[NOTE: Not all people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are equally abusive. Narcissists range from those who put you on a pedestal and then verbally devalue you when they realize you are not the perfect being that they expected you to be, to people who physically abuse their mates and try and control their every move — who they can see, what they can spend money on, how often they can speak to their family, etc.]
The Three Stages of the Narcissistic Relationship Abuse Pattern
Although there are narcissists who are “players” and not looking for a serious, long-term relationship, many with narcissistic disorders do want to settle down and get married. Unfortunately, because they lack whole object relations, they tend to be unrealistic about what they expect in a mate. They perceive two categories: perfect and flawed.
Perfect = You are pleasing me right now.
Flawed = You are doing something that I do not like right now.
As a result, instead of finding the perfect relationship that they crave, narcissists end up repeating what I call the Narcissist Relationship Abuse Pattern. Each stage has its own form of narcissistic abuse that you can learn to spot.
STAGE 1: Chasing the Unicorn
In the beginning, you seem like that rarest of imaginary creatures, the unicorn. They love everything about you; even your flaws seem like endearing idiosyncrasies. Narcissists are extremists with no middle ground. When they first find you attractive, they are likely to idealize you and believe that you are the perfect mate for them. At last they have found someone who will never disappoint them. They give chase and pursue you with attention, gifts, texts, flattery, and anything else they think will help prove their total devotion. In this stage, while you are slightly out of reach, and they have not yet sealed the deal, they are totally focused on convincing you to give them a chance to prove their love. Some narcissists just repeat the “Chase Stage” over and over with different people, because they really do not know how to have an actual relationship with someone they have “caught.”