While there are certain characteristics that are common to narcissists, it’s impossible to know for sure whether you are dealing with a narcissist via web sources alone, and good luck with trying to get a narcissist to agree to an evaluation.
One question that many women tend to ask is whether narcissists withhold affection.
The truth is that any man may occasionally withhold affection – regardless of whether they’re narcissistic.
Narcissists withhold affection, love, sex, and money as a way to exert power over and control and manipulate their partners.
But then they’ll turn around and insist on affection from you when you’re not in the mood.
Even if a person isn’t a narcissist, they’ll still occasionally be in a bad mood and not want to cuddle or show affection.
Or maybe, they just aren’t the touchy-feely type. This is perfectly normal and not necessarily a sign of narcissism.
Although some narcissists crave constant admiration and affection, others prefer sex rather than intimacy.
But even the most affectionate narcissist is prone to withholding affection as a means of control.
If you’re considering pursuing a relationship with a possible narcissist, the best advice is to run in the other direction, girl, and don’t look back!
Unfortunately, narcissism seems to be a common trait in many these days, but there’s a difference between vanity and full-blown narcissistic personality disorder.
But sometimes, Mr. Wrong feels oh-so-right – especially in the beginning.
If narcissists were cold and distant from day one, you’d never consider going further into the relationship than the second or third date.
However, narcissists are typically very affectionate early on in the relationship. This is part of the love-bombing phase of narcissistic abuse.
Even though narcissists are famous for withholding affection, they are usually extremely affectionate at the beginning of the relationship and demand your constant undivided attention.
Many women would find this to be overbearing and emotionally draining, except for the fact that narcissists will reciprocate that attention and make you feel as though you’re the center of their universe.
But the hard truth is that they don’t really love you. They love themselves.
Those non-stop hugs and kisses at the beginning of a narcissist’s relationship will often be accompanied by expensive gifts, regular compliments, and mind-blowing sex.
Maybe your parents will try to warn you about the relationship moving too fast, or your BFF will tell you that they have bad vibes about your new partner.
But you probably won’t listen unless you’ve had a previous experience with narcissistic abuse.
One of those early warning signs that are all too often blown off and ignored is the lack of respect for boundaries.
Sure, you may enjoy the affection, compliments, and gifts, but if it’s a relatively new relationship, you may not be ready to share every aspect of your life.
And a narcissist will not be very pleased with this.
On the contrary, they may question why your cell phone is password protected, expect you to cancel plans in favor of an impromptu date with them, and may even suggest moving in together early in the relationship.
Not only will narcissists drop the love bomb earlier than most partners, but they’ll tell you that they love you so frequently that it may even begin to get on your nerves.
But they mainly just like hearing you say it back to them.
So, it may be misleading to say that narcissists withhold affection without accounting for the love-bombing phase in which the narcissist may very well seem to be the most affectionate partner you’ve ever had.
While some narcissists enjoy the feeling of being touched and cuddled, others are only affectionate when they want something, such as money or sex. In that case, you may become used to sleeping on the other side of the bed.
But even narcissists who crave affection may withhold it from you on occasion for several reasons – and it’s not simply because they aren’t feeling well or had a bad day.
If you need to work overtime and cancel plans with a narcissist, they may tell you that it’s fine.
But FYI, things are never fine with a narcissist. And they may let you know this by withholding affection.
Every time that you put your needs first or do the slightest wrong in the eyes of a narcissist, they may withhold affection to punish you.
Eventually, you’ll learn to not do those things anymore – or at least that’s what the narcissist hopes.
Narcissists are master manipulators with one goal in mind – to get what they want.
And just as they may become more affectionate when they want something, they’ll turn around and withhold affection if you don’t give in to their demands.
Narcissists aren’t capable of love or empathy in the way that most people know. In their minds, love is just another way to meet their own needs.
And they often equate love with affection or sex. If you give them what they want, they’ll reward you with affection. If not, they’ll withhold it.
All of this boils down to emotional abuse. When a narcissist withholds affection, naturally, you’ll initially assume that they had a hard day.
But over time, you’ll begin to wonder what you did wrong and try to change your behavior to suit the needs of the narcissist.
If you ever try to confront them about the abuse, they’ll point out all the good things they’ve ever done for you and every way that you’ve screwed up, however small.
You’ll walk away from the argument thinking that if you just kept up with the dishes, maybe your partner would love you and show affection.
But this is emotional and psychological abuse. It has nothing to do with the dishes.
If a narcissist enjoys the way that physical affection and cuddling make them feel, they may actually continue to be especially affectionate far past the love-bombing phase.
And they may be less likely to withhold affection unless they need to as a means of manipulation, punishment, or gaining control.
Even though narcissists come across as being successful, arrogant, and self-absorbed, deep down they are some of the most insecure people that you’ll ever meet.
Just as teddy bears and security blankets made you feel safe and secure as a child, cuddling and human touch make some narcissists feel more secure – especially if they were deprived of love and affection in childhood.
Sure, they may still roll over and tell you to not touch them if they’re mad, but the withholding of affection will be short-lived because of the simple fact that it makes them feel good, too.
Narcissists are all about finding supplies that make them feel affirmed and loved.
Even though they aren’t capable of giving love, they crave love and adoration from others- especially from their partners.
So, they may welcome your touch and feel insulted if you don’t stop and kiss them on the way to the kitchen.
They’ll even encourage you to tell them how much you love them – all because it feeds their ego and makes them feel good about themselves.
The ironic thing is that many narcissists will withhold affection when you want to be caressed or make love, then suddenly insist on sex or cuddling when you’re busy or not feeling well. Huh?
Most people do crave human touch, but narcissists also crave power and control.
They may very well want to have sex with you or make out on the couch – but they want it even more when you’re uncomfortable and doing it only to please them.