Should have known better: The impact of mating experience and the desire for marriage upon attraction to the narcissistic personality

Carrie Haslam, V. Tamara Montrose

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

2 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Narcissistic males do not make good romantic partners. Narcissistic males lack commitment, engage in manipulative game-playing and are unfaithful. Despite this, they are still desired by females. Females value different traits in short-term and long-term partners. Previous mate sampling experience is also important to facilitate mate assessment. This study aimed to determine whether amongst young adult heterosexual females; their mate sampling experience and desire for marriage influenced their attraction to narcissistic personality traits in a potential mate. British females aged 18–28 provided information on past mating experience, future desire for marriage and rated their agreement with 20 statements relating to the extent that they found narcissistic personality traits attractive in a potential mate. Females with greater mating experience and those desiring marriage were more attracted to the narcissistic male personality. The narcissistic personality, whilst having many negative qualities, possesses qualities associated with status and resource provision. These traits are desirable in short and long-term mating contexts. Despite future long-term mating desires which are unlikely to be achieved with a narcissistic male and possession of substantial mate sampling experience, females view the narcissistic male as a suitable partner: a testament to the success of the narcissistic personality in facilitating short-term mating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2015


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