STAGE ONE: IDEALIZATION
The intoxicating stage where targets are constantly showered with declaration of love and affection. You feel completely supported, understood, loved, & admired in ways no one else ever made you feel. You’ve finally found your soulmate and forever love.
IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE REACHING THE END OF YOUR ROPE with nowhere to turn, call the 24-hr National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or the 24-hr Crisis Text Line by texting “HELP” to 741-741. In an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Note: I will be referring to narcissists in these posts as male because that’s how it applies to me in this experience. However, NPD can also be found in females.
I’ve learned this stage is commonly referred to as the “love bombing” stage because the narc will figuratively “bomb” his target in as many ways as possible with love, affection, attention, presents and trips.
EVERYTHING about you will fascinate him and he will love every little part of who you are, what you do, and how you do everything… he will praise you all day and marvel about how blessed you both are for having so much in common… it’s like you’re the same person (mine said he’s a big, white male version of me… lol).
This experience feels like a dream come true – only BETTER – and it truly feels like he’s been your soulmate and best friend from the very start. So there’s no reason to suspect anything harmful is happening, because this is the most wonderful and romantic bond you’ve ever experienced in your entire life.
I was BEYOND convinced he was “my person”… my soulmate. It was insane… we had this incredible chemistry. I swear, I’ve never connected with anyone like I did with him in my life.
He loved and appreciated me, and wasn’t afraid to express it throughout the day. There’s not enough words to describe how he made me feel… he saw and accepted the “real” me… and I was perfect for him. I felt so supported and understood. I loved everything I knew about him… it really felt like we were the only two people who could fit. It can never be anyone else because we’ve finally found each other. He was my one.
Shortly after confessing his “love” for me, he started telling me, “You know I’m gonna put a ring on that finger… I’m gonna marry you and make an honest woman out of you.” (~ whatever that means).
I loved him. He really was IT for me… nobody could possibly be more perfect and I was absolutely CONVINCED we were put on this earth to find each other. This is what true love forever must look like!
A one-way emotional bond (you to him) is created during this intense idealization stage. This is when you quickly fall head-over-heels in love with the narcissist and become vulnerable to what will follow.
Narcissists lack emotional empathy, they are physically unable to bond or genuinely love another person. However they are highly skilled at mirroring their targets… QUICKLY appearing as THE PERFECT MATCH.
They have to move things along quickly because they get [simple_tooltip content=’Their existence depends on outside approval which only provides temporary relief from their inner emptiness. Everything is superficial and fleeting without emotional bonds… so they are constantly trying to fill that miserable void they are stuck with.’][/simple_tooltip] quickly. They get bored quickly because their brains are unable to form emotional bonds with people.
Think of when you read a magazine. It’s interesting for a while until… “okay, what else can I do?” Same thing.
INITIAL 14 WONDERFUL MONTHS WITH MY BEST FRIEND, SOULMATE, HERO, AND PROTECTOR…
He constantly reached out throughout the day via texts, phone, and Facetime; declaring his love & appreciation for me.
He couldn’t go 20 minutes without me… claiming he suffers from “Carmen withdrawals”… My texts to him were answered almost instantly because, “Sometimes I just stare at my phone waiting to hear from you…”
I would wake up to a huge number of texts, pictures, videos, and voice messages every morning, reminding me he’s “catastrophically in love with me”, “crazy about me”, how I’ve “changed his life”, that we’ve been “picked for each other”, and that he “loves me for who I REALLY am… not just for how others sees me.” I felt so blessed… I’ve never been loved like this before.
He would be in tears as he talked about finally understanding what those love songs were about… amazed how the love quotes and stories now resonates with him. He “get’s all the stuff about love now” because of me…
Every single day he reminded me that he’s been looking for me all his life… and he can’t believe he finally found me.
I LOVED HIM WITH EVERYTHING I AM.
My 16 year old got a look at some of the texts I included on these posts and he was put off by the contents of the messages. “Mom… I can’t believe the things he said to you… they’re so over the top!”
I, on the other hand, was completely swept off my feet by them… such a Disney Princess love story girl… ugh. The man of my dreams identified my “language” and spoke it FLUENTLY. ~ this is mirroring.
Note: He was my “Puppy”… he said he’ll always be like a puppy for me… bouncing around my feet trying to get my attention and doing whatever I ask, just to make me happy. The name “Asa” is my Japanese name my family and close friends call me by.
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He was the sweetest, most loving and accepting man I have ever known. My best friend and soulmate… he made me the luckiest girl in the world.
We were ridiculously COMPATIBLE… He loved the same things I loved, and whatever he wasn’t familiar with, he wanted to experience them with me. He loved everything about me and he loved everything I didn’t like about myself… my weirdness & weaknesses.
We shared the same fears and we were going to heal and grow together.
FUTURE-Planning… he was determined to marry me. Occasionally asking if I want a big wedding or a private one… somewhere in the US or on a beautiful tropical island far away…
We were always searching for exciting destinations around the world… Japan, Australia, Philippines, Italy, Mexico, beautiful islands… and fun adventures in Houston and here in Vegas… he wanted to take me to New Orleans after the New Year… “You’d die for the food there, baby!”
He loved that I’m a religious education teacher and asked if he could help teach a class with me when we moved to Houston. I loved our God-centered relationship.
YOU ARE PERFECT… FLAWLESS! WHAT IT REALLY MEANS…
The problem here is, he’s not actually seeing you *as your own person – he sees you playing a “role” in his fantasy of the perfect couple. It’s not real admiration… he’s agreeing with the “idea” in his head about how perfect you are for that role, but he’s genuinely excited! Until… he gets bored and the fun of role playing the perfect couple wears off and he begins to realize you don’t exactly fit his perfect fantasies. (devaluation)
(*) Due to their lack of emotional empathy, narcissists are not properly wired to genuinely care about or *see* anyone outside themselves.
Mine always told me I was his perfect… his dream girl… even as we were breaking up when I found he was cheating on me with a more convenient source of supply … and then by text after we’ve broken up. So you see, being his “perfect” means absolutely nothing because the narc will rewrite his “fantasy story” and the actors who play the roles in them, at the drop of a hat.
ANYWAY, BACK TO MY DREAM COME TRUE LOVE STORY…
I was so happy to SUPPORT him in whatever he was doing…
Whether it was in business, faith building, health, parenting, and personal improvement… [ continue reading ]
(Next page includes gifts, more texts, and his list of what he wants from his next partner…)
If you feel like you’re reaching the end of your rope with nowhere to turn, call the 24-hr National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or the 24-hr Crisis Text Line by texting “HELP” to 741-741. In an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
P.S. Lemme know what you think!
Carmen is a mom, life strategist, religion teacher, best selling author, advice columnist, foodie wannabe, and advocate for victims of narcissistic abuse. She is currently living la vida loca in Vegas with her not-so-little human… prepping him for med school while pseudo-adulting, Tahitian dancing, and exploring the delicious world of bubble tea *woo!*