Breaking Free: How to Love Again after a Narcissist

Dr. Susan Edelman
5 min readNov 18, 2023

Cindy met Jake and was instantly attracted to his charm and good looks. On their first date, Jake was attentive and confident. He ordered Cindy’s dinner and her wine. She was impressed by the famous, interesting people he knew. Although Jake didn’t ask Cindy much about herself, she figured he was just nervous.

Underneath his charming exterior, Jake had a deep need for admiration and control. Cindy’s self-worth suffered as she tried to meet his unrealistic expectations. His constant need for validation and the eroding of her sense of self left Cindy feeling lost and diminished.

About three months after they started dating, Cindy started to suspect that Jake was seeing someone else. Cindy confronted him, but he denied it. Eventually, Jake confessed.

Cindy tried to end the relationship, but Jake was persistent. He pleaded and promised things would be different. Months later, she realized he was not going to change and finally ended their relationship.

Cindy wondered why she continued to see Jake after how much he’d hurt her. Why did she let him treat her so poorly?

Have you ever fallen for a narcissist? You’re not alone. Our crazy culture encourages, and even glamorizes narcissistic behavior by telling us that we need more beauty, more wealth, and more power. They tell us that we aren’t confident enough, and we can’t find love unless we are confident — which is not true. It’s no wonder that narcissists are so appealing. When you focus on wanting someone confident, beautiful, wealthy, and powerful, you can easily miss or outright ignore the warning signs that you’re headed for trouble. Focusing on the superficial distracts you from the most important qualities to look for in a man and a relationship. When you love a narcissist, something is missing.

Cindy needed time and space to get past this toxic relationship. If you’re in a similar situation, you may need the same. Give yourself a chance to process your feelings and detox from the narcissist.

If you’ve endured the tumultuous whirlwind of love with a narcissist, the path to finding a healthier relationship is possible. Here are the 7 steps:

1- Shatter the Illusion.

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Dr. Susan Edelman

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