By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)
I was eagerly awaiting the release of this book, Red Flags of Love Fraud 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath, and I was not disappointed at all. Donna Andersen, the owner of the LoveFraud.com website, received her “credentials” in dealing with sociopaths (psychopaths) when she married James Montgomery, a full-fledged con man. At the time Donna “enrolled” in this course in the University of Hard Knocks, she was totally unaware that this charming and charismatic man she had married was indeed a sociopath. He conned her out of more than $200,000 during the short course of their marriage, had numerous affairs, and actually fathered a child with another woman during their marriage.
Wanting very much to help others avoid enrolling in this course in the University of Hard Knocks, Donna has written her second book about the experience.
While I was up all night reading her first book, not being able to put it down, this book I read more slowly and carefully.
Red Flags is laid out almost in an “outline form,” so that it is easily understood. Donna has arranged each chapter and each section so that it is easily comprehended. She has also used excerpts from many of the thousands of people who have sent their stories to Lovefraud and completed Lovefraud surveys (of course changing the names).
Donna explains the confusion with the terms sociopath, psychopath and antisocial personality disorder, not only the professional differences about what to call it, but also the exact diagnostic criteria for any one of them. She also makes it plain that it doesn’t matter what you call them, they are toxic and there is no cure for what they have.
She debunks the myths about sociopaths/psychopaths all being serial killers and deranged criminals. In addition, she points out the old fallacy of “there is good in everyone” as being one of the things that keeps victims hanging on.
The Red Flags that are covered in the book are:
- Charisma and charm
- Sudden soul mates
- Sexual magnetism
- Love bombing
- Blames others for everything
- Lies and gaps in the story
- Intense eye contact
- Moves fast to hook up
- Pity play
- Jekyll and Hyde personality
Each of these actually correspond to symptoms on the Psychopath Check List developed by Dr. Robert Hare, but in more informal terms.
This book is not stiff or clinical in any way, but infinitely readable and packed with information to help people spot the “red flags” that sociopaths/psychopaths display in how they try to hook vulnerable people in order to fleece them, before they get fleeced.
Every high school kid should be required to read this book in order to educate themselves to the predators among us. People who have already had the “course” in dealing with a sociopath/psychopath will also profit as well. I recommend that everyone buy two copies, one to keep and one to give to a friend who is in a bad dating situation.
Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you’re dating a sociopath is now available exclusively in the Lovefraud Store.