Psychopaths aren’t capable of love. But that doesn’t stop them from involving unsuspecting people in false romantic relationships that have devastating consequences.
Spot the early red flags of a psychopath to avoid the serious harm they will inevitably bring to you and your life. None of the signs on the list below can stand on its own, but together they paint an overall picture that serves as a warning you should heed.
- He or she is incredibly charming, in exactly the way YOU find charming. Need someone confident, outgoing and warm? The psychopath can do that. Need someone sensitive and a bit bumbling, but with a heart of gold? He can do that, too. This charm causes you — his target — to fall under his spell while he focuses intensely on you. His focus is very pleasing to the mind and senses, and it disables your personal boundaries, your gut instincts and your self-protective behavior (just when you need them most). It induces a trance-like sate — a pleasant, relaxed and focused state of mind that leaves you open to suggestion. You will find yourself wanting to be back in the focus of his potent charm again and again. This superhuman charm is often one of the first and ONLY early red flags of a psychopath, and it is exactly what makes it hard to walk away. This charm stems from the psychopath’s ability to be completely present as they focus on you while they figure out what makes you tick, what flattery you long to hear, and what buttons to push. You’ll feel like the two of you are the only things in the universe, and that you’ve finally find someone who appreciates you and understands you and sees the good qualities in you that others overlook too often.
- He or she is very much at ease; he may have a demeanor of being anxiety-free and without any social awkwardness. Absolutely comfortable in his own skin. His ease puts you at ease — you feel comfortable with him, like the two of you have known each other forever. He’s not necessarily attention-grabbing or the life of the party, but he is very socially skilled. May come across as unassuming and soft-spoken while still maintaining a distinct aura of confidence and presence. Especially watch for someone who exudes a black-leather toughness and a childlike innocence at the same time.
- He or she is a glib, smooth talker. Never runs out of amusing anecdotes, and can make the most mundane topics seem interesting and entertaining. He does most of the talking most of the time.The purpose of this is to relax you and make you comfortable with him.
- He or she will quickly divulge personal details and stories about his past and his life. This will create a false sense of intimacy that causes you to reciprocate with details about your own life so it seems like you two are getting close. After all, you’ve both shared personal things; you’ve both risked judgement and rejection by being vulnerable, yet you’ve supported and accepted each other…
- He or she is fun-loving and fun to be with. Playful. You have never had so much fun with anyone. You do things you never did before, just little adventures that take you away from the mundane, and you realize how small and boring your life had become, and how stale the world had seemed. You’ve come back to life, and you didn’t even know you needed to. Or maybe you did know it, and now along comes the perfect person to help you do it!
- He or she claims to be a happy, easy going person, and he sure seems like one. He may tell you nothing gets him down. Since a psychopath has no conscience and no anxiety it’s probably true, but you’ll see it in a different way and just be happy you haven’t ended up with yet another neurotic mate weighed down by a crapload of emotional baggage.
- He or she is a very active person who is always on the go. He needs a lot of stimulation and can’t tolerate boredom, so he can’t stand being alone or sitting still.
A psychopath is easily bored, but seldom boring.
- You feel very special in his presence and feel that he’s very special, fascinating and unique, and not like anyone you’ve known before.
- You find yourself becoming deeply enamored with him very quickly, in a way you haven’t previously experienced. You’ll attribute this to his specialness and the specialness of the relationship you believe is forming.
- He looks at you in a way no man has before; he keeps his eyes on you and gives you his complete attention. It feels flattering and seductive. You have never before felt so beautiful, handsome or sexy. You feel very good about yourself in his presence. Your insecurities about your attractiveness and likeability vanish as if they never existed.
- You have become intensely physically attracted to him or her, more than you have ever felt with anyone else or even knew was possible.
- If you meet at some sort of a group setting, such as a dance class, he will give you the bulk of his time and attention. You’ll feel like the two of you are the only ones in the room.
- He or she showers you with attention and affection. You’ll go on frequent romantic dates and spend a lot of time together. You’ll get plenty of phone calls, emails and text messages. He’ll be kind, considerate and complimentary. You may feel truly “appreciated” by a someone for the first time in your life. It’s all positive reinforcement all the time during this early stage. You will not feel neglected in any way at this point. He always has or makes time for you. Although things may seem unusually intense, it will just convince you that this is the best relationship you’ve ever had and that he is your perfect partner. This stage is known as love-bombing. The manipulator will saturate you in as many ways possible with love and adoration, so you don’t have a moment to come up for air. There will be many verbal declarations of appreciation and of their feelings about you and all your wonderful qualities, and amazement at all the things you have in common or at how lucky you both are to have found each other. You’ll believe it’s the best thing that ever happened to you, so you won’t even suspect you’re being played.
- He divulges his “true” feelings for you very quickly, telling you he loves you and has never experienced such love and attraction before or that he never thought he’d fall in love again. And lo and behold, that’s exactly how you feel! Your days of unrequited love are finally over. The relationship will feel…magical. You’re finally experiencing what it means to have found your soul mate, even if you didn’t believe that soul mates existed. The manipulator may even tell you he believes you’re “soul mates” or say “isn’t this magic?” or tell you that you “must have known each other in a past life.” You’ll feel that you never even knew what love was before. You may have only known him for a month, but you’re certain you’ll be together forever. Believing someone is your soul mate is, unfortunately, one of the biggest red flags of a psychopath. Since they’re able to mirror your needs and desires perfectly, they’re able create the persona (or mask) of your perfect mate, but it’s all an illusion.
Believing someone is your soul mate is, unfortunately, one of the biggest red flags of a psychopath.
If you’ve gotten this far, there’s a good chance the psychopath has already created the strong bond (the psychopathic bond) that is the necessary foundation for the manipulation and abuse that follows. The only thing that can stop it is the awareness of the chance your soul mate might not be who you think he is, and this awareness may help you retain your abilities to see clearly and think critically.
Although it appears the psychopath is in love with you and you’re experiencing the most romantic time of your life, this isn’t the case at all. Psychopaths are incapable of feeling love, and the only thing they want you for is self-gratification.
So how can you tell the difference? It seems like the love story you’ve been longing for all your life, and actually it’s far better than anything you imagined. You probably won’t be able to tell the difference unless you’ve experienced it before. After all, why would you ever think to question something so wonderful? It would never cross your mind to do so, until you become aware of the possibility that all may not be as it appears. That’s what you’re doing right now — developing that awareness.
Here are some ideas that may help you avoid involvement with a psychopath:
- Take any new relationship slowly, especially an intense one. Control the pace, as opposed to letting the other person control it. Know what you want from a relationship so you don’t become obliviously sucked into following someone else’s agenda (this will help you much more in later stages). Be leery of someone who gets serious quickly. How can someone love you deeply and know they want to be with you forever if they barely know you? That’s often the mark of superficiality, which is in direct contrast from what it may look like. There is no rush. Time is the only thing that will reveal a person’s true character. Time is your friend.
- Develop clear boundaries, and defend them. Be aware of a person who is able to make you disregard those boundaries, even if you believe you’re the one doing it. Boundaries do not isolate you from others — they only protect you from manipulative people who do not respect you or have your best interests at heart (to say the least). They let the good in while keeping the bad out. If you don’t have boundaries, please don’t start any new relationships until you do. Boundaries protect you and all that you value. To develop your boundaries, read a good book on the subject. I wrote one especially for us.
“I am being honest when I tell you I’ve read many books and articles, talked to my friends and counselors, and nothing has helped me like this book has.. This book has done what two years of counseling could not.. I am so grateful to have come across this book and will forever be thankful that I did.”
- Know yourself well. If you don’t, a psychopath will know you better than you know yourself..which sets you up for trouble. Find out what runs you, process traumas from your past and identify your deepest fears, desires and needs.This is one of the best defenses.
- Make someone earn your trust…and then expect them to keep it. Being trustworthy is an ongoing thing. Keep in mind that con artists are masters at gaining your trust — that’s why they’re so effective. Psychopaths are the ultimate cons.
- Know what you want and need from a relationship, and don’t settle for anything less. If you do find yourself settling for less, you’ll know something’s definitely wrong.
- Delay sex because once you have it, your neurochemistry will shift and you will feel deeper attraction, a craving for your partner and more investment in the relationship.These feelings are due to changes in your neurochemistry that can’t be controlled, along with the assumption that an intimate bond has formed. Pacing and slowing down lets you keep control and make clear-headed decisions. It is MUCH easier to see reality and MUCH easier to walk away from someone you haven’t yet had sex with. Sex seals the deal. Is delaying sex realistic when you’re faced with your soul mate and feeling an intense attraction? I don’t know, but I’d like to believe it is.
- Learn the tactics of covert, or hidden, emotional manipulation. When you are aware of them, you have a far better chance of seeing them at play.
“I would like to thank the author for an eye opening experience! This book has clarified more for me than I have ever understood in my entire lifetime.. It doesn’t matter what type of relationship you are in, it can be straight couples, gay couples, relationships between family members, co-workers , any kind of relationship, you must read this book. It will be as if a lightswitch is turned on in your brain and your soul is sitting up and paying attention. To the author, again thank you for opening my eyes.”
A lot of this sounds like the description of two people falling deeply in love. Some of it does sound just like that… and that’s exactly why so many have fallen victim. It looks like that to others around us, and of course it looks like that to us, too, during this stage of the game. If it didn’t start out this way, nothing that follows would be possible. We fell for Dr. Jekyll, after all, not Mr. Hyde.
Obviously, no one is going to fall in love with someone and just see it as one big red flag and walk away, and I’m not saying that’s what you should do — that would be crazy. But those of us who have experienced it know that it was over-the-top, “unreal,” magical, and unlike anything we’d ever experienced or even imagined. Those are the signs that tell you that you need to watch out for what comes next.
Staying alert can help prevent an entanglement with a psychopath, while still preserving the opportunity to move forward with a person who has honest intentions. You can read about what will happen next if Mr or Ms Right turns out to be a psychopath in “Stages of the Psychopathic Bond.”
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