Yes, this sparked my attention by some writer on another publication — and yes I believe it to be true. For someone who’s done the dating thing for only a little while, unfortunately I was once faced with a startling conclusion about one of the guys I was seeing: “WTF? Wait… is this guy crazy?!” And by crazy — I don’t take that lightly. Not saying that I was in a situation where things got dangerous or anything, but when you first see signs, even a LITTLE sign — remove yourself immediately. And what’s ironically crazy is that I wouldn’t have ever guessed this about the guy because he was CHARMING, took me out on romantic dates, blah etc. — he had the criteria of a man I could be with long term. But eh… nope.
Written by Kiri Blakeley on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir, here are 10 signs the man you’re talking to, might in fact be a psychopath. (No, the guy I was dating did not have all of these signs, but hey, can a girl be cautious?)
- Flattery like you’ve never heard before. They move extremely quickly. On the first date, he’ll probably tell you that you are stunningly beautiful, unbelievably intelligent, and uproariously witty. He will play into every fantasy and insecurity you have. If you think you’re fat, he will tell you how much he loves your body. If you think you’re shy, he will laugh at every lame attempt at a joke and tell you you should have been a comedian. This is called “love bombing.” It’s the idealization phase he gets you hooked on; and it’s the phase you will spend the next however-many months or years trying to get back once he abruptly shuts it off.
- He is just like you. They will try to convince you that you are soul mates, just alike. He loves all the things you do; and you have all of the same interests. If you had a tough childhood, he will say something like, “We both had it rough. That’s why we understand each other.” If there’s an obscure book you love, he will make sure he loves it too. What he’s doing is called “mirroring.” He has no real identity, so he sucks yours up and mirrors it back to you.
- Pity plays. Pay careful attention to what they say on the first few dates about his exes and other people in his life. Is his ex girlfriend crazy and stalking him? Did another girlfriend rob him blind? Is his mother controlling and horrible? Does he seem like he’s had a tough time with people, who always use and abandon him? Whatever he says about the other people in his life is pretty much exactly what he’ll be saying about you at some point, so listen carefully.
- Illnesses and injuries. They absolutely love pity, so pay attention to how many illnesses and injuries he’s had. Did he miraculously beat cancer but it could come back at any minute? Does he break his foot on your second date and has to cancel? (But strangely is okay for the third date?) Did he lose his first wife in a car accident that left him with brain trauma (yet he talks fine and seems fine?)? Try to check out his stories — call hospitals if you need to — but don’t be surprised if he has an excuse for why you can’t find any record of any of his traumas.
- Great sex. Everyone wants great sex, but those who have been with a psychopath often say it’s the best thing they’ve ever experienced. They go out of their way to please you. It’s just another way of getting you hooked. Once he has you hooked, you’ll find yourself begging for sex because he suddenly won’t want it anymore.
- Cracks in the mask. They will sometimes blurt out something odd about themselves, apropos of nothing. Like you might be cooking dinner and suddenly he blurts, “I’m crazy you know.” Or “I’m cheating on you.” He will then either deny he said it or play it off as a joke. A form of keeping you off balance — but also possibly an unconscious slip of the mask of his persona.
- Silent treatment. Once psychopaths have you hooked after the “love bombing” and “idealization” phase, they then begin to devalue you. The first step in that is usually to give you the silent treatment over something. Psychopaths are also known to disappear for days at a time. Be sure, the silent treatment and disappearing act will be laid squarely at your feet. In reality, he is off sizing up his next target somewhere.
- Triangulation. They love to work you up into a state of obsessive frenzy, so to do that, they idealize you, give you fabulous sex, and then begin pulling away and “triangulating.” This is when they introduce other people into the mix to make you jealous. It could be an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend, a friend of the same sex, or even a celebrity. In their mind, everyone else wants him, so you better be on your best behavior, or he will move on to one of his adoring fans.
- Discard. The final phase is the “discard” phase. After he sucks you in with idealization, then begins to devalue you, he will suddenly discard you as if you never had a relationship. You are suddenly completely worthless to him. He will usually move on to another target at this point.
- “Hoovering.” Although they will discard you, they don’t quite want you moving on either. If he senses you are done with him, he will suddenly do an about-face, and begin bombarding you to stay together. He will try to “Hoover” (named after the vacuum cleaning company) you back in by saying everything you’ve ever wanted to hear, making a million promises, and suddenly being on his absolute best behavior. It’s all an act so he can get you back into the fold.
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