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If you have ever met a narcissist, then you likely already realize how selfish they can be. With a personality disorder that makes them hardwired to be driven to please themselves and a complete and total lack of empathy, there’s no question as to the fact that narcissists do not fair well in intimate relationships.

For those who want to better understand the complexities of narcissistic personalities and how to effectively handle them in relationships, Dr. Ramani Durvasula’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist could offer some invaluable insights.

A narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder that not only impacts the person who has it, but also those around them. For those who end up in relationships with narcissists, the struggle is all too real. You see, narcissists can be abusive in nature. Unfortunately, most people who get close to them soon find out how damaging they truly are. With that said, here are 6 reasons why narcissists struggle in intimate relationships.

1. They will do anything to get their way.

Narcissists do not mind stepping all over anyone to get their way. Even people they supposedly love can become nothing but stepping stones for them to move up in life. This can be very hurtful to those who end up in love with them because this is not conducive behavior for a healthy relationship.

2. They are manipulative.

Narcissists are manipulative by nature. Their relationships pretty much revolve around their manipulation, from the beginning until the end. For example, they tend to love bomb new partners, acting as though this person is the greatest thing that ever happened to them, only to later pull back and start a campaign of abuse. For those keen to recognize and counteract manipulative tactics, the book “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” by Dr. George K. Simon might be of help.

3. Eventually, the mask comes off.

While they put on a good show in the beginning, their mask soon wears off. For most people, the mask of the narcissist may never slip. However, if you love a narcissist, prepare to see the monster.

4. They are unfaithful.

Most narcissists are unfaithful. They have no sense of loyalty, and they do not care if they hurt their partner. Their needs always come first. Their needs always come first. For those dealing with the aftermath of an unfaithful partner, Not ‘Just Friends’: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity” by Shirley P. Glass can offer some guidance.

5. They lack empathy.

Narcissists do not have empathy. They simply cannot or will not put themselves in the shoes of another person, and this oftentimes can make relationships very difficult.

6. They are always looking for the next best thing.

Even if they are happy where they are, for the time being, the narcissist always has a backup. They may have every ex they ever have dated on their friend’s list, just waiting for the opportunity. Or, they may even start a new relationship before ending the first. To gain a deeper understanding of why people behave this way, the book “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller could shed some light.