He Doesn’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore


He doesn’t bring you flowers any more. Or chocolates. Or perfume. Or lingerie. Or a new book.

In fact he has stopped bringing you gifts altogether. Why?

A person who is regarded as a suitor will seek to impress the target of their desire with the provision of gifts. These range from the obvious (flowers, jewellery, chocolates) through to the less obvious (the selection of an obscure piece of literature, sponsorship of an animal or an ‘experience’). The pattern of gift giving will not be overwhelming to begin with, it will not be grandiose nor gratuitous. It will not be on the flimsiest of reasons (see the creation of Golden Milestones in The Creation of Unusual Milestones ). It will accord with birthdays, Christmas, achievements by the other person and those ‘just because’ moments (welcome home, I saw this and knew you would love it, I wanted to thank you for your help). The provision of gifts will not just stop. This is for two reasons:-

a. The gift giving is not ‘feast and then famine’ ; and

b. There is a genuine motive behind the giving as opposed to flagrant self-interest

This approach to the provision of gifts of whatever nature applies to the normal individual, the well-adjusted one who is seeking to make a good impression at the outset of a romantic relationship and showing thoughtfulness throughout its existence thereafter. The fact that you once received gifts and then you suddenly do not anymore is a particular red flag with regard to our kind.

The first matter to consider with regard to the relevance of the pattern and nature of gift giving is how that manifests with regard to the school of narcissist. Accordingly,

The Greater Narcissist will provide gifts of superior quality, elegance and calibre. He or she will provide them frequently during the love-bombing and embedding phases of the golden period. The Greater Narcissist will also be easily able to afford these gifts and they will be recognisable as quality offerings without brash ostentation.

The Mid-Range Narcissist is the most prolific giver of gifts during the golden period. He will provide them frequently, often several times a week. If your birthday falls in this golden period, expect him or her to outdo everybody else in terms of the nature of the gift. The Mid-Range Narcissist (especially LMR or MMR) will often exceed their financial capability when engaging in this gift-giving.

The Lesser Narcissist will not engage in much gift-giving at all, save for the Upper Lesser. The LLN or MLN may provide one or two gifts, but little more than that and will be likely to provide you with stolen goods or with gifts obtained using money he or she does not have. The LLN or MLN is likely to be an Indian Giver, even during the Bronze Period (which is the Lesser equivalent of the Golden Period). The Upper Lesser, invariably having significant personal wealth will be a flamboyant and almost over-bearing gift giver. What he or she will provide will be decent but lacking any real thought or imagination.

Thus with these patterns established with regards to the schools, what about the applications of the cadres?

Elite – expect high calibre gifts, often difficult to obtain save through particular connections, thoughtful, interesting and always treasured by the recipient. The nature of the gift will be varied from jewellery through to a signed special edition book through to tickets to an exclusive culinary experience.

Somatic – the Somatic prefers very visible gifts, thus this will amount to large floral displays delivered to your home or more often where you work (so more people see them), clothing and lingerie are key somatic gifts, along with gadgets and technology, tickets to sporting events, competitive events and holidays.

Cerebral – the gifts from the Cerebral cadre will naturally encompass the arts (thus theatre tickets, literature, music, a rare copy of a photograph, a painting and so forth), there may well be an educational bent (you can expect personalised copies of the narcissist’s own works where relevant) and often there is more to them than first meets the eye, as the Cerebral will delight in showing and explaining to you.

Victim – you can expect recycled gifts from the LL and ML Victim Narcissists. Those from Mid Ranger Victim Narcissists will be more likely to be thoughtful and inexpensive and often practical in some respect (since the narcissist will have one eye on making use of it themselves in due course) . Homeware gifts will be common from the Victim Narcissist.

Thus, combining the school and cadre will give you a clear indication of the gift giving patterns and range of the narcissist during the Golden (or Bronze Period). If you recognise these patterns and the nature of the gifts then this is a strong indicator that the person providing you with these gifts belongs to our brethren and you should take heed.

Similarly, a further powerful indicator is the sudden dropping off of the provision of the gifts. This article will only apply itself to the cessation of gift giving and not the shifting to providing rubbish or inappropriate gifts (for that see The Narcissist and Gifts)

The shift from lots of gift giving to nothing is done because it is contrasting behaviour. Contrasting behaviour is a hall mark of our behaviour. Contrasting is done principally to confuse and bewilder you (thus it increases our grip on you) and also to increase the quantity and potency of the fuel. Control and fuel are the prime reasons for engaging in contrasting. You will see contrasting throughout the narcissistic dynamic.

Contrasting will occur with regard to the provision of gifts however you need to have regard to the nature of the narcissist that you suspect (or know) you are dealing with AND your place in the fuel matrix of that narcissist.

Thus, if you receive a lot of gifts and then this suddenly stops then this will be the behaviour of the Greater, Mid Range and Upper Lesser Narcissists. If you are involved with a Lower Lesser or Middle Lesser you are unlikely to see any drop-off in gift provision and therefore you will need to look to other behaviours to support your concerns with regard to suspect narcissism.

Also take into account your status within the fuel matrix.

If you happen to be a tertiary source (although you are highly unlikely to realise you have some kind of involvement with a narcissist if you are a TS) then the cessation of any gift giving is indicative of being devalued.

If you are a Non Intimate Secondary Source, the gift giving will not be as frequent as it is for an Intimate Source. What you need to look out for is not so much the drop-off of gift giving towards you but a drop-off through triangulation. This means that if you are a NISS and you are being devalued it will manifest in you not receiving a gift when other NISSs do. Thus, if you are a NISS family member, other people will receive gifts and you will not. If you are a colleague NISS, your colleagues will receive gifts and you will not, ditto amongst friends. Thus, it is not so much about there being frequent gifts given, but when they are, the other NISSs will receive them and you will not and thus you are triangulated.

If you are an Intimate Partner Secondary Source (Shelf) , you will enjoy the provision of gifts in accordance with the school and cadre as described above and these will continue throughout the golden period. If the gift giving stops when you are not with the narcissist then this is merely representative of your shelf status and is not devaluation. If no gift is provided when you would expect to receive one (birthday, Christmas) even though you are not spending time with the narcissist, this is also not devaluation. You are on the shelf and out of the mind of the narcissist. If however you are spending time with the narcissist and there are no gifts being provided at all, when there once was, then this will be a Corrective Devaluation aimed at bringing you back into line. If this continues for a repeated and extended period then this will part of your Dis-Engagement Devaluation and you will shortly be dis-engaged from.

Finally, if you are the IPPS and the Friday flowers are not being provided, the jewellery has halted, you drop hints about gifts and there is no response (remember there will have needed to have been gift provision during the golden period to create this contrast) then this is a clear act of devaluation.

Essentially, if somebody engages in excessive gift provision and then suddenly stops doing so, this is a strong indicator that you are with one of our kind and you are in devaluation. It also means that someone else is now likely to be receiving the gifts that you once cherished.




  1. I got nothing frm my ex mid range somatic. A few times, i got him something. I also wrote him poems often, expressing my deep feelings of love for him. He wud say my poems ‘r beautiful’.
    At least he had enuf cognitive empathy to say that.

  2. I got a vacuum cleaner one christmas, he went on and on about the lifetime warranty.
    He ordered the vacuum cleaner because the housekeeper said ours didn’t suck anymore. She gushed over it, how wonderful it was. I didn’t use it for the first two years we had it. Now, no housekeeper, but it is a wonderful vacuum, so I use it.
    Another was a toaster for mothers day. WTF?! I’m not his mother, and I don’t eat bread!!
    I’ll trade a toaster for fizzy bath balls!


    I can trade away his stuff now, too.
    What can I trade for about 40-50 differing golf clubs? Got 3 Big Berthas in there and about 5 ping putters!!
    And 3 golf bags, One stands up on its own.

    1. JM—cheap crappy plastic disposal monkey key chains. i mean not all bedazzled or anything. like barrel of monkey quality. or less.

  3. I got fizzy bath balls. With random toys inside. Like monkey key chains. Or fruit erasers. Like teenagers use. In the states at least. They are made by and marketed for teens. Don’t be jealous ladies.

        1. Not that you would ever want me near you WS2, but I picture you as living nearly off grid, shotgun resting on your lap in a rocking chair on your porch patting said shotgun and muttering,
          ” See i yah, eff bee ay, ay arr ess, them darn gonna get some of Ole’ Kentucky’s lead in their peasy asses if they mess with Mama Windstorm here!”

          1. Ha, ha, HG! It’s not quite as bad as that! I did have my power go out for 23 days once after an ice storm. That makes a lasting impression on a person!

            And while I of course have a 20 gauge, it’s just too heavy for an old woman. I sit with my long barrel Taurus Judge. It’s much easier to handle. It does fire shotgun shells, though, so I don’t even really have to aim. Suitably intimidating if anyone has to look down the barrel at me. 😊

          2. Strapped. I understand they are so named because of the numerous members of the judiciary who carry that particular type of firearm.

          3. HG
            Ive heard that too. I wanted a Judge because it shot .410 shells. I love unusual handguns plus a shotgun is often more appropriate in the country.

            There’s a gun supposedly out now that looks just like a cell phone. I’d really like one of those, but my gun dealer scoffed at ordering one from an unknown company and the way my grandchildren go for cell phones, I’d worry about having it on me. Probably wouldn’t be reliable anyway. Maybe if it’s still around in a few years.

            Your mental image of me sounds a lot like Granny Clampet on the Beverly Hillbillies. You Brits have probably never seen that tv program. I’d never be sitting out in the open though. I’d be in the dark house, watching thru a crack in the curtains. Never surrender the element of surprise. 😝

          4. I know of it.

            Come and listen to my story ’bout a man named Jed
            Poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed
            Then one day he was shootin’ at some food
            And up through the ground came a bubbling crude
            (Oil, that is, black gold, Texas tea)

          5. The Beverly Hillbillies was a favorite program when I was young! My mother especially loved it. I loved all the Clampetts. We all knew people that matched each character! Lol!

            I learned a very important life lesson from that show – always be myself, no matter what others think. Peoples opinions and expectations aren’t really important as long as Im true to myself.

          6. Ha, ha! That’s hilarious! I learned that oil could complicate your life and cause problems!!

    1. HG – always full of surprises!

      Windstorm, we could be family 😉

      Narc Affair – my narc dad once gave me a cookbook.. i was 14.. I treasured it actually..

      My exhubby – def a narc – took me to look at rings.. then went & bought one I didn’t like in my absence. I truly enjoyed getting rid of that ring.

  4. I got a lot of those lavish and expensive gifts in my relationship during the golden period. For birthdays, holidays, special occasions, and often without any reason to celebrate at all, he whisked me off and treated me to overnight stays in luxury hotels, complete with fancy meals and the whole package of champagne served in the room, a wonderfully expensive gift displayed in shiny wrapping paper on the bed and overall the whole romantic setup. His gifts were designer handbags, underwear, dresses and the likes. And these were beautiful of course and I was thrilled at feeling so special to the man I’d given my heart, but these gifts were never exactly right, they were never me. Not my colours or not my style. It was like he couldn’t be bothered to find out what I actually liked and just went ahead and bought me anything with a hefty price tag. That used to confuse me a lot. This lasted well over two years, but the effort he put into it lessened of course. For my last birthday I was given enormous amounts of candy, which I don’t eat.

  5. I am a shelf IPSS involved to a lesser degree with a LMV Narcissist, so the comment by HG: “you can expect recycled gifts from the LL and ML Victim Narcissists” was spot on! Mine was a cheap, miserly sort. For his birthday and for Christmas I have always bought him expensive gifts tailored to his likes (he is a musician). In the love bombing stage, he would go on an on about how wonderful I was and “that’s too much. you’re too generous, etc…” He was generous with CDs of his music and his bands. For holidays, he has given me a few inexpensive gifts, but I appreciated them because he always cries poverty and I was conditioned as a child to feel guilty receiving gifts. The kicker was for my birthday, he made a big deal of it beforehand. I thought we might go out somewhere. Instead, he called and invited me over for dinner. His mom explained “well, we had to eat anyway…” (thank you, very much!). He told me he had been working on several projects, but hadn’t finished any. Then he went to his bedroom, fished out an old t-shirt of his, balled it up, and presented that to me. I laughed. It all seemed so ridiculous. By this time, my Narc was bored with me and HG explained it was not a devaluation, but that I had already been shelved, even though I was not aware of it, and triangulated with another old flame in his past just for good measure. Do I know how to pick them?

      1. All of them certainly have a lot of common qualities, don’t they? Thank you so much, gabbanzobean!

  6. I was conditioned to feel guilt whenever I receive a gift. So I have never cared for gifts really. I have always told my narcs not to give me gifts.
    Also, I love flowers but, unlike you HG, I prefer them alive 😁

    1. Lou,
      My Narc always played the guilt card when he received a gift from me. I am curious as to why you were conditioned to not feel guilt when you were given a gift? My mid range acted in the same manner as you describe. He often said “I do not deserve gifts” and he would ask me not to buy him things. So I agreed and I stopped. But I began writing things for him instead. I wrote him “50 Reasons why I Love You”. He said it was “amazing and overwhelming”. I am assuming you are not a narc and have some reason why you were conditioned to not want gifts? I am just curious as to why. Thanks!

      1. Hi Gabbanzobean,

        Sorry, I had not read your message until now.

        I am not a narcissist. It was my narc mother who conditioned me to feel guilt whenever she gave me something, or I asked for something. She was very generous sometimes but, whenever I asked her for something I needed or wanted, I could clearly feel she did not like it (because she had to have control and because she did not like spending in me and my sisters), so I stopped asking and always tried to get things on my own. I always felt like a burden for her and always tried to make myself lighter for her. Of course, she always had expensive cosmetics and clothes.

        So, actually, It is not that I have asked my narcs to not give me gifts. It is rather that a part of me feels uncomfortable when I get a gift from them (although, if I am totally honest, there is still a little girl that would like to get a nice gift too). I haven’t given it too much thought, actually. But I certainly have difficulty to ask for things. I just get them myself. And I am ok with that.

        Hope this answers your question.

        1. Lou, thank you for your perspective. The additional information that you gave was helpful. My perspective was looking at it from the romantic relationship rather than a parent child relationship. I often need to remind myself that the narcissistic tendencies can happen within families and not just within romantic relationships.
          Every day is a learning step for me.

  7. Wow my heads spinning. Its no wonder being with a narcissist is utterly confusing.
    I had to laugh at the lesser giving stolen gifts and indian giving. I envision a lesser stealing the flowers off someones grave to give as a gift 😄
    My narcs a cheapskate plain and simple. I get the feeling he doesnt want to spend a lot bc he doesnt feel he should have to. Im not materialistic and it never really bothered me. I do think in regular relationships gift giving can taper off too. You cant expect gifts to keep being given on a regular basis. Where i think the difference is is the pattern in the giving. If youre being spoiled and all of a sudden the gifts stop and coincide with a devaluement of some sort then you know its likely a narcissist youre dealing with. Its that whole positive reinforcement thing. You know when youre being devalued and if gift giving decreases then you know its linked to the narc abuse cycle.
    Its hard to know bc nothings cookie cutter. Ive worked around very wealthy people who are the cheapest people youd meet. That being said i dont know if any were narcissists and narcs do like to use gifts and so forth to love bomb. Im not sure the way gifts are given can be a positive indicator but definitely i could see red flags being seen. That give and take away is the hallmark of narcissism.

  8. Well at least I don’t have to mourn the loss of getting those great gifts. My exhusband never has been one to get anyone any gifts. Although now he will pay for gifts if I ask for something, as long as someone else does the actual shopping. Don’t think he’d do flowers or jewelry, though. He’d consider them stupid wastes of money.

  9. HG, what does it mean if you were a shelf DLS but never received gifts at all? The narc at issue was a middle mid-range somatic. Thank you!

  10. I was a DLS to my mid range cerebral. He made many PROMISES of gifts (we will go to see that show, we will go eat at this restaurant together, etc.) but he never meant it. He often complained he had no money and woe is him, etc.

    My “gifts” included him sending me music…stuff that he wrote or arranged himself…(he is a musician)….and the only show tickets I ever got were tickets to see his show. LOL.

    On the other hand I gave him several meaningful gifts tailored to what he liked. For example a tin container with his favorite super hero on it filled with his favorite candy inside as one example. He acted like it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for him and he made a huge deal about it. I am sure that was just for show. He also made a pity party out of it “you are too good to me, I do not deserve this….I do not deserve any gifts from anyone”….blah blah blah pity pity pity blah blah blah.

    But yeah….as a DLS I guess my point was that I did not really get many gifts. Just having his time and attention was gift enough for me. He knew that though which made devaluing me so much easier.

      1. That’s probably why I never got any either. Since I picked him and there was never any romance or golden period, he didn’t need to get me gifts.

      2. Why not ? He told me in the beginning I don’t buy women gifts they buy me … at first I assumed a joke … but then I never got a thing yet it was me buying him gifts and if he was mad and I tried to give him a gift he would say no I’m good meaning I’m not messing with you I’m angry at you yet I saw him buy the perfume I buy all the time for myself he bought for her and he bought he flowers several times and told me he had too it was her birthday … etc

        1. He saw it as necessary to buy her gifts.
          He did not see it as necessary to buy you gifts because he exerted control and drew fuel in a different way. Further, by not buying them for you, he could triangulate and provoke you by buying them for others.

          1. Absolutely and that is what you were meant to think. He did not and does not and never will.

          2. He told me he did not and has never loved anyone except his only son … so why but her my exact perfume? How can one live and never love?

          3. To provoke you as I stated. It tells you that

            a. We just see you as objects;
            b. You are replaceable;
            c. To make you think he prefers her over you so it upsets you.

            It is the way we are.

          4. HG thanks for all the input … it has helped in making me understand …and maybe I can be stronger

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