By | December 21, 2010 198 Comments

Dipping a toe in the dating pool

Editor’s note: The Lovefraud reader who writes as “Glinda” sent the following letter. I’ll provide my thoughts at the end of her letter.

NEVER Dating Again” Punishment or Prudence?

I have most of my life back in order, post sociopath. Work is good; I have friends; I have hobbies; and my kids are well cared for and seem to be well-adjusted to our family routine.  I also don’t worry and think about getting asked out much. I’m pretty sure I put a “nuh uh” sign out, in neon. I haven’t had any interest in dating—in fact, I’ve sworn off relationships in general. I’m not lonely. I’ve filled my life and don’t feel empty or sad. I have a terrible track record in picking men”¦and a worse record in the ones who have chosen me.

On the occasion I do go out, it’s the resident bar fly loser that comes to talk to me. I don’t even have to dress suggestively—I can wear a blouse I wore to the office and dress pants and be among women who are dressed “out on the prowl” and loser-boy finds ME. It seems safer not to date, obviously. Admittedly, ONCE in awhile, I think, “it would be nice to have someone in my life.” The feeling hasn’t been strong enough to act on it. The other day, I ordered a cheap wedding band looking ring to wear when I go out, in hopes that it will be a deterrent.

Recently I joined a hallway conversation at work with a couple of people I’ve known and worked with for years, and another guy I had seen around, but didn’t know. I interjected funny things into the conversation—my MO really—humor. I have a dry and sarcastic sense of humor without much fear of looking silly.  I’m not terribly self-conscious these days. I don’t worry about men at the office being interested in me—I’m not looking and decent guys never ask.  For the most part, it never crosses my mind. At home, I joke about now being A-sexual. “New” guy is laughing at my jokes and sending furtive glances my way. I notice, but don’t think much of it. I recently dropped some weight and I’m getting noticed again. I still have a ways to go, but he isn’t the first guy to give me a second look lately.

A day or so goes by, and I have a Facebook friend request from him. Hmm. I am friends with several folks from work. I think about it for a couple of days”¦ I don’t know him that well. But, we don’t work on a project together and we’re not under the same leadership tree. I don’t do stupid, drunken antics and then also post the pics on FB. I don’t complain about work or other coworkers on FB either, decide it is “safe enough” to friend him.

Next day, he comments on something of mine. Hmm. That feeling that he liked what he saw/heard gets a little stronger ”¦ Maybe he just thinks I’m funny. I pawn it off on that.

Later, I get a FB msg. Hmm. Not entirely odd—I get frequent msgs on FB”¦but”¦? We chat on FB, back and forth, 2 or 3 msgs a day. Nothing overwhelming, very banal conversation. But the fact that it’s starting to build up makes me think.  Makes me think what? I don’t know exactly. I respond to msgs, at my leisure, waiting and watching to see where this is headed I”˜m being “hit on!“ Ha ha!  I’m not getting a creep vibe off of him— but I really don’t know him. I’m nervous, but also pleased.

A few more days of FB msgs, and him hinting around but not directly asking, he asks if I’ll go to lunch with him. RED ALERT!!! RED ALERT!!!!  I am officially freaked out! WHY would he ask me out? Do I still have, “Easy Pickin’s” stamped on my forehead? Or is he genuinely interested”¦and HOW THE HECK DO *I* TELL THE DIFFERENCE?????????

I should probably state here that I don’t NOT want to go. I want to. That scares me as much as his asking. What happened to “no dating, ever?” It HAS been 4+ years, after all. Is it possible that I’m done “licking my wounds” and AM ready to move on ”¦ I just needed some sort of prompting? Or am I NUTS? I honestly do not know. Sigh.

I decide to accept the lunch invitation. What’s the worst that can happen, right? Hahahah—I know EXACTLY what the worst that can happen includes. I fret over my decision for a couple of days—trying to separate if I’m getting a bad vibe from him or if one of my baggage U-hauls has dumped the contents on my front lawn.

I have refreshed myself on the red flags on LoveFraud. I’ve reread Martha Stout’s “Rule of Threes.” So far, in our FB and emails, he doesn’t match up with any of those. He appears to have some qualities I prefer. Also, he’s employed, just bought a new car so he should have some credit— and the car isn’t over the top. It’s in the range of what most of us buy in our salary range.

We’ve talked a few times at work and I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary—and believe me, I’m LOOKING for it. I’ve been looking for ANY indication that my bad man magnet is still operational”¦any excuse to nip this in the bud and go back to my comfort zone. I ask LOTS of questions”¦how else do you get to know someone but asking, right? I’ve asked him about things he likes and doesn’t like”¦without already having my likes and dislikes as ready answers. (I’m a little smarter than I used to be.) He gets a little tongue-tied when talking to me (a good sociopath never gets tongue tied). It’s kinda cute, really”¦as long as it’s sincere and not some new “game” he figured out.

SLOW SLOW SLOW. I’m in no hurry as this plays out.  I’ve spent some time on the internet—yes, I Googled him. The alma mater he lists on his profile actual matches the hit I got for his graduation (with honors). He hasn’t mentioned it ”¦ it’s the only “hit” I got.  We’ve talked on the phone a couple of times; it was nice. The more we talk, the more I feel a bit more at ease. Not glib. Not a braggart. Not pushy. (I HATE PUSHY!) Not exciting, and you know what I mean”¦ just normal-ish.

I’m still suspicious”¦ well, let’s call it cautious and reserved, shall we? I went to a male coworker (and friend) that I trust. We’ve worked together a long, long time—I could trust him with any secret. He also knows what I went through with the spath. I pulled him aside and asked him if I still had “Victim Here” written all over me, or if I was “dateable”? Seriously. *I* think I’ve changed. *I* think I’ve grown wiser. I LIKE to think that”¦ but do we really know until we test that theory?  After he rolled his eyes and I reminded him of where I’ve been, I got the “dateable” answer. Ha ha!

In addition to Googling him, I’ve tried to gain some insight on my conflicting thoughts. I’ve tried searching “Dating After Sociopath.”  I got a whole lot of nothing. There are tons of sites that discuss escaping and recovering from a spath (which is good and unfortunately necessary)”¦ but what about the next step? HOW does one take the next step without feeling crazy again?

It’s not just “Dating After Divorce.” I didn’t just “lose interest” or “grow apart” from my spouse”¦or even “just“ get dumped I all but got my soul sucked out. In a couple of weeks, I lost my husband, my imaginary life, my home, and everything, EVERYTHING I thought I knew. He’d also been sexually abusing my child. For years”¦while every day telling me how much he loved me. For months, I kept discovering more and more betrayals and lies. How on God’s green earth do you EVER believe a SINGLE word again? How do you trust another’s motivation again? HOW?  The vast majority of people in my life are those whom I’ve known for a decade”¦or 2 or 3. How do you “vet” a new person? And do I, or my kids, deserve my taking that risk? After everything that happened, everything I allowed to happen, by putting up with nonsense, shouldn’t I stay single/solo?  Shouldn’t that be my punishment?

I’m still talking to “new” guy.  If he is sincere”¦he’s probably feeling a bit perplexed. I answer many questions with a question and frequently give vague answers—I’m not drawing anyone a freaking roadmap to destroy my soul again. What he sees is probably my blowing hot and cold. A more accurate description would be just guarded and REALLY guarded.

Our lunch out is Tuesday. I’m not sure whether to say good luck to me”¦or him.

Donna Andersen replies

We are allowed to recover from the trauma of the sociopathic relationship. We are allowed to move on. In fact, if we don’t move on, if we don’t take our lives back, we are still in the trauma. It is healthy to put an end to it.

Recently a reporter was writing an article and sent out a query: “How do you know when to trust “your man”? I believe the answer is you can trust your man (or woman) when you can trust yourself.

Of course, that is exactly what Glinda is struggling with—as are many of us who had multiple run-ins with sociopaths and other bad actors. How do you know that you’re no longer sending out the “I’m a victim” vibes?

For Glinda, I believe the answer is in the beginning of her letter. She is basically at peace.  Work, friends, hobbies and kids are all good. She’s not lonely, empty or sad. All of this means that she is not looking for fulfillment from outside of herself. She is balanced and centered, and this is the best place from which to start dating.

We get in trouble when we feel that we are not enough on our own, and we need another person in order for us to feel successful, validated or complete. It’s the desperation vibe, the neediness vibe, the incompleteness vibe, which attracts the predators. If we’re in a place where companionship would be a pleasant addition to our already reasonably okay lives, then we’re in a place where we can invite someone to join us.

This is really the biggest sign that we’re ready to move on. But here are a few other tips to keep in mind.

Dating tips

1. Know the warning signs of sociopathic behavior in dating situations. Keep in mind, however, that you may not see these behaviors right away. Sociopaths can successfully put on an act for quite a long time.

10 Signs that you’re dating a sociopath

2. If you ever see a behavior that makes you respond, “Huh? What was that about?,” pay attention. It may be a sign that the mask has slipped, just enough for you to catch a glimpse of what is really there.

3. Check the person out. It is now commonplace for people to Google potential partners right away, so don’t feel like you’re out of line by doing it. In fact, Google creatively. Check out the person’s name, employment, and any background information that he or she offers you.

4. Do not allow most of your relationship to be email, text or even phone. Experts estimate that 65% to 90% of the meaning in communication comes from nonverbal cues. With email, text and phone, these cues are missing, so we don’t get the full range of human communications. So what do we do? We fill in the gaps with what we want to believe. We fall in love with our own fantasies.

5. Avoid long-distance relationships. You want to be able to get together with this person easily, and, if it works out, frequently. You want to be able to meet friends and family, see his or her workplace, and spend time together in a variety of environments. If you can’t conveniently drive to get together, the relationship is probably a bad idea.

6. Do not throw away a perception. If some behavior or statement strikes you as odd or troublesome, do not let the person talk you out of it or explain it away. Do not let the person gaslight you into believing it never happened.

7. Consider what your friends and family say. If people are telling you that the guy or gal is bad news, they have a bad feeling, or any other negative feedback, at least listen. You may even have to solicit their opinions. Often people have reservations, but they don’t want to spoil your happiness, so they don’t say anything. Give people an opportunity to speak. However, if you have bad vibes, and your friends and family say you should give the person a chance, trust yourself.

8. Go slow.

9. Trust your instincts. We all have an internal warning system. If your stomach goes in knots, the hair on the back of your neck rises, or you feel fear, listen to yourself. Many of us felt the warnings before we became involved with sociopaths—the feeling that something wasn’t right—but we didn’t pay attention. Your body will tell you when someone should be avoided.

10. The first person you go out with may not be the love of your life, and that’s okay. Sometimes people come into our lives to help us continue to heal. You may have a few interim involvements before you find a person who has the potential to be a permanent partner.

It is possible to recover, to heal, to fall in love again. And I can tell you, the love I have with my husband now is richer and more fulfilling than anything I experienced before the sociopath.

Glinda, it sounds to me like you’re in a good place and you can trust yourself. There are plenty of good, empathetic and loving people out there. Don’t feel like you need to know how it will all turn out before you start. Let everything evolve, and pay attention to what you experience, and what you feel, all along the way.

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Ox Drover

Dear Glinda, Great article, thanks for posting it….and I agree with your feelings.

Donna, I also 100% agree with your answers to Glinda, and the TRUSTING YOURSELF AGAIN is the important thing.

Good luck Glinda on your date! Just enjoy the lunch!!! Sounds to me like you are on YOUR way to a good place and can TRUST YOURSELF again! I hope HE is worthy of your company! (((hugs)))


VERY good article! A report from the field of life post spath. Glinda, I am going to write you when i am interested in meeting someone again.

Let us know how things unfold!

lesson learned

Excellent article! I’m no where NEAR even THINKING about dating anyone! That is something I DO know for sure about myself and for the first time in my life, I don’t want too. I need to learn to have a positive, good relationship with me first. I’m so not there yet. At least I know that much, and for that, I’m very grateful.

I have school, lots of friends (going to Michigan in January for a visit with a close friend and can’t WAIT to play in the snow!), great kids and a dog that is my heart too. That’s enough for right now. I’m pretty raw to anything else.

Just the thought of another nasty man approaching me is nauseating. For the first time in my life I hope NO ONE approaches me! lol! It just feels safer that way for right now.

I’m learning how to be okay with where I’m at, the process…..and that it’s going to take awhile.

Thanks for such an enlightening article!


I kept imagining that Glinda was going to end up holding interviews like Elaine on Seinfeld, when she was trying to determine if a guy is “spongeworthy”.
At this point, it’s our only recourse!
Either that, or just jump in, like I did. Ok, I knew that he has issues. Got all that out of the way ahead of time, he told me about them and it wasn’t like he could hide much, since the spath knew him for years and told me all about him. So instead of looking for a guy that looks normal, but might be hiding something, I just went for a guy that I know is very unusual but is REALLY bad at hiding it. Turns out his flaws are kinda lovable.
It doesn’t matter who I meet, or know, I will always and forever look at every person I meet like they could be the devil in disguise, even my BF.. EVEN MY OWN PARENTS,
I told them so last night, as they cried and begged me to be part of their family again. I told them, that no matter how good they are to me in the future, I will always expect a knife in the back. That will never change. MAYBE it was ignorance and MAYBE I’m like the chick in the hen house that all the others just naturally want to pick on, so it isn’t their fault. Of all the kids I was born the smallest, only 6lbs and kinda sickly…. anyways, knowledge is a double edged sword. Because of my ability to spot red-flags, I can see them in everyone. Normal people acting selfish now seem to sprout horns from their foreheads and tails from their spine.
The trickiness of the spath is the problem and they hide behind normal human flaws and selfishness, cloaking their evil by saying (as my spath literally did), “do you think I’m thoughtless?”
Only when everyone is aware of what a spath is and how to spot them, will we be free of their evil. Because then they will serve as an example of how not to be and normal people will stop doing sociopathic acts, giving spaths a cover. At that point they will just be a laughing stock. We will all naturally laugh at them and when a child sees a pedophile offering her candy, she will run to her mom and say, “Mommy look at the funny spath!”


ooh, good article and great refresher Donna! Gotta go ahead and bookmark this for safe keepins’ 😉 as someone who has encountered not one but two sociopaths in her life ( one female, one male ), it’s GOOD to be cautious. That’s learning taking place, right there!


Dear Glinda,

Your post sounds so healthy, like Donna said, you’re coming from a place of peace and that means you aren’t needy and vulnerable. Chances of attracting a spath have gone down. I would go slowly and be aware of all your feelings and listen closely to them.

After giving this opportunity of dating (pretty exciting one too) a try, you may find that your spath attracting days are over! You sound grounded and very healed, take the chance, albeit slowly, and let us know how it turned out.

People like Donna who have gone on to have a wonderful relationship post spath, well, I want to be that person one day. Even if I’m alone, I want to be at peace without the relationship. Congratulations on your recovery and with successfully moving on!


Lunch today was great. If that’s what “normal” is, I rather liked it. Today was really the first time we’ve had a chance to talk for that long face to face. I seem to make him a tad nervous… he has no idea how appealing that is. I’ve had enough bravado to last 3 lifetimes.

I am much more at ease tonight. I’m not ready to DIVE into the pool but it might be fun to get splashed. 😉


well, yay!

glinda, i hope you keep posting on this as you go – we all have lots to learn from one another.

lesson learned


I really admire you. You’re where I wish I was now…

I understand, as everyone else here does too, what it is to be involved with a Spath and the devastation it brings….and ya know what, Chica? If it brings you an ADDED element of love, after learning to love yourself…..well God Bless you. You deserve the very best. I think everyone here does. I really do.

I’ll be waiting with baited breath to find out how things go!

Good Luck and many blessings, Chica. Truly. 🙂


Great tips and a great description of dipping toes after being with a sociopath. I am also on the lookout for any red flags in the men I meet and am ultra cautious about progressing any relationship. But it’s good to be back out there and feeling pretty good about myself after so long being down in the black dungeon of psychopathic doom.

Merry Christmas and hope everyone gets lots of ‘safe’ New Year kisses from someone who’s actually worthy of them 🙂


Congrats on your healed and peaceful place in life. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but your story brings me back to a point with my xspath.
He wore the Mr. Nice Guy mask and wanted to be liked by all the pretty women at work. He is a porno perv and wanted to be “friends” with all of them to go home and fantasize about. I didn’t know this at the time. I figured it out. Female coworkers calling him on his cell not during work hours. Phone on vibrate while I’m sitting next to him and he doesn’t answer. His behavior with his female coworkers was nothing but inappropriate while I (his fiance) was sitting at home being violated by that behavior and abused. (most of these women didn’t even know he was engaged).
Anyway, my bottom line comment is: You don’t swim in the office pool! You don’t crap where you eat! If something goes wrong, one of you is going to lose a job. Just proceed with caution. Just my opinion!


PS. Mr. Nice Guy mask is a tricky one. He would do something to support an ugly womans personal issue just to get in with the women because there was some sexy one he wanted to impress in the group. SICK… I tell you… SICK!!
I wish I could be where you are in recovery…. I’m not yet! I will get there!


I appreciate your point, soimnotthecrazee1, I do. I thought about that. I came to this: The vast majority of people at my office are good and decent people. I should have swam in the office pool years ago. I’m still cautious, of course, but really, now that I think about it, some of the vetting has already been done for me during the hiring process that includes background checks. There are not many bottom feeders there. And the bottom feeders don’t last long. “new” guy is just new to my floor…not the company as a whole. There are 5 married couples on my floor alone- not that I’M thinking that way, just that the company doesn’t have a policy against it.


I don’t know how old you are or where you live BUT dating within the company is against an unwritten moral rule where I come from in the corporate world. Hence the word “inappropriate”, if he is going against a basic human rule of consciousness, what else will he do to be a boundary breaker?
The company may not have a rule against it… but do you?
Being a business professional, I don’t go to work to get attention, flirt, win a popularity contest or try to be the sexiest dressed for the day. I get paid to do a job and the rest of my day is my personal life.
Please proceed with caution!!!
I wish you the best with this and I am happy that you have even gone on a lunch date. I will get there soon!
PS. Remember an HR background check will not exspose past relationships and an spath. Just credit check and criminal activity.
Please proceed with caution!


Glinda, actually that credit check will give you a world of information. If his credit is good, it’s likely that he is not a spath.


Please!!! If he pays his bills with somebody else’s money! He will have perfect credit! Like a girlfriends or Mommy’s money!!! Credit doesn’t speak for morals!!!!


Spaths have a way of cunning their way into perfection. Not all of them are jailbirds/tatooed ridden/social rejects or are currently jailed for murder or less or more. They are the Mr. Nice Guys that charm the hell out of people to pay their bills on time to keep their credit good, to keep their employment referrences good, because they know they are going to move on to the next cheap “thrill”. Adrenaline rush of the week! Week? hell!! Cheap rush of the day is more like it!

Dani S

Dear Glinda,
I know exactly how you feel! I too am finally completely contented with my life. I am enjoying my job, am completely focused on my children’s happiness. I adore my family and my friends. Life is busy, care free and wonderful. It has taken a long time to get here but I ‘love’ my life!

After a couple of false starts I started dating a guy about 8 months ago! Through my own wish of not wanting to compromise my life again, I ended it.

He is definitely not a spath and I know I are really tuned into the red flags and the unnerving feeling we get, called our instincts that I ignored when I met my spath because my spath was just toooo amazing lol and I didn’t want to believe anything else.

Anyhoo this guy politely and graciously backed away, away enough to give me my self again but remained a friend.
He made my laugh and we enjoyed our time together and slowly I let him back in. I told him I am committed to us, I dont want to see anyone else but I dont want to be in a relationship.

I know that sounds really stupid but I dont want to loose control of my life because it was so out of control for years when I was with the spath.

He is happy with this, he is happy to give me all the time and space I need, we see each other a couple of times a week and he never pressures me for more than that. Unlike the spath who stayed one night and never went home.

This guy know’s what I have been through and he understands and is a very nice caring person and I know he loves me.

It was scary dipping the toes into the dating pool but I know that the person I spend time with now is never going to hurt me because my instincts and radar I can now trust!

This relationship is moving at a snails pace, and that is the way I like it. A good person only wants to bring out your best and they will do what ever it is to see you happy. Only a selfish person would put demands on your time and pressure on a relationship and that is not the person I would consider being with these days. I would rather be alone!

Relationships terrify me but I now trust my self to have a little bit of fun again with a man.This guy might not be the one I will spend the rest of my life with but I trust him enough to let me move and heal to the next level.

Glinda there are good men out there, dont let one bad egg ruin a little bit of romance, who know’s you might enjoy it! Always trust your gut feeling!!!! Best of Luck 🙂


hiya Glinda and all
i am in the same boat as you, almost identical.
Its so difficult not looking out for those red flags !
I was in a horrific place from Nov 1998 to March 2006 and almost lost myself and everything dear to me. .
Ive now met a new man (7 weeks of dating…yay) after thinking I would never ever allow a man near me, however I am a lot stronger, a lot wiser and won’t allow anybody to twist my heart and head like I once did. I will stay tuned for the outcome(s) of Glinda’s and my new experiences.
hugs to all x


soimnotthecrazee1 boy can i relate to what you wrote about the phone vibrating… it’s a bit disconcerting to remember actually STIFLING/suppressing your own instincts! I know they were screaming out at me, day after day, but the Sociopath would always have an explanation for everything, and if i didn’t buy that, i was “crazy” “jealous” etc etc. Self turned against self. Glad that we’re both out of that hellhole. I wouldn’t wish a Sociopath on my worst enemy, they are vacuous, hollow, vapid pieces of shit masquerading as gold. He “showed” me a text message he got from a girl once ( They like to “show” you things as to say, Look if i show you this it means that i’m really not hiding anything- which is the farthest thing from the truth, but they would like to have you believe it anyway ) , who was wondering how he was doing, showing me how “desperate” women were for him. He even showed me how he would reply to her very nonchalantly and she would hang on to every word. Little did I know this was part of his predation… he’d grin smugly, “See?” he would say… like he expected her to just keep being eager and that gave him a sense of pride. What pathetic lives they live.


wow, i am pleased to see this thread because the subject matter is current. i been reading this site for about 2 weeks trying to figure things out and wondering what in the wide wide world of sports has hit me because nothing was making sense.

the other threads were all old so i thought that maybe this website wasnt current anymore.

i am a late 40’s male and have never been emotionally victemized before, yeah, i can usually see the BS’ers coming but they are no big deal. but to be set up from “hello to goodbye” by a true female conartist/sociopath and nothing associated is making any sense is more than distressing. i lost about 15 pounds and was sick for about 2 or 3 months, i honestly thought i had cancer or diabetes.

i knew something wasnt adding up, but i could not find the answers on my own because i didnt know where to look within my own logical thought process. now, its adding up and things are making sense (in their own illogical way).

the holidays are coming up. 10 years ago, when our company started the 10 day christmas holiday break, it was great. this year i’m absolutly dreading it but i’ve made a list of everything i need to get done to keep me busy, so I think i’m going to be ok.

…. man, i’m glad i found this place!


Hi echo. I stumbled in the door here 4 years ago, almost to the day. Finding answers to “what in the H*ll just happened to me?” were the first and best steps in getting back on my mental feet. I hope you find what you need here.


“What pathetic lives they live.”

You wrote perfct words for describing them!!!!


Glinda, i have spent just about all my spare time researching this, i am astounded and speechless. i am finding what i need and more, getting my bearings adjusted and realizing i really didnt do anything wrong, except I allowed myself to exceed a couple of my own boundaries … but that turned out to be my undoing and a big deal.

but this is fine, better to reseach and inquire than to spend hours staring off into distance. if i waste hours and weeks being despondant …. she wins.

when i get my “voice” back, i’m going to be pretty vocal about it, i have the impression that spath’s dont like to be called out and have their cover blown.

thanks again


hello echosandsilence22 – look on the left side of the page for a monthly archive of threads. all threads here are relevant to people at different times and stages of their recovery; nothing goes out of date.

Take a look also at the series by blog author Kathleen Hawk (again, found to the left.)

And please do a bit more reading before outing the spath. best to have the information you need about the possible ramifications of that action before you take that action.

I hear you. Most of us know that place you are in – obsessed out of necessity. In the beginning was offended when people suggested i was obsessed as I know it was a judgment. Well, i was obsessed, and it is natural and necessary. I have also done my fair share of staring off into the distance. I have been here a year, and things are getting better.

The healing process is a lot like the wounding process- its hard to compute as we have no frame of reference. It WILL take much longer than any other sort of loss or ending of a relationship – even a highly dysfunctional one. But, we are here and there is a lot of wisdom, knowledge, experience and laughter on these threads.

I don’t know what i would have done without lf last xmas – i am looking forward to spending some time here this xmas.

Happy Towanda and a spath free new year!

(we shout towanda here when one of us makes a wise move, so now it’s our holiday greeting also. we do love our lf language!)

Ox Drover

Dear Echo,


The process of healing starts out about them, and ends up about US and it is not going to be over quickly, I can tell you that!

Learning about them is what gives us our power back. Knowledge=power, but realizing that we have been BETRAYED is very painful and makes us lose confidence in OURSELVES to keep ourselves SAFE. That is worse I think than losing confidence in others or one person in particular.

I hope you will stay around and post and READ the older archived threads, just the articles, there are over 700 of them and they will be a wonderful PhD in healing.

Good luck and again, welcome! God bless.


I just adore your way with words, Oxy. “…wonderful PhD in healing.” Love it!

Ox Drover

Dear Glinda,

Thank you dear, I’m just getting a big head with all the compliments I have been getting here lately. My teachers in school called it a “smart mouth!” LOL ((((hugs)))) LOL


echo, welcome to LF! I’m glad that you’ve discovered the truth.. one thing you’ll notice as you read on is that they all tend to pull the same/similar tricks. As if they’re machinized robots. Read as much as you can, and I know you will heal. Also might I recommend for more reading material : Kathy Krajco’s blog ( She has passed of 2008 but all her material is still up. She is one of my favorite authors on sociopathy/NPD and has been one of the most helpful… many Ah-Ha moments.)

Tell your story and share if you feel inclined, you will find validation here. Here’s to healing!



thank you for the welcome.

it took me a while to realize that something was wrong and i just couldnt put my finger on it.

at my age, i have always thought that i’d seen it all and didnt even entertain the thought that anyone could run a new scam on me … even though i had the facts, i just couldnt get my mind around it … who would have the audacity to outright lie to me like this … and then have the unmitigated gall to expect me to buy into it?

anyway, im starting to get a handle on it and I see everything getting better in time. one of the difficult things for me is that I have no one to tell and I dont think anyone would believe me, which starts me back to doubting myself and the whole cycle starts all over again … which seems to be the master plan of the spath in the first place.

i’m thankful that she didnt get me for too much money and i’m thankful that I have enough outside projects to keep me busy and get back on track.

ive been able to read plenty of items on this website, i just have to pace myself so that im not up until 1 am on a worknight.

when i first found this place and started reading these different items and having my “ah ha” moments and started putting the pieces together, and read the “red flags”, the blood started draining out of me, i just couldnt get my mind around. the whole thing just seems evil and sinister …. which it is.

thanks for the welcome, i’m looking forward to learning, healing and moving forward.

Ox Drover

Dear Echo,

YOu know the thing I think that was the most helpful to me here at LF is that the people here are NOT DUMB BUNNIES, THEY ARE SMART, articulate, educated folks.

I’ve been on various blogs here on various subjects on the Internet and seem some people that are essentially dumber’n dirt in a box! That is NOT the case here, most of the people here are smart, and you know if some of the SMART people on here got conned, what makes me think I’m necessarily dumb just because I got conned.

You are right though, NO ONE BELIEVES YOU, and if they do they think to themselves (even if they don’t out right SAY IT) “Boy is s/he dumber’n a box of dirt to get conned.”

Everyone thinks they are not going to get conned, and in a way I think our smarts OUT SMART US, because we FEEL SAFE to spot a con, and that’s the thing, no matter how smart you are, they are DUMB LIKE A FOX and they make us feel safe around them and then WHAMMO! they have us in their grasp!

Glad you are here and just keep on reading, sometimes it takes reading an article several times before we really GET IT…but each bit of progress we make, makes the next bit of progress easier. Again, Welcome.


My copy of Without Conscience ( by Robert Hare, PhD ) just arrived today, and I wanted to share the preface Quote in the beginning of the book, by William March from the Bad Seed cause i think it’s such a good and illuminating paragraph:

[G]ood people are rarely suspicious: they cannot imagine others doing the things they themselves are incapable of doing; usually they accept the undramatic solution as the correct one, and let matters rest here. Then too, the normal are inclined to visualize the [psychopath] as one who’s as monstrous in appearance as he is in mind, which is about as far from the truth as one could well get… These monsters of real life usually looked and behaved in a more normal manner than their actually normal brothers and sisters; they presented a more convincing picture of virtue than virtue presented of itself- just as the wax rosebud or the plastic peach seemed more perfect to the eye, more what the mind thought a rosebud or a peach should be, than the imperfect original from which had been modelled.

Ox Drover

Dear dancingnancies,

That is so true. Thanks for posting that, I have the book but haven’t re-read it in a while, mine is mostly HIGHLIGHTED EVERY PAGE, EVERY [email protected] !!!! LOL

Because we cannot imagine doing the things that they do to others, “when we hear hoof beats we think horses, not zebras,” but believe me, when the zebra bites you, you lose an arm! Sometimes it IS THE ZEBRA.

Dear Echos, Welcome, so glad you found this place of healing. And am glad that you are able to see an “ahah” moment here, a way to put the WTF? stuff into perspective.

Most of us “empaths” are left devasted and scratching our heads, saying, how does this fit, how is this real, what just happened to me and my life.? Whether it be 6 months or 3 decades.

And then our conditioning sets in and we make excuses, we accomadate, we deny.

Usually it is only when we have nothing left to give, or feel, that we say “Wait a minute??”

So not to say that we here are all inherently designed to be victims, but it seems in this topsy turvy world of me firsters, if we are giving and caring and honest and sincere, if we have morals and standards and a way we choose to live our lives, we will at some point be chosen, shall I say targeted, to be the victim of a “spath”.

We give them very good cover. We help them look good. We give them supply.

The hardest part is to realize that what we have to give is still valid, and worthy of nurturing, we only gave it in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Hope this makes sense. Welcome. We have all healed here. Hope you do too. And don’t change yourself. Only your awareness and your boundaries.

Peace, A


very well said anitasee,
The awareness and boundaries are still issues I’m working on because I was raised by parents who are, N’s or something…(not sure about my mom, I still go into a WTF? moment when I try to reconcile what she says with what she did.
It’s hard to judge your own parent as harshly as I’m tempted to.
welcome to the worst club with the best people. Worst because no one should have to go through the fires of hell that we have. And best because, often, it is our goodness that made us targets, we just couldn’t imagine the evil that existed because it doesn’t exist in us. When we come out of the fires, the agony is quenched in the cool waters of LF. When we have cooled, and the cloudy steam dissipates, we emerge tempered and stronger than before.


now, THERE’S a positioning line (tag line): The worst club, with the best people!


ooohh, yeah, it is a good tag line. didn’t think of it that way, maybe that will be the title of my blog or my book or something, one day…
Is that what you do Onestep? Marketing?


yep, a big part of what i do. 😉
and i am in full swing with writing marketing materials right now.


Sounds fun, but HARD! You have to be creative on demand, huh? Do you drink a lot of coffee? I find that I’m more creative on coffee or chocolate.

Ox Drover

Dear Skyu,

That is GREAT!!!

“The worst club, with the best people!”

That should be the new LF motto! GREAT!!!! tag line for sure! and very very true. I wouldn’t wish membership in our “club” on my worst enemy, but if you gonna join, this is the best place to be! (((hugs))))



thanks Oxy,
I feel like I heard it somewhere before and it just came out now. My brain is sooooo swiss cheese these days. can’t remember anything. But I know the reason is because I’m processing spathology (LOL) every minute of every day. I never stop thinking: how does this relate to the spaths?

Yesterday, I was trying to put a USB stick in my laptop to download a file and I kept trying to put it into the ethernet port, and could not figure out why it wasn’t reading it… took me about 2 minutes to get it. and I’ve had that laptop for almost 10 years.

Ox Drover

Dear Sky,

DUH!!! Yea, I do that sort of thing all the time and it almost got me killed Friday (literally KILLED as in DEAD–won’t go into the details but I did something so incredibly stupid it was almost like proof that God protects drunks and stupid people and I hadn’t been drinking). I was VERY fortunate it didn’t cost me my life. And it was like you said, you “couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t fit” I SAW SOMETHING WRONG, but couldn’t figure out what was going on, I was just “gobsmacked” stupid. Sometimes when I do things like that (less lethal fortunately) it makes me wonder how I haven’t done something to kill myself just out of not paying attention to DETAILS. My lack of attention to detail now, post plane crash 6 yrs ago, is something I am still adjusting to. I have “improved” since the crash, but still am not close at all to what I was capable of before the crash.

I still lose things all the time and forget to do things, have to double check myself like an OCD patient checking to see if the bathtub water was shut off 150 times before they can leave the house. LOL


yeah, I know what you mean Oxy, but it sort of balances out too.
a few days ago, I was driving my big truck, usually I drive my little car. I backed into a parked car. So I left a note.
When the guy called me back, I got a feeling that he was a spath. He first said it was nothing, just a broken taillight and would fix it himself, then by the end of the call, he was throwing around figures like $500.00. Also, he was really worried about my deductible and my insurance rates going up.

So, I called my insurance co, because I felt the red flags go up.
Sure enough, when my agent called him, he refused to talk to her and said he would NEVER have time to talk to her. LOL.
If he doesn’t talk, he doesn’t get paid. I took pictures after I left the note, so I’m not too worried.
Point is, I was so fogged up because I’malways thinking spath, but got free of a spath.

Ox Drover

Dear Sky,

Yea, I think if it happens like that again, CALL the COPS and report it, you were smart to take pictures though. Yea I think the guy was just scheming for some cash pay off! Might not have been a psychopath but he sure was apparently a CROOK! LOL

It IS WISE I think to be on your guard in cases like this because while the guy didn’t give you enough evidence to say he WAS a psychopath, he did give you enough evidence he was a CROOK, and dealing with a CROOK is about as bad.


Glinda, I’m happy to hear the lunch went well. In the circumstances it’s natural to be cautious, but fortunately the large majority of people are not psychopaths–or pathologically abusive in any other way–so the chances are good that this guy should be OK. And barring a caution or two, there’s everything to be said for dating someone where you work.

I completely agree with Donna’s remarks 4 and 5, for precisely the reasons she states, about avoiding long distance relationships and not relying extensively on e-mail, text, and phone. I don’t have much to say about today’s dating pool from personal experience, since I haven’t been in it for quite a while. But if I had to be, I think I’d feel rather nervous, knowing some of what goes on today. People jump into relationships, even marriage, with partners they’ve hardly had a chance to get to know properly.

I can appreciate that someone living, say, in the middle of Montana where there’s hardly anyone AVAILABLE to date within a hundred miles might feel obliged to consider a long distance relationship. But surely anyone living in or near a decent size city or conurbation–which is most people–should be able to find a pool of potential partners within reasonable driving distance. With a long distance relationship people don’t even have the TIME to get to know someone thoroughly, let alone “in a variety of environments.”

As for electronic communications, yes, we do lose a vast amount of nonverbal information if all we’re seeing or hearing is words. Come to think of it, we can’t even tell if the person we’re “chatting” with takes a bath regularly or not! Telephone is a little better than other methods, because there’s information in people’s voice tone as well as in their words–though we’re still missing a lot when we can’t SEE them. But with e-mail especially, we not only lack vocal expression, but people have time to think how they’re going to respond. In some contexts that’s an advantage, but it also gives writers more chance to “put on their best face,” so to speak, which may not be their truest face.

Dating someone where you work, on the other hand, is at the opposite pole from this. In fact it’s hard to think of a better way to meet potential partners, unless you date someone from your home town you’ve known half your life. I admit I’m biased of course. I did meet my wife at work, and for many years we worked together in the same company. But then I’d had good luck even before that on occasions when I dated people I worked with.

The fact that your company has vetted its employees when they were hired is just another bonus. During normal dating we may only see our partner in what I’d call a “dating environment,” interacting with a very limited number of people in somewhat artificial circumstances. But if it’s someone we work with, we get far more time and opportunity to see them interacting more naturally with a larger variety of people, in the course of trying to get real tasks done and problems solved. That gives us more chance to see “who they really are,” how they operate in the world at large, their abilities and attitudes and how they negotiate with others.

Sometimes too the very fact of working for the same company can increase the chances of having interests and values in common. Plus there’s a good chance a person you’re dating at work has other friends in the company who can shed light on their background. In terms of getting to know someone it’s usually a winning proposition all round.

Naturally you’d have to be wary of dating a direct superior or subordinate, but you’ve said this guy isn’t even in the same branch of the organizational tree that you are.

The other caution is if the relationship ends up going really sour when the two of you still have to work together, which could be awkward. But there’s only a small chance things will end up that badly, and anyway I’m hearing you don’t have to work that closely with this guy. So you should be all right. Good luck!


P.S. I just scanned some of the comments and noticed “soimnotthecrazee1’s” remarks. All I can say is yes, I’ve heard there are some companies that do TRY to prohibit their employees from dating one another. But I had to chuckle at a Wall Street Journal writer who wittily observed what many employers realize: that “trying to stamp out office romance is like standing in front of a speeding train!” 😀

Obviously some individuals will choose to avoid dating people they work with if they feel it isn’t right or wise for themselves. Either way it calls for common sense. But in my own working life it had never occurred to me to wonder what an employer would have to say about it! Co-workers around me dated or were sometimes married to one another. I suppose to me it was unthinkable that employers would imagine they had the right to tell us what we “could” and “couldn’t” do with our private lives in our own spare time. As long as we’re professional on the job it’s none of an employer’s damn business, and I wouldn’t choose to work for anyone who thought they could dictate to us that way. That IS a “boundary issue.” I wouldn’t want an employer who stepped over MY boundaries!

Digging into the issue a little further, if what I read is true, the trend is for MORE people today to date those they work with. And some employers have found actual benefits in matchmaking within their company. At any rate, for romances to develop at work is the most natural thing in the world. While they can call for caution and some people choose to avoid them, I’m very surprised anyone would imagine that humans in general have some “basic rule of consciousness” inhibiting them from dating people they work with. Experience proves nothing of the kind, so that notion must spring from corporate brainwashing of some kind. So, Glinda, there’s no reason to be wary of this guy on that account, or to imagine you yourself are doing anything “unnatural.” Just use common sense, that’s all.


Welcome! I’m a newbie here, so I don’t have alot of knowledge like some here. I can say that you will learn alot and get alot of support here and a few laughs. Just read read read and digest it!


I don’t know what corporate moral world you came from but…
in mine there is etiquette!!!!

There are 3 things you don’t discuss at the office
1. Sex
2. Religion
3. Politics

You don’t swim in the office pool ( dating someone you work with is not acceptable)
Yes!! you follow the dress code!!!
As far as not being told what to do…. sounds like an spath attitude to me! Since elementary school we have been taught to follow the rules!!!
If you can’t follow these 3 basic rules of proper business etiquette then you need to go back to etiquette school!!! Loose morals is what is wrong with our society today!


Taking a moral temp is looking at whether one recognizes etiquette:
Rules of etiquette encompass most aspects of social interaction in any society, though the term itself is not commonly used. A rule of etiquette may reflect an underlying ethical code, or it may reflect a person’s fashion or status. Rules of etiquette are usually unwritten, but aspects of etiquette have been codified from time to time.


Farking manners!!!! Doesn’t anyone have them anymore?

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