8 signs you're dating a psychopath

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Thursday 14 September 2017 15:00
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Psychopaths have fast become an icon in pop culture, but while we watch them star in Netflix series and movies – it’s probably quite challenging to date one in real life.

There are very few genuine psychopaths out there, around one per cent of the population, so here are a few subtle signs to look out for in case you do end up dating a psychopath.

1. Inflated ego

If your partner seems overly confident about his or her abilities, it could be because psychopaths have an inflated sense of self, meaning they’re narcissistic and self-entitled.

Researchers have found a high number of psychopaths working high up in the financial sector. One psychologist measured the achievements of 25 wealth advisers across eight years and found their performance was no better than chance.

2. They have a colourful past

One study found that hyper sexuality – a trait linked to having more sexual partners than average – is linked to psychopathy. It’s also associated with sexual promiscuity, and the preference for sex without emotional attachment.

3. Being fearless

Some studies have shown that psychopaths are more likely to engage in heroic acts because they’re more fearless than the general population.

Research has found that psychopaths experience less fear than most would when they’re focused on a rewarding goal.

4. Impulsivity

Research has found that psychopaths are more likely to act impulsively without thinking of possible consequences first. This could be because they’re hypersensitive to rewards, creating a pathological drive for sex, social status and money.

5. Lack of empathy

Do you often get confused by your partner’s indifference when someone else is upset or in pain? Psychopaths don’t have empathy like the rest of us.

Most of us will yawn when we see someone else doing it, but not psychopaths, according to research. This is because contagious yawning has been linked to empathy.

6. Lack of remorse

Research has found that psychopaths can feel regret, but it’s usually when the bad decision affects them directly, and they don’t learn from it.

7. Their relationship with the truth

If you keep finding out your partner has lied, they could be a psychopath - but you'd have a hard time finding out they were dishonest in the first place. That's because research found that psychopaths are much better at learning how to lie.

8. They have few other relationships

Jen Waite, author of the book A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, about being married to a psychopath, says psychopaths tend to go from person to person and destroy their bridges.

They also might not have a good relationship with their family, and a string of broken friendships.

More: Psychopaths drink their coffee black, study finds

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