You’re looking into bunion treatment when you get a confusing text message from your significant other. A friend told you recently they believe your partner might be a narcissist or at the very least – they have narcissistic traits. Here are the 4 stages of a narcissistic relationship to see what to expect if your partner is a narcissist.

    Narcissistic Relationship

    1- Idealization

    The first stage of a narcissistic relationship is the idealization phase. The idealization stage is how the narcissist draws you in. They move fast and make you feel as if you’re the only person in this world. It’s where they wear a mask to reel you into being in a relationship with you. You’ll soon find out during the other stages that this was all a show to get you hooked to them.

    Idealization Behaviors/Signs:


    Moving quickly from the start

    Sending gifts often

    Constantly reaching out to you

    Describes you as “perfect” and their “soulmate”

    2- Devaluation

    The next stage of a narcissistic relationship is devaluation. This is where your narcissistic partner does a complete 180 with how they treat you. You might have seen this coming with some subtle signs in the idealization phase, but once devaluation occurs you feel confusion and anxiety. This stage is where the narcissist constantly puts you down and causes you to question your self-worth.

    Devaluation Behavior/Signs:



    Inconsistent mood swings

    Verbal/emotional/physical abuse

    3- Discard

    The third stage of a narcissistic relationship is sometimes the most painful. Discard is when the narcissist pulls away. In essence, they have taken all they want from you (called the narcissistic supply), and now you’re so broken you have nothing else you can offer them. The narcissist essentially gets rid of you in a careless way – which makes sense as narcissists lack empathy. 

    Discard Behavior/Signs:

    They break up with you

    Ghosting behavior

    Make it impossible for you to want to stay

    Cheating (This can also happen during the other stages, but during the discard they’re less likely to try and hide it from you).

    Careless attitude

    No longer giving you any attention

    4- Hoover

    The final stage of the narcissistic relationship is hoover. After you’ve been discarded either by you feeling forced to break up with them or them breaking up with you, they make a return. This stage often happens a few weeks or months after the breakup and can last for years. It’s not that they feel the breakup was a mistake, it’s that they want to gain control over you again to start the vicious cycle over again.

    Hoover Behavior/Signs:

    Stalking social media

    Texting/calling often

    Talking with mutual friends about you

    Sending you gifts

    Showing up at places where you are

    The Rundown

    A narcissistic relationship is one that is incredibly toxic. While only 1% of the population is diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), there are probably many more out there. It makes sense as someone with NPD will refuse to be held accountable for their actions or feel as if something is wrong with them.

    It’s important that if you’re in a narcissistic relationship you get out as fast and safely as possible. Unfortunately, people with NPD rarely change.

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