A commenter on the article about sexy body language asks the following regarding narcissistic and egotistical women:
“I was wondering if you could put out any content on how to deal with narcissistic, overly selfish women. They're tougher to deal with on some levels and I'd love to see what kind of content you have for how to deal with that type of woman.”
If you're like many people reading this article, your first reaction might be, "Who on Earth wants to date a narcissist?"
You know... selfish, egotistical, conniving. Unempathetic. Cold, in many ways.
But there're two sides to everything, and narcissism is no exception. Narcissists also tend to be incredibly charming, very charismatic, and quite colorful. They're frequently the center of attention... the bright and shiny objects at the middle of the room.
They are the coveted. And they enjoy being coveted.
In fact, there are reasons you may want to date a girl who's a narcissist... just as there are reasons you may not.
Narcissism is, like anything in language, a label. It's used to attempt to differentiate a subset of personality traits that commonly appear in conjunction with one another.
According to the DSM-5 (which admittedly has come under a great deal of criticism as being pseudo-scientific, unduly influenced by drug companies, and being demoted in authority by the NIMH and the BPS), narcissistic personality disorder includes five or more of the following:
Is grandiose in evaluation of self without demonstrating superior achievements
Concentrates on fantasies of great success, influence, intelligence, beauty or perfect love
Believes in own "specialness" and expects to associate with high prestige people or institutions
Demands to be overly admired
Feels entitled to special treatment and to have demands acceded to
Exploits others to achieve own ends
Lacks empathy for others
Frequently envious of others or assumes others are envious of him or her
Is arrogant in attitudes and behavior
Wikipedia further differentiates between narcissism and other similar personality disorders thus:
Antisocial personality disorder: although these personality disorders share qualities of tough-mindedness, glibness, superficiality, exploitiveness and lack of empathy, narcissistic personality disorder does not include antisocial traits such as aggression, deceit and impulsivity, nor do they have, as antisocials do, the history of conduct disorder in childhood or criminal behavior as an adult. Additionally, narcissistic personality disorder is needy specifically for the admiration and envy of others, a trait lacking in antisocial personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder: in contrast to this disorder, the narcissistic personality disorder has a stable self image, and lacks the self-destructiveness, impulsivity and concerns about abandonment.
Borderline, antisocial and histrionic personality disorders: although these disorders share qualities of coquettishness, callousness, and neediness, the grandiosity of the narcissistic personality disorder distinguishes it from these others.
So, yeah, obviously a narcissist is something of a spotlight grabber, with some pretty clear downsides to her personality profile.
Who'd want to date someone like this?
The Upside of Narcissism
In the present-day United States, 10% of individuals in their 20s
meet the requirements for narcissistic personality disorder. And that
number is rising.
That's quite a lot of people with narcissism.
Anecdotally, egotism seems to be rising across all Western
countries, and even in non-Western countries as Western media and ways
of life infiltrate these societies.
In psychological circles, there's some degree of debate about whether narcissism is an ego-protective defense mechanism centered on shoring up weak "real" self-esteem, or is something else (with some studies reporting narcissists showing high "real" self-esteem, and others reporting narcissists showing low "real" self-esteem; the paper "Narcissism and the non-equivalence of self-esteem measures: A matter of dominance?" postulates that this is due to a difference in the relation to dominance of the self-esteem measures being assessed in these studies).
There's plenty of research on the role of narcissism in dating,
mating, leading, and life; apparently, narcissists make for interesting
The study "Narcissism and attractiveness" found a (small but reliable) correlation between being narcissistic and being attractive, and "The dark triad of personality: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy" found a (small but reliable) correlation between being narcissistic and being intelligent. However, in "Narcissistic illusions in self-evaluations of intelligence and attractiveness" narcissists were also shown to perceive themselves as more attractive and more intelligent than they actually were (with male narcissists more guilty of this than female narcissists).
"Narcissism and emergent leadership in military cadets" had the following interesting findings about narcissism and leadership:
“Some 200 military cadets rated themselves and other members of their platoons on a variety of variables, including the quality of their leadership behaviors. They also completed standardized personality questionnaires measuring the positive and negative aspects of narcissism. Strong predictions were found for variables related to the two sides of that construct. The best rated leaders exemplified the bright side of narcissism while suppressing the dark side-emergent leaders were measured to be high in egotism and self-esteem but low in manipulativeness and impression management. Big Five personality factors were only marginally successful in predicting emergent leadership in this study. The data are discussed in terms of their relevance to identifying potentially destructive leaders in a group.”
So, narcissism was a big leadership predictor, with the best leaders being those who accentuated the positive sides of narcissism (egotism, self-esteem) while suppressing the dark sides of it (manipulation, impression management).
On the other hand, regarding creativity, in "Are two narcissists better than one? The link between narcissism, perceived creativity, and creative performance," researchers had this to say about findings:
“The current research examines the link between narcissism and creativity at the individual, relational, and group levels of analysis. It finds that narcissists are not necessarily more creative than others, but they think they are, and they are adept at persuading others to agree with them. In the first study, narcissism was positively associated with self-rated creativity, despite the fact that blind coders saw no difference between the creative products offered by those low and high on narcissism. In a second study, more narcissistic individuals asked to pitch creative ideas to a target person were judged by the targets as being more creative than were less narcissistic individuals, in part because narcissists were more enthusiastic. Finally, a study of group creativity finds evidence of a curvilinear effect: Having more narcissists is better for generating creative outcomes (but having too many provides diminishing returns).”
Amusingly, narcissists aren't any more creative than anyone else... but they believe they are, and so do other people. The flip side of this seems to be that having narcissists in a group makes the group more creative (perhaps via greater levels of confidence in its ability to be creative?).
The Downside of Narcissism
It's not all flowers and rainbows, however.
According to"Narcissism and social networking web sites," narcissists are a lot more likely to self-promote on social networking sites, and plow a lot of time and effort into maintaining impressive-looking profiles there (which is arguably a useless waste of time, all things being equal).
And if you're looking for a committed partner, you may find a narcissist rather a disappointment:
“Two studies examined narcissism and commitment in ongoing romantic relationships. In Study 1, narcissism was found to be negatively related to commitment. Mediational analyses further revealed that this was primarily a result of narcissists’ perception of alternatives to their current relationship. Study 2 replicated these findings with an additional measure of alternatives. Again, narcissists reported less commitment to their ongoing romantic relationship. This link was mediated by both perception of alternatives and attention to alternative dating partners. The utility of an interdependence approach to understanding the role of personality in romantic relationships is discussed.”
That's from "Narcissism and commitment in romantic relationships: An investment model analysis," a 2002 paper in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
In "Susceptibility to infidelity in the first year of marriage," narcissism is one of the three (3) most strongly correlated factors with infidelity early into a marriage (the other two are low conscientiousness - someone who doesn't care - and high psychoticism - someone who's crazy). In "Priming the primal scene: Betrayal trauma, narcissism, and attitudes toward sexual infidelity," narcissism is again positively correlated with "the likelihood of having affairs, the number of partners cheated on, and (for women but not men) the likelihood of being cheated on."
And in "Threatened egotism, narcissism, self-esteem, and direct and displaced aggression: Does self-love or self-hate lead to violence?" researchers revealed the following findings:
“It has been widely asserted that low self-esteem causes violence, but laboratory evidence is lacking, and some contrary observations have characterized aggressors as having favorable self-opinions. In 2 studies, both simple self-esteem and narcissism were measured, and then individual participants were given an opportunity to aggress against someone who had insulted them or praised them or against an innocent third person. Self-esteem proved irrelevant to aggression. The combination of narcissism and insult led to exceptionally high levels of aggression toward the source of the insult. Neither form of self-regard affected displaced aggression, which was low in general. These findings contradict the popular view that low self-esteem causes aggression and point instead toward threatened egotism as an important cause.”
So, while a narcissist might normally be quite calm emotionally, the
instant she feels insulted, she begins to exhibit "exceptionally high
levels" of anger and retribution - the classic phenomenon of "narcissistic
rage," a violent reaction to "a perceived threat to a narcissist's
self-esteem or self-worth."
In addition, if you're looking for emotional intimacy, you'll find disappointment in the findings in "Narcissism and romantic attraction," published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who authored the study revealed the following results:
“A model of narcissism and romantic attraction predicts that narcissists will be attracted to admiring individuals and highly positive individuals and relatively less attracted to individuals who offer the potential for emotional intimacy. Five studies supported this model. Narcissists, compared with nonnarcissists, preferred more self-oriented (i.e., highly positive) and less other-oriented (i.e., caring) qualities in an ideal romantic partner (Study 1). Narcissists were also relatively more attracted to admiring and highly positive hypothetical targets and less attracted to caring targets (Studies 2 and 3). Indeed, narcissists displayed a preference for highly positive-noncaring targets compared with caring but not highly positive targets (Study 4). Finally, mediational analyses demonstrated that narcissists' romantic attraction is, in part, the result of a strategy for enhancing self-esteem (Study 5).”
So, someone who's narcissistic will look for romantic partners who are:
- Very positive (uplifting) people
- Very self-oriented people (who offer less emotional intimacy)
- Not very caring people
(who offer more emotional intimacy)
A pessimistic but caring person who wants to bond emotionally makes a narcissist run in the other direction, while an optimistic but self-focused person who has little time for bonding makes a narcissist's heart flutter.
Narcissism: What've We Got?
On the plus side, dating a narcissist means you get:
- Someone who's a bit more attractive than the average
- Someone who's a bit more intelligent than the average
- Someone who's more dominant and a stronger leader
- Someone with a higher degree of charisma and personal appeal
- Someone who thinks highly of herself and is normally positive
On the minus side, you also get:
- Someone prone to scheming and manipulation
- Someone who believes she's smarter, prettier, and more special than she is
- Someone who isn't all that interested in emotional intimacy
- Someone who's a lot more likely to have an affair or be uncommitted
- Someone liable to snap your head off in a rage when and if you insult her
Anybody feel like heli-skiing?
Narcissists are one of the extreme sports of dating... you probably
want to stay away unless you're itching for both excitement and danger.
I tend to have a fair number of narcissists around me. This may be
because I rate "Very High" on narcissism tests myself. It may also be
because I rate "Very High" on empathy tests, too, and can get inside
their heads... rather an unusual combination. The standard definition
of a narcissist is someone who largely lacks empathy.
People high on narcissism tend to be low on empathy, and people high on empathy tend to be low on narcissism. I attribute my own somewhat bizarre mix to high natural empathy that I taught myself to suppress and switch off as a defense mechanism in my preteens.
Regardless the reason why I have it, I can talk not just from what
I've read here, but I can also talk
about what I've learned from being around narcissistic people, from
dating narcissistic women, and from having a number of narcissistic
personality traits myself (I'm not sure if I would actually classify
myself as a "narcissist" or not, since I normally try and temper any
narcissistic reactions by running these through an empathetic filter...
that one's difficult to peg).
Two things to realize about trying to pick up a girl who's also a narcissist:
She's much more sensitive to slights and aloofness and much more likely to auto-reject more quickly than most - you're walking on a finer wire with her
She likes admirers, but only wants to actually spend time around them if they are admirers she considers "worthy" of her - e.g., they have status, charisma, fame, really good looks, sparkling intellect, or some other highly desirable trait she can learn from or benefit from having around her
I've watched beautiful women with narcissistic inclinations go for fat, balding men who worked as higher ups at television stations simply because they were impressed with the guy's credentials. These are not gold diggers, mind you - they're not dating the guy purely for riches.
I've had these girls brag to me about these guys flying them around to exotic locales and putting them up in expensive hotels. And I've had them tell me about how these guys bought them entire new wardrobes. But that's just a perk - it's not the reason why they're dating them.
All the narcissistic women I know (or, at least the ones I've maintained friendships and relationships with) have had good careers and plenty of their own money. They've also dated men who made less money than them - sometimes a good bit less.
To an outsider without a window into how their minds work, it might appear there's no pattern at all to why they date whom they do.
One moment she's dating a high-flying guy with a great career who's jetting her all over the globe and buying her expensive things. The next moment she's with a guy 6 years her junior who works as a barista at Starbucks but plans to open up his own photography studio "when he saves up enough" and lives in a tiny apartment.
(these are actual guys some of my ex-girlfriends and female friends have dated)
The key is this: the guy has SOMETHING about him that she finds impressive.
And, truth be told, every girl is looking for a man with something impressive about him.
But narcissistic women are looking for more of this than most.
So what do you need to pick her up in the first place?
Exude positive energy. If she gets even the slightest hint of negativity from you, she's gone. She doesn't want it around her, and she doesn't want you bringing her down. She's very sensitive to ego regulation, and doesn't want to risk having someone around her who makes her feel bad. You might be able to get away with sarcasm or playful insults with some girls, but you won't get away with it with women who are narcissists.
Don't tease much. She's a big girl and she can take it? Only if she knows you're 100% on her side, and she doesn't know that when she first meets you. When she first meets you, the only thing going through her head is, "Does this guy realize how great I am, or is he going to be another hater?" Every tease must be followed up with emotional validation - that is to say, telling her she's awesome, and showing genuine interest in her. You'll say, "No, actually, you're really good at that. How'd you even learn to do that in the first place?"
Compliment her plenty (genuinely). She's a sucker for compliments, but ONLY if they're genuine. She's a narcissist... she's used to being admired. She knows when she's being brown-nosed because you want something from her (in which case, your compliments are fake, and rather insulting, because you don't actually realize how amazing she is), or when a compliment is genuine and you actually recognize something awesome about her. When it's the latter, she'll come to think more highly of you. This is really only all that important in the first few minutes - once you're deep diving, you'll be complimenting her by showing interest, and that's usually enough.
Be high status. Again, she's accustomed to being around high-ish status people, at least, if not outright celebrities and business magnates and politicians (and the older she is, more beautiful she is, and/or more centrally located in an important city she is, the more likely she is to be around these people regularly), so you're not going to be able to fake this with her... you need to really have tight fundamentals and impressive-enough credentials to throw around.
Escalate FAST. If she likes you, she likes you, and because she sees herself as "special" and above the commoners around her, she'll tend to have fewer inhibitions about moving quickly with an attractive man she's just met than most. However, that also means her escalation windows will close faster and she'll write you off sooner as a coward or a putz if you don't lead and make things happen. Don't want to get written off? Keep things moving forward.
Be impressed, in a powerful way. That means things like leaning in just enough to show interest but not so much that you're falling all over yourself for her. Probe her with deep diving and find out about her accomplishments and let her tell you about them. Smile slowly and broadly as she tells you things, as if she's just let you in on a great and fascinating secret. Make sure she sees that you "get it" - she's up to some awesome stuff.
The more genuine you are, the better you'll tend to do with narcissistic women.
The more "gamey" you are - the more it feels like you're running game, or trying too hard - the more likely you are to quickly be written off as insincere, and thus, not genuinely high status and also likely to be someone who doesn't appreciate all of her qualities.
So if you want those flashy, high status-y, center-of-attention
girls with barrels full of ego, make
sure you're coming across like you really mean what you're saying and
- and not like a caricatured pick up artist running lines and routines.
This is important for ALL women, but narcissistic gals are more
sensitive to it than the usual.
Having a Relationship with a Woman with Ego
Narcissists' relationships tend not to last that long.
With the women I've dated who are narcissists, our relationships have often been the longest relationships they've had... probably because I understand them enough to not be put off by their judgment of other people as weak.
I'm a pretty dominant guy with women, and even I have had the "weak" spotlight turned on me by narcissist girlfriends from time to time (this is something, by the way, that needs to be dealt with with a very strong hand the instant it appears or you sense it... especially with girls with ego, the instant you let her believe you're weak in any substantial way for any prolonged period of time, your goose is cooked).
The major advantages in my eyes of dating narcissistic women are:
Plenty of passion. Narcissists tend not to have many close friends, and tend not to have long-lasting friendships, because nobody's perfect, and narcissists are relentless ego-protectors... as soon as a friend starts becoming a liability, he or she gets cut off. If you want a passionate relationship, date somebody who's a little (or a lot) crazy and doesn't keep many close contacts. Why? Because all the energy that, for most people, is spread out among a large cluster of contacts is instead devoted almost entirely to you... you become a very important, central figure in her life. And you get a whole heaping serving of passion as a result of this.
A real "us vs. them" vibe. Because she's frequently fighting the world (or some other large, noble [or not so noble] cause), she'll rely on you to be on her "team." You'll support her on her endeavors, and she'll support you on yours. The feeling of closeness - despite the lack of emotional intimacy - is often much greater than you'll have with most other women.
Keeping harmful people at bay. People who are less vigilant at pruning and maintaining their personal connections tend to pick up people who are "liabilities" in their contacts list over time - the friend who's always got drama going on, the ex-roommate who's always imposing, the colleague who constantly drinks to excess and needs a ride home. A narcissist might have a person like this around her for a little while - she does tend to meet lots of interesting new people - but she'll quickly grow impatient with her and soon cut her off. And she learns from each person like this - each dramatic or annoying experience is a personality type she knows to stay away from in the future. She's good at saying "no."
Does things on her terms. One of the things a narcissist dislikes more than anything else is people trying to impose on her (she also highly dislikes people who allow others to impose upon them - this is the definition of "weak" to a narcissist). She'll tend to do things on her own terms, march to the beat of a different drummer, and be far more immune to social pressure than most. If all her friends are jumping off a bridge, she'll be watching them jump, shaking her head and saying, "THAT's stupid."
Appreciates self-improvement. She wants to get better and stronger and more effective, and she appreciates you being able to do this too. She won't hold you back - in fact, she'll encourage you to do more, and get annoyed at you if you don't. She plans on becoming ever better, and she doesn't want to be with you unless she knows you'll be pulling her up rather than dragging her back.
I stressed the "advantages in my eyes" part of this above because if you're of a different mentality than I am, these may not be advantages to you. Passion everybody likes, but here's how some of the others might be interpreted differently by you:
"Us vs. them": some people are going to look at that and say, "But life isn't a battle! There is no 'us' and no 'them' - we're all in this together!"
People who are liabilities kept at bay: some people are going to look at that and say, "But I like my friend Jeb who always needs to borrow money, and I like Hank, even if he's always over here crying about some girl. They're my friends - I don't want to lose them!"
Doing things on her terms: some people are going to look at that and say, "But I want to do things with other people - I don't want us to always have to figure out our own things to do. Can't we just hang out with friends and drink beers and be normal?"
Self-improvement: some people are going to look at that and say, "Geez, that sounds exhausting. I don't think I could even keep up with someone like that - or want to!"
If any of those sound like you, then the advantages of dating a narcissistic woman are probably going to be disadvantages... and the disadvantages are still going to be disadvantages.
So, you have been warned.
Disadvantages of a Narcissistic Girlfriend
These, of course, are the ones we covered above:
She's not nearly as committed. She's always got one eye on the exit door. She'll tell you she wants to stay with you forever... maybe. But she won't entirely mean it. (Of course, if you don't want "forever," this setup can be ideal) She'll still love you and like being with you, yes - but she'll be telling herself at the same time that relationships end every day and the only realistic thing is to expect that yours might one day, too - and it's best to be ready for when it does.
The lack of emotional intimacy. Again, not a problem if you're not all that interested in this, but if you want to be able to sit around with a girl and just spill your heart out and have her spill hers out, you're going to be pretty disappointed when she gives you a look of annoyance and distaste when you try doing this with her, and follows that up by calling you "weak."
She's a higher infidelity risk. The risk of infidelity is somewhat higher with a woman who's a narcissist - she'll tend to have had more partners than a woman who isn't, sex is less of a big deal to you, and she'll be more likely to assume your relationship is going to end one day anyway, so what's the big deal? On the other hand, one of the advantages when it comes to preventing cheating with her is that she only does what she wants to do and is not very easily led - whereas a softer girl might cheat on you "by accident" if she meets a very convincing man who's very good at leading, a narcissistic girl will only cheat if she wants to and decides to - so long as you don't give her a reason to, and she doesn't have a SUPER high sex drive and/or put herself in position to cheat very often, you're probably safe.
She's probably pulling your strings. Not to hurt you, mind you - but she's very good at getting what she wants and protecting herself from being hurt. No one's ever 100% honest with you, but she's more likely to be at a lower percentage of honesty than a girl who's not a narcissist... and the bigger the narcissist she is, usually, the higher the level of dishonesty, often about things you will never know or suspect. She's a puppet master; she knows people very well, and she knows how to get what she wants from them, more often with charm and bats of her eyes and pretty little smiles than with the knife-twists-in-the-back that people seem to think of when they think of string-pulling (only sloppy amateurs do things that way).
She thinks she's very special. Which is no big deal if you also think she's very special... and it'll be easy to think this, around her beautiful, charismatic self. However, if you really don't think she's anything special, it's going to start to annoy you that she thinks this about herself. (Then again, if you don't think she's anything special, why are you dating her?)
She's prone to narcissistic fits of rage. Have you ever had someone totally wig out on you over something? So long as you don't seriously insult her, you won't have to worry about this, but if you're not terribly sensitive and can be hurtful or insulting sometimes, be prepared to watch her blow her top and go into rage mode from time to time.
Those may be enough to give you pause... or they may make you shrug, yell "Cannonball!", and dive right in.
Depends very much what you want with your life right now.
Running Your Relationship with Her
So how do you run a relationship with a narcissist?
Basically, the same way you'd run a relationship with any girl... except with a bit more of some stuff and a bit less of others.
A little more attention, praise, and recognition
A little more sensitivity (so that you don't offend her accidentally)
A little more freedom and autonomy to do her own thing
A little more strength and dominance out of you (so you don't appear weak)
... yet without you coming across overly controlling (which is annoying, and also looks weak... like you're too afraid to let go)
You to maintain and grow your status and other qualities and be on an upward arc
No sappy "Let's bond emotionally!" type cry-it-out, sharing-deep-dark-secrets stuff (even if she decides to open up to you... which she may, or may not)
You to agree with, or at least not be offended by, her judging other people as weak or low quality (you can disagree with her if you like - as an empathetic person, I've often found myself explaining others' actions to low/no empathy narcissists around me, but usually all this gets you is a grunt or a shrug or a, "Well, whatever")
A lot more really good sex (and for you to really make her orgasm)
If you're fine meting out (genuine) praise, are sensitive about not poking people in their sore spots, don't have much of a need for emotional connection, are strong and dominant, are highly self-improvement oriented and on an upward swing in your achievements and skills, are confident and secure and not overly jealous or controlling but still firm and certain in what you want, can at least control yourself around people calling other people "weak," and are good in bed, you should be fine with a narcissistic girlfriend.
However, if you act "weak" (i.e., you're controlling, or tentative, or jealous, or emotionally sensitive), or you can't deliver the goods in the bedroom, or you stall out and stop making progress in her life while she continues to... expect her to lose patience with you pretty quick, and cheat on, break up with, or otherwise make life a living hell for you.
Goes with the territory, I'm afraid.
She sees herself as being worth a lot. Whether you agree or not does not matter; that's how she sees herself. And as such, she expects a lot out of you... and if she stops getting it, she might cut you some slack for a little while, but she won't cut you slack for all that long.
Should You Date a Girl with an Ego?
Well, that depends on what you want.
While a softer, more sensitive girl might suffer in silence with bad, non-orgasmic sex, or tolerate you being wishy-washy or not making progress in life, or being a little jealous and controlling... an egotistic girl will call you out on this mercilessly. She will force you to upgrade yourself - or else, get out of her life.
I'd probably recommend you look more for women with a touch of
narcissism than those with a full blown case of it. The women I've had
the most rewarding relationships were the ones with SOME narcissism...
and the lack of patience for the weak and the flawed that goes along
with it - but who were also empathetic as well. You can't be on ALL the
time, and women with zero empathy cut zero slack.
The good news for you as a man is that narcissism tends to be less pronounced in women. Even when I've had very narcissistic girlfriends, they've still cooked for me, cleaned (some) things for me, and asked about me.
(although usually, she's more assessing your strength and health for
her own personal reasons - e.g., to see if she needs to help you out
if, for instance, she really needs you and can't afford to have you
break down or wear out, or if you're becoming weak and she needs to
tell you to shape up or ship out)
Basically, if you have emotional needs of closeness and comfort and dependency that you need a partner to fulfill, don't date a narcissistic woman. You'll tear your hair out... you'll start feeling like a victim.
"I do SO MUCH for her, and she doesn't even VALUE it!"
If you have anything similar to white knight reasoning going on in your head ("I did X good thing for her, therefore she owes me Y amount of love and kindness"), you need girlfriends high on caring, not high on self.
However, if you'd like a girl who's going to call you on your crap more than coddle you and tell you it's okay, a narcissistic girl can be an excellent girlfriend.
My girlfriends with big egos have been some of the best teachers and motivators I've had in my life. Frustrating as hell sometimes, and you get no leeway whatsoever - instead of taking care of you when you're sick, they start hammering you and testing you hard, because they see it as a sign of weakness, for instance, and you need to rally your strength and make them submit just so that they'll realize that even when you're weakened, you're still mighty.
But they will push you to do better. They'll insist that you succeed. And they'll get disgusted with you the moment you start acting lazy, weak, or average.
If you want greatness, date a
narcissist. She will demand it from you, and settle for nothing
less. So long as you're kicking butt on your endeavors, you'll have a
passionate girlfriend who appreciates you quite a bit, but if you ever
start to slip, she'll first call you on it, and then, if it goes on too
long, she'll get out.
Personally, I love having a girl with some ego - they make you into a dominant man like nothing else will, because you get no break from it - the moment you let your guard down, you're getting hit. You're forced to not just act it, but BE it.
But then, I'm something of a self-improvement nut... and if you're more "normal" than I am, you may not want that level of intensity and pressure and that little leeway around you.
Either way, a girl with a planet-sized ego always makes for an interesting dating experience - maybe try it out sometime and see if you can handle it (or if it drives you to madness instead).