will want you to give more and more of yourself until there’s nothing left to offer.

Your plans and theirs won’t ever align because they never consider others while chasing their goals. Narcissists are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their ultimately selfish goals and it doesn’t matter what or who is at stake. It’s difficult to cope in a relationship where you do not have the emotional depth to ever consider someone else. [5]

They can NEVER be with a partner who is better than they are

 This is the whole point of narcissism – to be better than everyone within your circle or operating group. Narcissists love to take all the glory and if someone is one step ahead of them, they’d give everything they have to pull you down. They are obsessed with being the center of attention that everyone looks up to.

Dating someone who earns more, looks better or is more admired than they are would drive a narcissist to crippling envy. They may end up sabotaging their own relationship just to feel good about themselves.

They are extremely manipulative

Narcissists do not know how to “make things work” like normal people. They don’t get the point of “talking things through” and worst of all, they are incapable of compromise. They get what they want by manipulation – all kinds of manipulation. Narcissists would gaslight, backbite, abuse, slander, emotionally blackmail, and torment their partners to have everything go their own way.

When it’s time to chase a goal, a narcissist does not see love or relationship. All they see is a target, and they’d handle it the way they handle everything else in life — without any affectionate emotions. The only way to escape a narcissist is to literally “escape them” by staying far away. 

They cannot deal with other people’s shortcomings

No matter how messed up they are, narcissists always think of themselves as perfect, and they expect everyone else to conform to these unrealistic mental standards. They want their partner to dress, talk, act, spend, and live a certain way, and they are always impatient with people who do not fit into their wants and desires. This behavior makes a relationship completely unhealthy and unbearable.

They use others to achieve their goals

Most narcissists go into relationships because of what they believe they can gain from their partners. Wealth, physical attractiveness that could be exploited, a nice home, a high social credit score, high-ranking connections, business secrets — for a narcissist, there’s always an end game. Submitting themselves for relationships and even getting into legal marriage is not a big deal. As long as this person they are sticking with can pave the way toward a bigger goal, they are willing to go any lengths to push things forward.

Dating a narcissist or being married to one can cause a person to spiral into a major mental or emotional breakdown. Narcissists are hard work, and they can only survive with other narcissists. The best way to protect yourself is to get as far away from them as possible. Their relationships are always based on highly dysfunctional principles that only make sense to them. You deserve better.


  1. Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  2. Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Diagnosis.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  3. Narcissistic Parents Are Literally Incapable Of Loving Their Children.” Scary Mommy. Joanna McClanahan. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  4. Are Narcissists Really Capable of Enduring Love?Psychology Today. Elinor Greenberg Ph.D. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  5. 3 Reasons You Can’t Win with a Narcissist.” Psych Central. Sarah Newman, MA, MFA. Retrieved August 20, 2020.