Signs You're Dating a Psychopath

Edited by Kathy McGraw

Psychopathy is a personality disorder, which means it affects a person's whole aspect and Outlook on life. The proper term for this disorder, as it is classified as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). It is characterized by a reckless disregard for the rights of others and the absence of empathy. About one to six percent of all people are psychopaths, and they represent about 30 percent of all prison inmates.

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While it is not terribly common, there are enough psychopaths out there to make trouble for you if you happen to become involved with one. Psychopaths bleed your resources dry, from financial to emotional, so if you notice the following signs in your current date, it might be a good idea to end it now before they really get their hooks into you.

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  1. 1
    They have mercurial moods
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    It's hard to know where you stand with them day to day, or sometimes, hour to hour. Their moods can shift on the fly; one minute everything will be fine and the next, for no apparent reason, they blow up at you. It keeps you off balance, and that's just how they want you to be.
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  2. 2
    You feel like you're walking on eggshells around them
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    Their mercurial moods have the effect of making you feel very unsure around them. You learn to be very careful with what you say, lest it cause a meltdown, but even then, it isn't enough. It's a constant high level of stress that's very wearing on you.
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  3. 3
    You begin to question your own sanity
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    They "gaslight" you into thinking that you're the crazy one. They manipulate you into distrusting your own senses, intuitions, and even your memories.
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  4. 4
    You feel like they don't listen to you
    .
    Sometimes you feel like they never pay attention to anything you say. They seem to constantly deflect any conversation back toward themselves.
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  5. 5
    They lie all the time
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    They lie about everything, and it's not the little white lies we all tell to spare someone else's feelings or avoid arguments. They lie so often, it's hard to know where the lies begin and end.
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  6. 6
    They draw you in with flattery
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    Psychopaths are naturally glib and charming, at least when they want to be. They seem instinctively able to root out your weaknesses and exploit them. For instance, if you are sensitive about your weight, they will tell you how amazing your body is. Because they have no inhibitions, they will say things that most people would feel kind of odd to say, especially when first meeting someone, and this makes them appear supremely confident and bumps up their allure.
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  7. 7
    They inspire a false connection
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    Along with off-the-wall charm, the psychopath will find out the things you like and show you how similar they are to you. Are you a fan of Dean Koontz? Well, gosh, they are, too! What about that! Of course, it's not true; they are just saying that to get closer to you.
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  8. 8
    Nothing is ever their fault
    .
    One of the cardinal signs of a psychopath is a lack of empathy, and one of the ways this shows up is a failure to recognize their own mistakes. A psychopath is always right and never does anything wrong. Whatever has gone wrong in their life, it's someone else's fault, and in talking with them, you can see the pattern.
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  9. 9
    They treat others with disrespect
    .
    Watch how they behave with other people or animals. If they treat people from whom they have nothing to gain poorly, or hurt animals, that's a huge red flag that you're dating a psychopath. Psychopaths have no compunctions, so they see nothing wrong with mistreating others.
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  10. 10
    Your friends and family don't like them
    .
    You may be head over heels in love with them, but your friends and family aren't having it. Do they know something you don't? That could very well be true, because love really is blind. When you first get into a relationship, that heady feeling of being with someone new blinds you to their faults. Your friends and family may be seeing your date more clearly than you are.
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  11. 11
    You feel like something about them is off
    .
    While you can never tell just by looking someone that they are a psychopath, if the vibe you get from someone is just wrong, or you feel in your gut that something is not quite right with them, run and don't look back. It could be a tingle racing up your spine or just a slight raising of the hairs on your arm, but you should trust your intuition.
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  12. 12
    Their stories are a bit grandiose and unbelievable
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    Whenever they tell you a story from their past or their accomplishments, they are often so overblown and fantastic that you have a hard time believing them. For instance, they're not just a lifeguard, they're a lifeguard that saved a swimmer from the jaws of a great white shark. They don't just work at the bank, they're an executive with a corner office.
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  13. 13
    They have a flat affect at times
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    Psychopaths sometimes reveal their true selves by accident. You'll catch them looking at you with dead eyes or they may something that you'd expect to be emotionally charged in a dull and unemotional tone. This is because psychopaths lack true emotional depth; they are only mimicking normal human emotion.
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  14. 14
    They feel entitled
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    Psychopaths think that the world revolves around them because they are the only person who matters. Therefore, they feel like love, admiration, success, and money are their due. If they are denied any of these things, they will become very angry and act like you're the unreasonable one.
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  15. 15
    They use your emotions to manipulate you
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    Psychopaths will play you like a violin. They will worm their way under your skin, make you feel sorry for them, and use their charm to have you eating out of their hand.
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  16. 16
    They push for a serious relationship too soon
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    If your date declares their undying love for you or wants to move in with you by date number two or three, watch out. The psychopath is looking for the next person who they can parasite off of, and the quicker they can get into a serious relationship with you, the quicker they can have what they want.
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  17. 17
    They have a history of poor relationships
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    Being totally unemotional and soulless creatures, psychopaths don't develop true close relationships. They will leave behind a string of broken relationships behind them throughout their lives, and guess what? They won't accept any blame for their failed relationships. Remember, nothing is ever a psychopath's fault.
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  18. 18
    They get bored very easily
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    I recently watched a program about psychopaths where it was explained that psychopaths get bored so easily because it's hard for them to get excited about anything unless it is extreme. This is the reason why they frequently become involved in crime; they have to do something really outlandish to feel anything.
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  19. 19
    Triangulation
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    Triangulation occurs when the psychopath has gotten you to fall for them and they've really gotten you going for them. At this stage, they've gotten what they need from you, and now they want to knock you down, so they introduce an element of jealousy by going back to an ex or taking up with someone new. It is at this stage that your lovely psychopath is looking for their next score.
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