Are You Dating A Psychopath? Here's How To Tell

Here's a worrying statistic -- you're not that unlikely to end up on a date with one.

It's actually estimated that about 1 in 100 people are psychopaths -- similar to the number of people who are teachers. In fact, psychopaths are thought to make up as much as roughly one percent of the general populace and up to 25 percent of the prison population.

So how do you know if you're dating one?

According to Calli Tzani Pepelasi, a lecturer who wrote a piece on this topic for The Conversation, there are some things to look out for. 

"Researchers agree that psychopathy involves persistent antisocial behaviour, impaired empathy and remorse, boldness, emotional resiliency, meanness, impulsivity and extremely egotistical traits," she wrote.

"Psychopaths also have certain positive traits, however, such as paying attention to detail, being good at reading people and engaging in conversation with ease."

In other words, for all their bad traits they can seem pretty attractive when you meet them.

But there are some serious tell-tale signs that will tell you if Mr or Ms Right is actually more of a psychopath than your perfect match...

"The first trait that might become apparent when dating a psychopath is pathological lying,"  said Pepelasi. "Psychopaths are likely to repeatedly attempt to deceive their partners and will lie about anything under any circumstances in order to conceal their behaviour and achieve their goals – whatever they may be.

"Unfortunately, it can be difficult to catch a psychopath lying as they often strategically plan deceitful stories, she said. "They often also tend to have a superficial charm that may have got their partner addicted in the first place -- this could make their other half doubt their suspicions."

Which leads to the next sign -- they could be gaslighting you. This is when a partner gradually erodes your confidence and sense of reality by confusing, misdirecting, deceiving and persuading you and can lead to you seriously doubting yourself over time.

Pepelasi says,"The reason psychopaths are good at manipulating is that they typically study people’s behaviour and skillfully use it to control them."

But wait, there's more!

The next doozie they can throw at you -- a tantrum. You see,  psychopaths are good at manipulating people, yes, but if you're in a relationship with one, and you can somehow resist that manipulation, "they will often throw a toddler’s tantrum full of frustration, anger, nagging or repetitive conversations -- and of course the pity puppy eyes as a final attempt -- to make you feel sorry for them and give in to their wishes," said Pepelasi.

They can also be rude -- not just to you, but to people around you. Aren't you just loving them?

Pepelasi says, "Their lack of self control can also get partners in trouble. For example, a psychopath may be rude to their partner’s colleagues or embarrass them at a party."

Interstingly, Pepelasi also says that psychopaths can cheat -- and even though they know their behaviour is bad, choose not to stop doing it because, well pyschopaths.

WILL IT NEVER END?

Be warned, if you finally have enough of all of that, things aren't neccessarily over once you break up with a psychopath either.

If you're the dumper, but later try to get them back you probably won't have much luck. Their lack of empathy means that they'll take no responsibility for what went wrong in the relationship and blame the outcome on you or anyone else but themselves.

That is, unless they move on and don't end up with someone "better" -- then they may come crawling right on back with the promise of love.

"That's because psychopaths tend to live a parasitic lifestyle," said Pepelasi, "feeding off others and taking more than they give. That means they may want to have your friends, resources and even your financial status back as their own."

Singledom never looked so good, right?