The Golden Period


The Golden Period is that period when all is wonderful between us and our victims. This is the illusory mask that is donned in order to draw you in, bind you to us, embed you and then continue to savour the positive fuel that you pump out. Of course most people recognise that this is relevant with regards to the romantic relationship between the narcissist and the Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”). Certainly, this is the most intense, most intoxicating and most addictive of the golden periods, but the golden period applies to all appliances that we interact with. How does that manifest and how long are these golden periods?

Let us commence with the tertiary source. There are essentially two types of tertiary source. There is the Sporadic Tertiary Source (“STS”) and the Frequent Tertiary Source (“FTS”). The STS is somebody that we interact with just the once or perhaps more than once but not very often. So that could be somebody who we get in a lift with or who occasionally serves us when we go to a particular restaurant every few months. We do not know one another and therefore this person is a Tertiary Source however our engagement with them is always benign. They smile at us, do something helpful for us, compliment us, speak to us in an interested way and so forth. In that instant, the interaction may only be for thirty seconds or so, but that is a golden period. It is brief, very brief but nevertheless because we have engaged with that person in a benign way and drawn positive fuel from them they have had a golden period. We may not have charmed them but we have certainly been pleasant to them, we have impressed them, engaged with them in a way which has caused them to provide us with positive fuel. This means that they have not suffered in any way and we have drawn positive fuel.

The FTS is someone we may see several times a week but they remain a stranger to us. This might be somebody who we buy a daily newspaper from, or a ticket inspector on the train. We engage with the individual repeatedly and always do so in pleasant terms and thus we gain positive fuel from this person who greets us with a smile and compliments our choice of tie or fragrance, but there is no more to the relationship. We see them repeatedly and this positive engagement means there is a protracted Golden Period but the manner of the engagement remains brief, seconds or minutes at most.

A golden period for the STS or FTS will be brought to an abrupt end if they criticise us in some way and wound us or we see that drawing a reaction from them by way provocation and the provision of negative fuel would serve our purposes in another way, for instance in terms of triangulating them with someone who is a higher ranked source who we wish to impress or appear authoritative in front of.

With regard to the secondary sources, there are those who are Non Intimate Secondary Sources (friends, family and colleagues) and then Intimate Partner Secondary Sources (someone we are seducing who is likely to become the IPPS, someone who is a booty call or a friend with benefits).

Those who are NISSs nearly always have golden periods and those golden periods last for a long time. This is because we exhibit our attractive qualities, we charm, we are polite, good-natured, interesting and so on in order to attract this person to us and once designated as a NISS we keep them in place for a considerable period of time. The golden period for a NISS can last a long time because we only draw on their positive fuel now and again. Thus we may see a friend once a week or once a month and therefore there is no extensive reliance in terms of frequency and quantity from this person which threatens the potency. We may meet for an hour for a coffee or an evening out together and we draw positive fuel (plus other benefits) from them. Unless they challenge us, criticise us, stop fuel provision and such like, this golden period will continue unabated. We will not suddenly find their fuel stale (as happens with the IPPS) and therefore the golden period lasts.

With the IPSS the golden period is similarly extensive. There are three types of IPSS:-

  1. The Candidate IPSS. This is someone who is likely to become the IPPS and is on that trajectory towards being crowned;
  2. The Shelf IPSS. This person is not an immediate candidate for becoming IPPS (but that might change in the future) but they are used for fuel on an intermittent basis. Whilst the IPPS is devalued we will spend time with the Shelf IPSS even though we know they are not going to be the new IPPS, but their fuel etc remains of considerable use and interest to us, they may be used to triangulate with the IPPS (or other IPSSs);
  3. The Dirty Little Secret IPSS. See more here  Dirty Little Secret


If the person is a clear prospect for IPPS then this candidate will experience the full effect of the illusory seduction as they are drawn into our world and treated like a king or queen. The various seductive manipulations will be deployed to create this magical wonderland where the most perfect love resides. This is the intoxicating, whirlwind seduction where the love-bombing abounds. Once this candidate IPSS is embedded as the IPPS the golden period continues.

Sometimes the IPSS does not secure the promotion but as I have written elsewhere there is no need to devalue this person. This person is a Shelf IPSS. Their fuel remains excellent but they are not quite right. This may  change and they are promoted in the future, or it may not and they remain an IPSS for a long time, picked up and put down when we decide. Thus if an IPSS accepts this role they will experience a long golden period. Yes, there will be periods when they will not hear from us and they have been placed on the shelf but this is not devaluation.

The fuel from an IPSS similarly does not become stale because they are engaged with intermittently by us. The pattern of engagement may be a weekend together and then nothing for a fortnight. It might be a week away together and then nothing for a month.

With the Dirty Little Secret IPSS the engagement is likely to be an hour in the evening or the occasional afternoon but usually once a week, sometimes more. The time together is not long but there is a greater frequency than that of the Shelf IPSS.

With all three of these IPSSs they experience significant golden periods.

  1. The Candidate IPSS has an intense golden period which may be a number of weeks before they then become an IPPS and the golden period for that appliance is applicable;
  2. The Shelf IPSS can have a golden period for years and years;
  3. The Dirty Little Secret IPSS can have a golden period for years and years.

The Golden Periods for the Shelf and Dirty Little Secret IPSS is not as intense as that for the Candidate (nor the IPPS see below) but it remains addictive. The victim is treated well, future-faked a lot, given comfort crumbs, taken places, confided in, bought gifts and so forth.The narcissist recognises the value of these type of IPSSs and wishes to maintain them. If the IPSS challenges the narcissist, for instance wants the narcissist to spend more time with them, or threatens to expose their affair to the IPPS, the narcissist will devalue but does so in order to bring that person back into line. If they respond then the golden period is restored immediately. If not, the malfunctioning IPSS will be dis-engaged with and somebody else sought for the role.

The Golden Period for the IPPS is that which most people are familiar with. The Golden Period for the IPPS commences when they are a Candidates IPSS and once they have been embedded they continue to enjoy the fruits of the narcissist’s largesse. The golden period for the IPPS is the one which creates the truly magical connections, the dizzying delight and wondrous magnificence which becomes addictive. The Golden Period for the IPPS will last from months to years dependent on how long their positive fuel is potent enough, frequent enough and supplied in the desired quantities. A typical golden period will be 6-24 months.

The Golden Period for an IPPS ends because the appliance fails us. This is because the appliance has reduced the potency, frequency and/or quantity of the fuel so that it is no longer sufficient for us and thus devaluation must commence by way of altering the fuel provided and punishing the malfunctioning IPPS. Or the positive fuel no longer is regarded as potent by us because it feels stale. Again, devaluation follows for the reasons just explained. This determination is entirely down to us and there is nothing you can do about it. Devaluation always occurs with the IPPS because this person is who we rely on the most for our fuel provision and is the most important supplier. We thus engage with this person frequently, often live with this person, certainly see them almost every day, talk every day, do much together so we can draw on the positive fuel. The fuel is extremely potent to us and of critical consequence. However, this frequent reliance means that the risk of it becoming stale is very high and therefore devaluation follows. Unlike a NISS or IPSS, devaluation is not a foregone conclusion because of the lower demand placed on these secondary sources for their fuel provision.

Some people who are the IPPS do not experience the fireworks and magic of the Golden Period. Instead, they experience the Bronze Period. This is when the narcissist (usually a Lower or Middle Lesser or  a Lower Mid-Ranger) does not treat them especially magnificently but what they do do is keep the beast in check so that what is seen is not going to cause the newly targeted victim to retreat. The Golden Period and the Bronze Period both serve the function of hiding the true nature of the narcissist from the victim. The full horror is kept from them. The Golden Period goes further and binds the victim especially to the narcissist, it heightens the addiction of the victim, it creates a place which the victim strives to return to (and which the narcissist will reinstate if he or she sees fit) during devaluation. The Bronze Period merely keeps the horror under wraps and there will be some favourable treatment but nothing amazing.

The Golden Period for all appliances is an artifice which is designed to enable us to secure our Prime Aims (see The Prime Aims ) chief of which is the provision of fuel. Whether this illusion  is used for 30 seconds or years, it is still that; an illusion.

53 thoughts on “The Golden Period

  1. Brandy says:

    HG I broke up with my Narc and he pressured me to come back giving me roses and petals and promises of change. He has even seen a psychiatrist. He has made small bread crumbs of change. Will he continue to change or is this a charade? Will he go back to his real self’s how long will this golden period last before he reverts?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is part of the manipulation. He will revert to his usual behaviours when he feels he has you under control once more or if it proves necessary to alter the form of manipulation in order to achieve what he requires.

      1. Brandy says:

        HG thank you for the reply? is there a time frame? Does the manipulation get worse ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          There is not a set time frame but rather it is dictated by him sensing that he has asserted control again or if this particular manipulation is not effective and therefore a change to an alternative, harsher manipulation is required. It is not a given that the return to previous behaviours means those behaviours become worse.

    2. Brian says:

      Just wanted to say that he is holding a grudge because you broke up with him…and he will devalue you even more than before!

      1. Brandy says:

        Brian, you think he’s holding a grudge? Would it be an internal one? He’s not being a douche as bad as he use too,he’s being ok. but I’m thinking he’s gonna take the mask off soon and just curious to know how long.

  2. shantily says:

    @emotion detective well the sweet little Narc that he is had already had me arrested on a false charge which I fought and won the charge was withdrawn . He absolutely deserves to be behind bars. I am untrusting of the police due to the fact he’s had me arrested before he’s such a master manipulator I’m terrified they’d take me away instead :(((( my story is so horrific it’s embarrassing that I stayed in the situation as long as I did. I feel anonymously maybe I can purge myself of some of the trauma.

    That was his Motive Operandi he’d scream atrocious things at me and I’d shove him .. he’d break down my door yelling insults and I’d kick at him to get out.
    That’s where he gave himself permission to beat on me ….not fists per say but a beating none the less.

    He’d calmly state afterwards that I started it I deserved it. No mention of the fact that I was sleeping on the bathroom floor with the door locked and he’d break it down to yell in my face in one of his rages.

    I am no longer with him but my brain is still detoxing from the trauma and the mind fuckery

    My hair won’t grow back in places my broken bone has healed (plates and screws hold it together) … but it’s the parts that you can’t see the need to mend the most.

    Although I was a victim I don’t want to be under his power in my mind anymore!

    And that is why I’m here with HG and people like you directing me into the light 😊

  3. Shannon says:

    My golden periods last 6 months to the day. Always. It’s gotten to the point now where I check the calendar to see when the shit storm is coming.

    1. shantily says:

      Wow ! Shannon are you saying he’d be “good” for 6 months and then throw a fit about something then return to a golden period? And then how long did the storm last .? … this last year with my mid ranger couldn’t maintain his mask from slipping for more than two weeks sometimes less. I lasted two years with that nightmare.
      This last vacation South ? The worst the worst he was terrible he could not hmmm WOULD not keep it together the whole trip he was abusive …he had the hotel room strewn with rose petals and champagne and chocolates on our last day for his grande finale …. by morning the champagne was poured over the bed ..broken chocolate and blood (mine) and roses squished everywhere …I was called a slut and whore a waste time of money, he ripped out my hair and gave me a black eye bruised my whole body the abuse went on all night I was in a foreign country leaving on a flight the next morning it was the perfect opportunity to abuse the shit out of me .. talk about a “set up” …. when I saw the room at first all decked out ? my stomach recoiled because from him I know a gift is never a gift …one story of thousands 🙁 but no more….

      1. Why did you let him touch you? Why didn’t you call the police, or at the very least kick his balls?
        I would never let it go this far. I smashed his face and threw him out the door along with his stuff for just being an asshole. If he ever tried to lay his hand on me, he would never come out of prison.

  4. Carroll says:

    Great read! HG, is it possible for a mid-range narcissist to cheat with a dirty little secret or hoover a former ipps during a golden period with a new primary source??

    1. HG Tudor says:

      If the Mid Range Narcissist has a golden period with a new IPPS for the most part the narcissist will only engage with the new IPPS. He may malign hoover a former IPPS if she keeps ‘getting in the way’. He may (very rarely) benign hoover a former IPPS (see Two Bites of the Cherry) . He would not cheat with a DLS. If that is happening, then the golden period is over and you are in devaluation or you are not the IPPS.

      1. Milly says:

        Hi HG, What about the Greater?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Please clarify the context to your question as I do not see the earlier comments in the moderation pane.

          1. Milly says:

            The original comment was about cheating and hoovering during the golden period. Does the greater cheat on the IPPS during the golden period? Does the greater benign hoover a former IPPS or IPSS during the golden period?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            2. This can happen but is not done for the purposes of intimate seduction.
            3. You are running out of time to obtain Zero Impact with the discount.

      2. Milly says:

        If a narcissist, more specifically a greater narcissist calls an intimate partner their “girlfriend”, introduces then to family as their girlfriend or makes it very public, but cheats on them with more than one person from the outset. Are they actually an IPPS? Typically golden periods are 6 months. What could be going on in that situation?

  5. Andromeda says:

    Is the golden period just as golden for the narc as it is the victim?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      During the golden period, all is well for us.

      1. Milly says:

        Which is your truly favourite time as an ultra narcissist, a malign narcissist? And for all schools or narcissist?

        Is it the seduction/golden period although you have to suck things up you don’t like? Or is it the devaluing/ bringing beneath you and feeling powerful? Is it the moment of conquer? And why?

  6. Twilight/Dawn says:

    I have looked at this picture several times and thought it was the mask that bothered me, I wonder is there a mask under the mask something with the eyes.
    Such is my exhausted mind and wild imagination.

    The article is amazing HG, very insightful.

  7. Insatiable Learner says:

    Dear Claudine. I am so sorry you are in so much pain. There’s definitely a surreal quality to the experience with the narc that leaves you with extreme cognitive dissonance and in the state of utter shock and disbelief. Have you tried to keep in contact with him? If so, has he been responding?

    1. Thank you IL. I have had zero contact since the final text he sent a year ago. I am not on social media and will only ever appear in his 6th sphere of influence. I don’t think he would respond if I did make contact. The fear of more rejection has been a good deterrent for me. You’re right though. The cognitive dissonance is the hardest part. I really couldn’t wrap my head around the truth until I found this blog a couple months ago. I was still in the land of “surely he loved me”. The cold reality of HG’s insights have saved me and put to rest most of the questions I had. It occasionally creeps in but mostly I come back to the truth.

  8. 1jaded1 says:

    HG. Very informative and comprehensive distinction of each type who gives you fuel, and how you respond. Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you 1jaded.

  9. lovisa says:

    HG, very interesting article. Found out I had the Bronze period which I not heard of before. When is that given? Could it be thar narc was 58 years old and did not have more energy on his way to become a collapsed narcissist?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Lovisa, the article explains when the Bronze period is doled out. The narcissist you engaged with may well have been a Lesser and his lower energy levels as being a Lesser contributed to the Bronze Period.

  10. flipped180 says:

    So how do you prepare for the “crash” when your ex narc is being too nice? How can you protect yourself?

    My ex wasn’t being compliant with the court orders, so I filed a ton of stuff on him proving that he was non compliant. Now, he’s being nice. For example, taking our son for the weekend (and more importantly, my bday wknd lol). And co-signing on new court documents instead of fighting me??? Sending me pics of our son when he has him…. Calling to put a parenting plan in place that works for us. Saying please and thank you in text messages….WTF???? I know it’s a game. Any suggestions???

  11. Joanne says:

    The loser recently hoovered asking how much he owes me. Should’ve read the money article first as I responded short with only the amount “$###.##” no other words. Breaking NC.

    Bad move HG? I want my damn money back & he grosses me out after finding you so I’ll never fall for the BS again. If he contacts again instead of just sending the money, I’m gonna have to let the money ago which really pisses me off.

    1. NarcAngel says:


      Try not to think of the money as “lost” but instead “invested in peace”. Best money you ever spent.

      1. abrokenwing says:

        Great advice NarcAngel .

    2. 1jaded1 says:

      NarcAngel is right. I refused to cosign for a house with him but either went in on appliances (no pun intended) or bought furniture. I bought this beautiful bed with the dresser drawers underneath. It was a space saver but the price didn’t match. I considered it a write down, but damn, I loved that bed.

      1. NarcAngel says:


        Forget about sleeping in a bed with that many compartments. Especially if it had a memory foam mattress.

        1. 1jaded1 says:

          NA when you put it that way…It was a space saver but the thought of a compartmentalized bed. The mattress would have to go. No way I would have slept on it.

      2. On the subject of beds, our bed became an issue for me. I kept all his stuff underneath in the storage until this week. I shredded the lot two days ago. My narc’s indentation in the mattress, signs of his existence as it were, became so upsetting to me and affected my sleep. So I had the horribly expensive, relatively new pillow top mattress professionally cleaned, and gave it to a young man who needed it. Then I bought a new mattress. Now I sleep in the middle of my bed, instead of on “my side”. And I sleep, so well now. There is something significant about this, if a bit sad all at the same time.

        1. 1jaded1 says:

          Hi Work Related OK. I’m glad you are sleeping better. Yes, the thought of sleeping in mattresses that were slept in by them gives me heebie jeebies.

  12. Joanne says:

    I was only ever summoned to a Silver period as an IPSS. After escaping and exposing to the primary who believed me, she took him back and I feel relief. Hope she can keep him busy enough for me to fully move on.

    I know he is bathing her in gold as they’ve made it “official.” I’m sorry but if you fall for the golden period again after being disrespected you need to work on your self respect.

    On a side note, sometimes I feel silly using HG’s terminology (IPPS, golden period, fuel) lol. Feels like talking in secret Narc code that the master would love if it went viral.

  13. Snow White says:

    Nice article HG!
    I shows how I started out as a FTS and how I moved up the ladder.
    Unlucky me!!
    It’s very interesting to see how you break everything down for us and how everyone in your life plays a purpose.

    The golden period for me was very intoxicating and powerful.

  14. On a completely unrelated note to this excellent article, I have the exact same mask, except in silver 😏

  15. “The Shelf IPSS can have a golden period for years and years; The Dirty Little Secret IPSS can have a golden period for years and years.”
    I had a 3 year golden period this time around but then I started bucking the system. Bad move on my part. I did not step in line when he devalued me because I thought standing up for myself would make him change. Don’t laugh. I was really that stupid.

    1. Insatiable Learner says:

      Claudine, do you mind elaborating on how you stood up for yourself and what happened?

      1. Hi IL, I had a 6 year relationship with my ex narc that ended abruptly. 20 years later it began again and lasted for 3 years and 3 months. He is married. I am crippled when it comes to intimacy and as a result I self sabotage by getting involved with men that are emotionally and sometimes physically unavailable. During this last time I saw him about once a month. During the golden period in the beginning he would drive the two hours to see me, bring a picnic basket and insist on spending the night. Slowly things evolved into him not being able to come but begging me to make the drive instead. He was oh so busy and overwhelmed with his job and family, etc. I would take vacation days to make the journey. I would spend the night and things were wonderful because I was in complete denial. The visits got shorter, there was no more spending the night. I would appear on demand and be met by a hurried and distracted narc. I became resentful and told him that the arrangement was unfair and the he was giving me crumbs. The next time he asked me to visit I said no. I told him that he needed to change and compromise. He did not show anger because he is a greater. Everything shifted in that moment. He never saw me again. Never asked me to see him again and slowly but surely ceased all communication with me. I believed all the future faking and love bombing from the three years we had been seeing each other so I had a very a hard time believing he was discarding me. But he was. The calls stopped. The texts stopped. I was frantic and kept asking him what was wrong. What had I done wrong? He sent me a text a year ago this month and said he no longer had time for me but that he adored me. I know now that he said that just in case he needed to ever come back for more fuel. I was a dirty little secret put on the shelf. He did not ever love me. I was a handy and consistent booty call until I crossed him and asked for more from him. That was it. Game over. Had I known at the time that he would react that way, I probably would’ve remained the good little girl that never asked him to meet any of my needs. I’m finally getting to the point where I think my objections saved me from endless pain. I miss the person I thought he was but he is not that person. My example may not be the best since it was an affair. Another thing that HG has taught me is that his wife was never a villain. I believed every insane story he told me about her. Until finding HG I never had any remorse for what an affair with him might be putting her through. Now, I realize that she is not anything that he said she was. She is probably a super empath just like me caught up in a cycle of abuse and addiction to him that she feels she can’t break out of. I have remorse now and wish that I could back and do things differently. But we can’t unring a bell that has been rung.

    2. I had a 14 year Golden period until Narcallister was fully exposed to me, and I now think deliberately by a psychiatrist of all people. It was game over in 2.5 hours after 14 years when I heard through a door what he had done with his clients.

  16. Insatiable Learner says:

    This is a brilliant article! Very insightful! Isn’t there also such a thing as the shelf Dirty Secret IPSS? If so, is it similar to the shelf IPSS? Wouldn’t the narcissist also shelf the DS while in the golden period with the IPPS? Thank you, HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is and yes that would happen to the dirty secret during the golden period.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thank you very much, HG! Much appreciated! Quick question. If a narcissist promised to call IPSS or DS on a particular day but did not and got back to her a few days later with an apology but she responded she was not sitting around and waiting (more in a teasing way although in reality she was waiting for his call all day but she didn’t tell him that), would it have wounded him? If the interaction afterwards was friendly and she was supportive, compliant, and adoring, is she still seen as “good” by him? Thank you!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It will not have wounded if it was explained with fuel.

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thanks so much for your quick reply, HG! Sorry for not making it clear. It was not explained with fuel. I just said that and then we continued chatting where I was supportive and complimentary as usual. This conversation was by text. It felt like it may have wounded him. But he did not say anything. We just talked as usual afterwards. We did speak again on another occasion. Just trying to figure out whether I redeemed myself even if I may have wounded him on this occasion. What do you think? Thanks a lot!

      3. Insatiable Learner says:

        Very sorry for the multiple parts about the same. The statement that I was not sitting around and waiting was made by me in a text accompanied by an emoji of a face with a tongue stuck out like this :p. Not sure if this would be considered fuel. Would appreciate understanding whether this would be fuel and thus no wounding or even if wounding, did I redeem myself but being pleasant, caring, complimentary, etc. afterwards. Thanks so much, HG! Much obliged!

  17. HG, Excellent summation.
    I would like to announce my candidacy for DLS. I think that will fit my needs. Ooooohhhhh it’s to fit your needs? Sorry. Put me on a shelf somewhere while I contemplate a silver period. 💡🏅😆

  18. NarcAngel says:

    I think that was the clearest explanation to date on the various titles and treatment of each during that period. Excellent article!

    1. lovisa says:

      Agree, did not know before I did not have a Golden period, got the Bronze period.

  19. IntelAvatar says:

    It is possible for a superempath to attract a lesser or midrange for a scheduled bronze experience.
    You can’t bypass these eras. They’re out there.
    Once fully experienced to the point of transcendence, you are ready for your next stage experience.
    If administered with foresight, you can enjoy a nice lengthy Bronze Age post menopause for the purpose of research, tying up loose ends etc. Key is – live alone and schedule it to fit in with your hobbies.

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