You have been discarded or perhaps you have succeeded and escaped our grip. You cannot help still but wonder what we are doing, especially if we have discarded you. The thoughts run through your mind repeatedly. What is he doing? Is he thinking of me? Where has he been today? Why have I not heard from him? Why did he do what? What did I do wrong? A thousand and one questions which whirl around in your mind. This is always the case when you have been discarded and even when you made your escape the questions still come thick and fast because so much has not been explained or answered. Furthermore, as an empathic individual you cannot help but wonder what we are up to, what we are thinking and how we feel. It is an automatic response for someone like you and is part of the reason why you remain susceptible to a hoover. Sometimes you may be wondering how we are or how we are managing. You may hope that we are miserable and dejected by losing you. You engage in stalking our social media, driving by where we work or live, have friends ask what we are up to and you will try and contact us direct to try and establish what has happened (where there has been a discard). Whether you escaped or whether you were discarded there are several burning questions on your mind and one of those is; is he with someone else now? You do some snooping and detecting and the answer appears to be, yes, he is alone. There is no sign of a new significant other. There is no mention of a new girlfriend or partner and we have not been spotted with anybody else when we have been sighted around town. We appear to be alone. What does this mean?
If this situation manifests with the Lesser Narcissist, one has to consider the position where there has been escape and where there has been discard. Those factors apply to two scenarios being in play. The first is the Lesser will be engaged in Bouncing. Addressing Bouncing following your escape first of all.
He will have a new primary source but he will not regard her as a girlfriend. She will in all likelihood an inner or outer circle friend of the Lesser. This is especially likely where you have escaped. With no time available to put in place a replacement who has been cultivated, the Lesser will have erupted and then sought the nearest fuel solace. The easiest way for him to do this, rather than expend energy seducing somebody knew and comparatively unknown or even unknown, would be for him to promote this secondary source into a primary. This person will be “comforting” the Lesser after his awful and terrible treatment at your hands. The Lesser however will not make it known that he as a new primary source because he will want to milk sympathy from onlookers and also use this sympathy to enable him to move to another friend who will offer him “comfort”. Very quickly he will move between these two (maybe more) appliances. One weekend the first person will be his primary source but not referred to as a girlfriend or such like. A few days later he will move to a different one. He has no issue with this. He is accountable to nobody. He has no need to announce the relationship since keeping it quiet affords him more opportunities for fuel.
In terms of Bouncing where there has been a discard, this happens where the Lesser is not completely satisfied that the primary source he was cultivating is embedded as he would like. You may well have been discarded because you failed to provide fuel and this failure is dramatic and took place before your replacement has been properly embedded. Accordingly, the Lesser will be hedging his bets by going between two potential primary sources, alternating between them until he decides which is best and which is embedded. Then he will make the announcements, but until that point he gives the appearance of being alone.
The second scenario concerns Keeping It in the Family. This is often applicable to the Victim Narcissist. If you have escaped the Lesser, he may promote a family member to be primary source rather than promote an inner circle friend to an intimate partner. He turns to his mother or sister, wailing of his misfortune and how terribly he has been treated. He may move back to the childhood home and this is where he gains his fuel, all of the sympathetic mothering fuel. Hence he appears to have no intimate partner because there is not one. Even if there has been a discard, the Lesser may decide to Keep It in the Family by playing on his woes as he continues to cultivate quietly a prospective primary source.
With the Mid-Range when he appears to have no intimate partner and appears to be on his own, it is not the case. He will have a new intimate partner as a primary source but he does not want you to know about her. Not yet. This is applicable when there is both discard and escape. The Mid-Range, being the most passive-aggressive of the schools of narcissist may not have embedded his prospective primary source with the confidence he would prefer (especially if you escaped) and therefore lacking the raw aggression of the Lesser and the swaggering confidence of the Greater, he keeps a low profile until he is confident that there is a successful attachment. He does not want you knowing about this primary source for fear you may interfere and mess up this much needed source of fuel. It is only when he is confident that the attachment has been secured that he will engage in Relationship Bulletins and the like.
Turning to the Greater. Of all the schools of narcissism, the Greater is able to function for longer without a primary source than the Lesser or Mid-Range. This is because he has extensive secondary sources to whom he can turn. Thus his extensive social circle, loyal Lieutenants, devoted family and admirers who are jostling for position to be chosen as the new primary source will provide him with enough fuel to allow him to function. He will not be at the top of his game and would much prefer to have a primary source in place, but if you escaped and you have pushed the narcissist into Chaos Mode, he will be working to secure that primary source behind the scenes but is content to show that he “does not need anybody” in the meanwhile. Although the reality is he will be clamoring to find a new primary source, he does not want you thinking that. He will want you to think he remains aloof, self-sufficient and not making a bee-line for anybody who will have him. He can be choosier than that. He has standards. This is the appearance he wishes to project and to a degree it is true, but he cannot remain choosy for long, the demands of fuel are ever present and those secondary sources will only sustain him for so long.
The bottom line is that a primary source is always needed by the Lesser and the Mid-Range, more or less immediately following escape or discard, because of the demands of fuel. It is only an appearance as to why the Lesser or Mid-Range seems single (save when he Keeps It in the Family). The Greater needs the primary source soon, but he can last for longer without one and will revel in demonstrating that to you by saying “I don’t need you or anybody in fact, I am my own man.” It is of course an artifice. The Greater needs his primary source just as much, he is just fortunate because of his grandiosity, magnetism and charm he has far more secondary sources to turn to.