Romance, after the Narcissist

Milano, Italy

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“I can give you a better kiss than the one I gave you before,” he said, flirting with me over the phone.  Our lips had touched gently and briefly as a parting gesture the week before.

“You can,” I responded.  It was partly a question and a little flirting back.

“You bet I can,” he said and that was pretty much it for me.   His confidence gave me butterflies and weakened my knees a bit.   I was shaving my legs within the hour, so I knew.

I was also using some lovely citrus body scrub, along with Neutrogena’s Sesame oil, both products having been gifts from the narcissist I had a relationship with, if you call what we had a relationship.  I had one, but I have no clue what he had other than a private little party in his mind.

I was glad to be using these products again.  I’ve used the sesame oil since I first discovered it in the early 1980’s, but love has a way of pinning itself to little things in a romance.

The place you first made-love or food that you enjoyed together remind you of what is gone when the romance is over.  The bottle of sesame oil had worked its way into my memories and this is something I love about writing.  Just now as I type, I realize that the narcissist never knew how to make use of his gift.  He knew how to give gifts but he did not know about sweet romance.  If he had known, the body of sesame oil would have been empty a long time ago.

Maybe the most difficult part of letting go and moving on after ending a romantic relationship are the reminders that come when you attempt to be sexual with a new partner, even something as slight as flirting can cause you to remember.  Plus, the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist carries unique problems.  Many people are severely mentally and emotionally traumatized by the experience.  I was.

I mentioned to a couple I know that I was ready to date evoking instant match-making ideas in the woman.

I liked their friend the first time I met him and we later had an evening alone together, the time of which was fun and easy.  He was confident but didn’t seem arrogant.  When he said he could give me a better kiss I thought well, he sounds like a man who knows what he has to offer and it sounded alright with me.

Do I trust my radar?  No.  Not now.  I don’t yet trust any feelings of attraction .  A relationship with a severe narcissist left me with a large dose of cautiousness about people’s intentions or sincerity that I’ve never known before.

I refuse to stop living though.  I’m too young to give up on love or romance.  I think anyone living is too young.  Plus, its Spring and what a wonderful time to be like the French and take a new lover.   I either read that in a book once or saw it in a movie where a French woman said, “I’ll think I’ll take a lover for the Spring.”

This is what I was thinking about as I poured oil on my legs and then used a nice lotion afterward.

I did contemplate my actions.  At least the man is honest about his wish to, “give me a better kiss,” I thought, but there are conflicting feelings.  We don’t seem to have that much in common.   He doesn’t have a dog.  I must admit I wonder about people who don’t have dogs.  As I rubbed the lotion on my legs I thought hey, I’m not trying to mate for life here.  I’m not a bird.  I’m only human.

I thought about being in my forties.  I remembered a wonderful psychiatric nurse I once met.  She was an intelligent woman who had traveled the world in her forties.  I was struggling with the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship then too.  I’ve met two severe narcissists in my life.  I loved both of them and I ended both relationships.  They were about 13 years apart.  I never thought after the first one I’d ever go through anything like that again but all narcissists are not created equally.  The two I have known both did have charming ways, passion and intelligence but they were very different types of people.

The subject of sex came up.  That’s another part of a relationship with a narcissist.  There are usually problems around this.

“If you think you enjoy sex now,” she told me, “just wait ’til your in your forties.  You have a lot to look forward to in life,” and she went on to tell me how she had divorced a man, very much like the one I had known, when she was in her forties.  I was in my early thirties then.  She told me about her leaving and going off to Europe for two years where she, “enjoyed several lovers,” while she was there.  It sounded dreamy but hopeful. 

“I had an absolutely wonderful time,” she went on, “and then I met the man I would marry.  He moved here and we have a wonderful marriage.  You can have this too,” she told me, “but you must leave this place to have it.”

I was in a hospital for depression.  I’d only been there one night and it was clear to me and this head nurse that I was in the wrong place.  The psychiatrist disliked me so much after meeting me only once, he said he was glad to see me go, which was early the next morning.   That nurse had prepared my discharge papers after our conversation the night before.

The woman planted a seed in my brain.  I may not get to go to Europe for two years, but I swear I don’t want to make it to 50 and say dang, I forgot to enjoy those 40’s.

What if he surprises me I wondered?  Honestly, I wondered if the man could not only give me a kiss but if he could rock my world.  Shake me into a new reality.  Give me new thoughts and memories of romance.

I have grieved.  I have hurt.  I have seen many days when I didn’t want it to get dark.  I just didn’t.  The nights of the past winter seemed each one to last forever.

I want to take a lover for the Spring.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

The kiss drew me in and I found myself swept away into romance.  I have a new memory now.  I have a new and sweet experience.  The soft kiss lasted as long as the winter nights had.

I’m not out of the woods.   I doubt I’ll be like the woman in the novel or the movie, or the nurse in Europe.  I have to learn my boundaries.  I have to learn again, to trust myself.

I remain human.  I remain a woman.  I remain imperfect.  I remain cautious.

13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by msterrell2 on May 30, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Sounds very hopeful.

    Being with a ‘nar’ makes me feel vulnerable to any kind word coming may way.

    I need to believe I deserve the real thing.



    • Here’s to the “the real thing.” I also think when we’ve been with a narcissist, then most likely, we will see more clearly in the future the warning signs — and there are many with a narcissist. Many red flags and warnings of serious character issues. Hopefully we’ll be able to stay away and not get involved with another one. Hopefully.



      • Posted by msterrell2 on May 30, 2010 at 1:48 PM

        So far I feel that every guy I talk to now is a narcissist. Out to get something. I’m still a little raw. Will take some time but I’m working on it.

        I’m not giving up on love either.



        • Hello — I understand what you say and I am sorry for you. Check out my “blogroll,” in my sidebar — there are a couple of very good sites listed!



  2. Posted by lostintranslation11 on April 28, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    Dogkisses…i LOVE this!! I feel so much of what you write….the fears…the crippling fears that you’re wasting away reflecting on the past…and the nostalgia of “stuff” or music or food or anything and everything that flashes you back to the love you once felt.
    Anyway, I’ve been in “paralyzed”, non-creative mode for awhile, but I’m so happy to come back here and hear of you with a man who’s longing to “kiss you better”…and to hear of you embracing your 40’s as a beginning….gosh…this was JUST what I needed to read tonight.. Bless you for that!
    I’m so hoping this was just the beginning of many more romantic rendezvous for you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person


    • Thank you… Nice to see you here again.
      And… me too!!!



    • lostintranslation– Are you still around? I can’t find you.



      • Posted by lostintranslation11 on June 9, 2010 at 8:29 AM

        Yes, I am still here…
        still sporadically trying to write my way through healing and hopefully back into sanity AND…. believe it or not as you suggested, I now have a dog!!! Just adopted him last Sunday actually and thought of you:):)

        Liked by 1 person


        • Hey!!! I’m so happy you have a dog. Dogs Rule! They are the best of the best of friends! I’m so happy for you. And I’m glad you saw my note too. I hope you’ll post a pic of your dog. Congratulations!
          I too am still trying to write my way through. It’s tough but maybe we’ll make it back to sanity one day, or if not, we’ll play with our dogs who could care less what our level of sanity is as long as we love ’em, feed ’em and that’s about all they expect. I know you are going to have a great amount of joy with your 4legged companion!



  3. You are so right! – It is never too late for love!!!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. VERY COOL!!!!!!!! Gives me some hope!!!!! Enjoy!!!

    Liked by 1 person


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