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5 Reasons Narcissists Can’t Have Intimate Relationships


The findings of a Kent State University research study states that “the anger, hostility, and short fuse that accompany a man’s narcissism tend to be directed toward straight women,” adding that “Narcissistic men are also more likely to commit domestic violence because of their egocentrism and lack of empathy…”

While the focus of this particular study is the rate of abuse at the hands of male narcissists, females also commit acts of domestic violence, albeit at a much lower rate (25 percent and 14 percent, respectively.)

It’s important to remember that most men (and women) who abuse their partners are not narcissistic. Nevertheless, the odds of committing abuse – physical, psychological, and verbal – are higher when in a relationship with a narcissist.


Peg Streep answers, in Psychology Today, the question “Can a narcissist become more empathetic?”

Unsurprisingly, Streep doesn’t issue an affirmative response: “The narcissist’s lack of empathy is key to understanding why, when you’re with one, there’s a real sense in which he or she isn’t ‘with’ you at all. Without empathy, a person remains more or less encased in plastic, unmoved by the feelings or plight of others – even supposedly close others – on both a cognitive and emotional level.” (Emphasis mine)

Empathy is a pre-requisite (as is vulnerability and trust) in a relationship. Most experiments that have studied the narcissism/relationship correlation have found narcissists to be incapable.


In the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare writes “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

In the grasps of a narcissist, the relationship will never have true love and will never run smooth. Any and all displays of affection are a means to an end – and the end is always determined by the narcissist.

One may believe they are on “the course” of true love regardless of the narcissist’s obvious and unabashed displays of manipulation, distrust, abuse, and overdominance.

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