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Is He Wonderfully Romantic or a Narcissist?

By Michele Burghardt November 04, 2023 Dating

With all the chatter about narcissists, it’s natural to wonder if the man you just met is a true romantic and showering you with admiration, or a closet narcissist and is love-bombing you. How do you know the difference?

It’s natural for any woman to appreciate being treated like a Queen. We dream of having one special man in our life who sends us flowers, opens doors for us, plans romantic get-aways and makes us feel like we are the most important person in the world to him. These types of romantic gestures trigger a surge of the love hormone, oxytocin, in our brains.

Oxytocin in the Air

Oxytocin is considered the love hormone because it produces relationship-enhancing behaviors and emotions, including:

  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Bonding
  • Fidelity
  • Positive emotions
  • Physical contact

This is why we get that warm, fuzzy feeling when a man holds a door for us, and why we may feel emotionally connected to a man after a one-night stand. Intimacy also triggers oxytocin, and those feelings can last for up to three weeks.

New Relationships Are Fun

With new relationships, the stars sparkle brighter, the air smells fresher, and colors look more brilliant. You get that giddy feeling every time you see his name show up on your phone, and he seems to feel the same way. He sends you flowers, tells you how beautiful you are, takes you on exciting dates, and makes you feel like the center of his world.

When your man showers you with gifts, compliments, and devotion simply to show you how much he cares, and doesn’t ask for anything in return, consider him romantically wonderful. He sends you flowers even though you already have plans for Saturday night and can’t see him until Sunday.

He takes “no” for an answer to any question he asks because he respects you. He understands that you are still getting to know him, and he’s willing to go at your pace while he expresses his interest in you. This is a man who is pure of heart and simply wants to move up to the #1 position on your list of suitors.

The Hidden Narcissist

However, if he showers you with gifts, compliments, and devotion very early in the relationship, and expects you to shift your focus to him because of this, be wary. He may be trying to artificially manufacture feelings of love so he can manipulate the relationship. His goal is to make you believe you love him, even though you don’t know him well enough to have those feelings. Oxytocin is a narcissist’s friend because it stirs up all those feelings women love to have.

A narcissist will shower you with grand gestures, compliments, and “I Love You’s” so he can get what he needs from you, more attention, love, and control. He needs that external validation from because he doesn’t have a strong enough self-esteem to fulfill his cravings.

Unfortunately, if he is a narcissist, the love you show him will never be enough, and in time, he’ll find a new woman to ‘be amazing’ for so he gets the gushing and gratitude all over again. It’s a cycle for them because they never feel enough love.

Listen to Your Gut

If you begin dating someone who showers you with gifts and sweet words and you’re wondering whether he’s for real; take a beat and listen to your gut. You can always slow things down and see how he reacts to your busy life. If you can’t see him every night and he understands, that’s a good sign. If he’s willing to share you with your friends and family, that’s a good sign. If you tell him four dozen roses in one day are too much, and he respects your wishes, that’s a good sign.

But, if your new man huffs and puffs and makes you feel guilty for having a life that doesn’t include him, you want to step away. If he starts to shut out your family and friends because he wants alone time with you, be careful. He’ll be monopolizing all your time before you realize it.

Everyone wants to feel loved and cherished. But you deserve it to be true and authentic. If you’re ever in doubt about someone you’re dating, pay attention to his actions. He can tell you what you want to hear, but a person’s actions never lie.

If your love language includes grand gestures, be crystal clear about what you want in a relationship. When you are, you’ll be surprised how many more true romantics you attract. The more clarity you have, the easier it is to meet a man who will love you the way you want to be loved. If you’re struggling to know who you’re looking for, grab an autographed copy of my book, The Perfect Dating Guide for Women Over 50, here. There are some simple strategies that can help you figure that out.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Tell us about a time a man surprised you with a pure romantic gesture that was thoughtful, sweet, and made you feel good from the inside out.

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I always thought actions speak louder than words. I was with a guy I was in love with who said we arent going anywhere but his actions were so loving both physically and in actions. So confusing

Michele Burghardt

Hi Kathy, that is confusing. You just have to believe what he said and make a decision from there. That had to be a difficult place to be. I hope it worked out the way you wanted to. Thanks for your comment. Xxoo Michele


Actions always speak louder than words. This article is spot on – wish I read it 10 years ago!


Flowers, gifts, compliments? Oh, haha. Where are these guys? The men I meet have only one thing on their minds, and it isn’t giving.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Valerie

It sounds like you’re in an energy loop of attracting low-value men. Try taking stock of your positive qualities and start feeling real good about yourself and see if that shifts who is drawn to you. That could help. Thanks for your comment. xxoo Michele

Catherine Vance

You have amazing insight, explaining this type of relationship so well and offering practical tips for discovering whether a person is truly smitten with you or grooming you.

Michele Burghardt

Well thank you Catherine, what a nice thing to say. One of my clients experienced this and inspsired the article. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for your comment. xxoo Michele


A man I was seeing offered, early on, to help me around the house. I have a large historic house and while I mostly managed to keep up, certain things needed to be done that I hadn’t gotten to. This guy was very handy and he loved helping me. I didn’t have to ask, he offered.


Flowers, gifts, expensive dinners don’t impress me. If a man did a lot of those gestures and nothing more substantial, I would wonder about his depth and sincerity.

Michele Burghardt

Again, JLS some men have ‘gifting’ as a love language. For some, it’s easier to bring flowers than verbally tell you what they are thinking. You only worry when they are doing nice things to manipulate the relationship. xxoo Michele

Michele Burghardt

Hi JLS, that’s a different concept than ‘grand gestures’. It sounds like his love language is acts of service. This means this is how he shows love and likes to receive it. He sounds like a great guy, I hope it worked out. Thanks for the comment. xxoo Michele

The Author

Michele Burghardt is an author, speaker, and dating coach for women 50 and over with 20 + years of experience in the self-help area. She believes loving yourself is the first step to finding love. You can learn more about her transformational coaching style and her book at

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