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Self love is not love enough

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 17:47 IST
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When it comes to love, narcissists are the worst people to fall for, for as a new study has found, they are more interested in sexual pleasure than a relationship that will last.

The study, by Ilan Shrira, a University of Florida visiting psychologist, showed that narcissists see sexuality more in terms of power, influence and as something daring, and not in terms of caring.

The study also found that they are more likely to philander and dump their partners for they’re looking for a "better deal".

"Narcissists have a heightened sense of sexuality, but they tend to view sex very differently than other people do," said Shrira.

"They see sexuality more in terms of power, influence and as something daring, in contrast to people with low narcissistic qualities who associated sex more with caring and love," he said.

Shrira noted that even such people are in a relationship, they are constantly on the lookout for another liaison. However, what was not clear was whether this characteristic was due to their heightened sense of sexuality, or that they wanted a partner to enhance their self-image.

"Even when they're in a relationship, they always seem to be on the lookout for other partners and searching for a better deal. Whether that's because of their heightened sexuality or because they think multiple partners enhance their self-image isn't entirely clear," Shrira said.

As a part of the research, Shrira collaborated with Joshua D. Foster, a University of South Alabama social psychologist, and W. Keith Campbell, a University of Georgia social psychologist and author of the 2005 book When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself and conducted two studies with a total of 485 undergraduate students at the University of Georgia.

In the first study, participants who scored high on a narcissism personality inventory test considered physical pleasure to be much more important in a sexual relationship than emotional intimacy.

The highly narcissistic were 50 per cent more likely than the more humble to view the primary purpose of sexual intercourse as enhancing their own physical pleasure, rather than increasing emotional intimacy with their partner.

In the second study, which involved only undergraduates who were in a romantic relationship, those with high narcissism scores expressed considerably low commitment to their partner.

Typically, males are more narcissistic than females, who are known to place greater priority than men on personal relationships.

"Narcissists tend not to value relationships unless it’s for self-serving purposes," Shrira said.

The research appears in the current issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

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