Can a psychopath fall in love?

Can a psychopath fall in love? This question immerses us fully in the emotional world of some people who, in a certain sense, live in the dark in it.

Can a psychopath fall in love?

Last update: July 26, 2022

Can a psychopath fall in love? Answering this question forces us to answer another: what do we understand by “love”? The truth is that, although each one of us can have our definition, there is a certain consensus that it is located in the emotional world.

In addition, it is important to differentiate love, and falling in love, from romantic relationships, since, in the latter case, psychopaths can have this type of relationship. However, being in love and loving is not the same as having a romantic relationship.

We analyze what is the mind of a psychopath like and why their way of loving will be far from that of people without psychopathy. Finally, we will talk about what a romantic relationship with a psychopath can be like.

What is a psychopath?

A psychopath is a person with characteristics narcissists, unable to experience emotionsguilt or remorse, that takes advantage of others to get their own benefits.

For the psychopath, people are a way to satisfy their own desires, but nothing more. This does not mean that they cannot make us believe the opposite, through their manipulative techniques.

Psychopathy: Antisocial Personality Disorder in DSM-5

In the DSM-5 (Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders), psychopathy is classified as “antisocial personality disorder“. This alteration implies the following symptoms or characteristics:

  • Deviant social behavior.
  • Manipulation towards others for your own benefit.
  • Absence of respect for the rules or for the rights of others (and contempt and violation of these).
  • lack of empathy and the ability to experience emotions.

At an intellectual level, his capacity is fully preserved. It is estimated that up to 3% of the population You may develop an antisocial personality disorder. With all this, do you think a psychopath can fall in love?

“The psychopath devalues ​​others so that he can feel like a unique and special being.”

-Vicente Garrido Genovés-

Psychopaths often manipulate others to get what they want or need from them.

Is it possible for a psychopath to fall in love?

Well, it depends on what we understand by love. If we refer to what is commonly understood by it, as “a feeling of strong affection and inclination towards a person or thing to which all good things are wished“, we can say no, that a psychopath cannot fall in love. In any case, he could fall in love “in his own way”, but not in the way that most of us socially understand.

Thus, a psychopathic person, not being able to experience emotions in general, does not feel love either, and therefore could not fall in love as most people do, since they do not have that capacity.

On the other hand, we know that the romantic love for most “mortals” it implies intimacy, passion and commitment, and it is a very human emotion. Nevertheless, for a psychopath, love takes on a different meaning, as well as the act of falling in love.

“The absence of empathy suffered by the psychopath prevents him from feeling pleasure by observing happiness in others. The pleasure of others only provokes envy and greed”.

-Vicente Garrido Genovés-

love for the psychopath

The meaning of love for a person psychopath it can be very different from the meaning that a person without psychopathy gives to this type of feeling. For example, it may happen that for these people love is unilateral, that is, that look for the other to fall in love with them. They can also understand love as a form of gratification, something that gives them what they need.

Thus, they can understand love in an unbalanced way (although this does not always have to happen, logically), or as a source of material goods. And to get love, they may resort to strategies such as manipulation, deceit, and lies.

And it is that, For the psychopath, love is like a game of seduction, in which he can get what he wants (sex, money, company…), but not love itself. Thus, his objective will be to get the love of the other to take advantage of that love, and not to enjoy it. For this, and for some other reason, we say that love for a psychopath is different.

“True love is nothing more than the inevitable desire to help the other to be who he is.”

-Jorge Bucay-

Romantic relationships in psychopaths

Although the psycho You cannot fall in love as such, you can establish sentimental relationships. However, these will be based on their own interest (on something that the psychopath wants to achieve and maintain).

For a psychopath, Social relationships are a way to get what you need at that time. In this way, what are their personal relationships based on, or sustained? Basically, they are based on the search, by the psychopath, of three elements:

  • Your own satisfaction.
  • The complacency.
  • The increase of one’s own ego (due to his personality narcissistic).

Relationships based on avoidant attachment

On the other hand, in most relationships established by a psychopath it can be easy to identify avoidant attachment. Why? Because they are incapable of establishing intimate, emotional and honest relationships.

Y Avoidant attachment is that manifested by people who do not seek support from othersno tolerate the emotional intimacywhich makes it extremely difficult, and as we said, to build deep and lasting relationships.

What would a romantic relationship with a psychopath be like?

Psychopaths have a marked lack of empathy, as well as an inability to feel and express emotions (if they do, they are reproducing what they have learned on a social level, but not what they really feel, because they cannot feel it).

For this reason, the relationships that we can establish with a psychopath will not be easy, even though they can manipulate them and make us believe things that are not (in the end, everything falls under its own weight and one day the psychopath’s mask falls off).

Thus, it is likely that, if you establish an “intimate” relationship with a psychopath, you are also witness their great difficulties to identify what you need (for that lack of empathy). It will be difficult for him to put himself in your place, and also in that of other people.

There doesn’t always have to be manipulation

Nevertheless, we don’t want to generalizeand although psychopaths can exercise manipulation, or not be honest in their sentimental relationships, the truth is that this does not always have to happen.

And it is also good to understand that what happens in many cases is that for people with psychopathy it can be more difficult to avoid the temptation to engage in manipulative behaviorprecisely because of the difficulties they have in establishing a emotional connection with the rest.

adapted behaviors

In addition, there are also people with psychopathy who are capable of behaving in an adapted way (despite the fact that it may be less natural for them, or cost them more), and if only because other important variables come into play, such as social reinforcement towards normative behavior (that is, that others reinforce the fact that they show “expected” behavior at a social level).

So it is important not to generalize, but to understand what is behind the behaviors of a psychopathic person.

Psychopaths can be in a relationship, but they don’t experience love like other people.

There may be a lack of commitment and an absence of regrets

On the other hand, and as we said at the beginning, one of the key ingredients in romantic relationships is commitment. As well, the psychopath may have great difficulty committing, due to his great impulsiveness and the imperative and pressing of their desires.

And since he doesn’t feel guilty either, if he hurts you, he won’t feel remorse for it. So, we recommend that you get to know your partner well, because psychopaths know how to give us what we “expect of them” to achieve their purposes.

However, we insist that Every person is a worldalso psychopaths, and for this reason it is important to get to know our -future- partner in depth, as well as free ourselves from the prejudices that we may have at first.

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Can a psychopath fall in love?