Narcissists are serial offenders. They need continual replenishment to fill their emptiness. They frequently revisit the wells that previously quenched their thirst. Their prior victims are often eager to oblige.
We are dealing with and living through the aftermath of those revisits in very personal and real pain. It is as though we seek to torture ourselves when we allow the repeat ‘hoovering’ of what Narcs seek that is within us. The love, heart and soul that they lack.
Anyone in a relationship with a full-blown Narcissist knows what I am talking about. Such a relationship is not characterized by the normal ups and downs of most relationships but by dramatic and relentless upheavals. Many Narcs are addicted to the chaos they create in their lives and the lives of others.
Throughout our ordeal the initial overflowing feelings of being ever so special were tested again and again by the ideal Renaissance Love … the wo/man who pursued us with fervor and rising lust. We were no longer the luckiest person in the world to be so perfect for our Mr/s. Perfects. Increasingly they made sure we were aware of their displeasure's with their criticisms and outbursts of anger.
Abruptly at the very height we had been manipulated to believe would soon arrive. So abruptly were we jolted that we could not accept what was actually happening. How did this special journey we thought we were sharing reverse 180 degrees … and why? When we reached bottom, thankful for reprieve and a chance at redemption, with our Narc at the controls we found ourselves reversed again for no known reason, plunked into the roller coaster seat and buckled in once more.
Totally confused and spent by the devaluation phase of a typical Narc pattern, we allowed them to continue to suck out of us every ounce of what we had to give them. Eventually, with our special fuel depleted, nothing more could be had from us. Time for the giver and destroyer of happiness and trust to move on yet again.
The answer: not easily. Narcissists keep us on the track as long as they can control us and we can be of use to them. As we try to jump off to save our emotional lives and physical well-being (yes, physical ailments start to surface) we are sucked back in by apologies and promises offering glimmers of hope. Narcissists are confident we still love them after all. Just one more ascent we think … this time we will have a gentle happy ending. Or so we naively believe!
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The dizzying and dark pattern of a relationship with true Narcissists is idealize, devalue, discard. Their even more devastating returns and repetitions of the cycle with the same ever-hopeful individual while grooming others to be their future victims are inexplicable to patient friends. They wonder how could you let this happen ... and more than once.
If such an experience is the first one for us, we don’t see the individual for who s/he really is until it is too late. Until we are caught in the web of lies and the uncanny ability to manipulate and control us. We want to believe the lies because we love them and the seductive magic they create.
If we are reluctant to share our experiences with our most trusted acquaintances, if we feel ashamed of accepting our Narc back time and time again in spite of some level of hopeful happiness, if our self-esteem suffers, if we are in more emotional pain than pleasure, if we give more than we get, then we must ask ourselves if the relationship is healthy, mutually supportive, and open in every way. If it is not, we then know what to do.
Those of us who seek a fulfilling relationship must be vigilant to not establish a self-destructive pattern as the result of attraction to a Narcissist. That attraction can be triggered by our own dysfunctional past. It can be our pattern to resist and conquer.
Do not allow a Narcissist to shadow our positive space. Multiple involvements with Narcs could become a deadly habit. Stress and remorse and shame can affect the body’s systems enough to bring us close to death. Stress comes arm-in-arm with a Narcissist. And stress can kill. Beware.
Narcissists are difficult to spot because they wear numerous differing masks throughout their lives as they draw in the various people they groom for varying purposes. They must hide the empty spaces inside themselves, those vacuums normally occupied by a heart and soul. They passionately cover their self-loathing which they eventually project onto us, their victims. (Either they were born that way or life experiences in their younger years tragically shaped them. They are somehow victims themselves.) The emptiness they hold within compels the constant replenishment of nourishment via the emotional energies of others. That same emptiness that does not allow them to truly love.
Clever, Narcs exhibit characteristic charming personalities when in pursuit, operating behind near perfect projections that many of their targets find difficult to resist.
Narcs veraciously consume all the love and adoration they can extract from others, leaving the victims drained and devastated. A Narcissist’s need in this regard is insatiable. A Narc can never sincerely reciprocate in kind with the precious emotional commodities they determinedly seek.
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The Narc unceremoniously discards them and attention moves to the next victim … a new treasure chest of nourishment for the Narcissist to ‘hoover’ in order to fill the emptiness. Be sure, a Narc always has one or more potential victims being groomed in the wings, being cultivated to fall for counterfeit charms. The Narc will move on, neither holding us gently in their thoughts nor harboring regrets, continuing to use the energy sources that others supply. Amazingly, a Narc often will attempt to return to the dismissed victim for yet another cycle when other fuel sources are low.
Very few things in human emotional life are more exhilarating than being pursued by a Narcissist. Not many experiences in life are more devastating than being devalued and discarded by one who we thought truly loved us. A rollercoaster ride with a Narcissist leaves us emotionally gasping for life … having had our sacred inner and outer selves sucked away. Our self-esteem? Crushed.
One is the vampire who preys ruthlessly on others. Like the emotionally drained victim of a vampire, we may be so vulnerable and wounded ourselves that we want and even consciously allow the Narc to return to repeat the ravaging cycle.
As we draw closer to someone we hope for love, truth, honesty and respect in the developing relationship. With a Narcissist, though, there should come a time when we must nudge ourselves to think and think again. As we fall more and more under control, we must wrestle with ourselves and walk away once the signaling behaviours morph into a cohesive set of red flags. Learn to recognize Narcissists:
But somehow many of us have managed to. The narcissistic mask had been cunningly crafted to draw us in. We now must determinedly walk away, push through the pain and heal. For most of us the time will again come to seek a new relationship.
Perhaps a valuable lesson has been learned: No relationship is worth repeated, emotional, and often physically attendant pain. Unfortunately, considerable wounding may occur before the Narcissistic mask slips. Truly, ‘no relationship’ is better than one with a Narcissist.
You are ‘suddenly single’ and mature … no longer in your prime. You are alone ... and still very much alive! Missing companionship; and yes, admit it ... intimacy. When some of you think of how often you ignored earlier opportunities or did not appreciate them when you were contentedly married or in loving committed relationships, you could cry … I mean for both the lost companionship and the sex! Others of you may never have had the chance of a relationship or marriage ... yet. Well, wipe those tears off your faces as you begin to make up for lost time and missed opportunities. An exciting social world awaits your participation if you are adventurous enough to enter the realm of online dating for Young and Seasoned Matures.
Online dating sites are adult playgrounds filled with tempting potential partners for those of us who refuse to fade away. These dating sites are a candyland filled with delectable treats for us to savour.
Many Singles, however, remain on the sidelines ... with a good deal of curiosity. You may be hesitant to enter this dating arena due to reasons such as caution and/or unawareness of what actually goes on in this candyland. You may also harbor personal anxieties or self-perceived/real lack of sufficient electronic know-how. Perhaps you face insecurities as to how to handle the onsite interactions and possible relationships that might come your way ... while time marches on ... all too quickly for most of us.
Do not let the parade pass you by. No need to live vicariously through romantic movies and TV shows. Sculpt a ‘last act’ worthy of a standing ovation through online dating. At a time in your life when you find yourself wishing there were more time, the online dating process can be stimulating and surprisingly invigorating as you add more life to your life.
And never forget your attitude is the game-changer … in online dating and in life.
Joan preparing for another radio interview.
Visit Joan at: www.facebook.com/candylandsins an interactive site for Singles who have loved and lost and are ready to love again. JB
Be sure to check out this recent informative and well-written article about mature singles and online dating and my interview on Candyland S.I.N.S. by Paul Rellinger for mykawartha.com The Kawarthan Metrolandland Media Group.
Candyland S.I.N.S. Book Chapter Snippets
Enjoy ... JB
…Young and Seasoned Mature Dating and Sex are here to stay! Get used to it. Baby boomers are once again breaking down barriers. Yes, MATURE DATING and SEX are now even mentioned in public … not common in polite conversation until the advent of online dating. Our hearts can still skip a beat … and, unfortunately, ache and break as well. May the happier sort of heart condition be in store for you as you venture through the Candyland of SINS. Be ready for a rollercoaster ride that can place your heart in your throat ... a heart pumping with new life, exhilarated and re-generated … a heart sometimes broken if you leap into SINS without sufficient guidance and controls in place.
Baby boomer daters experience new love with the same telltale characteristics such as those zany feelings and emotions of their teens and twenties. Falling in love at any older age can bring out the teenager in most of us … the best and the worst parts. Quite often we experience even better relationships … less fleeting and with more depth. Most of us who have loved and lost are more appreciative of this glorious state in which we may now find ourselves.
Candyland SINS (my playful loose acronym for Singles Internet-dating Services) is a seemingly murky, if not temptingly exotic, world to which so many Single Matures are drawn. Internet dating is an ever expanding world-wide phenomenon that is more than flourishing. You can be part of and benefit from that growth because the dating pool for Matures is becoming increasingly larger. A 2013 E-Harmony study predicted that the age 55-64 bracket is expected to have the biggest online growth, with a 30 percent increase between 2013 and 2030 … from 1.87 million to 2.41 million members in this age category. The study further foresees by 2031 half of all couples will have met online … as will seven in ten couple by 2040. The sites within SINS await you to join other mature daters in their search for future partners and mates. Isn’t it great to think not of inevitable endings but of expectant beginnings!
Consider slowly joining (as in not all in the same day or even the same week) a combination of sites that might be appropriate and for free in order to get your feet wet and give yourself some experience. Doing so would allow you to explore in different directions at little cost. Play the different fields just as you might do socially in your own traditional communities. SINS is your new community … and a wide open one it is.
Please be aware that the free sites tend to be more heavily populated with unsavory characters. Always practice safe singling. Follow your safety guidelines; stay in control of your communications and interactions.
… these sites take their members’ safety and security very seriously. Many entities use fraud detection algorithms and employ living, breathing people who review every dating profile at the time at registration. You can browse, connect, flirt and email with confidence. Unless you foolishly break some of the safety precautions recommended both in Candyland S.I.N.S. and on individual sites, your privacy and security are pretty much secured.
I have had many examples of both types of members email me with almost every lifestyle depicted in their photos that I can only imagine: from sea farmers to cattle ranchers, from metropolitan sophisticates to farmers in suspendered dungarees, from a yogi in his wrapped robe to an Indian chief in his headdress, and more. I will always remember the prisoner. I didn’t see his surroundings, but the headshot in the orange jump suit was a big clue. He stated his profession as ‘law enforcement’. I believe he lived in a gated community, just not the one that most would want to share with him. I can say he was creative. A large number of matching sites exist for both male and female prisoners. He picked the wrong site.
Would anyone be interested in me?
Yes, generally. Of course, you have to be realistic in your expectations of how many might be interested in you. Also, you may not find those contacting you acceptable. You must do more searches, extend yourself, truthfully re-work your profile, and approach those whom you want to meet because you sense something special about them in their profiles. .… Your appearance, lifestyle, interests, background, etc. And certainly, how well you present yourself and express your personality in your profile all come into play.
Sex in your mature years …. You cannot ignore that it will become, at minimum, a focus of your thoughts and, likely, discussions with your potential partner as you continue to see each other …. And, if you are both agreeable and sexually compatible you can enjoy the some of the best sexual sharing of your lives … in your 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond.
How you expand your boundaries and morph your expectations while meeting members from many walks of life is dependent upon you … and a bit on fate. I suspect most of us, if we met the absolutely right one who knocked our socks off, would settle into a partnered life. But in this era, the alternative lifestyle of self-determined Singleton living (living Solo) is not at all a negative one and certainly better than so many Marrieds tied down and drowning in unhappy relationships. The Solo living option may be one you want to explore as an alternative to full-time partnering. Here is yet another lifestyle choice.
Embrace your life at this stage with good humor, passion, gusto and goals. Your family and friends will just have to go with the flow. Many Matures will not be deterred from living their remaining years and decades with enthusiasm … and positive actions exploring and forging new paths for greater happiness.
Visit my Facebook page ... beautiful and heartfelt thoughts. JB