For two years I unknowingly dated a sociopath. I’m not writing this to get back at him for all the things he’s done to me. I’m also not trying to play the victim; I acknowledge my full willingness to be in the relationship. My goal in sharing this information is to help you learn to identify these personality types so that you might avoid being hurt by one the way that I was.
A sociopath is a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior, and someone who lacks a conscious. These people don’t adhere to normal or ethical behavioral standards. Typically, sociopaths have personality traits that draw you in quickly and easily. At first glance they are charming and charismatic with magnetic personalities. They can often exude a strong sexual energy.
Their negative traits are revealed only after you’ve been hooked. They have no regard for the feelings or opinions of others and think their opinion is the absolute authority. They are incapable of experiencing shame or guilt, and they rarely apologize for their behavior. Sociopaths are manipulative and controlling above all else. My particular sociopath, whom I will refer to as “The Wolf,” was also a narcissist and compulsive liar — both of which are common characteristics amongst sociopaths.
Being abused by a sociopath is like getting emotionally raped. These people are poisonous and always will be. You can’t help, change, or fix them. The only thing you can do is distance yourself from them as quickly as possible.
From the moment I met The Wolf he lied to me about who he was. He told me he was from Paris (my favorite city!), although he’s actually from Africa. One day he told me he bought me a ticket to Paris so that I could go there whenever I wanted to. The actual ticket never manifested.
Over-the-top gestures are typical of sociopaths in the beginning of the relationship. I once made him some fresh pressed juice, and he presented me with a $500 gift card to one of my favorite clothing stores as a way of thanking me. He took me to expensive restaurants in Los Angeles and left large tips. I later found out that what he was doing is called “love bombing” — a technique that sociopaths use to sweep you off your feet and move the relationship forward quickly. Most importantly, it was a way for him to gain control of the situation… and of me.
After about a month, his true colors started to show. It was clear he had some anger issues. He became judgmental and passive aggressive. One night he told me he was taking me out for a fancy dinner at a surprise location. During the drive to the restaurant, I brought up a funny instance he had texted earlier, in which he had misused a common English word. His first language was French, and I found it endearing every time he misspelled or mispronounced a word. However, instead of laughing at my gentle teasing which I had expected him to do, he snapped and suddenly turned into a different person. I was uncomfortable and asked him to forget the date and take me home. But he wouldn’t. I had to sit there through the whole dinner despite our hostile energy toward each other.
Sociopaths are so uncomfortable with themselves that they will create a new personality based on lies. If you catch them in a lie, even with hard evidence, they will usually stick to their lie. While I was booking our tickets for a trip and needed his personal information, he told me he was born in 1973, when previously he had said 1980. When I questioned him about it, he gave me a long story about not having exact records of his birth.
When The Wolf was leaving for a work trip to NYC, I asked if he was going to see any of his friends from college (NYU). He gave me the excuse that he didn’t have their phone numbers anymore or remember any of their last names. The reality was, he didn’t have any friends. When his so-called best friend invited him to his wedding, The Wolf lied to him and said he couldn’t make it because of work. After that, The Wolf cut off all contact with him. This is another sociopathic trait — no long-term or solid relationships.
A sociopath is extremely impulsive. They are always looking for the next best thing for themselves. An example of this is when The Wolf asked me to marry him. We were talking on the phone right before we were both about to leave town for Christmas and he said, “I just had a crazy idea! What if we just got married?”
After I was silent for a few moments, he said, “I shouldn’t have said anything. Nevermind. I’m tired,” and immediately started talking about something else.
To gain control, the sociopath needs to make you feel insecure. They do this by making you feel like you are the most important person in the world one day, and nothing the next.
The Wolf would often laugh at my clothes or appearance, and then later say I have the most beautiful smile, or that I looked like I had lost weight. Sometimes when he would look at me, I felt like I was prey being sized up by a predator. Other times I felt like he couldn’t see me at all. He would look around me or above me, but never directly at me. When I asked him about it, he responded, “Sometimes I don’t want to look you in the eye because I don’t want you to see that I’m not present.” I can now translate this as, “I don’t want to look you in the eye because I don’t want you to see who I really am.”
He drifted in and out of my life over the course of two years. He was only there when he needed me. During this time, my friends tried to tell me that The Wolf was not a good person and that I shouldn’t be with him — that I deserved better. People recognized that he was crazy even without meeting him in person. When you are in a relationship with a sociopath you are constantly making excuses for their behavior. I was under The Wolf’s spell of manipulation and was isolating myself from a lot of people during this time. He never wanted to go out with my friends or socialize with anyone else. If there was an event I needed to attend he never wanted to be my date. It was almost as if he wanted to keep our relationship a secret.
In my journal during this time, I wrote things like, “I’m feeling very alone in this relationship… I feel like I’m waiting for him to change… I’m feeling deflated and depressed, raw and vulnerable… I’m feeling lost.”
We did have a lot of good times together, which is why I stayed with him for so long. When things were good, they were really good. I was experiencing high-highs and low-lows with him, and the highs became addictive for me.
I eventually discovered that he had been talking to, and seeing, other girls throughout our entire relationship. When he couldn’t get the attention or love from one girl, he would jump to the other and feed off of them until he got what he needed. When I realized that our whole relationship was a lie, I was shocked, hurt, confused, and sad. Usually when someone hurts others this way, it’s because they have been very badly hurt themselves. His childhood was tumultuous, and he was abused in every way possible. It’s no surprise that this is the person he turned into. I don’t think he ever intentionally tried to hurt me, he just doesn’t know how to operate in the world any other way than being destructive.
I could never please The Wolf because I was never good enough in his eyes. For him I was constantly pushing myself, trying to be the best version of myself. Because of this, he ended up being one of my greatest teachers in life. I achieved a lot of things I otherwise wouldn’t have been motivated to do. There is always something good that comes out of a bad experience, even if it is just one lesson to be learned.
The best way to end a relationship with a sociopath is to get out of it as quickly as possible and move on. Going no contact is key — block them on all social media platforms, in your phone, and on email accounts. Starve The Wolf and don’t feel bad for him. He’s already moved on to his next victim.