Can a psychopath fall in love?

Can a psychopath fall in love? This question plunges us fully into the emotional world of people who, in a 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 mean by “love”? The truth is that, although each 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 how is the mind of a psychopath and why his 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 narcissistic characteristics, unable to experience emotionsguilt or remorse, taking 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 the 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 own benefit.
  • Lack of respect for the rules or the rights of others (and contempt and violation of these).
  • Lack of empathy and the ability to experience emotions.

Intellectually, his capacity is fully preserved. It is estimated that up to 3% of the population You may develop 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 Genoves-

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 mean by love. If we refer to what is commonly understood by it, such as “a feeling of lively affection and inclination towards a person or thing to which all good is 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 understand socially.

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 romantic love for most “mortals” involves intimacy, passion and commitment, and is a very human emotion. Nevertheless, For a psychopath, love takes on a different meaning, as does the act of falling in love.

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

-Vicente Garrido Genoves-

love for psycho

The meaning of love for a psychopathic person 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 provides them with 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 can resort to strategies such as manipulation, deception 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 goal 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 other than the inevitable desire to help the other to be who he is.”

-Jorge Bucay-

Sentimental 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 psychopathic person 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 your personal relationships based on, or sustained by? Basically, they are based on the search, by the psychopath, for three elements:

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

Relationships based on avoidant attachment

On the other hand, in most relationships that a psychopath establishes, it can be easy to identify avoidant attachment. Why? Because they are unable to establish intimate, emotional and honest relationships.

Y avoidant attachment is that manifested by people who do not seek support from othersno they tolerate emotional intimacy, which makes it extremely difficult, 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 emotion (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 psychopathic person will not be easy, although 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 will also be Witness their great difficulties in identifying 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.

It doesn’t always have to be manipulation

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

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 an emotional connection with others.

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 a behavior “expected” at the social level).

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

Psychopaths can have a relationship, but they do not experience love like other people.

There may be lack of commitment and absence of remorse

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 from them” to achieve their goals.

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

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Can a psychopath fall in love?