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Michele Sayre
Michele Sayre, No professional title
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 52
Experience:  Writer--I study human nature to understand why people do the things they do.
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Can a narcissist love more than one person

Customer Question

Okay. There is a man who is a narcissist. He has a good heart and is a gentlemean when he wants to be. He is very self absobed. He is 29 and comes from a family where the mother and father are still married but have not shown any type of love for each other since he was a child. His parents show no affection toward one other. He has been in love but only with his own image projected onto a female. So he falls in love very easy. Even though it is not love he feels it is just his conception of it. This is a tuff question but if you have ever known a man who is not capable of love....Is it possible for someone like that to ever know love and how or what can I do to make that happen.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cheryl replied 11 years ago.

I found an article that you might want to check out. It covers this situation in a very descriptive nature. I think a lot of your questions might be answered there. Check it out at:

Be sure to read thru to the bottom of the page. The content is very insightful regarding this topic, and also your main concerns...

I hope it will assist you in finding an answer.

Take care, and God Bless..

Feel free to write again if you need further information, and someone will assist you.
Expert:  Vickie replied 11 years ago.
Unortunately my dear, you can't make someone love you that doesn't. Women have tried for centurys. This man would be hard to convince that he does not know love, or has never been in love, because the way he was brought up, is more than likely the only way he knows, and what feels right to him. It sounds as though he is a very self centered person and at 29 years old, he may very well be this way forever. Sometimes things happen in peoples lives that cause them to turn around and change their ways. Sometimes they find that special person they have dreamed of, who shows them a whole new way of life, and will not tolerate a conceited behavior. So they either change or loose that person - and they change. I believe that everyone is capable of love - its just that sometimes they don't choose to show it very often. Sometimes they are afraid for one reason or another. I think some men feel threatened or weak in front of their friends to show their love for their lady, but that is usually a very immature man that will listen to that extent, to his friends over his lady. If you love this man, and are dissatisfied at the way he is showing his love for you - you really only have two choices. One is to accept him for what he is, as he is the same man you fell in love with in the beginning, and live with the hope that someday he might change, or Two,Go on with your life, and find someone that compliments you and the way YOU love someone. A man that you have more in common with. It is very hard to impossible to change someone else - especially if they don't want to be changed, and it can be a life of misery living with someone who never expresses their love, when you are one that needs that reassurance on a regular basis, (like most women). There is someone out there that will love you for you - and you will see that this man will give his love freely and you won't feel the need for anything to change with him. Instead of worrying about how you can change him - and make him fall in love with you - which could never happen, find someone else that will see you for the good and sweet person that you are, and let the next girl he meets worry about the self centered man she has found.
Good luck, You are in my prayers.
Expert:  The Mystic Wave replied 11 years ago.


Would you be so kind as to answer the following questions, so that I can provide you with an appropriate response?

Are you wanting to have a real relationship with this man - have you told him so?

How long have you known him?

Does he consider you to be a friend?

Have you ever gone out with him - such as dating?

Is he seeing/dating someone now?

I look forward to your reply.

Thank you.

Bright Blessings.

Peace, Love & Happiness,

The Mystic Wave

Expert:  nursehope replied 11 years ago.
 Hi, I am a therapist who treats individuals with this personality disorder. A true narcissist is only capable of loving someone whom he sees as an extension of himself or one from whom he can benefit some way.  He can understand love on an intellectual level but not emotionally.  It is more need than love.  Nurse Hope
Expert:  Michele Sayre replied 11 years ago.

Dear daisy_chainsaw,

Are you sure that he's a true narcissist or maybe that is the image that he has learned to project to the world to protect himself?  After all, not many people would love that kind of person, and judging by what you posted in your entry, that may be the way he wants it on a subconscious level.

I know from personal experience how hard it is to get in touch with your feelings when you come from a family, which isn't very demonstrative.  You say that he has a good heart, so that means that there is still hope for him, but it's going to take time.  It has taken me over sixteen years to get to where I am now, and that's because I was willing to change my life because it wasn't working for me.  He has to want to change first, and if he does decide to, then he has to follow through with that wanting.

Things that can help:

1) Tell him, that, to you, he appears like a narcissist.  Sometimes hearing the truth wakes a person up--they'll either break down or get really pissed off and not want to see you again (Because he's now feeling an emotion, he might actually wonder if he is one and really do some self-evaluation.)

2)  Ask him how he "feels" about that.  If he's still talking to you, that is.  Part of his narcissism problems (if that is even what he has) is that he learned from an early age not to listen to his feelings or even how to express them.  Maybe he's just copying his narcissism behavior from one or both of his parents.  Do you know what they are like?

3)  Start being more demonstrative.  The first thing I had to learn to do to change myself as a person was to express myself.  I had to literally MAKE myself hug people.  I kept a journal to help me learn to get in touch with my true feelings.  I started trying to think about other people besides myself and my pain, so I started putting myself out there in the world by volunteering.

4)  Realize that we all search for a piece of ourselves in our relationships.  Whether it's with a loved one or a friend, it's natural for everyone to naturally gravitate to someone like themselves.  You understand them better because you understand yourself.  That doesn't mean that you don't have other kinds of relationships; it just means that it is easier to go with what you know.  (By the way, the opposite is sometimes true--some people search for others unlike themselves because they can't stand themselves to begin with or realize that two like personalities would clash big time!)

My last question to you is--if this guy is such a narcissist, then why are you even bothering with him?  Is that not a character flaw on your part to even want to consider dating this guy?

Just remember--we can't change what happened to us, but we can eventually change as a person.  It may not be in your time, but it will be in the universe's time.  The nature of life is to change--you either change or you die (or become really miserable).

Good luck!

Mic Sayre

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to TheMysticWave's Post: Ive had a lot of answers that I am reading all at once so im just reading over them right now and may not be able to continue until mid week so to your questions. He knows I am commited to him. We have known each other 3 years. We do consider each other friends who care for another. I have more to add and will do so outside of this reply so please read that to. He was just seeing someone else but apparently she was not ready to be in a relationship and he claims he would not want to be with her in that capacity anyway. Look forward to your evaluation
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Cheryl's Post: thanks cheryl. From that article I gather he is not a true narcissist. I cant split the bill here and did not expect so many helpful answers. Yikes! Im Still analyzing.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
hello all. He realizes his behavior in the past and has even uttered the words "I dont know if I can ever really love anyone " The reason I stay with him is because we are very close. I know I cant make somone love me.. I actually think he does but cant open his heart to me. I guess I just wont let go long enough to find out the truth. We are prize communicators which is what has kept us together for so long. There is just something he is not fully communicating. And There is only one way to find out.
Expert:  The Mystic Wave replied 11 years ago.


Thank you for responding and providing further information.

I am not so certain this guy you are talking about is a narcissist. He grew up in a household wherein there was no affection from his parents...perhaps there was no affection for him as well - in turn, he had to learn how to embrace himself.....which there is nothing wrong with that..that is what we all need to do. You indicate that he has a good heart and is a gentleman, when he wants to be - would not all men fall into this personality disorder - and for women to being ladies? People pretty much tend to do what they want to do, when they want to do it - unless they are forced to do something against their own will.

You indicate "He has been in love but only with his own image projected onto a female"...........We all relate better to those who are similar in nature - those that help bring out the better qualities in us - and those that may even be a mirror image of us - just the opposite sex - does this mean narcissistic personality disorder?

You indicate: "So he falls in love very easy"...... Those that are in love (think they are in love) - may be out of the loving relationship within a matter of months, just because, and shortly thereafter, be in another relationship which they claim is "love" - does this mean narcissistic personality disorder? This may be caused from insecurities.

You indicate: "Even though it is not love he feels it is just his conception of it" ...... Many believe that the relationship that they are in is love - but when bad times occur, one is out the door in a heartbeat - many believed it was love - does this mean narcissistic personality disorder? 

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a beautiful youth who refused all offers of love, including that of Echo. As punishment for his indifference he was made to fall in love with his own image in a mountain pool. Unable to possess the image, he pined away and was turned into a flower.

I have known such a person with this personality behavior - and no one can match the love that they hold for self....not even come close....they don't even bother getting involved in a one compares.

Diagnostic Criteria

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

My goodness, there seems to be many who display such symptoms (some and/or all)  in every day life - but, this can be remedied....anything in life can be - if one is still breathing, one should try to keep faith.

In your reply, you indicate that he knows that you are committed to him - that's wonderful -however, is he committed to you, does he want to be in a true committed relationship? If this is one-sided, one cannot actually say they are in a relationship. You state that the two of you are friends - that has been acknowledged, that's a plus - because true, romantic, loving relationships stem from friendship - but, still has he said he is committed to you - that there is no other in his life - that you are the one - the love of his life? You also indicate "He was just seeing someone else but apparently she was not ready to be in a relationship and he claims he would not want to be with her in that capacity anyway"....This definitely says he was never in a relationship with her...for he didn't want it anyway! Did you not like the fact that he was seeing her even though they were not in a romantic relationship?

I must say that your friend is capable of loving, I don't believe he has this personality disorder - I just feel that when the time is right, he will be in a relationship. However, your question is: Will he be in a relationship with you? -  The answer, certainly, must be found out - but how? - simple, you need to ask him..that's how you make it happen. I know what you want to happen - but, if he doesn't want to be in a romantic, loving relationship with you - then at least you can cherish his friendship. Sometimes, we can go for years without recognizing the person who has always been there for us - for we need to gain certain knowledge fom others - then one day, one can feel like they have been hit over the head with a brick..because they finally realize what it's all about - and so they come running back - this is not a bad thing, or something that one should feel as though they are being used - this is part of human nature - this is all for spiritual progress.

To have peace of mind, you may wish to let him know how you feel about him, if you haven't already done so - and even if you have, let him know again....and ask him for his feedback. If anything, you may wish to let him know that you wish to remain friends...(again, the best of romantic, loving relationships stem from friendship) there's always hope.

I look forward to receiving further information from you. I hope this much has helped.

Bright Blessings.

Peace, Love & Happiness,

The Mystic Wave

Expert:  The Mystic Wave replied 11 years ago.


Thank you for sharing further information. It now appears that he just scared - this is a result from his childhood. He may not know what real love is between two people. I would say give him time, he will come around. Don't worry - be happy in your friendship with him...enjoy and cherish. He will come around  - I don't know how long you can wait, what your tolerance level may be - but, if it's any consolation to you, I waited 16 years for my husband to come around - we are recently married. The only thing is that we were in a committed friendship from the beginning - we have always known that we were meant to be together.

Do not fret...if you are "in love" with him - and you feel it in your heart and soul that the two of you are meant to be together, then you will be!

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Bright Blessings.

Peace, Love & Happiness,

The Mystic Wave

Expert:  Michele Sayre replied 11 years ago.
Dear daisy_chainsaw,

You wrote in one of your entries that your friend said that he wasn't even sure if he was able to love anybody.

I remember saying those words when I was a teenager, and I assure you, the fact that he even said them tells me that he really is doing some soul searching.

You never did say how his parents were like, but I could take a guess. For whatever reason, they probably worked a lot or had activities that they were often involved in more than their children's emotional health.

A person doesn't just wake up one day and realize that they are cut off from their feelings. It's a n insidious process, and a lot has to do with the environment that they grow up in.

As the years have passed and I've made my way from this place, these are the things that I realize my parents did that led to my disconnect from my true feelings:

1) My parents weren't very demonstrative. (I'm guessing that your guy's parents were the same way.) This doesn't mean that they (or my parents) were bad people. It just means that sometimes we get so involved in our lives (whether from an emotional aspect or from sheer survival) that we often forget about the important things in life.

This is what happened to my parents. The result was that when I was 16 years old, I had a close male friend give me a hug, and I really didn't understand what I was feeling. My family didn't hug or kiss or whatever. We hardly ever spent any time together. The result was that I became disconnected from my true feelings. That doesn't mean that I didn't have them; it just meant that I didn't have the ability to process what I felt.

After working with children for over 15 years, I learned a very important fact--children must be held and touched (in a good way, of course). The power of touch is powerful. Without it, babies (primies) have died in the hospital, and it is one of the reasons why such programs as Tender Touch (mentioned in the following article) are now being implemented in these institutions. Please check out this article. I know that it is long, but it has a lot of valid points supported by scientific research:

Touch helps us bond with other people. It literally releases chemicals into us that make the experience enjoyable and memorable and helps us develop socially with others.

These two websites contain very imformative articles on this subject (They're also relatively short.):

2) Lack of communication. Not only were my parents undemonstrative, they really didn't know how to talk to each other or us children. Children not only need to be touched physically with hugs and kisses, but their souls need encouraging words to grow and thrive on.

Does this mean that there is no hope for your guy? No, not at all. It just means that he's going to have to work at it, that's all.

Touch (hugs, massage, etc.) is a key element to getting his feelings back. Writing in a journal is another. If he has expressed an interest in developing a romantic relationship with you, then there probably is a part of him that is invested in the outcome of that relationship working out--he just has to connect to those feelings. The process is different for everyone.

Even though I was able to reconnect with my feelings after a couple of years, I still had a phobia about intimacy (physical or otherwise). It took a lot longer to get over that fear than it did to reconnect with my feelings. Part of the problem, I think, was that part of me thought I didn't deserve to be loved and appreciated, that I was unlovable because my parents never expressed those kind of emotions past the point of when I was a small child. After all, kids five and up still need to be nourished, even if they are older.

I hope some of that helped you.

Mic Sayre
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Michele Sayre's Post: I am having trouble with confirming the accept. It gave me an error. Also like the nurses responce and all of htese responces were very helpful but this is like mind reading when you have so little background.
Expert:  Michele Sayre replied 11 years ago.
Dear daisy_chainsaw,

It is like mindreading because I've been there. I know from personal experience exactly what he is going through and what he still needs to go through, and it's not an easy route. You have to realize that he has to play catchup on experiences that most people get when they are children--and they experience them instead of having to mentally focus on them like your beau is going to have to.

I do so hope that things go well for you two. I can tell you this--once he reconnects with his feelings again, I have a feeling that it will be one of the most intense and satisfying experiences that you ever will have in your life.

I just wanted to leave you with one final thought before I go--it's been my experience that you can't limit the advice that you get just to those people that have a degree in that area. To do so is to negate all of the life experiences that people learn throughout their lives. All of the theories and information that you read in books first came from people who experienced or conceived of these things for themselves in everyday life.

My very best wishes to you and your guy!

Mic Sayre

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