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9 Signs You’re in Love With A Gay Narcissist – From an LGBTQ Therapist

Updated August 8, 2022

Many of my LGBTQ therapy clients fall in love with narcissists. It’s pretty easy to do. Narcissists often are extremely charming, bright, and attractive. I call them “shiny”. Around them we can feel excited, more alive, entertained, and flattered that these shiny people chose us. While narcissists can make a charming first impression, they can be challenging to love. They tend to have trouble empathizing with others and so loving them in the context of a long term relationship can feel lonely.

If you want to feel “seen” by your partner then you might not want to date a narcissist.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition describing people with an inflated sense of their own importance, a need for excessive attention, and a lack of empathy for others. Not all people who show these traits have a personality disorder. This clinical definition is reserved for people who have an extreme version of these traits. While we don’t fully understand the cause of this disorder, most psychologists believe it comes from a mix of genetic factors as well as excessive adoration or excessive criticism in early childhood parental relationships.

Whether these characteristics are extreme or mild, they do make close relationships difficult.

Are you constantly feeling disrespect or unvalued in your relationship?

As an LGBTQ therapist, many of my clients typically feel hurt by their gay narcissistic partners because their needs are not valued and respected. It’s painful to keep giving and receive little care in return.

If you love a narcissist you may be spending a lot of time wondering why he doesn’t return your calls promptly, remember your birthday, or demonstrate a consistent interest and curiosity about you?

Here’s why. While narcissists look very confident to the outside world, inside it is a different story. Internally they are experiencing painfully low self-esteem. In order to avoid this feeling they spend a great deal of energy searching for new and greater sources of admiration from others. That search feels so important and consuming that it leaves little room for focusing on another person. It’s like a drug addiction.

Narcissism occurs in a range. We all have some narcissism within us.

  • Healthy narcissism gives us the motivation to get out there and make a splash when we need to.
  • Unhealthy narcissism isolates us from others when it blocks our capacity to empathize and authentically meet someone else’s needs.

If you consistently date people who are high on the narcissist scale then you may have a tendency to ignore your own needs in service to another. A common psychological term for this is “codependency.”

9 Signs of Narcissism in Your Relationship

How can you figure out if the person you are dating is a narcissist? Here are some common red flags and possible signs that can help you:

  1. You call and text them regularly but they rarely initiate contact.
  2. You remember their birthday and plan events to delight them but that isn’t reciprocated.
  3. You do most of the household drudgery and they don’t acknowledge you for that.
  4. You regularly ask them questions about their day but they don’t do the same.
  5. New acquaintances receive a great deal of inspired attention from them but you do not.
  6. When you mention some of these issues they become highly defensive and critical.
  7. Their friendships lack depth, are exploitative, or are short-lived.
  8. They frequently demean, belittle, or manipulate others.
  9. They lack empathy.

If you tend to be codependent then you might be asking right now, “What can I do that will help or change them?” Nothing. This is difficult to accept, but is the true and honest answer. Each of us must be motivated from within to change. Period.

What can you do when you’re in love with a gay narcissist?

So, what can you do if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist?

The solution is to start giving your own needs the attention they deserve. That means figuring out what those needs are, respecting them, and bringing people into your life who enjoy meeting them.

Cultivate Healthy Self-Love

A great first step would be cultivating self-love. The Gay Therapy Center offers a free online class, 30 Days to Feeling Good About You, that is specifically designed for the LGBTQ community and to build self-compassion.

Don’t Do This Alone

Loving someone who has trouble returning that love is a lonely experience. Support from others reduces that loneliness and makes you stronger. Your friends will be the first people to object when they hear stories of how you get hurt. Over time you will be able to internalize their support by creating the necessary boundaries to protect yourself from mistreatment. If you don’t have friends with whom you can confide, now is a good time to develop them.

Get Help from a Qualified Therapist Who is also LGBTQ

If you’re overwhelmed and feeling distressed about being in love with a gay narcissist and you’re confused about what to do, consider speaking with a qualified therapist. Being in a healthy relationship means your partner builds your self-esteem, not damages it. Are you drawn to people with high levels of narcissism? Learning the “why” is an important first step that therapy is designed to help you explore.

Schedule a free 15 minute consultation call and see if the Gay Therapy Center is the right fit for your therapy needs.


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Zonya Cornelius
Zonya Cornelius
08/02/2021 11:24 PM

That was my life for five years I took the black eyes the punching to my head the lies lies lies every other word but he was right everything was his way or nothing a fight would start on or around his birthday his daughter holidays crazy isn’t the word to describe this man in all my 55 years on this earth I’ve never been so beside myself and he never said anything I’m sorry nothing he would say I ought to just kill you I’m so glad I walked away head held high

Evan
Evan
29/12/2021 8:38 AM

I recently discovered that I was dating a narcissist for 7 years. I wondered why so many years I felt lonely and unheard. It’s been a struggle to remove them from my life physically and emotionally.

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Evan
30/11/2022 5:05 AM

My goodness,
I was in a Narcissistic relationship for many years. ‘My partner’ was a self absorbed duche bag.
I realised this about a year or so into our relationship. He’d always borrow my stuff. I really think he was more interested in my ‘things’ than me.

He borrowed my camera 📷 and lost it. I was heartbroken, as it was a gift from my sister.

A few weeks later, he bought himself a NEW camera and hid it in the closest.

He’d always put on a fabulous persona whenever we were in company , but was a misery when we were home.

I have a deep love for radio,which he had no interest in. We joined a community radio station, hosted an afternoon show together. A few months in, there was a shift in the Dynamic. HE somehow took over the show, and began to tell ME how to do radio, and I became second fiddle. He also became close with one of the station assistants.

Our ‘relationship’ came to a head at the beginning of the COVID
lockdown. Even though I couldn’t move out, we became separate
entities. I sought counseling, and began looking for apartments the following year.
I eventually found a place, and moved out. I’ve never been happier.

Gerry Barbarossa
Gerry Barbarossa
06/02/2022 7:23 AM

oh my god, yes. I fell in love with a narcissist last year. He was this very handsome man with a very large ego. He paid almost no attention to me.

Kc cha
Kc cha
22/07/2022 1:34 PM

I thought I’d been in love before, but no, he’s the only person I’ve ever truly been in love with. He’s the Love Of My Life. Unfortunately, I’m not the love of his life. I’m told I have some sort of PTSD-like condition from his psychological and physical abuse. And my logical mind knows exactly what I should do, but even after knowing all of this, if he called and said “come on, let’s go,” I’d be saying “duh, be right there,” packing my stuff knowing I’m walking right back in to the fire, and somehow not caring, somehow not willing or able to stop myself from going back. That makes me crazier than he is, right?

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Kc cha
04/03/2023 1:03 AM

Right

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Kc cha
03/04/2023 2:37 PM

Doesn’t make you crazy it’s all part of the pattern and sucking you back in even has a name with narcissists… Hoovering. Wish you well it is not easy

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Kc cha
31/07/2023 6:40 PM

OMG My “man” would shower me with kind words and great se* When evrything was great it would start to change. First little things. He might make a comment about my house keeping or dirty dishes then it would get more personal. I was always accused of lying about stupid stuff. He once told me that he was “superior”. I was starting to believe that he was. I was wishing I could be better. He claimed the insults were his way of helping me. The worst part was him reading the bible vryday. He started telling me that I did not have God in my life, I was the devil and stuff that attacted my soul. I felt like I needed him. I had made him my everything and felt lost without him. He was the Devil.

Nelson
Nelson
29/08/2022 10:57 PM

I met my narcissist about 13 years ago, a year after my beloved first partner of 34 years died of ALS. My current husband and I did not live together until 7 years in when we got married. I bought our house (no help from him) five months before the wedding and we moved in together. Immediately the picking at me over nothing started. I kept tossing it off as just how his family was raised – all of them barking orders at each other. They he started flying off the handle about absolutely nothing because he thought I made him looks stupid answering a question in a group text. Now, 4 years ago, he suddenly announced he wanted a much more open relationship ( so that tons of guys would worship him of course), and he wanted to get bayk into the fisting scene, which he had never bothered to tell me, and he started doing meth from time to time. I left a few times, and am still getting up the courage to end it. I finally talked to him about a dissolution ( we have a prenup, which will make it easier – he wanted me to rescind it a few years ago and I refused) . My sister told me on her death bed “he’s toxic and you need him out of life”. I’m working on it, but waiting for repairs to be done to our house so I can move to another secondary property to be safe. He goes out constantly, sometimes for two days at a time, to do meth and fuck everyone in sight.

RICHMAN GENIUS
RICHMAN GENIUS
24/09/2022 11:55 PM

Im sorry .the fact is NARCASIST CANT CHANGE their BAD and sellfish mindset. they are SICK. MENTAL ILLNESS. SO GOTTA RUN AWAY FROM THEM. why should continue with them anymore. GUYS, please break off with narca. They will abused u everyday till they find new PARTNER to replace u.

Jake
Jake
29/11/2022 9:11 AM

For a community that preaches about being about empathy, I’ve never seen so many gay men meet the descriptions mentioned here. It truly is a crisis that does not get any attention, because gay men have accepted this as normal.

Ryan
Ryan
07/01/2023 12:18 AM

I got a good one! If a guy seems to have a partner but says it is just a friend and roommate, but He in his mind he believes that he is his husband, but they are not together. You are basically dating a married man who will never change the situation. So sad, he is so nice and attractive! I was on fooling myself. He is obviously lying and using the first one so I am sure that is a pattern that started before we met and he is probably got someone to replace my role in less than a week.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Ryan
31/07/2023 6:44 PM

My man got married while living with another partner and the one he was living with took him back while he was still married. OH YA!! he has got game and the SE* is addicting

Kammy B
Kammy B
19/04/2023 12:55 PM

Oh my gosh I second that I am 51 years old and 3 years has gone by and this is the first and last love of my life I’ve never been married but I love this man so and he continues to hurt me on a day-to-day basis this is the hardest thing I’ve had to go through and my whole entire life and every time I think of leaving I’ve came back more times that I could count on my hands and toes and it’s so hard thinking that I loved with all my heart for nothing I guess one day soon I might have the strength enough to pick up and leave him for good you know my heart breaks and hurts so much I’ve never experienced such hurt before note to self that somebody does deserve the love that you have to give hope all is well good luck to you and stay strong

Charles Robin
Charles Robin
08/06/2023 9:17 PM

For five years, I was with, and was (still am) deeply in love with a very mean narcissist. He is The Love Of My Life. I’ll never stop loving him.
He was badly sexually abused as a child, and has ADHD. And zero rage control. I don’t think he’s been diagnosed with NPD, except by me. But he has virtually all of those traits. I became an expert on this subject from nearly 5 years of nightly google searches on all of this. I joke to friends that I have a psychology degree from Google.
Anyway, throwing in that ADHD and inability to control rage with my amateur diagnosis of NPD, means that I was badly psychologically injured after five years. I’ve been in some therapy. But I still want to go back to him. More than ever. The logic center in my brain says “no, that’s a very bad idea. Duh.” But my heart, which unfortunately rules me, very much wants to. Needs to.
It’s the Stockholm Syndrome – a phenomenon where a person continues to fall more in love with their abusive partner despite all of the pain. It got it’s name from a famous story of prisoners who became loyal to their abusive guards and defended them when forces came to liberate them.
Even with knowing in detail exactly what his mental illness is, and what it means, I’d still go back to him. In spite of knowing my own mental issues, stemming from years of narcissistic abuse, I know I’d go right back to him, full of plans and strategies on how to make it work this time. Insane. I know. But I have to admit that I want to go back to him, and try my hardest one more time to make it work.
I met someone who is a psychologist (psychiatrist?) who listened to me explain all of this (I got some free counseling! Lol). When I finished giving him about the same level of detail as this post, I expected him to tell me “what I have,” as in a medical diagnosis, while probably handing me a thick stack of papers about narcissistic abuse syndrome to read. But he was quiet for a few beats. I asked him “do you know what’s making me -still- want him after all that? Why am I like this?” And he replied, “because you love him.” The truth in that statement moved me to tears. He’s the love of my life and I’d still step in front of a train for him.
But I also know that I lean on that like a crutch when trying to justify to myself and others why I’d be stupid enough to go back to him.
Early on, I learned in detail his childhood abuse (from his brother — because my ex never would talk about it or even acknowledge that it ever happened). The detailed knowledge of the abuse only made (makes) me love him more. The abuse was very bad, I’ll just leave it at that. It makes me love him all the more, with a powerful need to comfort and protect him, and help him. And it’s a large part of why I want to go back to him.
I’ve got to stop here. This post could become a book. Thanks for reading.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Charles Robin
31/07/2023 6:49 PM

My narc was abused also, as a child. Pity will not make him a good person. He is broken and if I stay I will be broken also. He is a vampire who sucks all the happiness out of my spirit. He brings me down so he can maintain control. Dont go back!!!! My last encounter with mine was in the hallway of his apartment. He was beating on me with his fist.

Freddie
Freddie
24/11/2023 12:14 PM

My current gay narc (yes, I fell for another one a few years ago) is a charming, athletic, and oh, so good-looking, 20-something life guard. I’m a fit 60-something, new to the pool. When I eyed him on only my second day, he knew he’d found his mark. He zeroed in on me and I don’t think I’ve been love bombed like that ever before. He followed me from one end of the pool to the other and back again, like a little puppy dog, day in and day out. Soon, the demeaning and belittling began. But I’ve been self-taught on narcs: 23 days after meeting “Mr. (Not) Right,” I calmly and quietly walked away from him. My advice: seek professional therapy (I did), keep a journal and educate yourself daily on narcs. Early on, I learned quite by accident that he’s been raped numerous times and can’t stand the fact that he attracts “only old gay guys.” His daddy is a Pastor. His mommy controls the purse strings: she even has complete control over his paychecks. A coworker of his confided in me, letting me know, “Word is he has mental problems.” Yeah, tell me about it.

Last edited 6 months ago by Freddie
Jay Jay
Jay Jay
13/01/2024 2:24 PM

I don’t think these 9 signs prove your gay partner is narcissistic.

Thay cheat multiply, cancel dates, lie about things, criticise everyone around them. During disagreements they get violent. They lovebombed you in the beginning.They have a long story of promiscuity and hipersuality. They think their families are superb and unique.They talk shot about their friends all the time and think they re envious of them.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jay Jay
Cardan David
Cardan David
06/02/2024 8:56 PM

I fell in love with a bi sexual man who has NPD. He loved bombed me. Breadcrumbed me. Became withdrawn. Didn’t tell me the whole time he was married. I am really sad and damaged. He is 18 years older than me ! I’m 42 he is 59. He lied about his name. So I don’t even know who I fell in love with ! The tears roll out my eyes like a waterfall. I went to a doctor about it. I hate him.

Chris
Chris
28/02/2024 4:33 AM

I am amazed and actually glad I found this site and thread. A dear friend of mine made me realize that I was with a narcissist! I thought it was true love after avoiding dating for 12 years and moved to another city. He started out amazing, then came the lies and the excuses. Not to mention the fact that the only thing important to him is his bodybuilding. He grew up Mormon so a lot of issues there. He came out very late (38y/o) and now he’s 46 and I believe I am the 6 or 7th guy he’s been with. I’m still with him even though he’s literally lied to my face after he promised not to. He also flat out admitted that he desired big muscled and big dicked, latin, middle eastern, asian, and white guys. That’s not me. I’ve spent close to 50k to make him feel special since he was making less money when we met, then I motivated him to get promoted and received a 20k salary increase. Still is hard for him to spend money on anything the costs a lot if it’s not his body building supplements. I hold on because I love him and he was there when my mom passed away and he was at my side during my kidney transplant recovery. He’s trying but again, here I am making excuses to justify his actions. He wants to be an alpha but is a wimp, he doubts himself a lot, and his goals tend to be u realistic or delusional. I’m at the point where I’m giving it 6 months to a year and if it continues, great; if not, bon voyage. What bothers me the most is that when he argues he uses my same words, like he mirrors my ideas because he is not an original thinker. He’s also made me look like a monster to his family and friends. Lol. Typing this out makes me realize even more…wtf did I get myself into?!!? I definitely need counseling!!

Erik
Erik
27/03/2024 7:17 AM

My husband of 10 years has had mental issues from the beginning. I used to see it as my super power to understand and come up with excuses for his behaviour, to prove my love.
Sme of his mental issues receded and I thought my investment had paid off.
But then he turned against me, and started to systematically attack me and everything about me. In the beginning I cut out a few friend that he didnt like. Then I gave up on friends that I could not see often enough anyway. And when he started to give me the silent treatment in front of my friends, or belittle me and humiliate me for a joke, I found myself cutting my losses with everyone around.
Now I feel lonely, I slowly realise how narcissistic he is, and how I will never feel at peace around him anymore.
A year ago we nearly broke up. I was involved in a project which he tried to fight and get me to quit all along. He suddenly had to travel at the same time to pick up ashes of four friends. Weeks later, I realised I had been stupid to give him the benefit of the doubt, this whole story was untrue, or at best, there was a part of truth at the start of it.
A couple of months later I didnt lock the apartment properly. When I came home, we had been “ransacked”, but just a little.
In the end just our hard drives were missing, nothing was damaged. He of course “found” the hard drives somewhere, and my hard drive is destroyed. 25 years of photos and souvenirs, gone. Just to teach me a lesson.
I am now looking for a room to move out.

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