If your partner exhibits most of the traits on this list, you may be dating a sociopath.
We all want to be loved, don't we?
These people are called sociopaths. The media would have us believe that all sociopaths are deranged serial killers. This isn't true. Sociopaths know exactly what they are doing, and most of them never kill anyone.
But they are social predators, who exploit just about everyone they meet. They have no heart, no conscience and no remorse.
Unfortunately, I learned about sociopaths the hard way — by marrying one. My ex-husband took a quarter-million dollars from me, cheated with at least six women during our two-and-a-half-year relationship, fathered a child with one of them, and then, 10 days after I left him, married the mother of the child. It was the second time he committed bigamy.
I know this now, but I didn't know it as it was happening. You see, sociopaths, at first, don't act like jerks. My ex-husband presented himself to be a dynamic, successful entrepreneur who was head over heels in love with me. He wanted to be with me all the time, was always sending me e-mails and faxes, told me I was the woman he'd been waiting for all his life.
I now know that what he was doing is a typical sociopathic technique called love bombing.
Sociopaths engage in calculated seduction. While they're trying to hook you, they are extremely attentive. They shower you with flattery and what appears to be affection. But they have an agenda.
You have something that they want — perhaps money, sex, business connections or a place to live. Sociopath will keep pouring it on until they convince you give it to them.
Sociopaths, it turns out, all operate from the same playbook. If your new romantic interest exhibits the following behaviors, be careful. One or two traits don't mean much, but if you see most or all of them, you might be dating a sociopath.
1. They have charisma and charm.
They're smooth talkers, always have an answer, never miss a beat. They seem to be very exciting.
2. They have an enormous ego.
They act like the smartest, richest or most successful people around. They may actually come out and tell you that.
3. They're 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. They have a Jekyll and Hyde personality.
One minute they love you; the next minute they hate you. Their personality changes like flipping a switch.
5. They blame others.
Nothing is ever their fault. They always have an excuse. Someone else causes their problems.
6. They always have lies and gaps in their story.
You ask questions, and the answers are vague. They tell stupid lies. They tell outrageous lies. They lie when they'd be better off telling the truth.
7. They give intense eye contact.
Call it the predatory stare. If you get a chill down your spine when they look at you, pay attention.
8. They 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. They 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. They have sexual magnetism.
If you feel intense attraction, if your physical relationship is unbelievable, it may be their excess testosterone.
Donna Andersen is the author of Love Fraud: How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan. Learn more at LoveFraud.com.
This article was originally published at www.lovefraud.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.