Sorry In Advance, Mom is a recurring post where we talk about modern day love (lol) and the trials and tribulations of dating in your late 20’s. “Tips for Dating a Narcissistic Sociopath” was written by one of our best friends who we love dearly and has asked to remain anonymous.
I have a type.
I like outgoing, tall guys. I’m a sucker for dark hair and blue eyes.
I need an ambitious guy with a career. Someone who can hold his own in social situations.
Oh and one more thing.
I love a good narcissistic sociopath.
In fact, you can pretty much disregard everything else – the height, the hair color, the work ethic, the outgoing nature – as long as he’s a narcissistic sociopath.
Before we get started, you should know that a sociopath is very different from a psychopath. A lot of people confuse the two. The key difference between a psychopath and sociopath is that a psychopath has absolutely zero conscience. Making him…a psycho, for lack of a better term. So basically, a psychopath is more likely to kill you in your sleep. Because…no conscience.
A sociopath on the other hand has a (weak) conscience.
In fact, a narcissistic sociopath is actually really appealing when you first meet him.
Hear me out.
1) He’s ridiculously charming.
A sociopath knows all the right things to do. He’s the guy who knows what part of your back to place his hand over when you’re ordering drinks at the bar. Who has his credit card out when the bill comes, so that you never have to have that awkward conversation about who’s going to pay. Who knows just how to poke fun at you in a way that makes you feel adored.
Sounds good so far, right?
2) He relentlessly pursues you.
A narcissistic sociopath does all the work at the beginning of the relationship. You won’t have to be vulnerable at all. He courts you. He tells you how much he likes you. He makes you feel like he needs you – which he does in a way. Winning you over boosts his ego. Even if you have doubts, he’ll ignore (or not sense) any signs that you’re hesitant. A narcissist has little to no self-awareness, and therefore, no shame. He doesn’t give up. To you, it seems like he likes you more than you like him. You think you have the upper hand (spoiler alert: you don’t).
Still, not terrible. I mean, who doesn’t like to be liked?
3) He says all the right things…but doesn’t mean it.
He’s learned what to say to you to make you like him. He can make you happy when you’re feeling sad – he knows what people want to hear. It sucks you in. But it’s not coming from a real place. A narcissistic sociopath can’t really care, because he doesn’t feel empathy. He’s just learned how to act like a caring human from watching other people.
This is hard to catch. Because it looks and feels like real empathy. Let’s continue.
4) He’s a “really good person.” (And he likes to tell you so.)
This doesn’t mean he’s constantly bragging or sending you shirtless selfies. Instead, he likes to build himself up as a “good person” by hinting at it. Maybe he alludes to it by constantly calling out others for being “bad people.” Maybe he talks about how he’s “an honest and open guy” and how he believes in “being humble.” And he says these things so much, that you start to believe it – even though when you really think about it, you haven’t seen any evidence to support him being a good person.
And then there’s this.
5) He never feels awkward.
This is easier to spot. The most awkward thing could happen between you two, and he floats right through it. He doesn’t notice. Because in order to feel awkward, he has to have a sense of how you feel. It takes two to feel awkward. And because a narcissistic sociopath has no empathy, he can’t feel awkward.
And then it gets really not okay.
6) He’ll manipulate you and you ain’t even mad.
When you date a narcissistic sociopath, you find yourselves doing things you never wanted to do. But somehow, he talks you into it. (This sounds like I’m talking about something sexual – to be clear, I’m not.) It’s like you blink, and you find yourself somewhere you never meant to go. And somehow, he’s done it in such a charming way that you’re not even angry.
And this last one…you can’t miss, but it’s already too late.
7) He will fuck you over…but never own up to it.
A sociopath is constantly disingenuous, and with each lie, you grow farther and farther apart. And you don’t know why it feels like this, because you missed the significance of signs 1-6, so you become the one trying to fix it. And suddenly, you’re chasing him. And it becomes clear he had the upper hand all along. And then he does something really, really unforgivable, and when you call him out on his actions, he denies to the death. He’s like a murderer on Law and Order SVU. Elliot and Olivia bust down the door to arrest him, and he’s too busy to even look up from his desk. They have DNA evidence against him and he’s still sitting there like “I didn’t do it,” and “this is outrageous,” and “my lawyer will ruin you,” even though they’re about to nail his ass to the wall. I actually believe that the narcissistic sociopath convinces himself that he didn’t lie and that he’s not wrong. He’s never wrong.
I have dated (slash have had some sort of non-platonic relationship with) multiple men that fit this description. According to the world wide web, only 3-5% of the population fits the profile of a narcissistic sociopath, and I have dated MUL-TI-PLES.
Why? Why would I do that to myself? At this point I should be able to recognize the signs, right? I must be able to weed someone out, knowing I’m headed down a familiar road. Am I that delusional? Do I hate myself? WHY would I continue to invest time and energy in people who, at their core, don’t really care about me (or anybody else) one way or the other?
(God, this post is getting depressing. I’m generally not a very dark person, and I promise next time to write a funny post about a guy who tried to kiss me when I turned my head, and he licked my ear).
It’s taken me awhile to get here. To see what I’ve been doing clearly. To admit to myself that this is a pattern. And I realized the reason I do it is this:
When you date a narcissistic sociopath, it looks and feels like a real relationship – but you never actually have to get close the the person. You never have to let that person in, because frankly, they don’t really want to be let in. Remember – they have no empathy.
So you can “play house” and “play love” with someone without actually having to put yourself out there or give any real piece of you. You get the highs and lows without the commitment. You get attention, compliments, forehead kisses, “I miss you” texts, great sex, cuddling etc…but you never get the man. Because at the end of the day, a narcissistic sociopath isn’t capable of, and doesn’t want a real, meaningful relationship.
So basically, like many people, I’m chasing the unattainable, knowing I’ll never really get there.
It’s taken me awhile to see this pattern, but now that I do, I know I gotta stop chasing what I’ll never have. But old habits die hard.
So I’ve been forcing myself to date the attainable. I’ve been – as George Costanza says – doing “opposite me.” Going out with the genuinely nice, most unassuming guys. Guys that are nervous to talk to you. Guys that are available. Guys that would probably make good husbands. I even went out with a guy the other night who was so nerdy, he talked to me for 5 whole minutes about the dangers of bacteria in fish (I went too far with that one). Some of them have been great, fun guys. But so far, no spark.
Yet, I have to keep at it.
After all, they say nobody really has a type. They say that when you meet the right person, your type goes out the window.
I think when they said this (whoever “they” is), they were probably talking about “your type,” as in like muscley guys, or tall girls, or red heads, or maybe even cougars. Not narcissistic sociopaths. But I’m crossing my fingers this saying applies to me. That one day I’ll meet someone who’s not my type, and that it will just work. That an authentic, non-sociopath guy will walk into my life who makes me want to let my guard down, and be in a real live relationship.
Hey, if Angelina can shed bad boys, and Clooney can ditch the airhead models, why not me?
In the meantime, I’ve created a quick cheat sheet I keep on hand, called “Tips for dating a narcissistic sociopath:”