About 1% of the population can be psychopathic, according to one study. People considered psychopaths struggle to express different types of emotions, especially empathy, sadness, and fear. However, psychologists believe that they can fall in love like the rest of us, but the ways they express their feelings and communicate in their relationships are quite different.
We understand that psychopathy is an ambiguous topic, so we want to clarify what happens when these people fall in love and if it is almost as romantic as some movies have shown us.
Psychopaths May Be Capable Of Loving Another Person
Psychologists suggest that there are different levels of psychopathy. If the person does not show serious signs of psychopathy, they are more likely to fall in love. Psychopaths can also feel lonely and want to be loved.
However, it is difficult for them to form a healthy relationship due to their lack of emotional attachment and their inability to open up to another person.
Their Relationships Are Based On Different Reasons Than Traditional Ones
As psychopaths struggle to build strong emotional bonds and create intimacy in relationships, they are more likely to enter into relationships based on common beliefs and attitudes toward the world.
But the partner must be careful: psychopaths are extremely selfish and often try to manipulate their partner into sacrificing their own interests for them.
Psychopaths May Crave Close Relationships, But Are Rarely Able To Form Them
Psychopaths often express the so-called avoidant attachment style. They tend to fail when trying to bond emotionally with others due to their inability to show empathy and emotional attachment.
Psychopaths cannot trust other people and often try to use them for their own benefit.
Psychopaths Can’t Provide Emotional Support To Their Partner
Psychologists believe that most psychopaths do not feel fear or distress. And because they have never felt these emotions themselves, they struggle to empathize with and understand other people’s feelings.
Research shows that psychopaths can take care of others, but only in cases where they do so willingly and try hard enough to learn empathy.
Psychopaths Prefer Short-term Relationships
Psychopaths follow the “fast life history strategy:” they prefer to form short-term relationships without a strong emotional bond. They are rarely interested in trying hard enough to create long-term relationships that can potentially lead to marriage.
Psychopaths are more likely to take risks and put themselves first, making it difficult for them to find a suitable partner.
Psychopaths Know How To Manipulate Their Partner And Do It Well
Psychopaths can easily read other people and understand their intentions. They know how to be charming and feel comfortable in any situation and that makes them perfect manipulators.
Surprisingly, they don’t feel guilty about doing this – psychopaths are self-centered and don’t really care about the distress their actions can cause other people.
Have you ever been in a relationship with a person who showed signs of psychopathic behavior? How did this work? Share your stories in the comments.
Preview photo credit The Girl on the Train / DreamWorks