Why Narcissists Recycle Their Partners

As we’ve discussed before in another blog, narcissists are individuals who lack empathy and who think that the world should and does revolve around them.  So when you find yourself involved in a relationship with a narcissist, you can be sure that you will end up having to deal with very selfish treatment.


One common way narcissists act to feed their own self-centered needs is through partner recycling. You may have already experienced this behavior – the narcissist, who needs attention and excitement, decides that you aren’t good enough anymore, so they leave and find someone new. But then after a period of time, they become bored with their new partner so they begin calling you and wanting to make things work again. This recycling of old partners is something that many narcissists do, and for good reason.


Narcissists need everything to be about them and they lack even basic empathy and understanding of other people’s feelings.  Yet, even though narcissists believe they are the center of the universe and deserve only the best, they are also very insecure and afraid that they will fail and not be given the attention they need.


When these elements come together –  no empathy or concern about other people and personal insecurity – it creates a situation where the narcissist may cope by building a safety net. They are able to get the newness, excitement, and attention of beginning a new relationship, but they also have a person or people that they know are waiting on them and will feed their ego when they need it.  Out of this, many narcissists create a stable of lovers that they rotate through, recycling relationships as they become bored or need more attention.


If you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist and find them coming back again, the best thing you can do is refuse them.  They haven’t “come to their senses” and realized how amazing you are. They are feeding their own ego by seeing how badly they can treat you and still have you there ready to forgive them and take them back.  Don’t let yourself get stuck in this unhealthy cycle. Set good boundaries and don’t be afraid to walk away.

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