16 People Who Have Been in Relationships With Diagnosed Sociopaths Dish on What It Was Like

I’m not sure that anyone wakes up one day and thinks they’d like to date someone who will probably never be able to genuinely return their affections, but hey – you never know what you’re going to end up with when you swipe right, you know?

If you’re curious what it’s like to date someone with an antisocial personality disorder, well…these 16 folks are giving up the goods.

16. Be very, very careful.

There wasn’t any diagnosis, but I was casually with a guy who was sending up some pretty serious red flags, and it suddenly clicked that he was a sociopath. No empathy. Would absolutely lie to people’s faces. Huge plans that went nowhere. Nothing was ever his fault. Rules were for other people. When I drifted away from him or hung out with someone else, he would start putting lots of effort in again. And of course there was the cheating, lying, etc etc.

Luckily for me, I had recognized it early, and I realized I needed to be carful about how I went about detaching myself from him. So here is what I did, and hopefully it can help someone: I never actually broke things off with him or told him we were done. Obviously this only works if you’re casual, but maybe some variation could work. So an example would be that when he asked me for something, I knew he wanted it right then. So whenever he contacted me to ask for something I’d say “sure, that sounds great! I get off of work in 3 hours and I’ll come right over with (whatever he wanted) after that!” He’d say no, never mind. I’d act like I was disappointed about it, so he thought he had successfully ‘punished’ me. He thought I was still on the hook. I’d do this over and over until he stopped thinking of me as someone he could get things from. It took a while and a lot of acting upset when he would berate me or snap at me (I specifically remember sitting in his room while he yelled at me about where I put my purse down thinking “okay remember Vi, this is very upsetting. Look sad…”) but it did work without him going to any extremes. And we lived in the same building, so it was hard to just avoid him altogether.

Obviously your mileage may vary.

15. Like a light switch flipped. Chills.

I had a friend who married one. He changed 100% the night they got married. He went from a nice normal guy to super cold. He moved her out of state, got her pregnant, and had 2 other families on the side… she finally got out of it. Fucked her up for a long time

14. Remember you’re not the crazy one.

Yerp. By far the hardest experience of my life. Was with him for nearly a year, 6 years ago. Still working on recovery today. Tried to seperate me from my friends and family, made me feel responsible for him emotionally and financially. One of the first things he did after about a week of dating was convince me to pay for his $400 phone bill so he could have his phone switched back on and stay in contact with me. That was only the beginning. I lost all self worth, by the end I felt completely crazy. It’s insane what prolonged exposure to gaslighting will do to a person. I ended up dropping out of uni because he would sabotage me at every turn. I’ll never forget when I was working on a major project and he would keep walking past me calling me a fucking bitch and spitting on my piece. I was the only one working, and supporting two people on a shit hospitality wage is hard enough, then add in about a $300 a week weed addiction. If he didn’t have it, he would lose his shit, throw things, smash things etc. it was safer for me to keep him high, and in turn I smoked a shit load to escape the reality of the situation. I finally got out when I found that he had had prostitutes in the house (and in my bed). I finally opened up to my friends what had been happening and they got me out of there. It was fucked up, but I try to see it in a positive light. I’ve learnt and gained massive self esteem since this happened, and I find I can easily detect sociopathic and narcissistic personalities not people now. I still get super triggered by things, especially males yelling or showing aggression. I still get annoyed at myself for breaking down in these situations, but each time it happens I feel myself heal just that little bit. I see it as a wound reopening, but then the scar tissue builds up, making me stronger each time. Sorry for such a long rant, seeing this question hit me and feels good to get a bit of the stuff off my chest.

13. That makes it hard to get out.

A friend of mine dated a diagnosed sociopath, and she said it was frustrating because there wasn’t any logic behind her attraction to him. She realized he was not good to her, but she couldn’t stop going back to him. She described him as both the best and worst thing in her life when she was with him

12. Sometimes you don’t know until it’s over.

I don’t imagine that it’s common for sociopaths to get diagnosed as such. They tend to live in denial. They don’t think they have issues worth exploring.

Yes, I dated one, and it was the most traumatic experience of my life. By the time it was over (multiple years), I had no idea who he was. That’s what it’s like.

11. How on earth do you even date someone who talks about hurting animals?

He was a classic, into animal torture and stuff like that.

The way he got to talk endlessly about animal torture was by pretending he felt bad for it and looking for sympathy. “I can’t believe I did [x] and [y], I feel so bad” – he kept mentioning it so much. He thought it was funny when me or the baby had pain. At one point he told me that it was so long ago, that by now I should also think it was funny that he had gotten my blood and pieces of my flesh on him.

He said that me having empathy was proof that I was mentally ill, because “empathy doesn’t exist. You just learn in your teens that there’s consequences for being bad to other people”

He also said that “nobody cares about women. They’re like steak in the supermarket” and that when he saw a woman in the streets, he thought about raping them.

He is incredibly charismatic and the police said that I made a false report. He is still harassing me through the legal system.

10. The kids surely know they’re better off.

I didn’t graduate but I studied psychology and this is exactly right. Very few sociopaths are ever officially diagnosed.

I was married to someone who I believe was a sociopath. My kids and I deal with PTSD (which I WAS diagnosed with) but are luckily finally away from it. It’s a fucking nightmare. We were together for 14 years and other than my kids, I lost everything. I didn’t fight as hard as I should have for more in the divorce because I just wanted it to be over with and to deal with him as little as possible. The best thing he ever did for our kids was remarry quickly and tell me he wanted nothing to do with them as long as they were with me.

9. Oh hell no you do not touch my dog.

My ex was never diagnosed formally, but often told me he was probably a sociopath. I think the charismatic tendencies is what really gets to me the most. I thought I was so special because he was so confident in himself. He could do no wrong, he always said everything with such confidence you felt stupid to question it. I was young and he was the first person to show interest in me that I thought was also really smart.

He killed animals too. Would often tell me about how he wanted to kill every species at least once. Fantasized about being able to kill someone. Beat my parents dog for months because he left food on the counter (which we said not to because the dog eats it) and when I threatened to break up with him if he didn’t stop beating the dog, he looked at the dog coldly and said, “If you break up with me over that stupid dog I’ll kill him,”.

I was so scared, so miserable. He isolated me away from all of my friends and family. Yet we would be able to see his friends and family. If I spoke about something, I would get yelled at on the way home. I would lock myself in the bedroom to avoid him yelling at me… but he would break lock just to yell at me more. Everytime I tried to break up with him it was, “I’ll kill myself,”, “I’ll kill the dog,”, “you’ll never be able to find someone as good as me,”, “I’ll spend every last dime you have,”.

Cheated on me constantly. Blamed me for cheating. Was just so obsessed with himself. Turned into an entirely different person sexually, after a few years of us dating. He went from being dominating (which I liked) into actually wanting me to peg him, humiliate him, etc. I once role played about someone breaking in and tying him to the chair and forcing him to watch someone rape me. And he could. Not. Stop. Thinking about it. Everytime we did anything intimate it would turn into that.

He tried to convince me to let someone else fuck me in from of him- but I ultimately bailed out because I felt it was so wrong…. so he screamed at me in a bar because “any girl would be lucky to have their boyfriend say it’s okay to sleep with someone else,”

No. He had to pick out the person. He picked out what I would ware. How I would do my make up. What we ate. Everything. It came to a point where I threatened to break up enough where he finally found it hilarious and said “oh yeah? Think you can do it on your own? Then do it,” quit he job and stopped paying rent while still living under my roof for months. Drained my savings completely.

It’s been about 2 years since I was finally free and I still have dreams of him refusing to leave. I luckily have a gun in these dreams and I shoot the son of a bitch… and I stopped dreaming for awhile, but now he’s back in my brain, haunting me yet again.

8. Cheating seems to be a common thread.

Traumatic. I’m in therapy, but I’m scared of people now. I don’t know if I want to get married or have kids.

I beat myself up for it because there were SO MANY SIGNS he was a sociopath. But I still wanted him. Even after a few years we first broke up.

I ended up catching herpes.

He never cared about me and only cared about himself. He used me. I get really mad at myself when I think about it.

Even typing this out my anxiety is slightly hitting me.

I learned that I was in love with the idea of being in love and that my self-esteem was so low.

It’s probably going to be a long time before I trust people again. One of my biggest fears is falling into that again. Even worse, not leaving.

I’m thankful that I have family and friends so that helps me. I don’t feel alone. I feel love all the time.

7. They like to isolate their victims.

My ex from college was also never officially diagnosed but admitted to me the last time we ever saw each other he thought he might be and a relative who is capable of making such a diagnosis said his behavior sounds just like it.

It started out normal, he never seemed violent and never really got physical but he seemed to enjoy playing with people. On many occasions he would offhandedly mention in a bragging way how he used to hurt people violently as a child (paired with stories of smashing large objects into kids head or even pushing another boy off the top of some closed bleachers and breaking his arm) but he had since mastered how to break people with words. He lied to everyone constantly about everything. I have no idea who he was because as the relationship came to a close it became clear every character trait he had was carefully crafted to appeal to others. He lied about his job, finishing college, things he had done. He also lied about the most random things or just, hiding information like being extremely allergic to soy for years because he “didn’t want others to know his weaknesses”. He told me a fake middle name.

He also isolated me from all my friends and family by just, always spending time with me to the point of it being borderline stalkerish. By then though I was in too deep and didn’t have a support network and couldn’t get him to leave me alone. I would try to break up with him and he would tell me no, refuse to leave my dorm (he kept getting in despite not having a key) and sit outside my work to the point where I didn’t get my contract renewed (well, I’m not sure but I think it was a factor). It didn’t help he would have periods of being the kindest person ever, often before disappearing for long periods of time.

I had an epiphany last week about his cycle. He would set up a date, not show, ghost me for days and later weeks (and at one point two months) and use his health problems and bad family situation to make me crazy anxious all of the time, never knowing when he would next cut me off. The only time I didn’t feel anxious was when I was him like how some drug addicts keep using not because they want to but because of how bad they feel if they don’t. Isolate, manipulate, force dependency. And he was had such a great persona that when I did reach out to people they would tell me to stay.

It finally ended after two and a half years when he told me he fantasized about the many ways he would murder me because I wasn’t his I wouldn’t be anybody’s. I did better in school, work, and health than I had in years and got off all my meds because it turns out I didn’t have depression and anxiety I just had this toxic tumor of a person leaching my life away.

6. Gaslighting 101.

I was a married to one. It was traumatizing. We had a child and he cheated while I was pregnant with a woman I specifically said “I don’t trust her, please avoid being alone with her” when she joined my group. (Other friends basically invited her in). He was verbally and mentally abusive. He told me no one would want me because I was a young single mom so I may as well come home and just let him cheat with whoever he felt like cheating with. I moved across the country to escape his insanity.

The best way I learned to deal with him is to ignore him and not give a shit. It messed with his ego big time. He really doesn’t know how to deal with someone who actually gives zero shots about him. He would try to tell me about whatever was going on in his life and I’d say “Why are you telling me this? I don’t care. Don’t speak to me unless it’s about our son.”

He kidnapped my child during a visit. Because our divorce was final in our home state, nothing could be done. It took me two years of fighting to win full sole custody of my son who is now grown and doesn’t have much to do with his dad.

There is of course a lot more to the story. Psychological warfare and such. He tried to make me think I was going crazy when I started to become suspicious. He tried to torture me for 18 years. I haven’t spoken to him in 5 years and I feel free. He has been told if he so much as tries to speak to me at events for my son (Graduation, college graduation, military basic training graduation) that I will walk away. I have nothing to say to the man and he has nothing to say to me. My son learned on his own what type of person his dad is and is remarkably well adjusted and full of empathy.

5. His mother tried to warn her.

Yes. He admitted his diagnosis proudly. At least to me. He was very troubled. I was only with him 8 months. But those 8 months were the worst of my life. He seemed happy to discover i didn’t have stable housing. Asked if id like to move in. I said no. So he started causing problems with the people i was crashing with. I didn’t realize this til later that he was the one that got me kicked out.

Once i had no choice but to stay with him, hotels or the streets. He laughed and said hes breaking his lease. Maybe if i did what he said faster, id be able to stay. But that i could sleep in his basement. He would do weird shit like that. Making me wait outside of bars, his job, his friends houses was a big thing hed make me do. Especially if the weather was poor.

When he drank it was even worse. Id sleep in the bathroom if he was on liquor to get away from him. If i didn’t, hed strangle me when he blacked out. Hes wanted for killing a girl in another country now. No clue where he is but ill randomly get contacted by him. Its been years but he still contacts me. All he says is “i love you”. Once he got into my email and changed my name to “i love you”. I know 100% its him.

Ive seen and been through a lot of fucked up shit in my life. It is what it is. But that man takes the fucking cake for the most awful experience in my entire life. There are people i meet or see on tv that have the same exact look in their eyes or voice pattern as him, despite looking nothing like him. I avoid those people like the plague or grande to turn the tv off. Its like they over enunciate certain points of words yet have a monotone voice. The letter t especially. Like they’re parroting a human. Not actually one

One thing he always did was watch you tube videos and practice in the mirror on how to look happy, sad, concerned. It was insane. Everyone thought he was the greatest guy on earth. His mother tried to warm me that he’d kill me. Fucked up.

4. Hopefully that’s far enough.

Was married to one for 4 years. Definitely would not repeat. The level of delusion is unreal– and trying to get him to understand someone else’s pain, trying to get him to see how his actions were fucked up– was like trying to force a colorblind person to differentiate red and green. His vast lack of empathy was unyielding. Not even his therapist could make progress, and requested to meet with me for help in getting through to him. He truly lives in a fictional world where he can do no wrong, and it’s fucking terrifying. I moved a thousand miles away first chance I got.

3. Everything was a lie.

Yes, I dated a narcissistic sociopath. It was terrible, and left permanent scars. It took time but I realize now that everything was a lie. Well, his name was correct – but what he thought, felt, did, his plans and his history – I know none of those things. He is a complete stranger and I never knew him at all.

I’m doing fine now, although once in a while I stop and shake my head because I feel so goddam dumb.

2. When his mask started to slip.

my first boyfriend told me on our first date that he was a sociopath and “i don’t feel anything but i sure know i like you” and because i was sixteen and naïve i completely fell for it. Cue being manipulated into sex, telling him i struggled with my relationship with food and body image only to be told i was “flabby” afterwards, and all the exhausting mind games. Even through all of that and more, i still utterly adored him and repressed all of my instinctual feelings that were telling me to leave, something i still feel dumb about. I honestly think i was just a toy for him to manipulate and hurt, something he made sure to tell me about after our relationship ended. The way his face would change from “loving” to like someone i didn’t know was kind of terrifying really. it all fucked me up pretty badly and i still find it hard to trust people

1. Nothing was real.

Fren, are you me? Quite literally EVERYTHING I knew about my ex was bogus. Even down to his birthday; which he blamed on an error at the DMV, which is inaccurate because they have you check your license before you leave (at least in our state).

Isolated me from my friends and family, yet we saw his all the time. Threw bitch fits if my parents came to visit for a weekend, to see their grandkids. When my grandmother passed, he sent me a barrage of texts accusing me of only going to her funeral to cheat on him. (But yet, when he left his Facebook page open, what did I find? At least three different girls sending him DMs.)

I could go on and on, but I won’t. I found out the truth, with cold hard evidence and court records to prove. He hasn’t seen my kids in 5 years; no phone calls, no cards on their birthday, no nothing. I have sole physical and legal custody and I prefer it that way. He’s since moved on to a new wife, has a new baby, and is a pastor. Lol. He would likely deny all of this or have a convenient (albeit flimsy) excuse for it.

I’ll see him in Hell.

I found this super interesting and also I am glad all over again to be done with dating.

If you have a story to add to this list we’d love to hear it!