Narcissists are dutiful chameleons, forever adapting to their new environment and running from themselves. As long as they can be someone else with every new partner, why change? They’re getting constant love, great sex, and endless amount of affection and attention—all the good bits from a relationship.
They don’t actually do love, they do fun, thrills, and passion. They stay around for all the light-hearted parts of the relationship, and just when the partner thinks they’re settling into a long-term romance, the narcissist shapeshifts into someone unrecognizable. While the partner is buying welcome mats, the disordered partner is looking for exit signs. It’s all very disorienting to a normal person.
The cruelest part of it all, and hence the most fun for the abuser, is watching their former partner writhe in pain while they chase and secure their new victim. This new victim is smeared in the former partner’s face as proof the narcissist is lovable because they don’t really believe it themselves. There are several reasons they move on so quickly—but it really all comes down to a complete lack of self-worth. They have no identifiable real sense of self—they annihilated it long ago in search of a balm for their excruciating emotional pain. Underneath it all, they loathe themselves.
Without a mirror reflecting back to them how wonderful they are, they sink into a deep depression and cannot emotionally function. They cease to exist without someone else’s energy, and this is something they secretly despise—being so reliant on others for their own needs to be met. So, naturally, the people in their lives will be punished gravely for this usually by way of abandonment and cruelty.
Hence, the flaunting of the new person akin to a child waving a new toy in front of another child’s face. It’s as if to say “Look at my new toy. You can’t have this toy. This toy is shiny, new, forgiving, and totally naïve. I shall run and jump, and love this toy so much more than all my old toys. Oh, lucky me!”
The cognitive dissonance we experience after abuse will try to convince us that they’ve somehow miraculously done a 180 and become a completely different person for the new partner. Even though they have a colorful and quite charming history of lying, cheating, and overlapping relationships, overnight they became the man or woman of all our dreams. Nope. Not going to happen.
First of all, realize they are YOU. It’s just a matter of time before he sees her faults, the new love becomes needy of his time and energy, or he just gets bored of the same old toy. As soon as their perfect new love interest demands something wild like time or attention, he’ll be off on a mission to secure his next leading lady.
Who will be the lucky one to star in their one-man show, get placed on a pedestal, become the love of his life overnight, and be the answer to all his prayers? To be frank, probably the very first woman they meet that has something they want, something of the value to the narcissist—this could be money, fame, accolades, a roof over their head, or access to the kind of life they want to live. Rarely is it actual beauty and beauty alone.