I use online dating services a lot.  They suit my personality and eliminate my need to get creative about where I find my dates. However, I’ve found there are a lot of pricks online.

We’ve all run into these types, whether online or in real life. The ones I call sociopathic daters (yes, there are women like this, but my rant for today is men. Sorry, guys). These are the guys who care nothing for the feelings or needs of the person they’re with. It’s all about them. Usually they just want a place to put their penis but not always. Sometimes it’s the thrill of the conquest and other it’s a game of manipulation. Whatever it is, it’s about them and never, never about you.

Just so you know one when you see one, let me describe the sociopathic dater. He’s charming. Oh, when you meet him, he’ll say and do all the right things to make you feel at ease. He’s very good at it, people (I’m including men in this because the sociopathic dater is rampant in the gay community as well). He knows exactly what to say when and how to make you trust him. He’s usually well-groomed, might even have a good career. It is rare that these guys are stuck in dead end jobs. Everything, including their jobs, is about them and their comfort and well-being. He’s subtle and graceful. Never a wrong move or word. Sometimes these guys will deliberately act like the bumbling idiot just to put you at ease. There’s just one problem with their act; it’s too good. Even bumbling they’re cute or endearing.

Here’s how you recognize the sociopathic dater; they have a hidden temper and are manipulative. These guys will tell you everything you want to hear including words like “forever” and “love” if it gets them what they want. However, try asserting yourself around them sometime. They don’t like it. Say “no” and they’ll tell you they respect your decision then spend the next few hours or days finding a way around it. They don’t compromise well and don’t see why they should.

It’s the little things you have to watch for. It can seem insignificant at the time. For example, you want to see a comedy and he wants to see an action movie. He may agree to see the comedy and then back out when the time comes to go. This is not a once in a while thing, either. This is something he will do repeatedly. Or he’ll get upset or sulky if you don’t do what he wants to do. He’ll lay on the guilt, but in subtle ways. He’ll never tell you that you’re a bad person, instead he’ll drop subtle hints about how you didn’t do what he wanted you to do.

In any relationship, be it a monogamous marriage or a one-night stand or something in between, there is a give and take to the relationship. Sometimes one person gets their way and other times the other person gets  theirs. There is communication and compromise between both (or more if it’s a polyamourous situation) and everyone walks away comfortable. Not everyone is satisfied, but all parties are comfortable with the outcome.

If you have someone in your life that repeatedly manipulates you into behaving a way that’s not normal or comfortable for you, take a good look at that person. If you often find yourself placating that person out of a sense of guilt or shame, you need to examine the situation. This is not a situation you need to be in.

To the sociopathic daters in the world (yes, this applies to the women as well as the men), please do us a favour and go crawl under a rock somewhere. Leave us alone. We don’t need you, your drama or your games in our lives. We have better things to do and better people to welcome around us.

Dating and love should be a balancing force in our lives not something that makes us feel desperate and needy.

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