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Narcissistic Game Playing – Part 2 January 6, 2014

Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
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Narcissistic Game Playing, which described the Ludic love style, has been one of the most read posts on my blog, as so many with Narcissistic Personality Disorder fall into this category. Last night I came across more information on the Ludus-style love that really resonated with me. Cue fanfare. And so I bring you Part 2! Originally this post featured information from a website I tracked back to a California Polytechnic State University site. as of 2016, this is no longer posted online per a contact at Cal Poly. So I’m adding a graphic for the Six love styles instead HERE. It’s full size and all of the “good stuff” is on the far right. (In this case the “good stuff” is actually the “bad stuff.”)

LUDUS (Self-centered Game Player) “The ideal constructed type of ludic lover is that of a person who “plays” love affairs as he or she plays games or puzzles – to win, to get the greatest rewards for the least cost. A ludic lover hates dependency, either in himself/herself or in others. This type shies away from commitment of any sort (does not like lovers to take him or her for granted). The ludic lover enjoys strategies, and may keep two or three or even four lovers “on the string” at one time. A ludic lover may even create a fictional lover to discourage a real one’s hopes for a permanent relationship. He or she avoids long range plans and is careful not to date the same person often enough to create the illusion of a stable relationship.

A ludic lover would rather find a new sex partner than to work out sexual problems with an old one. And yet, he or she may suddenly show up for a replay, even years later, with birthday flowers, a bottle of a favorite wine, a sentimental Valentine, or a record of a favorite song, and vanish just as suddenly. A ludic lover usually enjoys love affairs, and hence rarely regrets them unless the threat of commitment of dependency becomes too great. Dates with a ludic person are never dull, even though they may not happen with great regularity. He or she is never possessive or jealous. The ludic lover usually has good self concept, and usually is assured of current success in love as well as most other areas.

Unlike a pragmatic lover, a ludic lover never reveals all of himself or herself or demands such revelation by partners. Ludic lovers are not likely to be very sophisticated sexually. As a rule, they have only one sexual routine; if the sex partner is not pleased by the ludic lover’s sexual pattern, then the ludic one simply finds another partner rather than attempting to improve an unsatisfying relationship. If she does not like his sexual behavior, the ludic man moves on to someone who does; if he does not get an erection or bring her to orgasm on his own (with no help from her), the ludic woman looks for a man who will. Sex is self-centered and may be exploitative rather than symbolic of a relationship. A ludic lover does not listen to (or take time for) feedback that suggests commitment, which is “scary.” A ludic lover may not even want to be his or her partner’s best sex partner because that might necessitate commitment or dependency that would be “awful.”

Physical appearance of the partner is less important than other qualities, such as self-sufficiency and lack of demanding behavior to ludic persons.” This description SO nails the Narcissist who darkened my door. Even though “Joe” was a Cerebral Narcissist, he had many women in play (“my girlfriends”) but always kept them at arm’s length. I observed this first hand and it all had a “wheeling and dealing” aspect to it that he enjoyed enormously. Half the time, he couldn’t remember who he’d told what. But then a narcissist can deny he/she ever said anything.

And yes, several friends who’ve recovered from their Close Encounter with a Narcissist reported that the N reappeared out of nowhere via a Christmas email. Holiday trolling is common as the N wants to see if he can drop a line and still get a bite. What was funny was that one N sent out a Christmas email and neglected to hide the names of all the women he was sending it to! Ouch! Image Credit: “Mind Games” clipart from Discoveryeducation.com


1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross - January 7, 2014

What a great post! 🙂 I got an “out of the blue” email from my ex-narcissist in the summer. It was quite clear that he was trolling. I didn’t answer him. Once you know them, their behaviours are so predictable!


2. Catherine Sherman - January 7, 2014

Great article about Ns, as always!

The article I’ve linked below isn’t about an N, but is about relationships in which one partner mysteriously backs out of the relationship and then the pair go their separate ways. The woman has thought about the ex for years and then is devastated to find that he has died when she googles him. Was the guy an N or just not that into her? Would she have been happier to get some closure, or if he were an N, would it have just brought more heartbreak?

When we are young and inexperienced, we are especially vulnerable to Ns, I think. If we don’t recognizes Ns for what they are, we may chase after anyone who may provide a similar rush of attention, only to be heartbroken again. http://www.salon.com/2012/12/04/google_broke_my_heart/


3. czbz - January 11, 2014

I had read a few research articles about narcissist’s Ludic Love Style so that part wasn’t unfamiliar to me, nor a surprise. When I read the link you posted though, I found myself and that WAS very interesting! Quite eye-opening in fact so thanks very much for that!

Just between you and me (lol), one of my narcissistic friends was counseled by her therapist to tell people she was NOT interested in emotional involvement. Just sex. No strings. No feelings. No commitment. I thought to myself, “Well, that poor therapist finally admitted he couldn’t make a dent in her narcissism”. The least he could do was get her to warn people about her love-is-a-game heart.

And in case you were wondering, I have no illusions about my relationship with her. She can drop me in a second and I shall let her. What gets us in serious hurt is when we resist giving the narcissist what they want. If you don’t “let them go” when they want to go, you’ll suffer until you do. She is one of the funnest people, the most gregarious and charming women you could ever meet but everything is all about her and when I’ve out-used my usefulness as Ed McMahon to her Johnny Carson (dated, much?) I’ll be out the door. I think what really got me in trouble was not knowing people like this existed. I expected commitment to a natural part of friendship and it’s not.


Hey CZ,
Don’t worry – we’re in the same demographic group, but I don’t want to go on and on and sound like a broken record. Yes, it’s not knowing that people like this exist that I gets most of us sucked in. Popular media would have you believe psychopathic serial killers are everywhere. Meanwhile, those people who kill other people emotionally are much more likely to cross our paths and yet we don’t know the signs. I guess the Narcissists “kills” are not as graphic – no snapping on the latex gloves or blood spatter patterns? Jan


4. Samanthia - February 14, 2014

My narc start calling me from a private number then i totally blocked private numbers. He eventually called me from walgreens and I answered not knowing who it was. He says ” Call me back” I ask “who is this?” His response was “you know who it is” etc. We talked for hours about how he loves me and wants to be with me and that he had alot of distractions. Wants to take me out for valentines after disappearing for 2 months. Oh he has a false restraining order on me also. I wish the creep would drop of the face of this planet–I really and truly hate him. His name is * if anyone out there has been a victim of this f@%! monster!!!

It’s my policy not to print specific names. On various NPD forums, women will describe “my N” and then, invariably, another commenter wonders if it’s the same man she was involved with. It never is. I just checked the current population of the U.S. The psychiatric community maintains approximately 1% have NPD (I was going to write “suffer from,” but it’s their victims who suffer), so that would mean there’s over 1 MILLION Ns in the US alone! How’s that for a Happy Valentine’s Day thought? Eventually your hate will turn to apathy, which upsets them more. Jan


5. Razz - May 15, 2016

Is a ludic lover different from a narcissist – in the sense do they get pleasure from hurting others and indulging in triangulation or do they just enjoy partner hopping without empathy

Do they enjoy hurting a partner or just dont care?

So, you’re looking for their motivation? I think the answer is that this is how they roll and they just don’t care if they hurt a partner. They like the cat and mouse aspect of The Game. They might complain about drama (from a partner who has needs), but they thrive on drama and are constantly creating it with this balancing act. I can’t comment with any great certainty on those who engage in a Ludic Love Style and are not narcissists because to me it all seems very narcissistic. It requires an ample amount of ego to keep those plates (i.e. women, men) spinning. There is never a “bird in the hand.” The birds “in the bush” are way more important and intriguing.


6. Marta - July 16, 2016

I dated my narcissistic for 2 years. It took another 8 years to completely rid him of my life. It’s been 12 years of no contact. Now he’s dating one of my old best friends who we still keep in touch and go to our kids bday parties. It’s like he’s back again. This is the 4th friend he’s dated now too. Now she is very awkward and distant towards me.

This is a first for me. Do any of these friends know the lengths you had to go through to extricate him from your life? It makes me shudder to imagine the N I knew appearing on the periphery of my life knowing the hurt he’s capable of inflicting. If he’s been through four of your friends in 8 years, these aren’t long-term relationships. And birthdays only come once a year. I think you’d have to set some ground rules with this friend about not talking about him and explain why this is necessary. If you think that he’s trying to worm his way back into your personal space even just to rattle you, you might have block this friend from Facebook, explaining that you don’t want him to have access to any aspect of your personal life. There’s lots of fish in the sea,but he seems determined to troll in your pond. Always, Jan


7. Chaquinda - November 17, 2016

Wow that sounds like the N I used to be with. Yes your right he’s not interested in
you, but he’s focusing on what he needs from you and how to get it without giving anything in return. They are takers, they can always see everything that needs to be done in the house, on the car, for the children and everything else when they are, broke. They always want to control and spend all your money. They are the neediest people I’ve ever known.

And unless you’ve got something to give, they’re out the door. Jan


8. Lorraine - January 23, 2017

That just happened to me last year at Christmas with a man that is gay and when I was leaving his Christmas party he came up to me and whispered in my ear very low “Merry Christmas with a pause then he said my name in a very low seductive way. I got the message. He also gave me a kiss on the check to. So glad I read this article it put it all into perspective, he has not changed one damn bit. He was trolling. I don’t know if he is bi-sexual, but this is ridiculous. He is so cute and I find him irristable but no go for me because I am a happily married female to a wonderful man.

Ugh! Yes, it is a game and he wanted to see if you wanted to play. I was in the same position and it totally f’d with my mind. Know that this is an invitation to madness. Jan


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