Meeting someone the old-fashioned way seems to be less and less common as time goes on. With the rise of technology and today’s online dating culture, it’s become normal to meet up with complete strangers to see if you’re compatible. And hey – there’s no shame in it! What’s not to love about having 24/7 access to a menu of possible suitors right at your fingertips?
But the road to finding Mr. or Mrs. Right is never a smooth one. And while online dating may seem like the easy way out, it’s no exception. In fact, it brings in a whole new set of obstacles – and I don’t just mean struggling to find the perfect selfie to post to your profile – I mean making sure the super charming guy or gal you’ve met online isn’t actually a psychopath.
To help you out in your search for that special someone, I talked to Dr. Silvina Galperin, a clinical and counseling psychologist at CBT Psychology for Personal Development to compile a list of warning signs that the beau you met online, or anyone else you meet from here on out, might seriously suffer from psychopathy.
There’s nothing more attractive than meeting someone who exudes an aura of self-assuredness. But while a healthy amount of confidence is great, too much of it may be a red flag.
According to Dr. Galperin, a psychopath “often has a sense of entitlement and adopts a superior аttitudе tоwаrd оthеrѕ to whom they consider inferior to them.” The trouble is, humans believe in confident people. We’ll buy into whatever they tell us. And psychopaths absolutely know this.
Did someone say Donald Trump?
So if you notice a person making wildly cocky statements about what a god-given gift they are to the planet, it may be time to take a little step back.
They can’t empathize
Some people care deeply about the feelings of others. Some are indifferent. But psychopaths are on an entirely other level — they’re straight up callous.
Psychopaths don’t have the capacity to empathize with others. In fact, they can hurt someone they’re close to without batting an eyelash.
It may not be the best character trait to have in a possible lifelong partner, or even in a friend.
To test a person’s level of empathy, try watching how they react to your emotions. Dr. Galperin says that psychopaths are often “unaligned with the person they’re talking to.” This could mean not showing signs of excitement when you get good news, not feeling sorry when you’re upset, or even not yawning when you yawn!
They are superficially charming
If psychopaths know one thing, it’s how to captivate an audience.
Dr. Galperin states that psychopaths “appear very friendly and nice, […] but all this charm is superficial.” Their quick wit and flattery is merely used to gain the adoration of those around them in order to fulfill a higher goal. And as Dr. Galperin explains, this goal tends to be money or power.
If you want to find out whether a person’s charm is genuine or not, try to spot the hidden agenda behind their bewitching front. Do they solely attract people who can somehow help their position in life? Do they act particularly bedazzling around you when they want to get something?
They have zero understanding of emotion
Psychopaths simply cannot understand the basic nature of human emotion. It’s totally and utterly meaningless to them.
Dr. Galperin says that psychopaths are “hardwired this way. There is something missing in their brain. They can’t feel fear, they can’t feel love or compassion. When they marry, it’s not for love, it’s because they feel it’s convenient for them or it will help them achieve a goal.”
If that doesn’t sound like the perfect quality in a partner, what is?
A simple way to tell whether or not a person displays this symptom is to ask them when they last felt genuinely happy or sad. If their face goes blank for an inordinate amount of time, you should hear alarm bells going off.
They are highly impulsive
While a little bit of spontaneity is a great way to spice up any relationship, too much can be a major red flag.
Psychopaths are infamous for their tendency to act before putting any real thought into it. Think Homer Simpson, but less endearing. If a psychopath feels like doing something, they’re gonna do it. According to Dr. Galperin, “psychopaths don’t fear the consequences of doing risky things. They seek excitement. Thrill. Danger.”
While some impulsive behaviours are tougher to spot, an easy place to watch out for it is on the road. Many psychopaths have serious road rage. The next time you’re out for a drive with the person in question (with your seatbelt securely fastened), pay attention to whether or not they drive in an overly rash and careless way.
They don’t apologize
If you’re determined to get a heartfelt “sorry” out of a psychopath, don’t hold your breath. It ain’t gonna happen.
Dr. Galperin says that psychopaths have a “lасk оf a guilt response or true rеmоrѕе.” Instead of owning up and admitting they were in the wrong, psychopaths will offer up lengthy justifications for why they messed up. When they’re forced to apologize, it’ll reek of insincerity.
Pay attention to any awkward or disingenuous apologies. Some psychopaths may show a slight smirk on their face when they say sorry. Some may follow their so-called “apology” by criticizing you for being too sensitive.
Psychopaths lie. They lie a lot.
Dr. Galperin states that psychopaths will “make up a story about who they are, […] a completely false identity that they create to hook people.” And they don’t just do it for kicks, they do it to further themselves in some way. Dr. Galperin explains that psychopaths will “put on a show to develop false relationships [in order to] accomplish their higher purpose.”
Online dating may be a quick way to fill up your roster with Saturday night possibilities, but it’s important you stay wary. You never know what online flame may just turn out to be a little more Norman Bates-y than you bargained for.
Think you may be caught in a psychopath’s web of lies? Listen for any signs of discrepancy. If you notice that certain things they say don’t match up with what they’ve told you before, take it as a serious warning. And run for the hills.