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:-
The Candidate IPSS. This is someone who is likely to become the IPPS and is on that trajectory towards being crowned.
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);
The Dirty Little Secret IPSS. Read 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.
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;
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.
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.
58 thoughts on “The Golden Period”
My relationship was 6 years with a mid range Narc. I think I had an extended golden period that lasted between 3-4 years. Yes, we arguments during this time with me calling out his bad behaviors and multiple times I tried to break it off even during the golden period because I noticed red flags, but he would hoover and I would always go back eventually. Our fights have always been passionate, but so were the reconciliations. In general, during this time we were very affectionate and lovey dovey. He would often be all over me when we were together, sometimes too needy and clingy. We always had pet names and inside jokes we would reference. Planning future trips, talking about a family and having a big house together with a lot of babies.
Devaluation began in 2020, with the beginning of Covid. He had increased stress with his business during this time, I had just started nursing school, we both had loved ones that passed away; perhaps these many stressors triggered more fights and discontent between us and the puppy-love feelings reduced.
Even though we fought more and repeated our old dance of breaking up and reconciling, the lovemaking was still passionate but it was during this time that he started hunting for women online (he was chatting to hundreds of girls), even prostitutes. He was cheating on me the last 2 years of the relationship, but I did not find out until after. He was grooming the shelf secondary to take my place, and I noticed he was putting in less and less effort to maintain our relationship.
Especially in the past year, he would pick fights out of nowhere and say things to devalue me and threaten that he had a lot of women interested who would be happy to take my spot since I didn’t appreciate him enough. I was bewildered because in my mind I did appreciate him, I always thanked him for the little things he would do for me and told him I loved him every day but now I think he was upset that I didn’t make a big fuss over him like I used to.
I left because I realized he wasn’t interested in putting in the effort to maintain the relationship. So, I broke it off and he weakly tried to hoover but not as passionately as he used too. I’m not sure, I feel confused if I was the one who discarded him first or if he discarded me with his dwindling loss of interest. But like I said, I actually did not find out about the cheating until after my exit when I was tipped off by people from his circle and did some digging myself.
Noticed and experienced that the Golden Period is not always all sugar, honey and candy. There are every now and then some corrective devaluations or some subtle little hints for what is going to come. I know from some other (real and proven) Empaths that their narcs already cheated during the Golden Period. Every now and then a little Silent Treatment or withdrawal or a little one night stand outside of the relationship. The devaluations increase and intensifiy by time.
In my case devaluation came slowly creeping up. During the Golden Period around 95 % it was sugar, honey, candy, sunshine and rainbows. And then the devaluations became more frequent. It went from being 95 % being treated well to 80 %, to 60 %, to 50 % and then went into devaluation-respite-devaluation-respite, while devaluing behavior eventually took over. Other (real, proven) Empaths experienced this too.
It was not like Phase 1: all rainbows and sunshine and then an abrupt change into Phase 2 devaluation. I enjoyed the Golden Period a lot but there already were some devaluations inside. I felt like the whole relationship was a huge rollercoaster while first the positive side predominated, slowly decreased until the negative, the devaluation took over. Cannot say exactly when the switch into devaluation occurred.
This was my only experience as IPPS but I think that most Empaths overlook those subtle, little devaluations or even cheatings which occur already when seduction is going on.
I had three months of a perfect, albeit low-key, Golden Period. It dropped immediately and harshly at that point. I didn’t know what had hit me. Probably the woman from the beach…the timingwas perfect for that to have been. Why he continued for 23 more years, prime aims were met I guess. Why I did? Ugh. I’m just glad to be here now.
Don´t know why my Golden Period was interrupted by devaluations from time to time. Guess corrective devaluations. If you´re not compliant you get those. And I´m by far not compliant enough for narcs. That´s why they preferred me on the shelf 😉 😀
Leela, was it with a Lesser? The summer narc, a lesser, gave me a corrective devaluation about 6 weeks in, screamed at me to never contact him again etc. My kids were pretty upset with me after he reached out and i jumped right back in. That was the only time but I always sensed he had less control of his temper than my. Mid-range ex, who had outstanding control, virtually no temper. It was a bit of excitement with that SN. But who needs that?! Downside, not worth it!
Yes, it was an Upper Lesser Type A somatic. 🙂 and my only romantic relationship with a narc. All the others were shelf-dynamic or workplace.
I struggle with the term “crowning” the IPPS, as if it’s a great thing. It’s not.
From the narcissistic perspective it´s a great thing. The IPPS can be happy to be with someone so grandiose as Mr. or Ms. N. Arc 😉 H.G. writes from his perspective so that we can take a look into his mind. He wants us to see how a narcissist thinks and why they behave like this.
I know Leela, thank you for the explanation though. I was just stating it from my perspective, that’s all. 🙂
Of course from our perspective it´s a terrible thing to happen.
AV and Leela,
I’m so, so glad I was never going to be IPPS and feel terribly for #2’s wife. Probably trying to save the marriage (with everything I know about) while he’s out with me and other women. I wonder. If I were ever to be an IPPS and found out he was cheating, it would be worse to discover a slew of one night stands or that he had women (DLS) who were around for years and had “relationships” with them?
I met #1’s IPPS. I saw her in public. I had to meet her. EMOTIONAL THINKING! I made up some excuse about a fake mutual acquaintance. She was so young, gorgeous, talented and fit. I am so happy he discarded her for the other IPSS. She deserved way better.
BC30, yes, count your blessings. I didn’t know about one night stands during my marriage, though I have little doubt they happened given what I knew of him and what I’ve learned here. Prior to me, they were his mainstay, he’d only ever had one relationship before me, for a few weeks. But many sexual experiences, mostly one night stands. During our marriage, I knew about the longer term ones, though I don’t believe any of them went over that ever so important (to him) 3 month mark. Then he’d be back for a bit. I guess those were my respite periods, I’ve never put that much thought into it before. It’s kind of strange that really accepting the truth was so hurtful at first and now it doesn’t even really bother me, I’m just that much more glad to be rid of him. I just now regret the wasted years. We all, you, me, and every single other person who’s been with a narcissist, deserves way better.
It is indeed difficult to accept that time has passed and live without regret. There is an assumption that if things were different that we would feel better now. We cannot know that is true. However, we can change our thoughts to feel better under any circumstance. Part of that is recognizing that we are only one piece of the puzzle. It’s not about assigning blame, but assigning causation.
The narcissist lied. I believed the lies. That’s it, cut and dry. It is impossible to know someone whose entire being is a lie. When I saw the true colors, I was strong and saved myself.
Yes, what a fantastic way to look at it! I didn’t do so with some narcs, until I arrived here, but with that Summer Narc, oh yes, I was strong and saved myself!! Thank you!!
“The Dirty Little Secret IPSS can have a golden period for years and years.” It turned out to be nearly 3 years.
My relationships with narcs, no matter what, where all rollercoasters from the beginning.
And it just happened that I got those narcs who were terrible, horrible, a living nightmare, between the sheets. Lucky me! 😉 😀 😀 😀
One was very good at some techniques but couldn´t hold up his erection and couldn´t finish (ULA somatic).
Leela!! I’m sorry for your loss 😂😂😂 I’m NGL if #1 came around it’d be difficult to say no. A volunteer firefighter 🔥 with the muscle to carry me around while fucking. Oof. Memories 😋
Oh, I have great and funny memories. They were the ABSOLUTE WORST of the WORST between the sheets. 😀 😀 😀 Incredibly bad in bed!! My goodness, soooooo bad! 😀 😀 😀
Firefighters are yummy, like chocolate.
Prior to learning about narcissism, I thought the roller coasters were…NORMAL! They were what made it real, made me feel alive, made me feel at home! I could get (and have been at times) really angry at my parents for teaching me this but it was in the home my children were raised in too, and I was a part of it, even if it was unwittingly. I’m just hoping that my kids can can break the cycle for their families now. Theyare interested in learning about narcissism and/or the behavior’s, this is encouraging.
Of course there are always ups and downs in relationships but such a roller coaster like in narc-relationships are indeed toxic!
To me somatic narcs felt like home. Whenever a man pointed out how important an attractive partner is, I understood. Very normal that a man wants a model-like wife and that women who look attractive are “more worth”. No sexy appearance, no love. Status matters, job matters, money matters. I saw such men as “high class men” to whom I always wanted to be good enough. My house, my boat, my status, my clothes, my sexy model-wife: yes, felt like home back then.
BULLSHIT! I have learned my lesson! Meanwhile, I´m UTTERLY DISGUSTED of such people. It´s not very normal, it´s not home, it´s GOSO!
Oh boy Leela, do I understand that. I had decided, having such bad luck with attractive men that I would only date unattractive ones going forward. Haha, learning here, sadly, narc’s come in all looks categories! Now that I know, it doesn’t matter the looks, just no more narcs!!
😂 Stop!! Unattractive people (my #2) are still narcy. What’s funny is that being so handsome lent #1 an extra layer of haughtiness– UMR through and through. That is why I knew what he was all about. I didn’t know he was a narc, but I knew he was a ladies man. He didn’t even hide it. He didn’t have to. He had his little harem and if one IPSS didn’t like– NEXT! Now, I’m going to watch for every and any red flag whatsoever.
Unattractive ones? Could be Cerebrals 😉
Yes, no, like BC30 said up above, watching for every and any red flag, attractive or not attractive. No more narcs! And good grief, never a Cerebral, not after your stories Leela!
..and I haven´t even told you about my cerebral former boss 😉 😀
Oh no, lol, do I want to hear!? Okay, yes, I do…
Alright! 😉 So, my former boss is very probably an Upper Mid Range Cerebral. Author of many books, some of them bestsellers. He has a wife und two children but doesn´t really care about them. He spends at last 15 hours per day at work, neglecting his IPPS and his children. The IPPS takes care of everything at home. She´s the homemaker.
Mr. Cerebral-boss is paranoid. Doesn´t trust his employees. And he´s huge MicroManager and a big control-freak! He needs control over his employees all the time! Oh god forbid you to work independently and do just good work! He treats even employees with PhD, Master Degree, long term professional experience like 5-year olds. He treated us like children who have no clue what to do. If you disagree with him, he lashes out. He even yells at his employees.
God forbid you question is (indeed questionable) ideas and concepts. Then he lashes out and acts like a 5-year old spoiled brat 😀 He controls his employees with the help of warning letters. You get one if you disagree with him, if you don´t obey his orders, if you don´t let yourself be treated like a 5 year old. He precisely watches when each employee comes to work, takes a break and goes home. He counts every minute!
He future fakes. Promises benefits, more money, whatsoever but when it comes to deliver, he always has a lame excuse or postpones. He lies, he cheats his customers and his freelancers, is stingy as heck, always finds an excuse not to pay the freelancers.
He smears his employees, triangulates them, devalues them and then fires them. There´s not a single long term employee there! He smears his former employees to potential new employers, smears them to current employees.
Like my former co-worker, he lashes out whenever somebody makes a dirty joke, or when it comes to talking about body fluids, the human body or surgery. He screams in disgust (yes, he screams! In the office!).
I implied GOSO after one year even though I liked the job but couldn´t stand this asshole! 😀
Both suck, but with a Cerebral you can at least have nice conversations, if you just overhear their haughty, smug and arrogant remarks. 😉 Many of them hide their asexuality and their horror of intimacy behind some form of religion or an oh so high moral compass and they´re smug about that. Nothing against being really faithful and really having a high moral compass, don´t get me wrong but whenever you see somebody who is smug, haughty and arrogant about it: Alert! Red Flag! And words don´t match the actions! If you see this combination, then run for the hills and never look back! Trust your gut feeling. Mine told me right from the beginning: Alert, alert, personality disordered individual! Danger, danger! Just didn´t know what it is and underestimated it because the relationship was non-romantic.
Oh no, I have to choose between a good conversation and sex??!!!
No, that’s where we elites come in to our own.
Oh geez, that made my toes curl…
Stop it AV, no more narcs!
Indeed! 😉 Good conversations but probably horrible or no sex (he withholds!) or maybe great sex if you´re lucky but then you always have to look perfectly and your appearance will be criticized all the time. 😀
Thank you for bringing me back to reality Leela. It’s a losing proposition from any angle. Maybe a normal or empath with these abilities will come along at some point.
Just do not fall for the love bombing of a next narc! We know the Red Flags now. Watch for them and better GOSO if it doesn´t feel right. Listen to you gut feeling. It tells you the truth.
Thank you Leela! More great advice! I don’t trust my own gut but I do trust that of my children and the people here, especially HG. I think I will do okay, when the time is right.
I´m sure you will do fine. Recover first and then everything will be alright. Just give yourself some time! 🙂
AV…… laughing……. “And good grief, never a Cerebral, not after your stories Leela!”…. brilliant.
Leela I think any engagement I’ve had intimately has mainly been elites with the odd somatic. But they’re not necessarily handsome, some have been some not. I’m attracted to the confidence and how someone makes me feel.
I do remember being really confused when finding out about narcs though and thinking it didn’t fit because he wasn’t good looking enough etc and that somatics are only so because they believe they’ve got the looks, many of them haven’t at all. They may prune themselves but sometimes I think they’re wasting their time haha
All of my romantic encounters were with Somatics. They felt like home. Patri Narc is somatic. I was drawn to them because that´s what I was used to at home, it was just very normal, very familiar.
My encounters with Elites and one Cerebral were non-romantic, two workplace-narcs, one platonic relationship (the cerebral-leaning elite Mr. Wanker 😉 )
“My” Somatics were really handsome, typical text book Somatics, flaunting their sexual conquests, thought they were Super Mr. Lova Lova. They´re not! They were terrible in bed! 😀
Interesting Leela that your father was somatic and that’s what you’re attracted to. I didn’t have one and whilst I grew up in a lower middle-class house hold in an affluent area my mother due to her health would drop me off anywhere she could so I didn’t have that same connection or attraction etc some would have. Makes sense I guess, I never had a ‘type’ like many people do. There were clearly people who were not my type, but I never ever thought, they have to be this, or that, all I wanted was love.
Yes, my father is an Upper Mid Range somatic. For me it was all about finally proving daddy that I´m good enough (It´s an ACON-thing 😉 ). My mother is very probably co-dependent. They have a long term marriage, even though Patric Narc of course cheated. My mom stayed. When Patri Narc abused me verbally and emotionally, she stood there, helpless. Never stood up for me. She was, and still is, Patri Narcs 24/7-servant. She took the put-downs, the lash outs, the incredible sulks, the silent treatments. Never thought about leaving.
Never had a real connection to my parents either. I was never good enough for Patri Narc, never pretty enough, there was always something to criticize, to complain about, too fat, too skinny, bad skin, broken finger nail, badly dressed, whatever. Put down after put down, never good enough!
You´re not an ACON, Alexis?
It’s interesting how we all react to our parents. You proving you were good enough, I was the opposite. If my mum wanted me to be a certain way I’d do everything I could to be the opposite. I’m sorry your mum never helped you when your father was abusive. Silent treatments are the worst. My mum gave me a present silent treatsmrnt for months when I quit church as a teenager. Crikey that must have been awful with all those put downs, very damaging.
My father a Narc. My mother very unwell but not because of my father. As I say I didn’t really have one, it’s complex, my sister an UMR elite. The most wonderful grandmothers you could imagine.
I just went my own way. I didn´t do the opposite but just did what I wanted, what I thought is right for me. Did not listen to Patri Narc. That´s why I was painted black most of the time. 😉
Well done you Leela, Don’t worry I didn’t stay like that. Just a few years when my LT was completely non existent haha
Yup. Red flag. Run, do not walk to GOSO. You don’t want your brain eaten with fava beans and a nice chianti.
Now you know, and that’s half the battle.
Wait…what do I know??
That narcissists exist and that you were ensnared. I knew of narcissistic people, but not NPD.
Oh, right, yes, same here. I did not understand the full impact for sure. So yes, half the battle!!
It really sounds like at the time you were on a Rollercoaster ride and definitely couldn’t get off if you know what I mean . Thank God the nightmare finally ended for you Leela.
I used to escape quickly. I may get ensnared by I always escaped after maximum 2 years.
Good for you ! Try not to get ensnared again. At least you escaped.
Thank you Eternity, I try.
For you. Escape in is the best thing ever!
Wise of you.