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10 Signs You’re Dating a Sociopath

Michelle Wilson - February 28, 2022

10 Signs You're Dating a Sociopath

A sociopath doesn’t bring up positive emotions, especially when we’re describing someone else. They’re known for being self-absorbed and cruel, making them someone to avoid dating at all costs. Yet, it seems that sociopaths can be incredibly charismatic, impulsive, and a bit of a rule-breaker—making them a luring option for those wanting someone against the grain.

What is a sociopath?

A sociopath is an individual with antisocial personality disorder. This condition causes a lack of empathy, exploitative episodes with close relationships, entitled attitude, and a lack of remorse overall. They may be indifferent to the needs of others and truly not care about the mean or hurtful things they say or do. Unfortunately, there is minimal to no humanity there, focusing on your needs and wants only when convenient for them.

Being a sociopath isn’t something you can fix on your own and is incredibly difficult to treat, as many sociopaths don’t think they need help.

Recognizing the signs

No one ever expects to wind up in a relationship with someone capable of these characteristics, but it happens more often than you think. To help you identify any potential problems, here are ten signs you’re dating a sociopath.

They Never Seem to Care

Everyone has their off days, but a true sociopath will have difficulty caring about anyone all the time. A healthy relationship requires significant empathy and consideration. When you’re in a relationship with someone who has an antisocial personality disorder, it’s challenging to not have mutual respect, care, and empathy within the relationship.

They Can’t Seem to Follow the Rules

Although a rule-breaker can be attractive initially, it can pose significant problems as the relationship progresses, particularly if it involves criminal behavior. These behaviors can also put you in harm’s way, especially with erratic and unpredictable behavior (consider a sociopath speeding while weaving in and out of traffic). They don’t care about the give and take in the relationship, whether that’s individual or society overall.

They’re Arrogant and Cocky

It seems these individuals constantly have something to brag about, from trivial components to major milestones. They seemingly have a continuous swagger and always give off the vibe that they’re better than everyone else. When trying to deal with this in a relationship, it can feel negating, abusive, and significantly invalidating.

When Their Mouth is Moving, They’re Lying

There’s never really a good reason to lie, but a sociopath seems to make it a habit regularly. Most often, a sociopath will use lying to get their way, often without any regrets. As a relationship is built on trust and honesty, this frequent habit can seemingly eat away at the foundation of a relationship. Unfortunately, once the foundation in a relationship is gone, it’s difficult to recover.

They’re Loners

A sociopath struggles to form and maintain any type of relationship with others, whether platonic, authoritative, or romantic. True sociopaths have a personality disorder that includes extreme antisocial behavior. While some individuals will remain more social than others, dating someone truly isolated should be a significant red flag.

They Seem to Dupe or Con Others

There’s a huge difference between an individual that’s persuasive and someone exploitative by nature. A persuasive partner might convince you to attend a camping trip you didn’t want to participate in, while an exploitative partner will push you into things you’re not ready for (like commitment, sexual intimacy, or moving in together). Most often, sociopaths will use love bombing, a common tactic of pushing tons of affection onto their partner to get what they want, as a positioning tool.

They Don’t Care About Consequences

Being impulsive is an exciting component of new relationships, but it can have long-term consequences. Sociopaths will often engage in impulsive and risky behavior without a second thought or consideration. These activities can be dangerous, risky, or costly – especially when the activity doesn’t go according to plan. Impulsive decisions can also influence mutual decision-making, making it nearly impossible to compromise on activities, risks, and expenses.

They’re Moody

A sociopath can be easily agitated and excessively irritable without cause or reason. As these negative emotions continue to escalate, they can escalate to emotional or physical abuse over time. These actions can push a partner into a continued source of anxiety and stress, worrying about whether your comments, questions, or actions are going to push them over the edge.

They Refuse to Change

Most individuals can recognize the consequences of their poor behavior, especially when it comes to their mistakes or hurting someone they care about. Sociopaths, however, don’t fall into this category. A sociopath will never change without extensive intervention, making the relationship continuously challenging and toxic. They will never see the wrong in their actions and never understand where you’re coming from. Any standards or beliefs you hold with the relationship will constantly be put aside for personal self-interest or satisfaction.

They Can’t Seem to Hold a Job

Staying regularly employed is a continuous struggle for the sociopath, always having a reason or excuse for their current unemployment. As a sociopath struggles with authority and traditional hierarchy, rules, and consequences, remaining employed isn’t possible. A sociopath is likely to bounce from one job to another, putting personal interest above family finances or security. These individuals likely have large dreams of financial independence but minimal planning or discipline to make that happen.

What To Do If You’re Dating a Sociopath

Dating a sociopath is a near-impossible task for individuals wanting to secure a normal, healthy relationship. Without extreme and strict intervention, the behaviors are likely to last indefinitely. It’s best to leave the relationship and cut all ties with the individual as quickly as possible. Get into therapy to learn healthy relationship boundaries. Always try to safeguard those closest to you, including children or other dependents in the home. A relationship with a sociopath is rarely if ever, going to succeed long-term. Those relationships that do succeed are going to be very one-sided, demanding, and turbulent indefinitely. It’s important to recognize that a sociopath isn’t just a selfish individual. They are clinically antisocial.


While no one believes they’re going to end up in a relationship with a sociopath, it occasionally happens to even the most proactive and protective individuals. Traits like impulsive behavior and edgy attitude can be luring for those wanting a partner against societal norms. While these traits can be appealing initially, they can cause stress and anxiety long-term. A sociopath will always put their need above a partner’s, even if it’s to their detriment or pain.

Normal compromise, comfort, and empathy are virtually non-existent unless these actions serve them a larger purpose overall. Trying to form a deep bond or connection with someone that genuinely doesn’t care about your emotional, spiritual, or physical wellbeing isn’t just difficult; it’s nearly impossible. As such, it’s almost always a better option to end the relationship and move on with your life.

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