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10 Signs the Man You’re Dating is a Psychopath

10 signs he's a psychopathAre you dating a psychopath?

Contrary to what most people think, most psychopaths aren’t serial killers. In fact, only about 1% of the population has true psychopathic tendencies.

Psychopaths can be straight or gay and are most commonly male. That’s not to say women can’t have this personality disorder because a small number do.

When you think of psychopaths, think of people who are social chameleons who can adapt to almost any situation. In the clinical sense, they are shapeshifters – able to morph their personality into whatever they need to obtain want they want.

Most commonly they seek attention. But that doesn’t mean they won’t put on a mask of manipulation to obtain sex, money or power.

Related: Take the psychopath quiz

Because of their unique ability to charm, psychopaths often go undetected. To the unsuspecting eye, they are perceived as fun loving, innocent and “free”.

But remember, what you are experiencing isn’t real. Underneath their cloak of deception lies a much more sinister persona. It’s calculating and conniving, all swirled up into a vortex of danger.

While exhibiting traits that are similar to narcissists, the two are not the same. The key difference between them is that narcissists become wounded when they feel rejected.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, can’t be hurt because they are missing a “chip” that allows them to feel much of anything.

When a psychopath wants something, they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. This means they’ll charm, manipulate and seduce you – usually with a quickness.

What follows are 10 ways to identify a psychopath before they suck you in. It’s important to look at the totality of their behaviors and not just focus in one thing.

Let’s jump right in.

10 signs psychopath

1. Grandiose behaviors

Psychopaths often think they are smarter and more powerful than other people.

  • May brag about intelligence.
  • Likes to “name drop”.
  • Often boasts about financial and business success.

2. Extremely charming

One of the key characteristics of a psychopath is his ability to charm you while getting what he wants. Be cautious – many psychopaths know how to woo their victims in ways that are subtle and overpowering.

  • Will identify your weaknesses and compliment them as strengths.
  • May become extremely affectionate, employing sexual seduction to get you into bed.
  • May offer to do things for you as a rouse to gain your trust.

3. Needs constant stimulation

Psychopaths are allergic to boredom. One of their greatest fears is being left alone with their thoughts. To compensate, many seek out and even manufacture different sources of stimulation.

  • When feeling bored, may provoke an argument for no apparent reason.
  • Constantly wanting to be entertained in some fashion.
  • Has difficulty sitting with silence and may exhibit traits of ADHD as a compensatory symptom.

4. Pathological lying

When you hear the term “pathological liar”, think of a psychopath. That’s because when analyzing their behaviors, you will see a strong history of lies – both small and large.

  • Will lie about minute details during conversations.
  • Often will tell elaborate stories to explain a larger lie.
  • Will omit facts and bits of information to shape opinions.

5. Has no sense of guilt or remorse

Unlike 99% of the population, psychopaths literally do not have the ability to feel guilt or remorse. However, they are excellent at pretending to feel bad about the harms they have inflicted.

  • Will act like they are ashamed of something they’ve done and put on a “big production” to feign sorrow.
  • Often turns the tables on a victim, faking guilt in order to be consoled with the goal of receiving attention.
  • May have an inappropriate emotional response, such as frustration or rage, instead of feeling sadness or guilt.

6. Blunt affect

Sometimes a psychopath’s mask “slips” off, thereby allowing others – just for a brief moment – to see who they really are. This is why you want to know all about blunt affect (aka: flat affect).

  • May seem “unbothered” by the death of loved one or animal.
  • May appear they have no real personality or “soul”.
  • May have no emotional response to things that typically encourage feelings of joy, happiness or sorrow.

7. Parasitic lifestyle

By nature, many psychopaths are nomadic. This doesn’t mean they can’t feign stability. Generally speaking, psychopaths will live off of others. Paradoxically, this allows them to appear “free”, which plays into their alluring charm.

  • Uses others to gain resources, such as money or shelter.
  • Intentionally forms bonds with others perceived to have influence.
  • Often enters into and leaves people’s lives quickly.

8. Unable to accept responsibility

Getting a psychopath to admit he’s wrong is like trying to put a square peg into a hole. Simply put, they are incapable of owning responsibility for their actions.

  • Will often blame the accuser for their actions.
  • May admit making a mistake but bring the blame back to accuser.
  • Often plays “victim” when held accountable for harmful behaviors.

9. Spotty relationship history

Because psychopaths are unable to experience feelings, their partners often break things off. Look for the following when assessing for a psychopath.

  • Short-term relationships that are superficial.
  • Blames previous relationship woes on “ex”.
  • Doesn’t take any responsibility for collapse of prior relationships.

10. May have criminal past

Most all psychopaths have a criminal past but not all of them have legally charged with a crime. Look for the following behaviors.

  • History of stealing or theft.
  • Animal cruelty, including torture.
  • Aggressive behaviors with a history or juvenile delinquency.

Summing Things Up

Psychopaths can often be incredibly magnetic. That’s because they’ve spent a great deal of time studying others; similar to how an actor might rehearse a part.

While not true of all, many are very good looking. They know how important it is to stay in shape and appear attractive. This in turn allows them to lure in victims, combining sexual energy with charm to fleece the person emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

If you are dating a psychopath or have a history of dating individuals with psychopathic tendencies, a helpful book to read is Psychopath Free.

Inside, you’ll find lots of practical insight on how psychopaths think and operate. More important, you’ll learn how to avoid getting involved with one in the first place.

10 Signs the Man You’re Dating is a Psychopath

John D. Moore, PhD

Described as folksy and down to earth, Dr. John Moore infuses current events and pop culture into his posts as a way of communicating wider points on issues related to wellness and goal attainment. His work has been featured in nationally syndicated media, including Cosmo, Men's Fitness and CBS Market Watch. He is a consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Moore is author of Confusing Love with Obsessionand Editor in Chief at: Guy Counseling.

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APA Reference
Moore, J. (2016). 10 Signs the Man You’re Dating is a Psychopath. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Sep 2016
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