Here are some signs that might indicate that you are dating a psychopath.
1. You feel like you are going crazy. Psycho’s are masters of manipulation. They turn everything around. They will make you feel like you are the one that is going crazy instead of them. You might become paranoid. You might worry about what you wear and what you say and freak out if someone changes your plans or something unexpected happens that you will have to explain later. If you are a peaceful person, you might find yourself constantly fighting. You might explode when you get too frustrated. You feel like there is something seriously wrong with you.
2. You feel like you are walking on eggshells. You’re not quite sure what will set them off, but you are afraid that something you do is going to make them lose their temper… Bump into an old boyfriend at the mall? Get a job offer in another state? Agree to babysit for your sister? You might be terrified of what your partner will say or do if you tell them.
3. You feel like you are dating Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It seems like your partner is two completely different people. Like flipping a switch, they can change drastically from one extreme to the next. One day, they are caring and loving and wonderful, and the next they are hateful and raging and mean. They used to put you up on a pedestal…and now all they does is try to tear you down.
4. You feel like you have no voice. You are afraid to talk, or when you do talk you feel like you are never heard, your words are taken out of context, misunderstood, or blatantly ignored. From little things to big things, you feel like your partner never listens. You might want to go to the movies–your partner will make sure you go out to dinner instead. You might think that the Bears are the best football team–your partner will convince you that you are stupid for thinking so because they suck. You might say that you aren’t comfortable staying overnight together–your partner does so anyway. You might try to talk about how you are feeling–your partner turns everything around and tries to talk about everything you’re doing wrong.
5. Your partner has no remorse. He or she might get upset–especially if you try to break up with them or say that you are leaving–however, there is no underlying remorse for hurting you. Even when they hurt you, they make you feel bad for the pain it has caused them.
6. Your partner has no guilt. He or she might say that they are sorry if they hurt you (hit you, scream at you, cheat on you…etc.) and promise that it will never happen again, but their apology is more manipulative than sincere. They often don’t actually feel guilty about what they have done, only that they were caught.
7. Your partner is a world-class liar. They lie about what they do. Who they talk to. Where they were. They lie about things they don’t need to lie about. They can look you in the eye and lie. They can swear on their life that they are not lying. If they get caught, they change their story.
8. Your partner is a chameleon. He or she acts one way when they are around you, but completely different around your parents, and completely different around their friends. In the beginning of a relationship they might seem like everything you ever wanted….usually this is because they are trying to act like everything you ever wanted. They change to fit whatever group they are in.
9. You feel isolated and alone. Your partner finds faults with your friends or makes you feel bad or uncomfortable about any time you spend with other people. Slowly, you lose your friends until you feel like your partner is the only person you have left. You have no support group and therefore your partner gains more power.
10. You feel like you are on a roller coaster. Your partner cycles from mean and vicious to sweet and loving, then back again. Over and over. Up and down. Back and forth. Each time they hurt you, they apologizes and promises that it will never happen again or that they will change. You want to believe that this is possible, but the cycle keeps repeating and each time your self-esteem is chipped away at, bit by bit.
11. You have no confidence or self-esteem. Your partner knows your weaknesses and they go after your most vulnerable parts, hurting you where they know it will do the most damage. You feel bad about yourself. You feel ashamed, lost, alone, confused, numb, afraid, crazy, stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, embarrassed, unloveable, wrong.
12. Your partner tortures animals, is mean to children, or nasty to waitresses. He or she might hit or kick your dog whenever they come over. They might set traps for squirrels or rabbits and then torture them. He or she might be mean to people they think are “below them” or people who are defenseless, like babies or children. A healthy person is consistent in the way they treat people, regardless of their status.
13. Your partner has a bad reputation or a tradition of “messy relationships”. He or she might even brag about the fact that they have left a trail of tears behind them. They might talk about cheating on an old partner, or be proud of their reputation. They might speak badly about a previous partner, claiming that their previous partner was crazy, or a bitch, or an asshole. Other people might warn you about dating your partner–if they have a track record of abuse, most likely it is only a matter of time until they abuse you.
14. Your friends and family wish that you would break up. You might get mad at people for trying to convince you to break up with your partner, or make excuses for your partner because you are convinced that you are the only one that understands him or her. Your partner will play into this, claiming that other people are just jealous of what you have or are just trying to bring you two down.
15. Your partner has a sense of entitlement. He or she feels entitled to act the way that they do. For example, if someone hurts them, they feel they have a right to retaliate. If a teacher fails them, or a coworker says something bad about them, they feel entitled to revenge. Or, if they do something nice for you, they feel entitled to a reward, and if you don’t do what they want, they are entitled to punish you.
16. Your partner embarrasses you in front of other people or talks badly behind your back. He or she might spread nasty rumors about you. They might talk to other people about how bad they have it and how hard it is to date someone like you. They might call you fat in front of your friends, or make fun of your clothes. They might lose their temper in the middle of a restaurant because they think you are flirting with the waiter. They might bring up personal issues at inappropriate times.
17. One and one never add up to two. You’re not always sure what the problem is, but things never add up. Nothing seems right. You never feel like you know the whole story. You don’t understand what went wrong, or why your partner acts the way they do or what you can do to make things better. If you follow what they say, things still don’t get better. If you work hard to fix one thing, they will find something else that is wrong. Even if you were perfect, your partner would make you out to be completely messed up. If he or she does something that is clearly wrong, they will find a way to turn it back around on you. If they hit you, they will make you feel like it was because of something you did wrong. If they cheat on you, they will blame it on something you couldn’t provide them. If you catch them lying, they change their story….You start to feel like you are playing a game to which there are no rules and there is no way out.
18. Your partner has to know where you are and what you are doing at all times. Miss a phone call from your partner? They will accuse you of cheating. Talk to a member of the opposite sex, they interrogate you about it. Come home an hour later than usual? You better be ready to explain where you were and what you were doing and why you were doing it. He or she might spy on you, check the messages on your phone, talk to your friends without you knowing, have people “check up” on you, hack into your email account or Facebook to see who you are talking to. They might tell you you are not allowed to hang out with a certain person anymore, or wear a certain shirt, or go to a certain restaurant. Of course, your partner is allowed to do whatever he or she wants and you are not allowed to question them, but they will control everything you do.
19. You feel sorry for your partner. Because they have a depressing family life, come from a broken home, had parents that didn’t love them right, are in debt, can’t hold a job, have a disease, a psychotic ex, a broken heart, low self-esteem….whatever their story is, they will make you feel sympathy for it. A lot of times, these stories are sad. They are heartbreaking. But they make you feel like you have to stay with them no matter how they treat you, or that they can’t help the way that they act. As real as they might be, and as sad as they might be, they are a trap that keeps you stuck. You can’t control what happened to them, and you can’t solve it for them.
20. Your partner is the life of the party. They are charismatic. Charming. A smooth talker. They always have the a comeback, or a joke. They can be funny, easy-going, exciting, attractive. They can also be magnetic. You feel a pull to them, and they make you feel special. Eventually, this might turn into arrogance. They act as if they are the smartest, hottest, richest or most successful person and everyone knows it. They will even tell you this if they get the chance.
21. Nothing is ever your partner’s fault. He or she can’t take responsibility for anything. They always have an excuse or a story or someone to blame: someone caused them to act the way that they did. You did something wrong first to make them explode. The police have always been out to get them even though they never do anything wrong. Teachers and bosses are trying to make things hard for them on purpose. No matter what they do, or have done, nothing is ever their fault.