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.
2 thoughts on “The Golden Period”
Is it possible for a bronze period to occur as a transitional period between a golden period and the stranger zone? Like when things are still going well, but maybe not quite as magical as the golden period (easy to mistake for the relationship just settling in, as would occur in a normal, non narcissistic relationship). Or could a bronze period occur during a respite from devaluation instead of going back to a full golden period?
Hi Alison, my understanding is that the bronze period is what you get with lesser narcissists, it’s more a matter of them not showing you what they really are until you’re ensnared than wooing, as higher functioning narcissists do. If you’re seeing a bronze like period, I would guess that you’re either experiencing corrective devaluations or straight up IPPS devaluation that he’s just beginning. I think the stages are somewhat fluid but the stranger zone is between the GP/BP and devaluation, I don’t think they always have one either but can flip into devaluation quite quickly at times. The GP/BP and devaluation are always their decision and they may or may not give you a full one either way at any time. It’s all based on their needs, what they see as the best way to control you, get their fuel etc. And, there’s always a lot going on in their fuel matrix that can affect this, things you have no idea about, which is on part why it’s so unpredictable. Anyway, more than you asked, I hope that’s okay, and hope it helps.