Christina, a successful 38-year-old real estate agent, was very happy with Len, who initially overwhelmed her with compliments, care and concern; once she had fallen in love with him, he suddenly began to insist that his needs and plans and schedules come first. Christina was in love with a narcissist—and in their new guide, the authors of Men Who Can't Love
tell how to recognize such a beast, the dangers of loving one and strategies for ending a relationship with a person who always puts "me" first. The authors point out that we all may exhibit narcissistic tendencies at times, but the true narcissist is incapable of a give-and-take relationship. The authors acknowledge that they are writers, not therapists, and base their theories on anecdotes, written in very accessible language, rather than on academic research. Many interviews were conducted with both men and women completely seduced by narcissists, who can, according to the authors, be extremely charismatic. Carter and Sokol detail behavioral cues that can identify a narcissist and look at the causes of narcissism, chief among them being raised by narcissistic parents. Carter and Sokol provide a number of coping skills for those involved with narcissists, but their advice boils down to taking care of yourself first and seeking outside support. Agent, Barbara Lowenstein.