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LOVEFRAUD TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Relationship survey for Lovefraud readers

Ever since Lovefraud launched in 2005, my goal has been to educate people about the dangers of sociopaths—preferably before their lives are shredded. One effort in that direction is the Lovefraud high school education program—I’ll be doing my first three classes next month.

Another effort is my next book—tentatively called Red Flags of Love Fraud—Signs that you’re dating a sociopath. It will identify behavior that may indicate a prospective romantic partner is not all that he or she claims to be, and explain how what seems to be expressions of love may, in fact, be strategies of manipulation and control.

We’ve discussed our experiences here on Lovefraud, and through the telling, identified many behaviors that all seem to “come from the same playbook.” However, I’d like to collect that information in a more structured way so that I can use it in the book. Therefore, I invite you to participate in the Lovefraud Romantic Partner Survey.

Most of the questions are multiple choice, but there are a few places where you can write out your observations. It would probably be best to do the survey when you have about 20 minutes of free time.

Thank you for your contributions. To start the survey, click the following link:

Lovefraud Romantic Partner Survey


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348 Comments on "LOVEFRAUD TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Relationship survey for Lovefraud readers"

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Donna,

What a fantastic idea! Any ideas as to when the book may be published?

LL

Hi Donna – thanks. I have just completed the survey. What a lot can happen in a year and it can change our lives forever. Putting it down on ‘paper’ makes me realise what a stupid, stupid individual I have been. Had it not been for my family and the strength they gave me I would probably still be with him.

Candy,

I did the survey too. It was interesting and had a powerful impact on me too. Blogging here is so much different than answering questions to a survey about your experience. For me, it was validating.

You are FAR from stupid, Candy, although I know that we have all experienced that feeling along the way. Your posts have been so helpful to me personally. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. 🙂

LL

Donna

LOL, I realize that, just curious as to when you put it together if you have a target date. 🙂

LL

The survey was so interesting in how some of the questions were worded, but one in particular that I would like some feedback on.

It was about when a person starts to see the bad behaviors out of the spath start. Then there were months in numbers to choose from

On this site, it has been a bit odd to me to see that usually the bad behaviors, if not odd behaviors start typically around the third month.

In my own experience, this was true. The first REALLY Bad display. There were others that I blew off but this was so huge that I could not ignore it.

What were your experiences with this? Was it typical they would display in your relationshit about month three? That is just ODD to me.

LL

I just finished the survey. It was hard for me to answer most of the questions because I never even actually met the individual face to face. All I know about him comes from another person, it’s all hearsay. And I believe the other person was his partner so who knows if what he (his partner) told me was accurate? For example, the first question was hard for me to answer since we weren’t really “dating”, we were just using Messenger to “talk”.

I haven’t been here in a while but I do read a lot of the articles and posts here. Thank goodness for LF.

Getting information to a prospective audience of people BEFORE they are hooked by a psychopath is a great idea, Donna. Helping someone AFTER the damage is good, but PREVENTION IS EVEN BETTER.

Good luck! Hope the survey helps.

Donna LL thanks. I’m just glad I’m out. If we can be honest and brave in the survey, help others, they can learn from our mistakes, then something positive will come out of it.

LL, personally, it didn’t take as long as three months. I would say it actually took a little less than two months for him to take all my money.

And as in Candy’s case, I still do feel stupid about it even though it happened three years ago.

I will do the survey just as soon as I can. It would be great if there was a booklet that could be handed out to students… like the ones they gave us about sex ed when we were kids.

Two things I hope that will be in there.

Q. My boyfriend wants to know where I am at all times. That means he really loves me, right?

A. No!!! It means he wants to control you!

Wisdom Corner: When a person doesn’t take “no” for an answer, they are violating your boundaries. DANGER!!

And lastly, Donna, you might want to tap into Domestic Violence cirriculums. The local DV Agency (www.Nextdoor.org) in my area has a teen group called “Healthy Relationships.”

I suspect you already thought of that. :O)

Aloha

Aloha,

I’d like to build on that too, Donna. Community medical clinics. Well, shoot medical clinics everywhere! Booklets would be WONDERFUL!

Also, colleges. There are MANY sociopaths in the college arena.

My daughter ran into quite an unpleasant few. Even as professors.

LL

Donna,

What about online dating sites? Given that this avenue is filled with sociopaths, (mine included) perusing for their next victims, how can the Ten Signs You’re Dating a Sociopath be implemented onto those sites? Or is it even possible?

Just curious.

LL

I need to change my user name. Something came up on my computer today that made me feel very uncomfortable.

I also need to change my email addy here. I don’t know how to get into my account to do that. Any suggestions?

Thank you.

LL

I did it. :O)

I didn’t realize he was that bad of an S until I answered the question in the survey. Everything was a extreme. Not an N, but a not so great functioning S. How did I get involved with someone like this? I know better!

Jen,

I hear ya! Doing that survey kind of opend up some old wounds. It still gets me mad that he did something like this to me.

It felt good doing this survey – when I divorced 6 years ago I had to tell it to my lawyer. She was in disbelief as to all the things he had done. I felt like such a loser – until I started reading this site and finally had a diagnosis as to who he really is. Nobody understands what these people are capable of until you have actually been through it.

I did it – do I get a BoZo button?

Hens,

You get to take part in creating a preventative program… which makes you definately NOT a Bozo.. but if you really want a button… we might be able to arrange it. :O)

Aloha!

alohatraveler – You always make me smile…:)

hehe… :O)

one/joy_step_at_a_time

LL- on the left side of the page under META> change profile. Change your password too.

And if it is a security issue on your computer (and not about being in this public forum), then download a free anti-keylogger, that will scramble anything you write in a a browser (which is what you are doing when you write here).

I just took the survey and what an eye opener! I have been NC since October 2010 after a 7 year relationship although he has texted me several times with real “cute” phrases. I didn’t fall for one of them. I ignore him completely. After taking the survey, I thought to myself, what if my 19 or 22 year old daughters came to me with this survey answering it just like I did and said, Mom, I met this guy and want to marry him. I WOULD FREAK and say RUN! So, why didn’t I run, when so many RED FLAGS were beating me against my head? I only know that I was captivated by his presence. As I told him, I could just melt into your dimples. Now, after reading my answers on the survey, I realize that I was love struck by a manipulating con man. He may have taken $10K from me, but he DID NOT get my life. I struggle everyday with intrusive thoughts, but not good ones, just the hurtful ones (things he said and did that crushed me). I want those thoughts to go away but I know in order to heal, I have to confront each one of those hurts. THANK YOU DONNA FOR A GREAT SURVEY THAT PAINTS THE PICTURE IN BLACK AND WHITE! I needed that…….

I get a BoZo button, LOL.

I chose to do the survey on husband rather than boy friend. I found with the boy friend that things changed at about the 3 month level.

Since the marriage lasted 25 years I think a lot of things I assumed were normal were not really and the abuse escalated the last 4 years, but I notice so many similarities between BF and H as far as things that happened in beginning. Just one example. The first sleepover for each of them, they were rude to me in bed. (not sexually) BF yelled at me for waking him up and H accused me of stealing covers in a mean way.

They were guests in my home and treated ME like they were entitled, and I should tiptoe around their needs. YUK!!!

TTS

I participated in the survey as well. It felt incredibly good to answer YES or check the “Extreme Measure” box, because that had truthfully been the measure of what he did, to inflict himself and his crap on me. It had been incredibly intense. My answers were 100% accurate and honest. I am glad I got to project how much each behavior/catagory affected me, and how much cruely was truly inflicted. Thank you, Donna! I took one of the Dr. Hare tests, however this was different. It was more poinient for me. Something about it. It felt more about “ME” as apposed to the focus being on him, or diagnosing the Psychopath. I needed it!

Peace…

Eden

Hi all. Most of us seem t be asking the question ‘Why?’Why did I stay? Why didn’t I see it?

When I was nursing at the regional plastic surgery hospital an Asian child of about 3 was brought in with part of her nose missing.

We asked her parents what had happened and we were horrified to learn that it had been done by a rat.

We jumped to the conclusion that the rat had jumped up and bit her. Not so, she had been asleep, the rat crept into her cot and very gently started knawing. The child eventually woke and started crying.

A horrible story I know and you will be pleased to hear that the surgeons did a brilliant reconstruction job.

What’s my point? Well, we are innocently in the wrong place at the wrong time. The spaths sneak up on us and start knawing and at first we don’t notice it but eventually we awake, see the damage and try to repair what spath has done.

We will never be quite the same, we will have scars, but we will always be wary of anything with a long tail!! Cos if it looks like a rat…….yep it IS a rat.

Candy,

What a great post. Yes, I married two rats one at a time. Then years later along came absolutely classic spath BF. I didn’t let myself get close enough to get bit, but over Valentine’s Day which was a week after my birthday I expected to hear from him. I don’t know why it bothered me because he is the lowest of low of the rat species, but the reason I feel like a BoZo is because why do they always leave me, hang up on me, insult me and don’t apologize unless they want something of course.

I figured it out. I AM TOO GOOD FOR THEM. They want to go about their spathy ways and once I figure out what is going on they don’t want to change but they do want to blame it on me if I will allow them to. I am really starting to realize that this was not my fault. Because of that fact I am going to start treating myself better.

Thank you Donna, the survey really is validating.

TTS

P.S. The hardest thing to realize is that my own mother is a bit of a rat also of the Narcissistic variety. No wonder I fell for the spaths.

True – belated birthday greetings. You are not a Bo Zo – you have come out of the fog. Like rats spaths carry diseases and they infect us. Good for you for being so strong and realising that YOU ARE TOO GOOD FOR THEM.

Candy,

Thank you for the birthday wish. Yes, you are right about the FOG
(Fear, Obligation, and Guilt) but I had forgot about the disease they carry. Otherwise it just seems too easy doesn’t it.

I just had a phone conversation with my mother in which she agreed with me for the most part. The problem was her husband was going to deliver something to my house and I found myself on the phone instead. When her H came by I was totally embarassed because of dirty dishes in the sink and other general messiness.

One thing I was telling my mother is that I believe I do need therapy. She actually agreed with me this time, especially if she thinks I will be talking about exH and not about her. I told her what happens to emotions when we don’t deal with them. They are buried alive. They come out as migraines, panic attacks, other things that I am dealing with now. I have dealt with the logistics of the divorce, but have put emotions regarding my marriage on the back burner as I spent my time dating. It was so much easier to deal with spath boyfriend especially on the phone. He was someone to talk to.

Even though we know they are bad, they are someone to talk to. Using the rat story again, maybe we turn those rats into pets when we don’t have any healthy relationships. It takes time for form them.

TTS

Just went back and took the survey again regarding First Husband and recent boyfriend.

I would encourage anyone who hasn’t done this yet to do so. It is very enlightening.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hi Donna – just did the survey. Q #10 anit-social behavior – high scores all down the line!

i wanted to mention 2 things:

1. There seems to be A LOT of people here who are in communications/ marketing/ are writers and artists. I think that it would be of interest to include these categories in your next survey of professions.

2. the gay/ straight/ bisexual paradigm for orientation. but what about something for gender identity? male/ female/ queer/ transgendered/ other

i love survey monkey.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

ouu tts – i could do it for the n ex gf too! awesome idea!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

so, the n ex was a little higher on antisocial behavior than i thought. go figure.

she was sooooooo sweet when she wasn’t a total n.

another one bites the dust!

Donna,
Thank you for your work. I would be happy to help you in any way I can in collating data, writing, etc.
I am a physician and the former victim of a sociopath and would very much like to become involved.

THERE IS ONE BIG ISSUE HERE DONNA!
People who have never been “targeted” by a predatory suitor and are with their FIRST experience are always TOTALLY CONVINCED that the sociopathic behavior their suitor exhibits can be explained. They honestly feel that the lies (so obvious in hindsite) are truthful statements and situations. These trusting, emotionally sensitive targets always feel their suitor or partner isn’t the “sociopath” or the controlling monster they are or will become.

EVEN WHEN THEY ENCOUNTER A WARNING BY THE EX-SPOUSE(S), EX GIRL/BOYFRIEND(S) they are sadly so throughly brainwashed by the sociopath that they NEVER heed the warning or advice.

Some even feel guilty for LISTENING to the ex (or plural), and guilty for even thinking suspiciously of their suitor or spouse.

I warned at least 10 “other” women my sociopath hooked up with during our 6 year “non-relationship relationship”. NONE listened to me. Only TWO actually had the sense the contact me after they realized how right my predictions were to comment how stupid they were to not believe me.

Donna,

Thanks for taking ‘Love Fraud’ to the next level. I am happy to support your work and completed the survey.

Encountering sociopaths is an ongoing life process. Recognizing the telltale behaviors can give a person a leg up on taking protective measures. These disordered people exist in every element of our society… from the corporate boardroom to the dui driver and everywhere in between and in our families and friends. We can not afford to underestimate the effect that this disorder has on every facet of society.

You go, girl!

I think Erdelyi has a very valid point about people not wanting to believe even the EVIDENCE in front of their faces about the “bad guy/gal” they are dating—as evidenced by the fact that people frequently stay with a partner that physically slaps them around, or verbally abuses them pretty obviously.

I’m not saying a book wouldn’t help or the classes wouldn’t help, but they will only help a certain percentage of people, and the rest (and I think this is the majority) are going to get in “deep enough” to get “burned” before they get out, wounded. Others will be like the frog, and the water will get progressively hotter until it is completely cooked, and it will never even make an effort to jump out of the pot as the water gets hotter.

That said….if one person or one percent of the people who read the book before they get involved with a dysfunctional or psychopathic individual avoid the “bad guy/gal” when they meet them BEFORE they get hooked, then the information will have been VERY VALUABLE.

If it prevents one child from being born to a psychopathic DNA donor it is a success so looking at rates of people being “saved” from something bad, AA I think only claims 20% “success” rate, yet they Are the support for millions of people, and each “save” not only helps the ONE who is “saved” but the families of, the children of, the co workers of, etc. so each “save” represents improvement in many lives, not just one. I think it is the same with “saving” people from psychopathic relationships (either before or after the encounter) the “saving” benefits both the “saved” and their close friends and family.

NOTE: Each of us has to “save” ourselves ultimately, and no one else can “save” us, but the support and information given here at LF contributes very much to us having the necessary education and information for us to save ourselves. KNOWLEDGE=POWER and STRENGTH!

Erdyli

WOW! You warned TEN women??? How many of those ten still remain with him or do you know?

Holy crap that is A LOT!! Good for you though in doing so. Ya never know what kind of impact that will have LATER with what you shared.

RB

Erdelyi,

I warned a woman that my ex was trying to date. She was very successful and had money. Precisely what he was looking for.

She believed it, however, she had already been married to a Narc and had a long relationship with another. What she realized is that she needed to fine tune her radar, but she knew something was terribly wrong with him.

He has another gf now, and I’m NC so…,but even if I knew who she was, I wouldn’t bother. I just pray for the next victims to get it sooner rather than later. With the mess he’s made of two marriages, including his nine year long affair with me, well that’s kinda hard to hide for long, or to lie about for long.

I think, ultimately, they do themselves in due to their entitlement and grandiosity.

RB

Erdelyi, I also tried to warn a woman my ex bf was starting to date- but no go. They want to believe, just like we wanted to believe the lies- even though on some level they know. Donna, nice job on the survey. Prevention, even if it is not perfect, may prevent one person from having to go through the nightmares.
I am curious though, my ex husband traveled a lot and lived in another state during our dating. My ex boyfriend was the same. Seems as if distance helps create the atmosphere to be able to lie and cheat. How many of you started with the person not living near you- ?

Missy, Yes, distance DOES create a way that they can mask easier. I had casually known my X BF for ten years in a mutual interest group, but he lived 4 hours from me so I only saw him at larger events and only saw the “mr nice guy-mask” BUT that little bit of “knowing’ him (I THOUGHT any way) gave him more credibility than if I had met him somewhere else more recently.

After I got to know his friends better and his family, and HIM, I started to see the truth, but sure didn’t want to see it…I was already hooked.

People are not “vettable” that easily in ISOLATION from their environment any more than a lion is in a zoo versus one in the wild. If you want to know what a lion is capable of, study one in the wild in the natural Environment rather than the one in the zoo. The same holds true I think for people…see how someone is around their friends, co-workers, family, and environment and you’ll get a much more clear and in focus picture than just how they are on the times they are on their “best behavior.” Even a complete jack ass or a psychopath can be “sweet as pie” for a little while, but eventually the REAL person comes out.

I think the best way to ‘warn’ the next victim is INDIRECTLY…..and never let it come through ‘us’……..

Pull out ALL creativity……and go anonymous……..NEVER letting anyone know where it originated.

Once someone thinks it’s coming from the ex……it will only be viewed as the scorned, jelous ex speaking……and women especially….will think…..I”M GONNA PROTECT MY MAN from that biatch.

Stealth and slow……get’s the word out.

Ox,

SO TRUE! For the obvious reasons that exPOS, “compartmentalized” me from his life, He also COMPARTMENTALIZED HIS WIFE IN ISOLATION…..couldn’t compare stories and he could tell us BOTH whoppers….but eventually that came out.

Wonder how things will be with new gf once he starts his drama bullshiat and tells her some big ole sob story about how his wife is such a biatch…………oh yes yes………….I can see it now…**Shit hitting the fan*** hehehe……….

You don’t have to be miles away for compartmentalizing to happen Ox. I only lived just ten minutes from his house.

EB,

I don’t know how one could do that stealth, nor slow 🙂

EB does! LOL

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