The 5 Stages of a relationship with a Narcissist

5 stages of a relationship with a narcissist! As always my goal here is to provide analysis so that we can learn and grow from these lessons. And  let’s continue to use the same example of Meghan  Markel and Prince Harry as we look into what  makes relationships with Narcissists so


  • confusing,
  • manipulative,
  • ultimately incredibly painful!

Relationship with a narcissist

The first stage of a relationship with a narcissist is being picked out of a crowd. Now to understand this stage, we have to talk about what narcissists are looking for. They’re not looking for love, or a relationship with mutual respect and adoration. No, no narcissists are looking for power and control. This doesn’t just apply to their romantic relationships. This is how they view friends, family relations, and employees. Their overarching desire is to feel like they’re the ones in control. In order to feed this need, in romantic relationships, they look for people that will be easy to control and manipulate. The act of picking someone out of a crowd is looked as a past time to them, because they’re hunting for someone that they’re going to mark at their next target. As we now know, this is exactly what Meghan did to Prince Harry.

She strategically formed friendships so as to get introduced to Prince Harry. Now why go for Prince Harry? Well the obvious answer is that Harry could provide Meghan with increased publicity, and an increase in wealth, position, and thus, power. But there’s one other reason, and that is entirely because of Harry’s personality. You see Narcissists look for empathic people, or empathy, people who have the ability to feel, specifically feel for other people. And interestingly, empathy falls on the opposite spectrum of narcissists, where narcissists feel almost no empathy for other people.

narcissists can abandon people easily

This is why narcissists can abandon people easily, from family to friends, to long term partners. So is Harry empathy? It seems like he has inherited his mother’s ability to feel deeply for others.

He truly cares for the causes that he backs and often shows his emotion publicly, especially at times that he is overcome. Now I’m sure many of us have this romanticized desire to be spotted and picked out of a crowd – pulled into the spotlight and made to feel special. It’s this desire that narcissists play on, making us feel like they found us, and they see us in a way that we’ve never been seen ever before.

Idealization or Golden period

This is what kicks off the second stage – Idealization or what’s also known as the “Golden period” is the time when the narcissist puts us up on a pedestal and makes us feel special and loved. They do this by adopting characteristic traits and becoming the person that they know we will like and later love.  They will cold read what we want out of a relationship and reflect that back at us. Meghan did this by quickly recognizing that Harry wanted a humanitarian, someone who was an easy going, low maintenance, down to rough it under the stars in the most remote parts of the world, type of girl.

Which is exactly what she put forward? Narcissists will also discern their partner’s biggest insecurities and compensate for them, by showing us that they see us the way we want to be seen. In Prince Harry’s case, Meghan knew he was afraid to be only loved for his title, for his wealth and position. So Meghan right off the bat played up the fact that she didn’t know much about him, that she didn’t care what was printed about him or about his status.

That what mattered to her was what was on the inside Clip -Narcissists also use touch, intense glances, smiles, to keep their constant adulating attention on us, to show that we’re all that matter in this world. And under this gaze, we thrive, we think, everything is perfect.

 Love and adulation


And this is where we start to feel love back, because we think we’re getting exactly what we need in life.  Someone who understands us, loves us, but most importantly, sees us the way we want to be seen. Now when we start returning this adulation back to the narcissist, they love it, this is exactly what they’re looking for. Love and adulation. And they make the move to make it stick by moving onto the next stage –

Paying our dues

Paying our dues. This is the stage where narcissists want to make sure that we’re prioritizing their needs and desires, and paying them back for all the ways that they’ve made us feel special and loved. They’re looking for that love and adulation right back, as well as intense loyalty. If this means that we need to defend them against our family then we need to comply. If this means that we need to prioritize their career, their emotions, so be it. And if this means we need to cut ties with people we love like our friends, and family, then – you know where I’m going with this.

In Harry’s case, we see him working hard to defend Meghan from all angles. If she wants  a particular tiara for her wedding then he  says “well Meghan gets what Meghan wants “If he has to be somewhere performing royal duties,  but Meghan says they need to go to the Lion King  premier where he needs to hustle and get Meghan  a voiceover job, then guess who’s going to win?

And the narcissist won’t make you feel like they’re winning. At this stage they’re still playing to the personality that they know you want to see from them.  So they’re not going to convince you to sacrifice things by making demands. Instead they’re going to pull on your heart strings by making themselves out to be the victim. Look, Harry, look how your family treats me.

Look how your friends don’t even like me, look how the British people are being racist, and look how the tabloids are harassing me.  And I’ve had to give up my entire life; my career is not even going anywhere. Now if we love the narcissist, and we want them to be happy, we don’t want to see them hurt. No, we want to fix it for them; we want to cover them up, and protect them from the world, especially if we have the power to do so.

And that’s how we’re even further ensnared. And the narcissist loves this.  We’re working for them, defending them, showing them all the love and adulation they could ever want. But after a while, this gets boring. Remember, the narcissist doesn’t want love and mutual respect. No they want to feel like they are in control, that they have all the power over us. So thus, they will embark on the next stage. Stage

Devaluation This stage is the worst.

The absolute worst part of being with a narcissist. Because it’s a rollercoaster. There are times when the narcissist  with put us down, will give us the cold shoulder,  the silent treatment, openly flirt with other  people, our friends, ignore calls, or messages.  And then convince us that it’s all in our head. That nothing is wrong. While we’re caught miserable, wondering what we did wrong. Other times it will be great again, rosy in fact.

Not quite back to the love we experienced in the golden period, but still we’ll get some love and happiness. But before we can breathe a sigh of relief, bam! The devaluation is back. And now we’re being treated even worse. This period can last a really long time. And it plays with all our insecurities. Because we don’t understand what’s going on, and we didn’t expect this from someone we loved. So at this time we will work hard to earn our place back in the narcissist’s good graces.

We’ll become sycophants! Because we want the good times back. Now some people escape during this time when it proves way too much to handle. And the narcissist will try to stop you. By playing on your guilt, by asking you if you really want to throw all this away. By playing the victim card,  and saying that they need you, that they’re going  through a hard time, or if they’re really vicious,  they’ll convince you it’s because of  you. It’s because of your behavior! If you stay, great.

This means that the narcissist can continue to feel like they’re in control. But again, at some point they will get bored, and they will initiate the last stage –

Shelving is where the narcissist stops


Stage 5 – Shelving is where the narcissist stops looking at us as their primary focus. Maybe they’ve been with us for a bit or for a while, but now they want someone else to move onto. They could shelve us permanently, or temporarily.

This all depends on who they find to move onto.  Meghan obviously hasn’t done this to Prince Harry yet, but she’s done it to so many other people like her first husband, Trevor Engel son, as well as Cory vitiello, the boyfriend she left for Prince Harry. Now this can be a very distressing thing to go through. To suddenly be in a relationship or a marriage and be discarded easily. But honestly, it’s the best thing outside of you walking out yourself.

Because this means you’re free. Now the narcissist might attempt a couple drive-byes here and there, sending messages like “I miss you” or “thinking about you”.  This is all meant to keep you on that shelf.  They don’t want you to move on. While they don’t want to be with you, they also don’t want you to stop thinking about them. Maybe this explains why Meghan would pull out her Wedding present from Trevor and get caught on camera showing it off.

This serves the dual purpose of sending Trevor a message as well as making Harry feel devalued. Narcissists just love doing manipulative stuff like this. For all of you that have suffered at the hands of a narcissist you might be wondering the same thing that I have been thinking. That it sucks that our ability to empathize with others could be so thoroughly weapon zed against us.

And the answer here isn’t that being an empathetic person is a bad thing that you’ll be taken advantage of.  No, it means that people can use your gifts  against you, and the more we’re all aware of what  narcissists are capable of, the more we can avoid  those situations and even help people we love  that are in the tight grasp of a narcissist. Prince Harry is in a tough situation since he shares a child with Meghan, and she will always use access to that child as a way to maintain control over him. Like when she took Archie away  to Canada when Prince Harry was having  Exit negotiations with his family,  as a little reminder of her control.

She has control over a British prince, over Princess Diana’s son. While I do think she will leave him, she will never relinquish her control over him. But what do you guy’s thing? What have I missed when it comes to being with a narcissist?

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