By | November 10, 2014 32 Comments

Sociopaths say they want love, but what they really want is supply

sexy man and womanLovefraud recently received the following email from a reader whom we’ll call “Suzette.”

It’s strange, my brother (who I have no doubt in my mind is a sociopath), craves being loved. He bounces from relationship to relationship, using his girlfriends. Yet when he screws up, and has his girlfriend threaten to leave him, he acts so desperate! Desperate for human connection.  He tells me that he can’t live without love in his life, and that he NEEDS a girlfriend by his side.

I don’t understand this. He’s a drug addict, and he uses his girlfriends for support – and before he had any girlfriends, he used me, and before me, he used my mother. Why does he seem to genuinely crave LOVE, if he just uses it to exploit people? He tells me he can’t stand the thought of being alone, and I believe him.

I have not only seen this in my brother, but in another person resembling sociopath as well. A craving to be loved.

I believe that even if he had every material thing in the world, he would still crave being loved. Why? I thought sociopaths were unable to feel love, yet I see and read about this time and time again. This is the reason I find it difficult to dismiss him as merely a cold-hearted imitation of a person. Contrary to the evidence, he appears to have a glimmer of humanity in him – or maybe it’s all just a trick?

Background about my brother: He was abused when young, has a long history of crack addiction, scammed my mother for over 40 grand, lied about having cancer, lies constantly. He IS a sociopath.

I would really appreciate a response!

Donna Andersen responds


Yes, your brother may very well be desperate for human connection. The key here is understanding what kind of connection sociopaths really want.

Sociopaths aren’t looking for people to love. They’re looking for people to exploit.

You described this yourself in your letter. Your brother uses his girlfriends. Before that he used you and your mother.

Sociopaths view other people as nothing more than patsies to give them what they want. Different patsies have different purposes.

Sociopaths may want romantic partners for money, sex, a place to live. If a sociopath actually marries the target, it may be because the partner provides an image of respectability, while sociopath continues with cheating, drugs, or other self-centered entertainment.

Sociopaths view family and friends as backups places to crash when the romantic partners throw them out.

Sociopaths view work colleagues as people to actually do work that the sociopath will take credit for. They view employers as targets to be ripped off.

Sociopaths view strangers as walking opportunities. All the sociopath has to do is draw the person into conversation to find out what he or she has that a sociopath wants.

So yes, sociopaths are desperate for human connection. They depend on other people to give them what they want.

When “love” doesn’t mean love

So why is this so confusing? Because sociopaths talk about “love.”

Your brother talked about “needing love in his life.” Sociopaths commonly proclaim their love to the people they’ve targeted as romantic partners. They say that the new partner is the “love” they’ve been waiting for all their lives.

Unfortunately, when sociopaths use the word “love,” it doesn’t have the same meaning as when the rest of us use it. After all, sociopaths don’t experience love and are not capable of love. So they can’t possibly know what it means.

Some sociopaths equate love with sex. So when they say, “I love you,” what they really mean is, “I want to have sex with you.”

Other sociopaths may be aware that they don’t experience love. But they know that in order to reel in a target, they have to say the magic words, “I love you.” So they say them. And it works.

When sociopaths say they want love, what they really mean is they want supply. They want someone to provide them with money, food, sex, housing, transportation, connections whatever.

In truly despicable cases, the sociopaths simply want someone to provide them with entertainment. They hotly pursue a romantic target, proclaiming love, showering the person with attention and affection just for the fun of later breaking the person’s heart.



Posted in: Donna Andersen

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Thank you for your feedback. Of course, any respondent is welcome as various examples of parents and spouses who have survived and continue to learn, helps. In particular I found women’s groups most helpful. The suggestion of one particular counselor, is always helpful. As an aside, I thought it was Robert Hare, who wrote “Without Conscience”. Realty testing is often helped by consensual validation. It teaches us that while each of us is unique, there are similarities worth considering as we work through our disappointments. Regards, Kalina


I have just checked out the Dr. Simon, recommended to me by LF respondent. Yes, it helps so much to emphasize the key trait, no conscience. He explains this quite clearly. Thank you. Kalina


Today is my 19th wedding anniversary to my second sociopath…first one lasted 15 years. My spouse picker definitely has been broken!

We’re living in the same house and neither of us has said a word to the other for the past two days…yippee! Say no words…tell no lies!

This morning I watched an older Dr Phil show and heard him state the same thing he eventually seems to say: “if you don’t believe that there’s a problem nothing will change” (or words to that effect).

Every single time I’ve heard him say that I’ve thought “Yep, I know there’s a problem…so how do I make things better?”

Today was different…I FINALLY GOT IT!
Today I finally understood that this statement implies that if the abuser doesn’t believe he has a problem…he won’t even attempt to change.

LIGHT BULB moment…
My husband can NEVER be wrong (unless he credits someone else as being responsible for giving him wrong information). So: “If it’s not broken, he’s not going to fix it!” He will never change!

I’ve mainly accepted my hellish life with him because everything I’ve owned is now in his name. Being diagnosed with a chronic disease makes the thought of starting over again seem very scary with limited finances.

Bottom line…I’ve wasted years hoping and praying that he’d eventually come to his senses and want/try to change his emotionally abusive behaviors. Today I finally accept the things I cannot change…his ego.

Someone once said “You can’t change stupid”…well, I’ve been stupid for most of my life and I intend to change that really soon!



CONGRATULATIONS on seizing your POWER again!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE light bulb moments 🙂

It’s not easy to take that first step to finally see the truth!! You will get to a point you will realize that the best gift you ever can gave yourself is leaving your abuser.

For your health look into adrenal fatigue as your root health issue & build your immune system back up. See adrenalfatigue. org see the symptoms list, Drlam. com see the symptoms list, Mialundin. com…for immune health google “dr Fuhrman PBS you tube” and his book on building your immune system back up (cant remember the exact name, he is also the author of Eat to Live). I would also suggest you get tested for cortisol levels, vitamin/mineral deficiency, hormonal imbalance as all of these are issues with PTSD and most victims leaving a abusive relationship have PTSD. A adrenal doctor or a hormonal doctor can help you with this…to find a hormonal specilaist google “compounding pharmacy” with your city name then call them for a list of doctors and/or ask friends for a recommendation and/or see adrenalfatigue. org for a list of doctors.

For your divorce look at Onemomsbattle. com, her books, her facebook page….if you dont have a facebook page/or do open a second fake email account then a fake facebook page under that name that way you can speak freely also check out facebook page After narcissistic abuse and Psychopathfree.

Just know you are not alone reach out for free counseling at your local woman abuse center and they also have free woman group meetings that will help you also. They can also help you with an EXIT PLAN (google) out of your relationship…google also “Dr Phil Exit Plan” and also look on the National domestic violence hotline website. Set your EXIT PLAN in motion with all your financial documents/get lawyer etc

Books: Freedom of mind by Steven Hassan explains the mind control aspect of domestic abuse, obviously Love fraud by Donna Anderson and Woman who love psychoapths by Sandra Brown

You should be incredibly proud of yourself! Take care



Hope you will consider as many of the suggestions that Jan7 replied to you.

Educate yourself on how to and how not to respond to him, which will help you get mentally and emotionally stronger. When you break free from his pattern of abuse, your mind and body will heal.

Four years ago, I began untangling myself from an emotionally abusive and physically threatening husband. We were married over 20 years. I am in the process of divorcing him. I suffered for over 20 years from severe fibromyalgia and excruciating migraines. And zero self worth. My health problems were a result of his abusive behavior.

I continue to educate myself through books and the internet regarding, emotional abuse, narcissistic personality disorder, psychopaths, sociopaths, PST… as well as educate myself on how to recover, recognize and protect myself from abuse.

My health problems were a result of his abusive behavior. I rarely suffer anymore. Because I am in the process of divorcing him and we have kids, I must remain in contact with him. My fibromyalgia and migraines serve as a warning to me. Whenever I start to feel a fibro attack or migraine coming on, I immediately know I am “falling under his spell”. For me, I have a safety support system and “accountability partners” in my sister, my best friend and therapist. I am able to avoid a health flare-up by re-examining and recognizing old patterns of behavior and replacing my mind set with the truth – as he is a huge distorter of reality.

IMconfused can become imNOTconfused.


Being confused is the name of “the game”, seeing the light is the beginning of change. With each step forward you will be adding dignity and grace to your life. Seeing the important things in perspective is what my growth has been about. Wishing you strength and good health! Kalina

I truly pity Spath’s because I feel they can not “Feel” or sense Love. They do all the right things out of Love, but they cannot ever feel the internal “gratification” that Love brings. Like an itch you can never scratch. Like living the Torture of Tantalus. True Love is just an inch away but they can never reach it. Their frustration must be terrible. Yet I feel they should, because my heart goes out to them, be vaporized!(end their suffering, and ours!).
Please keep religious responses to yourself.



I’m a sociopath myself but I truly do want to feel love. I’m tired of the cycle and don’t want to end up alone because I screwed over everyone who ever cared about me. However I believe I’m more a sociopath in the way cult leaders are sociopaths. I do believe I can love, like a cult leader loves his followers. I may have mildly “loved” someone in the past and would do anything for people that have entered my inner circle. It’s the people outside my circle I don’t care about…


Your characterization of “love” lays bare exactly why it’s alluded you. You think of “love” as something you get, not something you give.

While a sociopath has “wants” and “needs”, and all their lives are built around achieving them, they’re incapable of true caring for another human being.


I caught the tale end of your radio interview last night.
What is the name of your website?

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