Did you know that one in twenty-five Americans is a sociopath? And 1% of Americans are estimated to be a psychopath?
Despite the stereotypical picture painted of psychopaths in movies and books, psychopaths are generally not violent or lunatics. Even though 25% of American prison inmates are predicted to be psychopaths, the majority actually get along perfectly well in society.
Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton conducted a study and found that the top 10 career job titles with the most psychopaths working in them are CEO, lawyer, media, salesperson, journalist, police officer, clergy, chef and civil servants.
Some of these are unsurprising, of course, due to these being high-stress positions requiring high risk-taking, so are they psychopaths? Or do they just share a few common personality traits that we all do in one way or another?
10 Signs You’re Dating a Psychopath
Being a psychopath doesn’t necessarily mean someone is crazy – they just may possess certain behavior traits that could make them extremely challenging to live with and love.
With the rise in people meeting potential love matches via internet dating sites and via social media without having the nod of approval from old-time mutual friends, it’s important to be more aware of specific negative behaviors to look out for, which are often quite subtle – especially at the beginning of your relationship. So, here’s 10 signs you’re dating a psychopath:
They flatter you as if you are the most important person in their world.
When it comes to dating, a psychopath will move in on you extremely quickly. On the first date, he may gush over how beautiful and perfect you are, or talk about your future together. He will role play every fantasy and insecurity you have. This behavior is referred to as ‘’love bombing’’ and it’s the idealization phase he uses to get you hooked on him. This is the phase you will spend your next however many months or years desperately trying to get back once he suddenly shuts it down.
They will intentionally mirror your likes, goals, and interests to convince you that they are your soul mate. Experts refer to this as ‘mirroring’ and it’s one of the oldest ‘charm tricks’ in the art of seduction.
Playing the victim.
Is his ex-partner crazy and stalking him? Did she use him or rob him? Is his mother a control freak? All of these could, of course, be genuine experiences, but this is another red flag to watch out for.
Faking illness or injury.
This is a common method for them to seek attention, or to make excuses for disappearing for a short or long period of time.
Great in the bedroom.
Just like the initial ‘’love bombing’’ phase, this is another method they use to get you completely hooked on them. Once he sees that you are hooked, he’ll often silently enjoy turning down your sexual advances and the effect it has on you mentally when he suddenly doesn’t want sex with you anymore.
Letting things slip.
A psychopath will often suddenly blurt things out and later pretend it was a joke. It could be things like ‘I’m crazy you know’’ or ‘’I have a dark side.’’ These sudden outbursts could be a way of keeping you confused about him, or it could be an intentional or unintentional slip of his real persona. Psychopaths are often incapable of feeling genuine love. They will show glimpses of love and affection, but this is usually with an ulterior motive that serves a purpose in their game of cat and mouse with you.
I’m pretty sure all of my single friends on the dating scene have been ‘ghosted’ at one time or another, but this is another red flag to look out for. Now that they know they’ve hooked you in their spider’s web, they begin the process of making you feel devalued. A common trait is to give you the silent treatment over something and nothing, often disappearing for days at a time. When they return, they will usually have a bizarre excuse or lay the blame entirely on you.
The love triangle.
Once a psychopath has you devoted, they may purposely introduce a love rival into the game. This is an intentional move to make you feel jealous and insecure. It could be an ex-girlfriend or an ‘extremely close’ female friend.
Once he’s well and truly sucked you in and devalued you, a psychopath will abruptly discard you as if you never existed. You no longer serve a purpose to him, and he is likely already hunting for his next victim.
Although he sadly probably can’t ever experience genuine feelings for you or anyone else, a psychopath will not want you to move on to another man. If he senses that you are over him, he will dedicate his time and energy to ‘hoovering’ – the act of telling you everything you want to hear and promising you the world to get you back under his spell.
Whether a psychopath is violent or not, their behavior can be quite psychologically distressing and damaging for the ‘victim.’ If you believe you have been dating a psychopath or have been in a friendship with one that’s been bringing you negative energy and feelings, the best possible solution is to remove them from your life because these types of relationships can become quite toxic.