Shattering The Ugly Cycle: 3 Reasons Why You Keep Falling For Narcissists

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It feels different this time. You tell yourself that you know the warning signs, and this potential new partner doesn’t have them. No, they are compassionate and generous. The bad luck has finally ended!  You’ve finally stopped falling for narcissists, you tell yourself with conviction and joy.

You’ve broken the cycle!

Six months pass, and it’s like the trauma smacks you upside the head. It’s like the person has become just another replication of all the horrors you thought you escaped.

How did we get here? Again? And why does this keep happening?

1 – You’re Focusing On Red Flags & Glossing Over Yellow Flags


Ignoring the yellow flags is always a risk.

When we start dating someone new, our brain releases a variety of flooding chemicals that evoke a sense of passion, connection, and intimacy. The neuroscience of falling in love is as fascinating as it is alarming. Before we know it, we may be entrenched in a toxic relationship.

Let’s be honest. It’s easy to identify the significant areas of concern. These are the obvious signs, the ones wrapped in caution tape.

We forget that most narcissists don’t reveal their true colors right away. That would be too sloppy. Instead, they bait and lure with their allusion of kindness. They ‘rescue’ us with their natural confidence.

Like it or not, seasoned narcissists aren’t stupid. They’re calculated and intentional. They know that dating resembles a game. Unfortunately, they also know how to manipulate and scam the rules, so the game is in their favor.

What are some of these yellow flags?

  • Distasteful comments about past partners
  • Excessive talking about achievements
  • Hyper-focus on material possessions
  • Excessive talking about status or reputation
  • Becomes highly agitated when “disrespected”
  • Puts down people (directly or indirectly) when they don’t agree with their thoughts
  • Acts as if they are above the rules
  • Frequently interrupts
  • Gives unsolicited and unwanted advice

Of course, these yellow flags do not guarantee narcissism. However, they can certainly indicate a troubling pattern. The more symptoms a partner displays, the greater your likelihood of dealing with a narcissist.

2 – You’re Attracted To The Chaos


Do you believe that intensity equals being alive?

Despite the anguish, being with a narcissist can be exciting. You won’t experience boredom. Instead, you’ll undergo a constant hurricane of intense emotion and impulse- you never know what day they’re going to be enraged and condescending or blissful and loving.

Why would anyone be attracted to such chaos, though? Don’t we all long for healthy and secure relationships? Don’t we know that we deserve respect?

The answer, of course, is complicated. Logically knowing something doesn’t mean we take the appropriate action to manifest it.

Many people return to narcissistic partners because other partners feel “boring” in comparison. They’re used to the dynamic ups-and-downs; they have mistaken that volatility for love and desire. The lack of the tornado feels more threatening than the tornado itself.

3 – You’re Trying To Recreate (And Rescue) Your Childhood

Unmet childhood needs grow stronger in adulthood.

Our behavior develops and cultivates via intergenerational patterns. For this reason, many children of narcissists grow up and find themselves trapped in adult relationships with narcissists. On a first impression, this pattern seems baffling. Why would someone want to recreate the horror and insanity?

The answer, of course, is complicated. When we have unmet needs in childhood, those needs don’t disappear once we become adults. On the contrary, those needs often grow stronger, and we tend to become critical of ourselves (and others) the longer those needs remain unmet.

The attraction towards narcissists, therefore, resembles more of a subconscious process. We may fall in love with partners that mimic our caretakers under the distorted impression that we can somehow “fix” them. Through this “fixing,” we believe we can inadvertently “fix” our childhood wounds.

This is why children of alcoholics have a higher likelihood of marrying alcoholics. It’s what these individuals know, and we are attracted to familiar patterns.  While most of us want to believe that we marry someone utterly independent from our family-of-origin, an honest inventory often shows that we choose partners who closely resemble our caretakers.

Breaking The Cycle One Step At A Time

Breaking the pattern of narcissistic relationships takes time, willingness, and persistence. The healing doesn’t happen overnight, but the journey can be highly productive and rewarding.

Increasing Awareness

If you’re still not sure why you’re attracted to narcissists, it’s time to do some soul searching and identify the potential reasons.

What connections can you draw between your previous partners? Even though we tend to focus on differences, what slight (or obvious) similarities exist?

Did you have one or more narcissistic caretakers? Did you experience domestic violence, neglect, or emotional abuse in childhood? Did someone take the lead in your life and make decisions for you from a young age?

Still not sure? It may be time to reach out for professional support. Working with a therapist or seeking coaching can help you uncover these answers, or at the least, help you see your situation more clearly.

Identifying The Pros

This may seem foreign, but it is imperative that you learn how narcissistic relationships have positively served you in your life.

Did these people provide a powerful sense of protection and safety? Were you comforted knowing that you were with someone who seemed so confident and assured? Were you with partners that impressed your friends or family?

The advantages may be more insidious. By being with a narcissistic partner, did you get to “blame” the other person for the distress in your life? Did you benefit from avoiding focusing on your own flaws and setbacks?

Acknowledging the “good parts” of such a horrific cycle isn’t fun. It’s downright painful. However, there are reasons why you keep falling into the same patterns, and you owe it to yourself to learn how and why you’re finding yourself stuck.  

Identify What You Will Lose

Changing patterns always entails some semblance of loss. By letting go of narcissistic patterns, what will change?

Will you lose the “comfortable” chaos and have to navigate the strange waters of “healthier” dating? Will you miss the person who, at times, can seem so kind, magical, and intelligent?

Note that even positive loss can be painful. You’re allowed to feel sad or anxious or angry. You’re allowed to feel uncertain if this process is for you. However, by moving forward, you give yourself the chance for a new beginning.

Consider No-Contact With The Narcissist In Your Life

Are you currently in a relationship with a narcissist? Even though it may seem harsh, the only true way to change this cycle is by leaving the cycle.

The no-contact approach enables you to recharge your batteries and move on from the abuse. If you have a sinking feeling that something is wrong, don’t ignore your intuition. Your intuition is looking out for your best interest, but it’s your job to listen!

Spend Some Time Alone

Are you a serial dater? Can’t stand to be alone? This desperation fuels toxic relationships because it essentially highlights your visceral need for validation and attention.

Yes, spending time alone may sound scary or punitive. However, it can be a profound experience- especially if you’ve never done it. You deserve to build a healthy relationship with yourself. You deserve to spend the time healing and building your self-worth.

And if you do decide to get back into the dating scene? You’ll be armed with mental protection and ready to find someone who treats you with the love, respect, and kindness you have always deserved.

Be Kind To Yourself

Breaking free from narcissistic abuse is draining. You will make mistakes along the way. You may even revert into old patterns from time to time.

Know that this is normal. You are on your journey, and you don’t need to do the work perfectly to reap the excellent benefits of healing. Be kind to yourself. Be willing to learn, reflect, and forgive.

You can do this! 

How to Stop Falling for Narcissists

Did you know?  Rebuilding your inner identity is crucial when you are ready to stop falling for narcissists and explore romance again.   If you don’t have a strong sense of who you are, chances are high that you will mold yourself into someone other people want you to be.  If this is a romantic partner, it can lead to more emotional damage.  

Get more tools to rediscover your lost self after narcissistic abuse

Check out my groundbreaking video course  THRIVE!

I will give you video training (in short 3 – 10 minute bursts) and immersive exercises to help you discover new beliefs, new opportunities, and new ways of living you thought were beyond you– and restore your shattered identity and sense of self to become a better version of YOU than ever before!

Learn more now!

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Amanda says January 24, 2024

For me it was number 1. I was so unaware of narcissism and manipulation tactics. Like the tactic of deflecting back onto you, the introspective person, after confronting them for something. If you don’t understand this tactic then you might feel a ping in your intuition but have no idea how to rightfully address it except maybe to do what you normally do and introspect on the situation. They appeared genuinely surprised at your confrontation. They minimize it and play innocent and then claim the issue isn’t so much an issue as how your character must be flawed for “accusing” (confronting them for something they definitely did) them of having done something negative and then draw attention to how they’ve been nothing but nice to you. You think about how up to this point they’ve been so “kind” to you so this seems like an exception, or presumably out of character. So simply because of a lack of knowledge of manipuation tactics you misinterpret your intuition and it fails you.

Jaimee says October 3, 2021

Wow thank you for helping me finally make sense of why I am attracted to assholes. I am #2 all the way. I’ve always believed in love & dreamed that it would be a magical, sweep you off your feet, passionate experience. And that’s just what a narcissist’s love bombing stage feels like. I realize now that I was in lust at first sight with my narcissist ex. And Bc of that ‘animal attraction’ that I often told him I had for him, I completely brushed the red flags under the rug. I thought our love & passion for each other was so strong that we could overcome any & all of those issues. Well I was totally wrong. There is no fixing a narcissist. I’ve been free for almost a year now & I am healing. I’m getting stronger everyday now. I’ve been dating a man & I’ll admit it felt boring at first but now I really appreciate how easy & low maintenance everything feels. Real love is consistent. It doesn’t have to feel overwhelming in the beginning. It can simply feel comfortable.

Brenda Barton says May 2, 2020

I went no contact and left my abusive narc about it’s been about two years ago. I would leave when his rage blowups got closer and closer together, or after he abused me, but, for a couple years due to my ignorance of truama bonding and relationship abnesia. I due to the rageful childhood abuse from my mother ( Mommy dearest) i already had stockholme syndrome and an abandonment issue, no self-esteem or self-worth. I was never able to form or implement boundries. Because of all the abusive brainwashing i believed myself defective and sought out men who had a sense of power and direction to lead the way. Desperate for someone to love and validate me. I handed my power away.
When i realized i was being brutally abused again and tried to leave and stay gone i went up against an abandonment issue and terrified of being alone i lost and went back Everytime.

Anonymous says May 1, 2020

I’m just not sure if he is a narcissist. I can’t decide. He breaks promises n even lies to me. But he’s also sweet no caring. He hurts me with his words as well. But I just am not sure if he is Or not. We are not kids We are old he’s 66 n I’m 71. We have been together sence our partners passed away few years ago. Thank you so much for all your. Help. I sometimes think I’m narcissistic. I really an looking for answers. My whole had been this way. N as you I blamed myself

    Cat says May 15, 2023

    If you have to think about it, he is.

Anonymous says May 1, 2020

Thanks for all your wisdom, information and effort .. I definitely appreciate all emails, but I’m more of a youtube listener. Mail has much less impact on me .. I miss you so much on youtube and notice that I am less drawn to my inbox to read a lot of dead text.
I like you to know this, because email is no longer the fastest way in my experience .. And email clicks away faster than listening to someone .
Maybe something to think about, because it’s still so important to HEAR from you! I wish you the very best and good luck with the propagation of really valuable knowledge. It should remain direct attention! Email is kind of off and indirect now a days..I hardly turn to email anymore.
Just saying…

Sean Craig says January 18, 2020

So is it possible for a narcissist to be able to get the proper treatment/ counselling in order to become a recovering narcissist? Similar an alcoholic that is in recovery? You are

    Kim Saeed says January 18, 2020

    Hi Sean,

    This is the million-dollar question. According to current research, there haven’t been any documented case studies where a narcissist ‘recovered’ or made any positive long-term changes. Alcoholism is a disease that can be overcome with proper treatment and a willingness to recover. Narcissism is a personality disorder. In fact, it’s a Cluster-B disorder, which means that people who are narcissistic often also possess varying levels of other personality disorders. So, you could be dealing with someone who is narcissistic/anti-social, or narcissistic/borderline. So, the potential for a narcissist to recover is slim-to-none.

    Hope that helps answer your question.


Daniel says June 10, 2019

It’s also important to recognize green flags. There are things a narcissist can’t do, like have empathy, humility, compromise and conflict resolution. Since they can’t love, look for true signs of love and you’ll avoid narcissists.

    Amanda says January 24, 2024

    They can definitely fake “green flags” like humility and empathy!
    For instance, mine came back in my life to apologize after 5 years. That in itself appeared humble. When I told them I forgave him and he said they didn’t deserve it, he appeared humble. When I brought up something troubling that happened years earlier he claimed to not have memory of ot but took accountability for it based on my word alone and claimed that what he’d done, that he didn’t remember, was wrong. Again, humble. He claimed he’d found Jesus. Humble. That was all just during the first phone call that happened after he sent flowers to get the ball rolling. Humble. During another conversation he claimed he’d become friends with his SIL’s sister during our breakup and she’d been contacting him to vent about some upsetting things going on in her life. He seemed transparent and told me he had been nervous to tell me she was contacting him because over 10 years earlier his brother wanted him to take her to their homecoming but since he and I were together he took me. He presented himself as *so* considerate and of my feelings. Except I found out well after we’d gotten married that he wasn’t nervous to tell me about her because of some thing that never even came to fruition 10 years earlier, it was actually because his brother had just fixed them up in that present time after he’d hoovered and was persuing me, and he was sneaking around with her and lying to me about how he was spending his time and with whom. He literally tricked me into marriage by pretending to be this amazing new and improved person, full of humility and empathy and compassion.

Unrequited Love Isn’t Blocking Your Recovery — This Is - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says May 14, 2019

[…] charisma and smiles is a cruel and abusive adversary, who you keep circling back to. It’s hard to break this cycle and even more difficult to move forward in […]

Geraldine says April 8, 2019

I think my main problem is I must have been brought up to not question people, believing most people are good and they present themselves truly, hence an almost inability to identify being conned emotionally. Perhaps a good way for parents to get children not to question them. It’s funny because in business I can spot a fraud a mile off so my instincts must be there. It’s just working out why all these instincts fail you with a potential partner or that you override them. As you say, confidence is a huge pull and that they seem “hard to get” so must be worth the struggle. They’re not hard to get really, they just know the game. What a sham it all is

Laura Gonzalez says April 7, 2019

Well dang! Now there’s yellow flags? Pre-warnings to the warmings?

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