10 Signs that you’re dating a sociopath

If your new romantic interest exhibits all or most of the following behaviors, be careful. He or she might be a sociopath.

1. Charisma and charm. They’re smooth talkers, always have an answer, never miss a beat. They seem to be very exciting.

2. Enormous ego. They act like the smartest, richest or most successful people around. They may actually come out and tell you that.

3. Overly attentive. They call, text and e-mail constantly. They want to be with you every moment. They resent time you spend with your family and friends.

4. Jekyll and Hyde personality. One minute they love you; the next minute they hate you. Their personality changes like flipping a switch.

5. Blame others. Nothing is ever their fault. They always have an excuse. Someone else causes their problems.

6. Lies and gaps in the story. You ask questions, and the answers are vague. They tell stupid lies. They tell outrageous lies. They lie when they’d make out better telling the truth.

7. Intense eye contact. Call it the predatory stare. If you get a chill down your spine when they look at you, pay attention.

8. Move fast. They quickly proclaim that you’re their true love and soul mate. They want to move in together or get married quickly.

9. Pity play. They appeal to your sympathy. They want you to feel sorry for their abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.

10. Sexual magnetism. If you feel intense attraction, if your physical relationship is unbelievable, it may be their excess testosterone.

For more on this topic, see Donna Andersen’s book, Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you’re dating a sociopath.

1,508 Comments on "10 Signs that you’re dating a sociopath"

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  1. Sick@heart – be good to yourself. Sociopaths are very skilled at their game. They approach the world in a completely different way from the rest of us. And those of us who are not like them never see it coming.

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    • GoldenGirl says:

      I watch a particular TV show when I need a reminder of “What” I was dating for 5 years. The “sit-com” is about a rich, smug, charismatic, no feelings, crotch-jockey named Charlie. I never used to watch it because the show and his antics used to make me angry. Because the show is on so often, I would catch a part of it before I turned it off. Slowly, after reading certain books, I was able to recognize the traits of a sociopath who has no apology for being one or what he did, so I paid attention to the show watching the manipulations, the spath logic, the callousness and inability to feel emotion and therefore his improper responses. It is like a gold mine of learning WHAT a spath is. An example, A woman “Judith” is giving birth in the hospital and needs a coach, she asks “Charlie” if he will be her coach. I can’t remember if he said yes or not, but Judith started to scream as she was bearing down. Charlie without emotions walked over to her bed and said “Way to go” looking as if he was not sure of what response he was suppose to give. I couldn’t stop laughing…. I was able to see what Charlie and my Ex is. An emotional void! Everytime I want to remember “What” I was going out with, when I was missing him, I would watch that show and be reminded of what he was like. My feelings were peals of laughter and then sadness because that was my spath up there on the small screen exposed for “What” he truly is… a spath with no feeling, no heart, self-centred, manipulative, a liar, drunk, crotch-jockey, thief… The show is called 2 1/2 Men. Check out the character Charlie Harper… and get your daily dose of spath behaviour without putting yourself in harm’s way. That show is a daily wake-up call of why you have to stay “No contact.”

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  2. againandagain says:

    I NEED HELP!!!!
    Just about every man I’ve ever loved has turned out to be like this. I started learning about it during my short marriage to a narcissistic. That’s when I learned that my first husband wasn’t just an a**hole but a full-blown sociopath. I stayed away from men for seven years then married n who changed completely on our seventh day of marriage and left before one year. I was devesated and couldn’t get over him and kept having sex with him…. cried all night without sleeping hardly at all for four months. Started reading and learning. Ended up with a guy who I dated six months just to try to get over n. Same exact pattern of splitting and blameshifting and control with an even worse temper. I didn’t let him in as deep into my heart bc I could see the warning signs and knew ahead of time. I finally break away from him and a few months later get on match.com. Met a guy I spoke with on the phone for a whole month before our first date. Chose him out of over twenty men. I was smitten. We spoke every through text and phone calls. I have never jibed with anyone as much. Felt like he totally got me. We both have adhd and we understood things about all that. I had told him I really wanted to wait until marriage fir sex and he acted like that was a great idea. We did start to have some sexual texting a few times but then would say we needed to back off of that. Long story short, I ended up going to his home on our first date because all these things kept getting messed up. As soon as I saw him, we melted into one another. The kiss was right after our hello. And I went in his place and backed away from him and maintained over and over we didn’t need to be getting physical like that… but he was extremely aggressive and wouldn’t listen to “no”… I even went into the bathroom to regain my composure but he followed me. He was so damn awesome with every touch and kiss… I tried to resist but I couldn’t.. it took him a long time but before I knew it we were having sex with me still fully dressed (skorts) …. FOUR HOURS…
    And I started to cry after..
    And he told me he loved me. I said no you DONT. It just went from there. I was in love. He did the splitting thing… would disappear… made me feel like I didn’t exist, pushed me away… came after me when I would back off, roller-coaster. I think this one is BPD…. It ended when I caught him with another woman at his house. Right now, I’m NC, but I still want him back.
    This is the thing: I DON’T HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM! I think I’m great. Everybody loves me. I have a million friends. I feel pretty. People tell me I’m gorgeous and beautiful all the time. I have a college education. I’m funny, sweet, talented, creative- awesome, lol…. So, I feel I deserve someone great. And I go out with nice guys on dates. And I want to like them, but they act too scared of me or not strong or something…. BUT the guys I fell in love with were nice too!!! I didn’t know they were jerks when I fell for them. The only thing I can see in common at the very beginning that made me choose them was 1) strength/confidence 2) strong desire for me… the way they looked at me… which other men have looked at me like that but maybe I wasn’t attracted??
    I don’t know!!! But I need help.
    The thing that makes me a target is that I’m extremely compassionate and giving and merciful and forgiving. Too sweet. And I guess I have started to think everybody is crazy so I overlook things. Please tell me where to start. I know who these ppl are and know the signs, but yet they have gotten to me, three in three years!!!!!
    I do get extremely turned on when the man is aggressive … kind of takes charge sexually. Maybe something is very wrong with me in that. Tell me what do!

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  3. TCmessenger says:

    Hi Donna,

    I’m posting to let you know that your article, “10 Brutally Obvious Signs You’re In A Relationship With A Sociopath,” reprinted on ThoughCatalog, Sept. 10, 2015, has been called out for willful contribution to the stigma associated with mental illness and disorder.

    As your name is attached to the article, and you have yet to respond, I’m letting you know as a courtesy, so that you might clarify your position. I can provide links if needed, but chose to refrain in accordance with your site’s policies. I will leave this post in one other location on your page. Any correspondence is appreciated.


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