A narcissist sees intimacy as a weakness so opts for power in relationships--that's where "love bombing" and "ghosting" comes into play. Narcissists are often attracted to people who are accomplished: If a person who is talented, intelligent and successful sees a narcissist as worthy of love and attention, the narcissist feels validated. But that "supply" eventually falls flat for a narcissist, who often seeks out multiple sources of validation with more than one person to feed their insatiable egos through things like affairs, sexting, and flirting.
Romance in any relationship with a narcissist is short-lived and can come (and go...) in spurts--welcome to the world of "love bombing":
Let's say it's a Saturday afternoon. You're entertaining friends and family. The person you've been texting/dating knows you're busy yet still unexpectedly sends a naked pic out of the blue. It's an inconvenient time to receive what would normally be a very welcome message. Because you are entertaining, there are people around whom you may not want to see a picture of...well, you know. But you don't want to ignore what appears to be a bid to increase intimate communication from someone you care about, so you answer. A back-and-forth exchange ensues. Your guests begin to notice you slipping away to use your phone. You're distracted so are unable to fully enjoy any part of the day as a result. But there's a lot of heavy flirting and it's kind of a hot weekend so you feel okay about partially ignoring your guests because you were strengthening a connection with someone you see in your future. Until things totally die on Monday. Same on Tuesday. Wednesday, it's crickets outside of a breadcrumb or two. So, what you thought of as progress is nothing more (or less) than a love-bomb from your friendly neighborhood narcissist.
Any "surprise" from an intimate partner is a way to control you--catch you off guard. Pull you into their drama and away from your priorities. Believe me, it's better to see the red flags early than to fall for someone who can't (and won't) return your feelings.
It's easy to get snowed by a narcissist--they seem to be able to see you for who you really are, but only because it serves their ego to do so. The moment it doesn't, your specialness is downgraded. However, narcissists can develop a sense of care for someone based on shared interests, but within six months to no more than two years, the relationship will begin to take a negative turn because a narcissist has no intention of offering real support or making any compromises. Their only commitment is to themselves and their ego.
Toxicity in relationships with narcissists is inevitable--withholding affection and attention is common once the narcissist finds a reason to become angry or resentful by projecting their own insecurities onto their (often unsuspecting) partner. Devaluing a partner is how a narcissist deflects intimacy. If challenged, the narcissist will get defensive and critical, giving the silent treatment, and/or shutting out their partner completely through ghosting.
Yes, "ghosting" is the unique calling card of a narcissist. Ghosting is different from no-contact, which can happen after a break up to give both parties space to heal. Ghosting, unlike no contact, is a total surprise. More "love bombs" meant to throw you off, distract, and confuse you. Increasing intimacy before pulling away completely is part of narcissistic patterns of behaviour.
If you feel like a piece of furniture in your relationship (or situationship)--only there for the convenience of someone else--then you are involved with a narcissist. You may regularly walk on eggshells to avoid confrontation. It's likely you've also been financially and/or socially sabotaged in order to make you dependent. That way, the narcissist is free to do what they want, knowing you cannot leave so will always be able to provide them with the "supply" they need to keep their fragile ego going.
When you're involved with a narcissist, you could literally be having surgery and they will not go with you, pick you up from the hospital or even understand why they'd need to take a day off. The things that prop up the narcissist's ego get priority--those priorities may include work, sycophantic family and friends, but never you. Only if under public scrutiny will a narcissist do "the right thing."
So if you've ever been ghosted for no apparent reason, feel good knowing that you dodged a MAJOR bullet! Thank your lucky stars that the person who disappeared is no longer in your life--being rejected by a narcissist hurts for about a minute. Then, you start to feel happy that you're no longer stuck with a social destroyer. Narcissists are nothing but anchors. No matter how charming they appear to be at first glance, there's no real substance behind the mask.
For every minute you spend with the wrong person, you lose precious time finding the right one. You deserve better than the breadcrumbs a narcissist provides...we all do.
When you say BYE-BYE-BYE to the narcs in your life, you'll be happier, healthier and wealthier.
Who wouldn't want that?!