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I’m a funny, free-thinking girl who loves philosophy, disco dancing to 70′s music, going on spontaneous adventures, and living life to the fullest. I love dogs and have an inexplicable affection for elephants. I know who I am and I know what I want out of life.

How To Avoid Dating a Sociopath in 10 Simple Steps

 

Although anyone who has ever caught a late-night episode of Dexter may disagree with me on this point, the majority of sociopaths aren’t vigilante serial killers. However they are far from harmless and they are more common than you may have thought.

Studies indicate that about 1% of the population can be categorized as sociopathic. In certain segments of the population it has been suggested that the prevalence of sociopaths is particularly high. For instance, one in ten Wall Street stock-brokers is allegedly a sociopath. Interestingly, the segments of the population in which sociopaths are most prevalent, are the same segments that most single ladies would target for boyfriends. While the savvy single woman may be impressed by the ambition and paycheck that go hand-in-hand with these coveted Fortune 500 jobs, it is the high-stakes, cut-throat competition, and cold, calculated strategy that appeal to these psychotic eligible bachelors.

So how do you avoid dating a sociopath? Follow your heart this check-list.

1. Does he seem almost…too good to be true?

Charming? Check. Raw sexual magnetism? Check. Handsome and charismatic? Check. Believe it or not, a sociopath is more likely to be the life of the party than the creeper lurking outside in the bushes with a knife. However, I’m certainly not saying that you should automatically rule out every man who seems perfect. So how do you determine whether this gem is your Prince Charming or your demise? A sociopath has a grandiose sense of self. He feels entitled and gets angry if anyone suggests anything to the contrary. Your Prince Charming will be confident, but he won’t perceive himself to be a god among men. He will also be genuine as opposed to superficial and glib.

2. Does he have trouble sustaining long-term relationships?

Believe it or not, the fact that you are essentially an emotionless shell of a person possessed only by evil is hard to keep under wraps long-term. If he doesn’t have friends that have known him for a significant period of time, a relationship with his family, or an appropriate number of previous long-term relationships, it’s a red-flag (sociopath or not).
Having long-term friends also acts as a safeguard against the possibility that he is pretending to be someone he’s not. Sociopaths are also prone to readily creating and assuming completely different identities in order to escape trouble/prosecution. A friend that he’s had for a few months may not know that last year he was living half-way around the globe under a different name with a wife and kids that are still waiting for him to come back with the milk for their Cheerios.

3. Do they have problems telling the truth?

They lie about little things, they lie about things that are clearly lies, and when you call them out on it, the more elaborate their lie becomes. “I did go to Harvard- I just don’t have the diploma because of the tropical storm that flooded my home office in 97’ and the school doesn’t have record of it because the I rebutted sexual advances made by the secretary that worked in the admissions office and she clearly retaliated by deleting my academic records from their database out of spite.” Here’s another lie: that’s nothing to worry about. Playing fast and loose with the truth gives them a rush, and since a sociopath’s life is essentially a web of carefully spun lies, they are more likely to become violent when caught. Therefore my advice is not to push the issue: smile, nod, and get the hell out of there.

4. Do they act like they’re a big deal (even if they couldn’t be further from it)?

He has an air of self-importance despite being unemployed with no career prospects and no connections. The fact that he’s buying his Cubans with food stamps won’t deter him from dressing to the nine’s and assuming the role of VIP at miscellaneous corporate gatherings. Life is a game, the world is a stage, and he’s gunning for an Oscar.

5. Does he seem to lack a realistic life-plan, or lead a parasitic lifestyle?

A car can go from 0 to 60 with a firm foot on the gas pedal, but a man can’t go from delusional deadbeat to business mogul without some serious planning and dedication in between. This man is unemployed and stays afloat by exploiting others. He would never even entertain an absurd notion like getting a part-time job because he is so far above that. He believes that he is destined for success, despite the fact that all signs seem to point to the contrary. He feels entitled to all of the finer things in life, and has a tendency to live well beyond his means.

6. Has your cat gone missing?

7. Does he have no apparent sense of remorse, guilt or shame?

I’m not talking ‘he used the last of the milk and left the empty carton in the fridge,’ I’m talking straight-up sick-puppy syndrome. The ends justify the means for this type of person, and he is not at all concerned about how many casualties are left in his wake.

8. Do his emotions seem shallow or feigned?

Having never actually experienced an emotional response, what a sociopath displays as compassion or sorrow is merely a means of serving some ulterior motive. If he seems rehearsed, ingenuine, or detached when talking about emotional issues, it may be a red flag.

Litmus Test: If he can watch Field of Dreams without crying, there’s a good chance that he’s a sociopath.

9. Does he seem to have A LOT in common with you?

One of a sociopath’s keys to success is their ability to win-people over. A common way of accomplishing this end is through personality mirroring. Whatever you say, they agree with- in fact, they couldn’t agree more! This makes people with online dating profiles easy prey for sociopathic bachelors, since they have a profile full of ammo before they even set foot on the first date. If you go in with your guard down, they will have you believing they’re “the one” in record time.
One way to side-step this delightful manipulation is to really take your time getting to know someone. On the first few dates, do more listening than talking. If he doesn’t have your comments to agree with, it’s more likely that his own opinions will emerge. Asking questions is also crucial to gaining insight into who someone really is. However, the real benefit of opting out of your sorority’s wedding bracket and taking things slowly, is that you get a better idea of how someone acts. Things like how he treats others, whether he is reliable, if he’s perpetually late, whether he blames other people for his mistakes, how he handles stress, if he has anger problems, etc. are things that you can’t learn in the course of one date.

10. Do you have reason to believe that he’s a freak in the sheets?

Every guy has fantasies; not every guy fantasizes about strangling trannies. Maybe you stumbled upon his internet search history or his little box of horrors, maybe his Facebook statuses read like excerpts from Fifty Shades of Grey, or maybe role-play night suddenly took a turn for the sick and twisted…go with your gut.  If he is violent and/or aggressive and makes you feel degraded or dominated (and that’s not your thing) he has issues that you don’t want to be playing with. Nothing kills the mood faster than…well…getting killed.

 

So ladies, I’ll leave you with this: keep your eyes open and take your time when getting to know someone. It’s a fine line between “the one” and “the one on America’s Most Wanted” and that line becomes blurrier with each cosmo…just sayin’.

 

xx,

 

K.

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40 Comments on “How To Avoid Dating a Sociopath in 10 Simple Steps”

  1. versipellusfenris June 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Gods, I hope my wife never sees this post…

  2. Smile June 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Absolutely love the picture you used! So are you speaking from experience with this article? :P

  3. Ms Jen X June 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    If this advise comes from personal experience then I think we dated the same person.

    • sorryiamnotsorry June 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      hahaha sad, but totally possible!

    • Marian March 2, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      in your videos. it only took a month to get her back and we are as of a few hours ago back thgoteer!!! you saved my life man. im going to send you a letter soon to let you know what goin on thanks again t-dub

  4. Lola June 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Well done!

  5. Deborah DeLong June 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Funny and painful!! I’ve missed your posts!! :-)
    Deb

  6. Brian Westbye June 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    …taking notes….

  7. Kinked Slinky June 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    great advice….but I think i’d be OK dating Dexter !

  8. Alexis June 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    I think I’ve been dating sociopaths!!!

  9. Soma Mukherjee June 12, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    oh man i think my hubby was a sociopath and i may have killed him reading out my endless poetries…is it bad?

  10. notchangingmyname June 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    That was an awesome post!

  11. daterofboys June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Hahaha! “Has your cat gone missing?”

  12. Farah Ng @ Broken Penguins June 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Oh sweet, I finally get to part of the 1% ;) Just kidding. I never understood why sociopaths would want to date. It’s a lot of time and effort. Dating can be hard work.

  13. Karmic Diva June 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    creepy…I’ve known more than one and you’re right. They’re not harmless.

  14. Aspergers Girls June 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    LMHO! You are so funny. Have you seen your cat? Hey, I think I dated a few of these types. lol. Thanks for the giggles. :) Sam

  15. Amy Arey June 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    There’s something strange about the photo….maybe the wine being on the oven?

    • Tammy March 2, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      The tenet moved out of my rental poprerty without telling me and left a great mess including stains in my 6 mo old carpet. I called Monster Clean and scheduled them to come out. Of course on the day of, the power had been turned off even though it was supposed to be transferred into my name when the tenant closed their account. I called Monster Clean to let them know the situation and reschedule to another time. Jim suggested I keep him informed of the power situation and let me know that they would still come if it was cut on shortly he even called me to check a couple of times. When I was still in the dark after an hour, he called one of his trucks with a generator to come out. This was the Friday afternoon before Opsail/harbor fest so I’m sure the guys were looking forward to getting an early start on the weekend. Long behold TWO trucks showed up just after 4:00 and banged the job out in less than an hour! The guys all had a GREAT attitude and did an awesome job! I will be recommending Monster Clean to anyone I hear needs a carpet job. They will definitely be the first ones I call from now on!

  16. YYChristian June 14, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Hey wow! Ive nominated you for the ‘One Lovely Blog’ award! Check out the link and congrats!
    http://yychristian.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/winning/

  17. Let's CUT the Crap! June 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    What a hoot and no further explanation after, ‘Where’s the cat? question…’ LOL

    • Mario March 5, 2013 at 4:10 am #

      #3. Honestly, I think living alone is a great way to build resopnsibility. If you don’t do the dishes, the dishes stay there; if you don’t put your stuff away, you end up tripping over it. So gradually you learn to just do the damn dishes and put things back where they belong. You become accountable to yourself instead of to other people. But hey, what do I know? I’ve never lived alone. Though I’d really like to if only it were more cost-effective.(Also, I am a vastly weird person all the time. Sometimes I feel sorry for my roommate, who occasionally walks in to see me just spinning aimlessly in a circle and has no idea what to say.) 0

  18. The Science of Natural Game June 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Hey as well just nominated you for the “One Love Blog” Award http://showyourmind.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/nominated-for-one-lovely-blog-award/

  19. evea192 June 16, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Good read, #6 is good, i also do not like cats, so am i a SOCIOPATH?

    • Camilo March 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

      If there is one thing I hate, DDDD, it’s when stupid pelpoe make a comment that they themselves think is sooooooo profound. So I am truly dead because I have no sense of humor about a convicted killer? Bite me! If you could not see through that subliminal moment that corny arrogance that was further enabled by her silly family, you should not be reading my blog. As a matter of fact, I am going to ask you to NOT read my page ever again. Stick with Martha Stewart go bake some pumpkin muffins. That’s just about your speed, you simple-minded creep. Go watch the OWN network that’s where pelpoe like you belong on a doggie smelling cheap sofa remote control in one hand and a box of milk duds in the other.

  20. Catherine Kennedy June 23, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    You met my ex!

  21. Cade July 10, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    i’m (also) a giant fan of #6. and the whole thing.

  22. Jay October 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Swap the genders in this article and you have a snapshot of my dating history. This article works just as well for sociopathic women. ;)

  23. Rhino House November 4, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Well that’s my social life trashed before the holidays even start. Anybody want to buy an unused chainsaw & hockey goalkeeping mask?

  24. The Sicilian Housewife November 4, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Excellent post! I wish I’d read this before I met my first husband! :(

    • Putrydenika November 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      I would recommend you seacrh on the Internet to learn some of the terminology used in England that we’re not used to here in the USA. For example, I learned that if I wanted to order a baked potato in England, I would ask for a jacket. Also, if you go into a deli or restaurant and you order take away (take out), then you had better actually take your food out of the restaurant to eat it or you will be charged extra and may get yelled at. There are a lot of things you should know about before you go trotting off to another country. It’s very important that you understand the way things work over there.Another thing to keep in mind is that you should *never* go around chanting things like USA USA or other behaviors that would seem quite obnoxious to people who live in that country. Whether you realize it or not, you are an ambassador for our country and you should always be aware of the customs of that country and be on your best behavior. Remember the saying, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you show respect for the citizens and their culture, you will be treated much better.Last, but not least, I would advise you and your cousin to be extra careful about safety issues. England is a lovely place, but they have crime there, too. You can be pick-pocketed and lose your passport and cash (BIG problem), you could be raped, or you could simply have your camera stolen (bummer when you have lots of cool pics on it). Any number of dangerous or difficult situations could arise. You also should be careful not to make it obvious that you are an American. In today’s world, simply being American can get you kidnapped or killed. Don’t display American flags on your clothing or luggage.You didn’t say whether you will be traveling with adults or not, but even if you are, you should read up on what to do to be safe while abroad. (Do you have health insurance that will pay if you get sick or injured while out of the country? Will you get auto insurance if you plan to rent a car and drive in England?)If you take proper precautions and learn about the culture, you should have a marvellous time. And, yes, I do think that British boys would like smart American girls!

  25. JR December 28, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Not sure if the part about your missing cat is a joke or from experience, but a very brief tale:
    I was the victim of a sociopath woman whom I thought was my best friend. She did move a lot, and went through many relationships, but she always had a good story about how that man or that landlord had done her wrong. I was living far away during a part of this and only heard her side of things. I sent her money once when she called up crying and asked for it.
    Eventually I wanted to move back home, and agreed to move in with her so we could share rent – with my son and cat. This proved to be one of the worst mistakes of my life. Having used all my money to move I was trapped, discovered she was nearly going to be evicted for owing back rent to the landlord, and we were soon practically prisoners in the house trying to avoid sending her into a rage over such matters as shutting a door too loudly.
    And yes, after a month of living with her, my cat disappeared – I won’t give details but he vanished in a very suspicious way. I loved that cat, he’d been my baby for 12 years.
    We finally got her out of the house and I will never speak to her again. No one believes my side of the story, of course – she’s got a slick lie in response to everything I’ve said.

  26. Sharon February 3, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Hi, I have read many, many articles about sociopaths because I believe I was dating one for about a year. His “disguise” was to appear to be a leader in the Christian community. He fits all of the aspects other than one. He wouldn’t hurt animals, but rather, seems to treat them better than people. My father also fits most of the criteria except also, the only time he’s shed a tear is over the death of his beloved dog. Do some of them actually love animals rather than want to hurt them? Is it because they are easily manipulated and always loyal? I’ve just never seen an article that portrays them as actually caring for animals while having every other sociopathic aspect.

    • Rejhy March 5, 2013 at 4:03 am #

      after 15 years living alone, this is what i’ve leanred:if you answer #17 with NEVER, you don’t have to worry so much about #11 (the electricity part, anyway). it all evens out over the year. (this is what i tell myself when i see my summer electricity bills)#6 get one of those clubs that jam the door. it probably won’t stop someone from breaking in, but it’ll give you enough time to call 911. instant peace of mind. (also a thing i tell myself)#3 quickly turns into you have ALL the responsibility . you will become aware of it when the coffee runs out because THERE’S NO ONE ELSE TO BUY THE COFFEE AND IT’S MORNING AND THERE’S NO COFFEE IN THE HOUSE.#2 i’ve got nothing. i’ve accepted this will likely happen. 0

  27. Cameron April 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    *Thoroughly* enjoyed this. I think I might have dated one. ;)

  28. Francesca May 2, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    When someone writes an piece of writing he/she keeps the plan of a user in his/her brain that how a user
    can know it. Thus that’s why this article is outstdanding. Thanks!

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  30. www.dontbelievethemask.com April 1, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    Hi, you’re 10 steps are pretty much spot on, especially the first one… I don’t know if it’s of any interest to yourself or your readers, but I’ve just set up a company called PAHRC (Psychopathy Awareness & Harm Reduction Coaching) and one of my courses is how to avoid dating a psychopath (similar traits as a sociopath).

    If you’re interested, take a look at http://www.dontbelievethemask.com/our-coaching-services/romantic-partner-coaching/

    • sorryiamnotsorry April 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      That is a fantastic idea for a course! I think that the course description is very much on point. Please let me know when you have the dates for the programme established and I would be happy to share the information–perhaps even to attend and review the programme depending on where it is held. Thank you for commenting!

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