It’s easy to feel romantic when you meet a new love interest. But after a few months things might feel off. Has your love interest changed? You may hear jokes about dating a psychopath, but it’s no laughing matter, says Dr. Paul DePompo, psychologist and author of The Other Woman’s Affair. “A psychopath and a sociopath are just common terms for someone who has antisocial personality disorder, a very real and scary diagnosis,” DePompo told The Cheat Sheet. “Not for the person who has it, but for the ones who come into contact with them.”
To learn more about this personality disorder, we spoke with mental health experts. If there’s a chance you’re romantically involved with a psychopath, you’ll want to watch out for these behaviors. It can give you a starting point for examining your relationship.
1. Superficial charm
Real-life example: Your partner always knows the right thing to say around others.
A psychopath isn’t afraid to talk about themselves, according to Dr. Robert Hare of the University of British Columbia. He says these people can lure others in with their charisma and aren’t afraid to say whatever is on their mind. Someone like this will often dominate the conversation, rather than let a group of people take turns talking. Others may describe them as smooth, engaging, and “all about me.”
Next: Does this person engage during moments of conflict?