How to tell if you are in a relationship with a predator?
A romantic relationship with a toxic, manipulative and emotionally abusive person is something you’d never see coming, especially if you have been interacting with the person online. But if you can tune in your radars early on, you may succeed in saving yourself a lot of pain and trauma.
Here are some tell-tale signs that you may be in a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath.
Note: Although the article is written from a female POV, the points apply equally to both genders.
1. Connects with you and is quick to jump into personal conversation (DM/IM/WhatsApp). He’s probably done enough research on you and will know beforehand what topics are likely to interest you.
2. Will try to know everything about you. No, he’s not giving you importance – just gauging your weaknesses/ vulnerabilities. He will sound sensitive and caring so you are more inclined to open up to him.
3. Tries to get too close too soon. Especially at an emotional level. Will say that he “needs” you. This might sound endearing at first but as your relationship progresses, you will gradually realize how “need” is a dangerous word and is not the same as love.
4. Something about him never adds up. His actions and words do not match. He seems to come across as open and talkative, but when you think deeply, you realize that there are some parts of himself he has kept hidden from you.
5. He is usually a smooth talker – always using the right words and telling you what you want to hear. He will charm you and win your confidence against your better judgment.
6. He might try to gain sympathy by narrating sad personal stories. This is to trigger your nurturing instincts and plant the idea in your head that you are the only one who can “save” him.
7. Demands your time and attention all the time in the beginning and then gradually withdraws leaving you hurt and confused. Fairytale romance quickly gives way to mixed signals to keep keep you in a confused state so that you are easier to manipulate.
8. CONTROL is at the core of these toxic relationships, be it your mind, body, emotions or finances. He may play upon your goodness of heart and spin stories to get you to give him money.
9. He may make sexual demands you may be uncomfortable with, just to establish dominance and power. Such a person will usually be selfish in bed and will not respect boundaries.
10. May exhibit childlike behavior and throw temper tantrums. Basically, he does not know how to take “no” for an answer.
11. Interacting with him may feel emotionally draining because he is feeding off all your energy. His aim is to suck all lifeblood out of you leaving you weak and lifeless. And he will do this in cycles. Such people are called Emotional Vampires for a reason.
12. He will lead you to believe that you’re exclusive but will be interacting the same way with multiple women. He may have his favorites, but he is not capable of being loyal in a relationship.
13. Contrary to the point above, he may be excessively possessive about you bordering on obsession. He will try to control what you wear, who you talk to, who your friends are, what you do with your money and where you go. Gradually, he will try to isolate you from your friends and family.
14. His behavior will rapidly alternate between intense affection and stark indifference, leaving you wondering what you did wrong. The aim is to make you doubt your sense of self and shake up your sanity.
15. Will never assume responsibility for anything and will be quick to put the blame on you. You may feel like you are always walking on eggshells for the fear of saying or doing something that may upset him.
Not all narcissist/predators are the same but they do exhibit some common traits and patterns. If any of this sounds familiar, you may be in troubled waters. Remember one thing – you can’t fix or heal broken people. The best you can do is let them go and never look back.
Shuchi is the author of two romantic comedies – ‘Done With Men’, and ‘I’m Big. So What!?’. She freelances as a writer, editor and blogger, and runs a writing firm called the Pixie Dust Writing Studio. When she’s not writing, Shuchi likes to travel, read and bake awesome cakes. Find out more at http://www.shuchikalra.com. You can also tweet to her @shuchikalra.