Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a reader whom we’ll call “Trevor18.”
I came across your work after I spent about two months in the craziest relationship I’ve ever experienced. The relationship and how it abruptly ended left me feeling confused and then I was compelled to seek answers. I just didn’t know what to do. Then I stumbled upon Cluster B personality disorders and eventually I found your list of 10 signs of dating a sociopath.
I first met this girl at her daughter’s birthday party in May of 2017. After a brief introduction, she approached me frequently during the party and it felt extremely easy to talk to her. She seemed to be pretty open with me — such as her reason for why she was a single mom. It was the typical “I fell in love and it didn’t work” story. It felt like there was an instant connection to her like I had known her my whole life. Almost like being pulled toward a magnet.
2: Sudden Soulmates
When we finally started dating in December, she seemed like the girl I had been waiting for my whole life. She came across as the type of girl I would make my wife. She presented herself as someone who was truly looking for someone like me to build a future with. She wanted to do the little things that would make us a family and do everything to make the place we lived in our “home.” She even went as far as to send me internet quotes and memes that stated we were soulmates.
3: Sexual Magnetism
I have a pretty high sex drive myself, but this girl surpassed me by far. While she admitted to having a high sex drive, she would then use it against me by denying it, yet would instigate a sexually stimulating encounter every chance she got. And yes, as described, the sex did rank near the top of the best sex I had ever experienced.
4: Love Bombing
From almost day one she was telling me things like how much she missed me, how much she missed my voice, how amazing I was, how happy I made her, how she’s never felt this happy before, that I was special to her, how she’s never been able to feel like she could be herself until she met me, and on and on. She would text and call all day long. I couldn’t go an hour without hearing from her.
5: Blames Others For Everything
Whatever the problem was, it was always the fault of her mom, her dad, her co-workers, her boss, her exes, and everyone else’s fault in between. She even applies this kind of stuff to her daughter’s behavior. It was her mom, the school, the teacher, the other students as to why she’s misbehaving. Never took blame for anything that went wrong. Never.
6: Lies/Gaps in Stories
This girl lied to me from day one. Her story of “I fell in love, it didn’t work,” was not the story she ended up telling me once we started dating. When I would catch her in a lie, she would play it off with another lie, and if that didn’t work she would get defensive and angry like I did something wrong. And if her anger didn’t work and I kept being persistent, she would then try to make it out like I wasn’t seeing what I saw. She lied about things that didn’t matter and would lie about the more important things too. It felt like lying was as natural to her as breathing air is.
7: Intense Eye Contact
I’m not sure that I noticed any of this. But when she would look at me, she would stare and not blink or look away sometimes, but I don’t remember any kind of predatory type stare from her. I did have a feeling that she could peer into my soul when she would look in my eyes. But then again, if it was something that she did, it was something that I didn’t notice.
8: Moves Fast To Hook Up
Almost from day one everything flew by. First it was to get me to say that she was my “girlfriend,” then to “I love you,” and once that happened, it didn’t take long for her to get me to say that I would marry her someday. With those out of the way, she pushed hard to get me to move in with her. She claimed that she couldn’t go another day without me by her side. So I moved in with her. And then she was pushing for us to get married sooner and sooner. And once we were to get married, she wanted me to adopt her daughter. She pushed to have her on my insurance, co-sign a loan, and everything else. She even wanted access to my bank account by having her paychecks direct deposited to my account after we were married. She was extremely pushy about all of these things.
9: Pity Play
Her only two “admitted” boyfriends she claimed to have “loved” were guys from out of state, they were verbally abusive, violent, cheaters, that were dependent on her like they needed a “mommy,” they mistreated her, were rude to her and that she was innocent and didn’t deserve to be treated that way. The others she dated were all the same. Her mom and dad treated her like a prisoner and were abusive. Just about every story she told me was her being a victim in some way.
10: Jekyll and Hyde Personality
Her moods were inconsistent and at first appeared to be random. She would get cold shouldered and distant with me if I put my friends, family, and job before her and her daughter. She would do things that felt like she was trying to mess with me emotionally as though I was being tested. It felt like I was walking on egg shells and being unfairly measured against impossible and invisible expectations.
Deer in headlights
The entire two months I felt like a deer in headlights. I felt trapped and frozen in place. But her behavior became impossible to ignore. A big issue I had with her was the high frequency of random messaging by guys she never once mentioned she knew. These are just the ones I caught, and some of their messages indicated an inappropriate conversation for someone who was claiming to be marrying their soulmate by the summer.
So when I would try to express how it concerned me and how it made me feel, it felt like it annoyed her and that I didn’t even have any reason to ask her about it, or I would get something like “do you actually think I would cheat on you?” Then when she did finally show me her phone, it felt like she would only show me what she wanted me to see. I’m not a jealous guy by any stretch but the reasons she gave for why she knew some of them and why they were messaging her just felt dishonest.
Didn’t make sense
She did little things that didn’t make sense but I knew was out of character for someone who was so madly in love with me. She had me add items to our grocery list, then went shopping and didn’t get a single item I added to the list. If we went shopping, she would intentionally pick a different item from what I suggested. She would ask me what I wanted for dinner, then would make something else. I would do my end of the chores and she would intentionally not do hers. She basically did these things from the very beginning I just didn’t notice it until now.
Outside of me going to work, she would act like I couldn’t go anywhere without her, or if she went anywhere, she would make it feel like I was going to hurt her or that I didn’t care about her if I didn’t go or want to go with her. But when I would ask her if she wanted me to go somewhere with her without her asking first, she would act like it annoyed her or something. Very confusing.
Push for marriage
Her push for marriage became overbearing. What started as something I would do in the next few years got pushed into July of 2018. Which would give me barely enough time to buy her a ring. She wanted it sooner, but her best friend, family, coworkers, and I tried slowing her down. I was definitely trying to slow it down because there’s a way that I want things to be. Settling on July was short lived though. It didn’t take long before I started getting any excuse possible to get me to marry her basically yesterday. I held firm with wanting to buy the ring before we got married. She then shifted the strategy to her claiming to be pregnant. At that point, her expectations of needing a ring, the traditional proposal thing, and everything else went out the window. All we needed to do was a courthouse wedding and then get tattoos on our fingers instead. She was trying to remove all possible obstacles in her way of me marrying her. So she pushed it to be at the end of January.
However, her behavior and her lies became unbearable to the point I had to question her all the time. She would get emotionally distant and cold shoulder me, then when I felt like I did something wrong and pulled away, she would ask me what was wrong with me. She would question my loyalty and my intentions constantly. If I didn’t answer her texts within 30 minutes, I was being asked if anything was wrong and so on.
She did things like go to the store and would tell me she met some “friend” of hers. Then that night, or the next day, her daughter suddenly needed a night between just the two of them. Her excuse was that she was trying to “ease” her daughter into things even though she had me being “dad” since day one. Not a big deal to me, it’s good for them to maintain their relationship too, but to say that I had to leave the place that I was now living at for the entire night was a huge red flag to me.
Jealous of my relationships
She also seemed to be jealous of, or disapproved of my relationships with my friends and family. Particularly my mother, who is disabled, and the mothers of my daughters. She acted like any interaction I had with any of them was an attack on her in some way. She would get upset with my youngest daughter if she would say something that she took as offensive towards her daughter, she even claimed that their mothers were putting thoughts into my girls’ heads to hate her, and trying to drive a wedge between my girls and her. She seemed to get upset when I would help pay for things my mother needed, like I was supposed to just abandon her or something. Each time something like this would happen she would give me the cold shoulder and get emotionally distant with me.
She told me a story that she was working at a retail store and she started dating the manager. He would come over to her place and bring her “gifts.” Then one day he gets busted for stealing from the store and then blamed it on her so she got arrested. She didn’t pay her insurance or renew her tag on her car recently and got pulled over for speeding. She told me she got fired from her job when we first started talking because of her attendance. Yet she said something about possibly having to talk to the cops because some of her clients had money come up missing. She drove like a maniac everywhere she went. And that’s just the little bit of possible criminal activities she told me about.
Her credit score and debt was atrocious! Granted, her being a poor single mother, I wasn’t going to expect a stellar credit history from her. But how she explained her debt to me didn’t make any sense either. It just seemed like she didn’t care to pay her responsibilities.
Used my desire for a family
To me, it felt like she used my want for a family to wiggle into my life, fed me false reassurances to gain my trust, and played the victim to gain my loyalty. When she broke it off with me, I had started becoming more accusatory with her because her lies and her behavior started to become more noticeable. The lying was something I just couldn’t accept.
Her reasoning came out of left field and it didn’t make any sense. I wasn’t giving her her personal space, I was forcing her to choose between spending time with me or her daughter, I didn’t love her daughter as I do my own kids, I was accusatory towards her for no reason, and so on. When I would explain her patterns to her and how I felt, she didn’t really apologize, and when she did it felt hollow and then she would try to flip it back on me. So I found myself apologizing for things I wasn’t even doing. She even told me that she wasn’t pregnant, that it must have been a false test or something like that. I seen the positive test when she showed it to me, so that just made no sense to me.
Lying to me
I can tell she was lying about me to her friends and family. She may not realize it, but sometimes she would let her lies slip. I talked to her best friend to explain to her how much I cared about the entire relationship. Her friend seemed short with me unlike before but nothing I told her was anything I didn’t tell my ex. But the next day, my ex messaged me telling me to leave her friend alone because I was “confusing” her and her friend was hating on her. The only way her friend could be confused was that she had to be lying to her about me. I don’t know what kind of character assassination I went through with her friends and family, but I know she did it because she did it to everyone else.
She never owned up to her behavior either. All I got from her after it was all said and done was the typical ‘we weren’t ready, I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m sorry, I just want to see how things go,’ and so on. It all just felt cheap and hollow. She never faced me with any of her accusations nor when she broke things off. And it was literally all done through text. I know what I saw, what she said, and what she did when I was with her. I didn’t imagine these things. But the way she broke it off just feels like she was trying to twist things back on me.
After the breakup
After the breakup I had a few friends tell me that they heard stories back in high school that she was “crazy.” She told people when we first started dating that she was going to put a stop to my relationships with my family and friends. She dated a guy a few months before me and he turned out to be a registered sex offender with child porn being one of the crimes, and she was telling everyone that she had found the love of her life. Then a few weeks later she broke it off with him. That guy was one of the random guys messaging her, and that wasn’t the story she told me about him.
I don’t know if she’s a sociopath or not, but she sure seems to fit a lot of the categories I’ve read so far. Just figured I would share my story with you. For only being a two-month relationship, it felt like an entire lifetime’s worth of stuff was crammed into it. I’m still trying to understand what really happened because it was all just a blur. But the information you’ve provided here on this site and on interviews on the subject matter has helped a ton.