Two Narcissists in a Relationship
Two Narcissists in a Relationship

Navigating the chaotic waters of a relationship is never easy, but when two narcissistic personalities collide, it can feel like you’re trapped in an emotional hurricane.

This blog post delves into the complexities and challenges faced by couples with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), from understanding its characteristics to recognizing the signs of toxicity.

Key Takeaways

  • Two narcissists in a relationship can lead to chaotic and toxic dynamics, involving power struggles, lack of empathy, fear of abandonment, and emotional manipulation.
  • Understanding different types of narcissism is essential for recognizing warning signs and navigating such relationships effectively.
  • Surviving this type of dynamic requires introspection from both parties to overcome significant drawbacks associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Setting clear boundaries that meet everyone’s needs, prioritizing empathy over self-absorption are crucial steps towards healthier partnerships.
  • Successful relationships between two narcissists are rare; however, recognizing the signs early on and addressing codependency or abusive behaviors can prevent further damage.

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition that involves an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a constant need for admiration.

Defining Narcissism And Its Characteristics

Narcissism is a term rooted in Greek mythology, referring to the character Narcissus, who fell in love with his reflection. In the context of modern psychology, it signifies an inflated sense of self-importance accompanied by an excessive need for admiration and validation from others.

Characteristics associated with narcissism can range from subtle to obvious. For instance, some may exhibit passive-aggressive behavior when they feel slighted or insufficiently praised, while others might engage in outright manipulation and control tactics to maintain their perceived superiority over peers and partners alike.

Common traits include a tendency towards arrogance, entitlement, self-centeredness—and at times—even aggressive outbursts if their ego feels threatened.

Types Of Narcissism And Their Impact On Relationships

Narcissism comes in various forms, and each type can significantly impact relationships. Understanding these types and their potential consequences can be a crucial step in navigating and surviving the chaos of two narcissists in a relationship.

Type of NarcissismCharacteristicsImpact on Relationships
Grandiose NarcissismExaggerated sense of superiority, attention-seeking, and a strong desire for admiration.These narcissists may struggle with monogamy, have high expectations for partners, and compete for attention and affection.
Vulnerable NarcissismExtreme sensitivity to criticism, social anxiety, and an underlying sense of insecurity.They may require constant reassurance and validation from their partners, which can lead to emotional exhaustion and frustration.
Malignant NarcissismSevere lack of empathy, sadistic tendencies, and a willingness to manipulate others for personal gain.These relationships may involve mental, emotional, or even physical abuse, as well as control and manipulation tactics.
Covert NarcissismQuieter and more subtle displays of self-importance, passive-aggressiveness, and resentment.These narcissists may sabotage their partners’ success, undermine their confidence, or withhold affection as a form of control.
Communal NarcissismA focus on being seen as the most caring, helpful, or socially-conscious person in their social circles.Relationships with communal narcissists can suffer from an imbalance of emotional labor and a lack of genuine empathy and support.

The Chaos Of Two Narcissists In A Relationship

When two narcissists enter into a relationship, chaos is often the result as each partner struggles for control and validation.

In this section we will study the three main areas of potential friction when you have two narcissists in a relationship:

  1. Potential for Conflict and Power Struggles
  2. Shared Traits and the Need for Validation
  3. Fear of Abandonment and Lack of Empathy

Let’s look closely at each of these:

#1. The Potential For Conflict And Power Struggles

Narcissistic personalities often thrive on conflict and power struggles. This need for dominance can lead to frequent clashes when two narcissists are in a relationship, as both partners may feel compelled to assert their superiority over one another.

For example, while attending a social event together, both narcissists might spend the entire evening competing with each other for attention from others at the party. They may engage in excessive bragging or monopolize every conversation in an attempt to prove they have more interesting experiences and talents than their partner.

#2. Shared Traits And The Need For Validation

In a relationship where both partners possess narcissistic traits, the need for validation can become a significant issue. Both individuals may crave praise and admiration, leading to conflicts over who deserves more attention or recognition.

They might also feel threatened by each other’s successes or achievements, fearing that it diminishes their sense of superiority.

Additionally, shared traits such as grandiosity and self-centeredness can make it challenging for two narcissists to empathize with one another. They may struggle to understand their partner’s perspective or emotions because they are too focused on themselves.

This lack of empathy further fuels any conflicts that arise in the relationship and undermines efforts at compromise or reconciliation.

#3. Fear Of Abandonment And Lack Of Empathy

Two narcissists in a relationship can be compared to fireworks – explosive and unpredictable. Shared traits like grandiosity, self-centeredness, and manipulative behavior often fuel the chaos.

Perhaps one of the most prominent characteristics of narcissistic personalities is their fear of abandonment coupled with a lack of empathy for others.

Narcissists crave attention, admiration, and validation from others while avoiding rejection at all costs. The fear of abandonment drives them to engage in behaviors that ensure they are always in control or have the upper hand in any situation.

They may also struggle with being empathetic towards their partner’s emotions since their focus is primarily on themselves.

For example, if one partner expresses feelings of hurt or dissatisfaction within the relationship, instead of addressing those emotions directly or empathizing with them sincerely, a narcissist might deflect accountability by blaming their partner for causing such emotions intentionally or unintentionally brushing it under the rug entirely as insignificant.

Can Two Narcissists Fall In Love?

Love is about focusing on the other person in the relationship. So when you have two narcissists in a relationship, what happens?

A relationship between two narcissists can be a transactional and often unhealthy dynamic filled with frustration, conflict, and collaboration of superiority.

The Transactional Quality Of The Relationship

A relationship between two narcissistic individuals is often characterized by a transactional quality. Each partner is looking for something from the other, be it admiration, validation, or control.

There may not be genuine feelings of love or connection, but rather a surface-level attraction based on mutual self-interest.

For example, one partner may constantly seek validation through their achievements while the other seeks control through manipulation tactics.

The partnership becomes more like a business deal than an emotional connection with each person trying to get what they want out of it without considering the needs of the other person.

Frustrations And Conflict

When you have two narcissists in a relationship, frustrations and conflicts are inevitable. Both parties have an insatiable need for attention, admiration, and validation from each other.

They may find themselves competing for the spotlight or trying to one-up each other constantly.

For example, if both partners have high expectations of themselves and their significant other but lack empathy towards others’ feelings and needs, it is easy to get caught up in a cycle of frustration when those expectations aren’t met.

To manage this type of situation successfully requires narcissistic self-reflection by both partners to understand why they react the way they do when things don’t go as planned.

Collaboration Of Superiority

Two narcissists in a relationship often enter into a collaboration of superiority. This means that each person is trying to outdo the other in terms of power, control, and grandiosity.

Both feel they’re better than the other and may engage in constant power struggles or even sabotage one another.

For example, if one partner gets a promotion at work, instead of feeling happy for them, the other partner might feel jealous or threatened and try to one-up them by getting an even better job.

It’s essential to recognize this pattern early on in a relationship with two narcissistic personalities so that both partners can work together to break the cycle before it causes significant emotional turmoil.

Collaboration should be about mutual respect and support rather than tearing each other down for personal gain.

The “Happy” Narcissist Relationship

In a relationship where both parties are narcissists, there is the potential for what is called a “happy” relationship. This type of dynamic can occur when both people view each other as extensions of themselves and have similar values, interests, and beliefs.

This is one scenario where things can actually work out between two narcissists in a relationship.

However, even in a seemingly happy narcissistic relationship, there are still destructive patterns at play. The two individuals may struggle with emotional intimacy and rely solely on external validation rather than genuine love or connection.

Additionally, if one partner feels threatened by the other’s perceived success or attractiveness to others, it can lead to conflict and power struggles within the relationship.

The Abusive Narcissist Relationship

When two narcissists are in a relationship, it can quickly turn abusive. The constant need for validation and control can create a toxic dynamic that is emotionally harmful to both parties.

In an abusive narcissist relationship, there is little room for compromise or empathy. Both partners have their own agendas and will go to great lengths to achieve them, even if it means hurting each other along the way.

This type of relationship usually ends in emotional tailspin, with both partners feeling drained and unhappy, but unable to leave due to codependency or fear of abandonment.


Being in a relationship with one narcissist is challenging enough, but what happens when two narcissists are together? The chaos that ensues can be overwhelming and destructive.

Understanding the characteristics of narcissism and its impact on relationships is essential for surviving this type of dynamic.

While it may seem impossible for two narcissists to fall in love, it’s not uncommon for them to form a transactional type of relationship based on collaboration of superiority.

However, frustrations and conflicts often arise as both individuals try to maintain their sense of control.

Surviving this chaotic dynamic requires self-reflection and setting boundaries. Codependency must be addressed as well as recognizing toxic behaviors such as gaslighting and emotional abuse.