Valentine Vagaries (Who Gets What In The Fuel Matrix)

There are those who label our kind as predictable – of course that only arises once knowledge of what we are and what that means has been acquired, understood and applied. Prior to that, much of our behaviour is entirely unpredictable, pleasant one moment and then a tyrant the next, approving certain behaviour one week and then berating it the following week, such are the vagaries of ensnarement with us.

What then of Valentine’s Day, the occasion, as I have explained, whereby opportunity knocks and cannot be ignored? How does this day pan out for the various appliances that form our fuel matrices? (If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the fuel matrix, do see The Fuel Matrix – Part One The Fuel Matrix – Part Two and The Fuel Matrix – Part Three

So, who gets what kind of treatment from us? Here is a brief overview.

The Intimate Partner Primary Source (“the IPPS”)

The IPPS is the main provider of our fuel, character traits and residual benefits (“The Prime Aims”) and thus holds the most important position in our fuel matrix.

The IPPS who has been embedded as the IPPS and remains in the first golden period of seduction can expect a delightful day. From a small gift and a kind act from the Lower of Middle Lesser Narcissist to an over the top display of largesse from the Upper Lesser through to a delightful dinner engagement, a weekend away (dependent on where the day falls) , flowers and meaningful and tasteful gifts from the Mid Rangers and Greaters. Expect maximum romance – some of it may be a little clumsy, some of it may be worthy of the silver screen, some of it may be ostentatious, some of it may be spell binding but whatever form it takes it will make the IPPS feel wonderful, amazed and loved. Of course they have no idea whatsoever what they are dealing with.

The IPPS who is in a Respite Period can also expect a delightful day. It is unlikely to be on the same scale as that delivered during that first blissful, mesmeric appearance of the initial golden period when the IPPS was embedded but it remains special. It may be a ceasing of ongoing hostilities and a reminder of that side of the narcissist which seemed to have vanished through to an impressive display of charm and attention which often is allowed to make up for the behaviours that have gone before and ensure the IPPS thereafter clings on, once devaluation returns. Expect the Lesser to find a little something which after the horror that has gone before seems  all the more wonderful by comparison. The Mid Ranger will layer on the false contrition alongside the romance, apologising (seemingly) for those occasions when he did not treat as you well as he should have done. The future faking will manifest with promises of change, doing things right and “I lost sight of what you mean to me but that is not going to happen again”. The Greater will entertain and charm, flicking the switch so that the grateful IPPS-in-Respite continues to be both amazed and perplexed by these opposites that appear in the person they love. The IPPS who is in respite however should approach the day with caution. Although the golden period is revisited, devaluation has occurred before and therefore this IPPS is walking on thin ice. The wrong thing done or said could well lead to the respite ending abruptly, devaluation resumed in the twinkling of an eye and the day ruined.

The IPPS in devaluation may have high hopes for a day dedicated to them, a return to the golden period and finding some sanctuary from whatever it is that has gone wrong, since of course, they are unlikely to know. As ever, hope misleads and the IPPS will find whatever they do the subject of criticism, lambasting and nastiness. If the IPPS in devaluation pulls out all of the stops, the narcissist is likely to dismiss it all and claim “I do not like a fuss” or “It is just a commercial con, we agreed to give it a miss” the latter usually having never been said at all. The effort this IPPS has  gone to in choosing a suitable gift or card will be either ignored, barely acknowledged or rage ensues because it is the wrong one or “I do not even fucking like them, you know that, are you deliberately trying to annoy me?”. If the IPPS fails to send a gift or card (even though expressly told this is what should be done) then he or she can expect criticism for forgetting, for being selfish or too self-centred – and then the narcissist produces an expensive gift with a flourish. These are the reactive devaluation responses to the IPPS. The proactive ones from the narcissist will include sending an inappropriate gift, a cheap  bunch of flowers, sending nothing, booking somewhere to dine which the IPPS does not like, turning up late for dinner, forgetting to turn up at all, getting drunk, completely disappearing and the phone being switched off. The upper echelon narcissists will invariably plan so that the IPPS in devaluation thinks they are getting something wonderful, hopes are raised and then dashed so the devaluation continues and hits them harder. This might occur through dropping heavy hints, appearing to take the IPPS to a particular place which excites the IPPS, “allowing” the IPPS to see that something has been bought or booked which thrills the IPPS but they never receive it or go to it. It is a day which the IPPS in devaluation eventually comes to dread.

The former IPPS. This person may be largely ignored if the narcissist is in an embedded golden period unless the narcissist is engaging in a malice campaign. If so, the former IPPS may find they receive pictures of the narcissist and their new IPPS enjoying their Valentine’s Day together, a string of nasty texts about the former IPPS, a bouquet of roses with the heads lopped off and similar malign hoovers which either rub the former IPPS’s nose in the fact that the narcissist is with someone new, reminds the former IPPS that they are alone or is just straight forward in plain savageness. Ordinarily however, the former IPPS will hear nothing when the narcissist is in the new golden period with the embedded IPPS. If the new IPPS is in a Respite Period, silence is also likely to follow (save malign camping). However, if the new IPPS is in devaluation, the former IPPS can expect a hoover (subject as ever to whether there is a Hoover Trigger and whether the Hoover Execution Criteria are met – Valentine’s Day does act usually as a Hoover Trigger). The form of this hoover may be malign if the former IPPS remains painted black or more usually they will receive a benign hoover which relies on a dose of nostalgia in order to draw fuel from the recipient. If there is an ongoing campaign of benign hoovers towards the former IPPS (since the narcissist is angling to resurrect the Formal Relationship again) then the narcissist will ramp up the nature of the hoover which may well include gift buying and/or trying to spend time with the former IPPS.

The Intimate Partner Secondary Source – Candidate

A similar day arises for the Candidate IPSS. This person is in the throes of seduction, the illusion is very much in play (not that the Candidate knows this) and therefore dependent on the school of narcissist, Valentine’s Day ranges from pleasant to off-the-charts memorable. Enjoy it. It’s not going to last.

The Intimate Partner Secondary Source – Dirty Little Secret

If the DLS has not been placed on the shelf, they are likely to be hoovered by the narcissist. There is much fuel to garner and in most cases there is an IPPS in devaluation and thus the attraction of the DLS means the narcissist will want to avail him or herself of the effect of Valentine’s Day to garner fuel and keep the DLS bound to them. It may not impact on the IPPS’ day (the narcissist managing to avoid suspicion) or the narcissist leaves the IPPS upset and in the lurch to head off to see the DLS.

If the DLS is on the shelf they can expect some communication during the day to let them know they have not been forgotten about. This will range from being told what the narcissist would like to be doing with them if they were together, to bemoaning the fact the narcissist isn’t able to see the DLS and providing some form of excuse in support of this. The narcissist will want to keep the DLS onside (failing to have some contact will lessen the hold) even though they are on the shelf, so the narcissist will not go so far as to see the DLS but will hoover through text, call, sending a card and/or a gift.

If the DLS hears nothing, they are on the shelf and the narcissist is focussed elsewhere. This might be because the narcissist is engaging with a different IPSS, revelling in devaluing the IPPS or the IPPS is in Respite so the DLS will be forgotten about.

The Intimate Partner Secondary Source – Shelf

It is unusual for the Shelf IPSS to be taken off the shelf for Valentine’s Day and by that, this means the narcissist spending time with them. The narcissist will have other appliances that require his or her presence on this day. This may be the IPPS who is in respite, an IPPS in devaluation, a different IPSS who is the Candidate or the IPPS is embedded which has meant the IPPS has been on the shelf for some time and will remain there whilst the golden period is intact.

If a Shelf IPSS gets to spend significant time with the narcissist on Valentine’s Day this is likely to be because the IPPS is away and thus this frees the narcissist up to engage fully with this secondary source.

More usually the Shelf IPSS is on the shelf and their status as The Other Man/Woman sometimes hits home. They will receive the comfort crumbs – the call, the text, the card, the flowers etc and the platitudes from the narcissist which suggest he or she is longing for the IPSS but it is merely the continuance of the manipulation to keep them engaged and onside. If there is a personal attendance which is short in duration an hour or less, this is just a larger comfort crumb, a rushed visit to maintain control and is not being taken off the shelf.

Non-Intimate Secondary Sources

There is no intimacy involved but this does not mean that these appliances are necessarily left out. The narcissist may organise for a gift to be sent to a particular NISS intending to convey that some mystery man or woman is interested in this person in order to make them feel wanted, a benign act which garners some positive fuel for the narcissist. This might for example be done with a family member who is single. More likely is the narcissist using the day as an opportunity to cause suspicions between appliances or between an appliance and their intimate partner by sending one or the other a gift or card  either anonymously or with a name attached. Dissent and accusations follow – all fuel generated by the narcissist’s actions. Family, friends and/or colleagues may well be roped into the narcissist’s actions to gain fuel and exert control, although it is the intimate appliances which are the main focus of the day’s potential.

Tertiary Sources

Where the narcissist is seeking to add appliances to the fuel matrix and has targeted a stranger who is thus a tertiary source, the day and its occasion can readily be used for the purposes of achieving manipulation and who knows, drawing that appliance in so they are not a tertiary source for long. Alternatively, a tertiary source may be used for the purposes of triangulation with regard to an intimate source (usually the primary source).

23 thoughts on “Valentine Vagaries (Who Gets What In The Fuel Matrix)

  1. Katie says:

    After three decades of receiving rather creepy but artistic home made Valentine Day cards from my N, last year I didn’t. He didn’t even open my card or gift, well I think he did after a few weeks… but it was all through a silent treatment period and he was being really awful. he’s been off and on all year but has been quite pleasant lately so I got him a gift and a card and he did look at them both on 15th (left unopened all V day and then opened when I wasn’t around!) although he’s not said anything about them and the gift is still in it’s wrapping. Nothing to me at all, no card, no gift. And he got home gone 9pm so my special meal was seriously overlooked. I’d got some champagne in the fridge but he brought in Presecco and insisted we had that. Not one mention of V day but he played a lot of his favourite music late into the evening (supposedly for me to enjoy) but we sat in silence. Oh dear, definitely in the discard stage!

  2. Nuit Étoilée says:

    Truly enlightening read, Hg! I remain fascinated by all the intricacies.. Thank you for explaining in such an accessible way.

    Meanwhile, that particular image makes me think of Ofenbach’s Be Mine…

  3. Bubbles🍾 says:

    Dear Mr Tudor,
    I’m a NISS … however, my weasel friend, did shower me with red roses (13) for friendship apparently, chocolates and card when we were friends. My hubby and I thought he was just being sweet for all the help I gave him and because he had no one in his life and he liked giving. The mother of his golden child, her birthday is Valentine’s Day … he hated it as it cost him more money… haha
    I believe he’s still with his current empath so I have not heard from him nor do I wish to or expect to ever again.
    Thankyou for this breakdown, most informative and extremely helpful.

    Ps… my hubby loves your work, he’s getting better than me with answers and picking out narcs …haha

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome. Good work from Mr Bubbles also.

      1. Bubbles🍾 says:

        Dear Mr Tudor,
        Thank you kind Sir. You’d like Mr Bubbles…everybody does.

  4. Lisa says:

    HG I’m in the throes of this. Yesterday he said he wanted to be friends. He said because of things that have happened it’s impossible for us to be together.he has a new ipss. I said it was probably just best I blocked him. An argument ensued about who was going to block who. He ended up blocking me but not from his phone I’m just getting S/T. I was what I believe a shelfed ipss. What is going here ? Is this discard? I’m so confused

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You need to organise a consultation so I can receive full and clear information which then places me in the best position to give you the accurate answers and insight.

  5. Pbw says:

    I never received anything off the shelf nor on the shelf … not a phone call .. card. . Nothing … ever … so what does that mean HG ? If course I didn’t see him yesterday via work …

    1. HG Tudor says:

      See the article.

  6. narc affair says:

    My narc im certain only has secondaries but within those secondaries im not sure where im placed. I do know ive been shelved in different ways at times.
    He did the usual for valentinea day card, gift and special time but he also added a backhanded comment that pretty much took the importance of all of it away. This is where it gets unpredictable. I think with narcissists theres a deep resentment at having to do these things bc it is all a facade and they feel entitled to get all the praise and attention without having to put any in themselves. Maintenance after seduction irks them. I dont get as excited by any of the nice things he does bc i know none of them are given in a genuine way. It tarnishes it all. I enjoy our time together but i have a guarded heart and once you know what youre dealing with its like someone posted you know santa isnt real…at least not with a narcissist.

    1. I completely identify with what you’re saying, NAffair. For me, I had the similar feeling after reading Sex & the Narcissist – took away my desire and excitement because it’s been tarnished.. like explaining a magic trick (my equivalent of discovering santa isn’t real).

      Thank you for sharing your experience

      1. narc affair says:

        Hi nuit etoilee…this darn blog takes the magic trick away but i am thankful lol i compartmentalize my situation a lot but im glad to have the knowledge.

  7. geyserempath says:

    “It is unusual for the Shelf IPSS to be taken off the shelf for Valentine’s Day” Yep! Mine always hated Valentine’s Day anyway and when we were seeing each other, he posted a video to my timeline of a rock band. This year? silence.

  8. ANM says:

    My daughter’s father, my ex; is an Elite, Upper Mid, on the Somatic Side. He loves to hype up Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New years, and when Valentine’s rolls around, He always devalues the IPPS. How do I know this? Been there, bought the T-shirt. He is doing it to the current IPPS. How do I know for sure? He usually sets his sights on punishing me and insulting how I raise our daughter. Right now, he is perfectly fine with what I do. He is not Hoovering me to bring me back, but I am not “painted black” in HG’s words.
    As for me, I went out with an Elite, Upper Mid, on the Cerebral side, Tonight for Valentine’s Day. We argue a lot, we debate, there is chemistry. I lost a bet and had to go on a date tonight with him. We went out. I could order and have whatever I wanted. He wore a T-shirt and jeans, with a $10 haircut, and was probably worth more than everyone in the resteraunt. I was dressed like i was ready to get laid. Lots of chemistry…but … no such thing as getting laid. Now, here I am, at 1am reading your Valentine’s Day Blogs.

  9. Jules says:

    Happy V Day HG! ✨

  10. Kellie Mccoey says:

    No hoover for me. I miss my narc. Its hard to understand why but I do. I know better, I’m trying to be good. My heart is breaking 😔

  11. H. says:

    I am an escaped IPPS….and I had a very peaceful Valentine’s day, unlike others.

    To my fellow survivors, Happy Valentines day to you.

  12. analise13 says:

    HG you were very busy writing for Valentines, are all four Valentines posts new?

    Fantastic, all around, from the two part story incorporating two narcissists colliding, a mid range and Greater in a non intimate relationship.
    This example was brilliant to help understand the dynamic.
    To the descriptions of the Valentine fuel matrix.
    All explaining so much.
    What a gift for us, your readers.

    HG, how did your fuel matrix play out on Valentines?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, three are new.

      The fuel flowed.

  13. Insatiable Learner says:

    HG, this is a terrific article but it makes me wonder what kind of a pathetic narc I got entangled with? Throughout my whole engagement with him as DLS, whether on the shelf or not, I never received any word from him on Valentine’s Day. Why do you think that is, HG?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      See the article.

    2. ANM says:

      It was to put you in ypur place. You can feel special any time of the year. Why should he engage with the dirty secret on such a busy day that he despises anyways? It’s not you, it’s him.

  14. Ugotit says:

    So I went no contact feb 2 and blocked him from all social media we both use he never used instagram before except the onetime he borrowed his cousins account so apparently he created an account today started following me liked a few of my posts saw a video of a friend on my page and sent a message request accusing me of leaving him for said friend which I did not 12 days after no contact and he’s hoovering never expected that not so soon anyway but guess what I’m blocking and deleting him and not letting him follow me and I’m not accepting his message this is my first time ever not accepting a hoover yay me

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