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.



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Yeah, my sociopathic ex told me I was the woman he was waiting for all his life. He had strayed before, but I was so wonderful that he would never feel the need for anyone else. What he really wanted was my money.


The one I encountered told me he loved me the first day I met him. Then a few days later “You are the love of my life”. Meanwhile, he was having a sexual relationship with 2 other women and telling them the same thing and love bombing us all at the same time; he was also having a sexual “no-strings” relationship with one of his staff; and to top it he was paying for hookers. That’s what I know of, probably only a fraction of it. Good riddance! .


I just realized it. Just now. Talking about your brother. My older brother has had three marriages/divorces. Now he is living with Victim #4. Always on the move. He never leaves the central area of our state…always within his place of birth, but he has moved more than anyone I know.

It was apparent to me some time ago that he wants women with homes. He co-bought (or maybe moved into) a home in the town where my hubby and I live. Lucky me.

He does not exhibit ‘normal’ feelings and never did. What a horror show.


I think my daughter may be a sociopath. She is 31 years old. Living with Mr. Nice for 8 years. Love of her life etc. Her marriage date was set. Two weeks before her bridal shower, she calls her wedding off. Something about her sexual needs not being met. A couple of weeks pass, she finds her own apartment. Then she calls to tell me she has finally found Mr. Perfect. I, as a concerned mother, warn her of “love Bombing” and the possibilities of being vulnerable after so many years with one man. My daughter actually took great offense. She told me that she and Mr. Nice had not ever been monogamous. That she had been hooking up with strangers on these “sex” internet sites. My daughter advised me that she has been having sex with strangers for the past 6 years, frequently, weekly. I must say, not a terribly warm or caring daughter. But, I thought, better not expect too much! As long as she was settled, working, and planning a descent future with Mr. Nice, I was supportive, emotionally and when needed financially.
Since this enlightened mother was betrayed and since I feel totally manipulated, I have told her “no contact” for now. I told her clearly, her behavior was morally reprehensible. Also, dangerous to say the least. Since learning this about my daughter I have not shared this information with anyone else. But, would greatly appreciate your feedback. Many thanks for the fine work you do. Kalina


I believe reading your article and the one on forgiveness were “magnificent” in their clarity and insight. Thank you. Kalina


hi kalina…
reading your story is so upsetting, especially as a mother myself…
we don’t think of our children this way, especially since we raised them to be respectful and do well…its very very sad.
what concerns me about your daughter, which i see a similarity to my ex, is that within a couple of weeks, she was engaged, getting married, loved her fiancé BUT has found mr right a couple weeks later??? that is not normal i don’t believe. that is exactly what my ex was like and knowing he is narc/sociopathic etc. i would think your daughter exhibits these traits as well. if she was not sexually satisfied with her fiancé, why did she wait until two weeks before the wedding to say this? probably because she knew in the back of her mind, she wouldn’t go through with the marriage and used that as an excuse to get out of it…
it sounds like, and i am not an expert, exactly what my ex has done to me…pretty much the same.
we had a relationship for almost four years and throughout the entire time, he had many relationships going that i was unaware of, all from searching out women online. all the while, telling me i was his soul mate, the love of his life, wanted children with me, looked into moving much closer so we could be together, telling me he loved me from almost day one (without even physically meeting me), all the things we want to hear but a little leary especially since it happens on day one of meeting…i know i found it strange, but i liked the feeling of hearing these wonderful promises being made…yeh i knew in the back of my mind, it wasn’t a normal kind of behaviour and i thought being 10 years older than me, he knew so much more about life than i did..
yeh sure….come to find out this past june, after being together a couple weeks before that on a beautiful vacation and looking into seriously uprooting his life to move near me, he broke the news to me that he was marrying a girl much much younger, 30 years younger, she was pregnant and lived on the other side of the world, almost a third world country. he was leaving his home to move in with her, her parents and her brother…this girls parents are younger than my ex!!!
when he first met her a year ago (on business, mm hmm sure) he told me about her, told me he was marrying her and she was the love of his life (this was a year ago), but continued with me very strongly..knowing i wouldn’t accept this sort of thing he told me he decided not to be with her anymore when he returned home from business,(she was disgusting, her family disgusting, she was dreadfully ugly, she smelled, comes from a third world family and just wanted to use him for his american status, he COULD NOT stand her) i believed him and we continued until he broke it to me this past june what he’d been planning all along.
likek you, i have gone no contact, its been three months, although the last he wrote me then was that despite the twist and turns in life, he loves me very deeply and always will…who does this???
this destroyed me, but the no contact has been a huge saviour and has given me time to let my mind sort out what he has done.
you are right to question your daughters actions, they sound familiar to probably a lot of people on here reading it…
i am curious as to what her “fiancé” thinks of this whole thing? once he understands its not his sexual companionship with her, and that she is most probably a sociopath, he may have a slight understanding of what she is…and she may even go as far as to “want him back” in the near future..
keep reading the stories on here, i know it saved me and helped me get back on the road to recovery, though it has been a couple months for me, it has given me the proper perspective on things and i know i will get there soon…much luck to you as well kalina, this site is a lifesaver xx


Thank you, janedoe. I needed some confirmation and support. You were so helpful. So sorry for your pain, as well. People like us want to be generous and compassionate. However, waking up to one’s daughter as a sociopath type, is alarming. She has that superficial charm and enough intelligence to get what she wants. It’s the “real” person, I have come to detest. I can not imagine why I would let her back into my life. Like you, “no contact” is the only solution to this very ugly situation! Be well, Kalina


As the longterm wife of a sociopath (23 years) and the mother of 5 beloved children, now also sociopaths in their 40’s and 50’s, I can sadly attest to the veracity of what Donna says. PLEASE follow her knowledgeable teachings! A sociopath will only pretend to love you as long as what you have is to their benefit!


flicka, so sorry for your pain. Too many sociopaths must have been horrific. if you can, please tell me about your children. what makes you refer to each of them as sociopaths? How have you dealt with this. we can divorce our husbands but can we divorce our children? Kalina


I am still debating if my new BF of 3 mos. is a socio. This article surely describes him. He claims to love me, but lies and takes great measures to avoid seeing me more than he wants. I’m clearly his In case of Emergency Girl.


Hi Kalina
I have a 42 year old daughter that is a true sociopath. I can look back now to when she was 14 and realize something was wrong.
When she was little she was so good, like a little girl that would copy everything I did. When she was in trouble she would say Ok mommy she would accept everything I would say. When she was 15 she started acting out. K wanted me to tell her I loved her all the time which I did not understand. When she went into the military I only saw her 1 week a year so I would not say anything when she acted strange. Until she was stationed back in the states near us was then I started seeing the real K. Finally when I saw her mask slip is when everything changed. She was not able to manipulate me or her dad anymore so she decided to try to divide us. K almost succeed but then tried to take me out of the picture when I was in the hospital and disconnected my pain medicine after severe surgery. Real hard to believe that your own daughter would harm you, yes because she does not feel as we do. We are objects not a person they love.
K finally lost her marriage of 18 years when she was using other men for her own pleasure and her fix. K keep one of her fixes and wanted another pair as she referred to as her grown son and daughter, a pair. Who refers to your kids as a pair?
K did have a pair of new sons that she can control since her other (pair) has grown up which she can not control.
We have not seen K for 8 years since she became dangerous. I have done 4 years of research trying to find out how I could help her to no avail. A mother or anyone else can not help them. We have realize that we will never see her again, hard to say from a mom.
I just hope someday they will be able to rewire sociopaths’ so they can feel and love. I have been told to understand your daughter as being born with no arms, all the hoping and wishing she will never grow arms. I have finally realize this, K will never change.
I really understand how you feel and you are reaching out to find if there is any help. All the help is that you are not alone.
As you can read my name is HurtMoM.
God be with you.


Yes, it means finally accepting the emotional death of one’s own children and the reality of what we have (innocently) wrought upon the world. Not easily done but with acceptance comes a certain peace of mind. Peace to all victims.




Thank you both for your feedback. I had not ever considered that my daughter might harm me. She has demonstrated disloyalty to me in many covert ways, but, I always overlooked this. This acting out with other men and planning a marriage concurrently, is sociopathic in my “book”. Clinically it may or may not be. We live in a twisted age where good equals boring, and cautious equals timid. I am calling perversion by it’s “real” name! Stay sane, my friends. We have much more than our children to “thank God” for! Kalina


Flicker, what did you mean by “beware”? Do you see something that I don’t? Beware of what? Thank you, Kalina.


If you truly believe your daughter is a sociopath, then you do need to beware. It’s not just what they have done that is heartbreaking. It that a sociopath has NO CONSCIENCE. That means they are CAPABLE of murdering you and others. It’s not always predictable but it is ALWAYS possible. While MOST sociopaths DON’T murder, some do even late in life and without warning. And they acknowledge that it was a CHOICE all along. Beware. You have to live in the mindset to protect yourself ALWAYS, because IF she really is a sociopath, the possibility of murder is ALWAYS present. And all the lesser assaults are possible too, theft, arson, “accidents”, goading others to harm you, etc etc. Pretending any less only puts you in grave danger.


Wow! I had not considered the possibility of “no conscience”, but what you say makes sense. I do not know the difference between “sociopathic traits” and true sociopathy. I believe my daughter is unethical by my standards. That’s really all I know. I cannot support her in any way as her values violate everything I believe in. My daughter is an ” invalidator” and indifferent to me as her mother. She blames me for everything that is hard for her. I get no credit for having been there for her most of the time. Thank you for your time. Regards, Kalina.


I must have misread your post. I thought you stated she was a sociopath.

My daughter has done some very hurtful and harmful behaviors towards me. But she is not a sociopath.

She has empathy. So I set boundries with my daughter. I do not allow nor tolerate specific behaviors. She is an adult so her choices are hers, not mine.

Since she is NOT sociopath, I have told her that my door is open to her as long as she accepts the rules about her behaviors in my presence. It’s not productive for either her or I, to let her berate me or ridicule me. She’s not allowed to tell me my feelings or thoughts but she can ask me my feelings and thoughts.

Conversely, my ex husband is a sociopath. There is no doubt, he scams people and destroys people as a form of entertainment, and tried to murder me (was interrupted and I got away). There is no open door, no accusations, no boundries, no “chances” to redeem himself. There is only NC and I practice a form of self protection. Forever.


The difference between your sense of her having “sociopathic traits” or being “a sociopath” simply reflects your desire to hold out hope. NO parent wants to recognize their child is lost to them by virtue of an emotional disorder. Been there, done that, I understand where you’re coming from.

Here’s why they are one and the same…

A sociopath has no conscience….. sound like your daughter? A sociopath has no emotional empathy…. no knee jerk reaction toward another person’s pain.

Sociopaths are unable to feel meaningful loving bonds. Their social interaction is based on their needs, alone. Whatever emotional support they offer is an attempt to gain something from you.

As children, they can be loving toward you because you hold the keys to their existence. If they don’t behave within the bounds of ethical behavior, there are consequences. And their primary needs of food, clothing, shelter, etc. are all supplied by you. They are smart enough to know not to bite the hand that feeds them. As they age, however, their true identity becomes more obvious. And when they become independent, their interest in keeping up the pretense of loving you disappears.

Sociopaths come and go according to expedience. When they recognize that you’re wise to them, that you expect decency, love and respect, the jig is up. You are just a thorn in their side, a nagging reminder that something is very wrong.

We once thought our children would grow to be what we made them. Today we know that there are genetic links to sociopathy. Their nature can be far stronger than the nurture your poured into her with all your heart. Sociopaths can turn out to be horribly ghoulish. If she hasn’t become violent in all these years, it’s not likely that she will become violent toward you. Unfortunately, she won’t care about you either, and the pain of that loss is excruciating.

She is no longer a child. You can’t change her. She is who she is, and all you can do is grieve her loss. I hope knowing that you did the best you could with the knowledge and resources you had gives you a measure of peace.



Thank you, Joyce. So it does appear that my daughter really “can’t love”. There does seem to be a coldness at her center which makes it possible for my daughter not to register concern or compassion. I am considering revising my will. As it stands now my daughter will inherit quite a bit upon my death. I have a truly loving sister. She has five children and more than twenty five grand children. Her family is loving, kind, and exceptionally fine in their character. If I substitute my sister and turn my inheritance toward her estate, I believe it is ethically justified. Of course, I will not ever mention my consideration to anyone! I will also not leave my daughter out completely. Any thoughts? Kalina


You ask Joyce so I hope you don’t object to another perspective?

It took a LONG time for me to finally realize my now ex-husband is a sociopath. No one wants to think that of the person they love and trusted with such intimacy. I did the back and forth ambiguity so long and never found a defining surety (until AFTER I filed for divorce, then the nightmare of discovery never stopped!) and was so numbed that I was nearly murdered b/c I had not accepted the ultimate possibility, that there is NO “HUMAN” inside, no human as we define what makes a person human, yes he was also missing the ability to LOVE, AND missing the gift of a conscience.

Are you overwhelmed with grief or more with anger? This sociopathy thing is a huge emotional load to carry. I think you need more than anonomous posts, no matter how kind and supportive we are, I think you need more. (LF is Donna’s gift to us, a place where we no longer have to feeling our way through the nightmare alone, but really we are disembodied advisors!). I think you need to speak to a professional, a counselor who uncovers the diagnosis rather than announces their judgment (if someone makes a snap judgment, that’s not something you can rely on so avoid those type of counselors. Most are not trained for sociopaths. That’s why it’s hard to find someone in the yellow pages!).

I recommend Dr George Simon. He has a couple of websites and people can ask single questions for free or request an actual consultation. You can google him or search youtube for his interviews. He also wrote a book “Without Conscience” which you may see more traits of your daughter… and if so, I am so sorry because to realize your child is a sociopath will be enormous heartbreaking unending pain. Your local library may have a copy to borrow.


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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