Sociopaths and soul mates

I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which was the #1 New York Times bestseller when it was published in 2007. Gilbert tells her story of supposedly having everything career, marriage, home yet feeling depressed and unhappy. She left it all, got a divorce, and then spent a year abroad to find herself. She ate her way through Italy, studied spiritual practice in India, and sought to balance pleasure and divinity in Indonesia.

While going through her divorce, Gilbert had a relationship with a man whom she calls “David.” This didn’t seem to be a sociopathic relationship, just normally dysfunctional. Although they broke up, Gilbert, from time to time, pined for David. Her feelings came back to haunt her while she studied at an ashram in India. She was obviously despondent, so her wise and funny friend at the ashram, “Richard from Texas,” asked her what was wrong.

Here’s how Gilbert describes the conversation:

I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate.”

“He probably was,” Richard said. “Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of that marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so a new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it.

Soul mate agenda

In my book, Red Flags of Love Fraud 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath, the #2 red flag is “sudden soul mate.” When you meet the sociopath, you feel like you’ve met the person you’ve been waiting for all your life. Why? Because the sociopath studies you, figures out what you’re looking for, and then transforms himself or herself into your ideal mate (at least in the beginning).

Many sociopaths actively push the “soul mate” agenda. In my Internet survey for Red Flags, 64 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “The individual said we were ‘soul mates;’ I was the person he/she was waiting for.”

Sociopaths, of course, are using the “soul mate” terminology only as a tactic in their strategy of calculated seduction. It’s part of the act, and their real agenda is exploitation.

But as much as I hate to give sociopaths credit for anything, they may, indeed, serve a purpose in our lives.

Hooking our vulnerabilities

Sociopaths look for our vulnerabilities and then use them to hook us. Their actions are certainly despicable. But the fact remains that we’re the ones with vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are often detrimental to our happiness, and perhaps even our lives. The sociopath offers us a solution to our problems, an answer to our prayers. It is fake, but we don’t know that until much later, when everything falls apart.

As we’re standing amid the devastation that used to be our lives, wondering how we got into this mess, the truth may be right in front of us: In some way, we were vulnerable.

If we’re honest, we can identify the weakness, pain or mistaken belief that may have been hidden even from ourselves, but the sociopath was able to find and use. Then, we have an opportunity to truly heal not only from the sociopath, but from the vulnerability that the sociopath targeted.


This certainly happened to me. When I met James Montgomery, I was 40 years old, had yet to marry, and worried about my biological clock ticking. I was primed to be plucked. When I discovered Montgomery’s betrayal, and realized that my marriage had been a scam from the very beginning, I was shattered.

But what, specifically, was shattered? The walls I had built around my heart. These walls were based on my fear of being hurt, my disappointment at feeling so alone in life, and my mistaken belief that I was not worthy of love. The betrayal by James Montgomery caused me so much emotional pain that I could not contain it, and the pain burst out of me, taking the walls with it.

And with the pain and the walls out of my system, real love was able to enter my life.

Two-fold recovery

So was James Montgomery my soul mate? I guess it depends on how you define the term. Richard from Texas, quoted above, would probably say yes.

I certainly agree that James Montgomery demolished who I was and changed the course of my life. But I’m the one who worked to clear out the emotional debris and discover who I really am. And that’s what I hope you will do as well.

I am not making excuses for sociopaths. But I talk to a lot of people who have been involved with them, and usually, when I ask, they can identify the weakness that made them vulnerable to manipulation.

So make your recovery two-fold. Work on recovering from the sociopath. Then identify and work on recovering from the original vulnerability. Your life may change dramatically, and for the better.



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30 Comments on "Sociopaths and soul mates"

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My spath used the soul mate line often. From day one he said intensely and intently … I get YOU’. Clearly a line that had worked for him in the past. Got me anyway…! One favourite quote was ‘I do believe our souls have met their mates’ He also said ‘ Never felt such intense connection’ ( Nor had I … but in fact he had emotional attachment one might feel for an electric kettle) I was on a rota with another target. Hadn’t provided me with closure…just lunacy and disorder and was in fact already in relationshit with next in line… Also incidentally ‘THE ONE’…. Ah they’re a laugh a minute ladies. In retrospect of course 😉 I’ve come a long way. Previously couldn’t bring myself to attribute human faculties. Used ‘IT’ Note new use of HE and HIM. Progress! Guess their soul mate kick comes from visceral self awareness they don’t have a soul and are somehow incomplete?

Mine would say “We were obviously meant to be together” but looking back he never did or changed anything to take our relationship to another level. This was the hook he used to keep me interested and it worked for a long time.

I felt that my former dance partner was a soul mate. His presence, his eye contact, his soothing voice, and his touch reached right down into the depths of my soul. However, outside of dancing, we had little in common and we have since stopped dancing together except very occasionally. I have not felt that soul connection with any of the men I’ve dated since then, but I do other types of affinity and attraction. I will not wait around for another “soul connection” like I had with the salsa guy, because those don’t always pan out. Sometimes the person who makes the best husband or wife is not necessarily a soul mate, though it’s nice when they can be. I will say that the salsa guy helped me feel really alive and helped me feel things I never felt before.

In retrospect, I agree with the definition above that a soul mate holds up a mirror to your soul. I believe there are many people like this who pass through our lives but are not meant to be our life partners, at least not in this lifetime.

I’ve been dating a man whom I feel is my soul mate but his ex has warned me that he is a sociopath. He did lie to me and there were a few incidents with other women but he promises me that he is not like that anymore and has begged and begged for another chance with me.

He is wonderful and adores me and my children. I just cannot believe he is what she claims he is.

Am I crazy for wanting to believe him?

Hello Coccozza, I was a believer once like you. Its not crazy to want to believe In my case her, but trying to understand it all does make you feel crazy at times. I believed for four years. I had no real facts or proof to go on in order not to believe, i only had red flags. Therefore everything she said kindof made sense in itself, just not really when i looked at the red flags as a whole. We too were “soul-mates”, talked of marriage and children, lifes plans et. etc. Once i started finding real proof, it all came tumbling down, I could write a book of all the things i began to uncover. there were other relationships exactly as ours, one night stands, theft, manipulation, even marriage for money. Its been the worst time of my life and is hard to trust anyone for anything now. however, she did enlighten me as to the joy that life can hold with the right person and because of her in our “good time”together, inspired me to create and start a very succussful business. It was meant to be ours together but nevertheless it has given me great joy. I know i cant be with her, even after all the promises to change because I know now who and what and why she is the way she is. Its very hard to leave the one you think is your soul mate, but when dealing with a sociopath it is the only thing to do. Dont take anything personally, now is the time to think about yourself and not you and him. Best wishes, a believer.


I’d like to share with you from both sides….as the victim of a sociopath…and as a person who warned the next victim.

I was still married when I got involved with my sociopath…as was he. That was my first huge mistake. But nonetheless, he was charming, was great with my teenage kids, seemed to do a lot for me. But like you, I ignored the red flags of his lying and deceit. He lied to his ex when he started seeing me, and he lied to me when he started seeing his next victim. He cheated on his ex with me; he cheated on me with his next victim; and he cheated on his next victim with me. There is so much more to my story, but as you can see, the cycle continues.

I found out about a year after I left him who he was seeing. Turns out he was seeing her for months while still living with me. I knew things in our relationship were getting very strange with his lies and deceit, I just wasn’t sure exactly what or who. I did try to warn her of what he’s like. She even called me for more details as she had already caught him in a few lies. But like your guy, I’m sure he promised he would never be like that again. She said she loves him and he loves her.

So, my attempts failed as I believe she is still with him. I’m sure, like you, she does not want to believe what I told her. I simply did not want to see someone go through the horrific ending I did at the hands of this sociopath. At this point in time, I couldn’t care less what happens between them. But a very wise counselor of mine said that if she’s willing to accept him for his lies and deceit, she is likely not very healthy emotionally either….so all told, it’s really not a very healthy relationship.

Let me say also that I believed him to be my soul-mate. I loved who I thought this man was, but turns out that was not him at all.

I can tell you only to be very careful. There must be a reason his ex thinks he’s a sociopath. And if she’s right, I’d steer clear of him. There is no good ending to come of this as they don’t change…but they sure do put on a good show!

I wish you all the best. Stay strong and be wise.


Believe what the ex has told you. I tried to warn my ex’s current too. I believe that it was the author/poet Maya Angelou who said “If someone tells you something about themselves, believe it”. The telling is not always in word but most often in action. You say that he has lied to you and had other “incidents with women”. That should be enough. He does NOT adore you or your children. He wants something badly enough from you to try to convince you of this. Crazy? We are all a little crazy really for buying into the lies. Your already on this site questioning this. Go with your gut. If you think you might be “crazy” for believing him, you probably are. This is part of the sickness of “loving” the sociopath. Get away ASAP.

I would say run….if you’re just dating and he’s already lied to you its time to get out. Even if he’s not a sociopath he’s showing no repect to you by lying and will lie again! It would be easier to get out now than wait until you are in deeper!

By the way I have enforced the no contact with my xspath..he is blocked from my Facebook and am looking into a psychiatrist!

Martha Stout says something in “The Sociopath Next Door” about lying. I will paraphrase because I don’t have the book in front of me. She says if a person lies once, it could be a misunderstanding. If he/she lies twice, it could indicate some other problem. But if s/he lies three times, suspect a sociopath.

Personally, if I catch someone in any lie, unless it is a white lie to preserve someone’s feelings (and even then), to me, that’s a sign or poor character at very least. And if an ex was trying to warn me, that would put up a giant red flag. Even if the ex was making it up, I wouldn’t want to date someone with that kind of “ex” drama in their lives.

Thank you so much for your replies. I want to be smart but I am the kind of person who doesn’t want to judge people on their past. I am so very confused. I don’t need a cheating man in my life, already had that.
I consider myself a strong woman and I’ve told him that XY and Z have to be done before we can have a relationship. He has agreed to everything. He has given me all his passwords and account information. He seems to be trying. His ex warned me about that also, he said and did the same with her and then went back to his old ways. She also said something about the no contact rule and told me to shut him out of my life but I’m not that kind of person. Once a friend, always a friend.
I care about him and have never felt this way about anyone before in my life. I just feel that he is worth fighting for but the ex says sociopaths will never change.

The ex is right…sociopaths will never change. I said the same thing…”I never felt this way about anyone before in my life”. And what did that get me…a masterful liar, cheater and manipulator. At this point in time, the best thing I ever did was move one.

And is my ex-spath my friend? Nope. Not interested in having someone in my life that would remotely think to treat me with the disrespect he did.

Be wise….



If you haven’t already, please watch all of Donna’s videos on the left side of the screen. She calls them LoveFraud Lessons.

I have just skimmed this thread and read you comments. You comments read like this (no offence intended) “I am a perfect victim for a sociopath, pick me!!!”

If someone is a con artist, wouldn’t they be really good at trying to convince you otherwise?

The other readers are seeing the same thing and that is why they are trying to help you.

If you get a warning from someone that you are dating a sociopath, believe them and cut your losses right away.

A sociopath is no one’s soulmate… not in the way you are describing.

Let him go. Seducation is his game. Looking like “THE ONE” is his game.

Sociopath’s are looking for people who believe that all people can change, that there is good in everyone, someone whi is fair and will give chances.

He is playing a different card game than you and YOU WILL LOSE THIS GAME.

Pay attention to the wisdom here with the other readers because wisdom is what you get after you already made the mistake.

Your guy isn’t different… that is typical of a LF victim… to believe that your situation is different. If you were your own friend, what would you advise yourself to do?



Very good points on lying and include lies of omission! Especially regarding sociopaths, as their entire mask is a lie of omission.

Good point about “ex” drama. My x-spath’s best friend was in an LTR with an ex of the x-spatp; at the time, the x-spath was not talking to his ex which makes for a very difficult triangle.

My gut reaction was accurate — this “triangle” does not speak well of any of them. I was concerned that the x-spath was holding a grudge against his ex, thinking that for all parties this should be worked out, but then I sided with the x-spath.

My gut was right.

Haven’t posted in quite a while but I couldn’t help myself.

This is for coccozza…Run! Run very fast. They can’t change. Even if they wanted to (which they don’t). What they do and how they think and feel is inborn. They have been that way all their lives. They know no different. As Dr. Phil says, “Past history is the predictor of future behavior.” If I was seeing someone and the x told me he was a sociopath my radar would be on full alert and at the very least I would goggle him and do a full background check. Although, I hope at this point I would have him already pegged considering the somewhat unfortunate knowledge I now have. Lies are a deal breaker. Period. Ask yourself this…As a part of my personality, moral beliefs and behavior, do I lie. I bet your answer is NO. It is not part of most people’s character. It is however the prime characteristic of a sociopath’s character. RUN

While I don’t believe in a soulmate, as in someone who is perfect for you… this is an illusion too many people look for.

But I do believe that my soul had a purpose for meeting the BM. He did shatter me but I was not solid to begin with.

I have gotten stronger and I knoe I would ever fall for Love Fraud again. However, I have difficulty letting anyone in. Honestly, I haven’t had any good offers. LOL!



Several times in past posts I mentioned that I felt the x-spath as a “soulmate” and not a “lover”, one reason being that I was not overwhelming sexually attracted to him. However, at the time, due to my own issues, more than partly brought on by a strong antidepressant, I felt “soulmate was more real and I never connected that term to anyone else every in my life but the x-spath.

Now, on a firm footing, I believe that “soulmate” is a red flag, a combination of neediness and mirroring. It is the the sociopath’s mirroring that makes us think soulmate, when in fact such is an illusion, as you so very elegantly stated.

This happened to me. I was not attracted physically. I was attracted at a very deeply intellectual level, which was the con. We were twin souls, at least thats how he billed us to anyone listening. I think this was my red flag. You also mention neediness and mirroring.

“If we’re honest we can identify the weakness”….This is something I really worked on. I could have thrown the book at sociothingy and closed the book on myself. Why rob yourself of the opportunity to look all the way in and find it?

I spent a childhood being formatively deconstructed and reconstructed by a true psychopath…the person I should trust, my father. If I look back to spath, he was the bloody reincarnation and I was an open book so easy to read. That hurts, it hurts like hell because I walked into it with eyes wide open, so easily broken because I spent years 0-35 being systematically picked apart. I should have been smarter. But, I wanted love, more than anything only I was willing to settle on less without even seeing it coming.

thank you for openly and honestly suggesting that we look to ourselves to make a two fold recovery.

I find it easy to spot them a mile away. Yet I have to be careful. I have to watch the tendency to by hypnotically drawn into the initial web. I work on that. With care.

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