Relationship Quality from the Perception of Romantic Partners of Narcissists

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The Ohio State University

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Research has recently taken a closer look at how narcissists behave in romantic relationships. The goal of this study was to see how relationship quality is perceived by their partners. Participants were asked a) to rate their partners on their levels of narcissism and their impressions about how their partners seek to get their way, b) about their relationship quality, and c) about their own levels of narcissism. Results revealed that perceiving partners as scoring higher on narcissistic rivalry and vulnerable narcissism was generally associated with lower relationship quality, while perceiving the partner as scoring higher on communal narcissism and narcissistic admiration was associated with higher relationship quality. When participants reported that their partners were more narcissistic (with regard to communal narcissism, narcissistic rivalry, and vulnerable narcissism), they reported their partners used less positive means to get their way (such as using manipulation, supplication, bullying, and disengagement). These strategies, in turn, predicted lower quality relationships. These findings help shed light on why relationships with narcissists might not last.



narcissism, partner perception, romantic relationship