12 Signs That You Might Be Dating A Psychopath (For Real)

by Michael Fiore

12 signs psychopath

Image credit: From “The Shining”, Warner Bros.

Ever get that nagging feeling that something is really off with your partner’s behavior but you shrug it off? If so, you’re going to want to read this.

Karl asks…

“ Mike, I feel like I’m in a horror movie. I started dating this girl 6 months ago and at first things were incredible. She’s the funniest, hottest girl I’ve ever been with and I fell for her HARD pretty much right away. She was also more direct in bed than any girl has been with me and it was pretty crazy.

But lately I’ve been feeling like something is WRONG in our relationship. Nothing ‘Single White Female’ has happened yet but it seems like she’s just gotten really cold towards me. And the other day she snapped at me and called me an a$$hole because I wouldn’t take her to dinner at this crazy expensive place. But then 5 minutes later it was like nothing had happened. One time I even found her flirting with a friend of mine (like REALLY heavy) and when I confronted her on it she told me I was imagining things. I really like this girl but I feel like I’m on pins and needles with her and when I try to talk about the relationship with her she just goes blank. What’s going on? What should I do?” — Karl

Hey Karl,



OK, maybe not.

You only gave me a very limited amount of information to work with here, but your description of your girlfriend made a lot of bells go off in my head and the biggest bell that rang the loudest was the “wow, you might be dating a psychopath” bell.


What the heck is a psychopath?

Well, despite what you see on TV and movies, psychopaths aren’t all serial killers, murderers and leg breakers for the mob (though they are those things too.)

And not all psychopaths are guys either (it’s about 50/50 – though male psychopaths are often more vicious just like men are more vicious than women in general – it’s the testosterone and the bulging biceps.)


According to Dr. Robert D. Hare (who created “The Psychopath Checklist”) about 1% of the human population are born essentially without empathy (without the ability to put “feel” what other people around them are feeling and certainly without the ability to feel guilt.)

So that means if you live in a city of 500,000 people that there are 5,000 living, breathing psychopaths in your city alone.

And a lot of them are in the dating pool.

Actually, I get emails all the time from both men and women talking about how they’ve been totally boondoggled and manipulated by somebody they were dating.

Folks like . . .

Fiona – who met the perfect man online, had a three month affair, ran up crazy credit card bills for him and then was unceremoniously dumped when she wasn’t useful anymore.

Tom – who told me about falling HARD for a woman who cheated on him on an almost daily basis and then mocked and belittled him when he complained about it .

And, well, a lot more than I really want to list here (because some of the stories are just awful.)

Psychopaths are kind of the prototypical “Wolf in Sheep’s clothing” charming, attractive, willing and able to say EXACTLY what you want to hear and totally incapable of giving a damn at the devastation they leave behind.

So, how do you know if the person you’re dating is an actual psychopath (or just kind of mean?)

Well, Dr. Robert Hare came up with a pretty damned handy checklist. (Of course the checklist is only as useful as the information you’re able to get that you think is true, but hey.)


The guy or girl you’re dating might be a psychopath if…