Can a psychopath love someone? (3 reasons they can’t)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “Can a psychopath love someone?” and explore the various aspects of a psychopath and their personality to help understand the answer. 

Can a psychopath love someone?

No, a psychopath cannot truly love someone because of the following 3 reasons –

  • Psychopaths have a narrow emotional range or none at all.
  • Psychopaths use the psychopathic bond to create fake love.
  • Psychopaths are only interested in stimuli and experiences, not in people.

These 3 reasons why a psychopath cannot love someone will be discussed in further detail below after taking a deeper look at who a psychopath is. 

Who is a psychopath?

A “psychopath” is someone who is ruthless, unemotional, and morally twisted. The word is commonly used in professional and legal settings, despite the fact that it is not a recognised mental health condition.

While psychopathy is not a diagnosis in and of itself, it shares many of the characteristics of antisocial personality disorder, a broader mental health disease characterised by people who regularly act out and defy regulations. Psychopaths, on the other hand, make up a small fraction of those who suffer from antisocial personality disorder.

Common Traits of Psychopaths.

Psychopathic conduct differs widely from one person to the next. Some are serial killers and sex criminals. Others, on the other hand, may be effective leaders. It is entirely dependent on their characteristics.

It’s critical to distinguish between psychopaths and persons who exhibit psychopathic characteristics. It’s possible to have multiple psychopathic characteristics without really becoming a psychopath.

People with psychopathic characteristics don’t always act psychopathically. Psychopaths are defined as those who have psychopathic features and also engage in antisocial conduct.

Psychopathic traits include –

  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Narcissism
  • Superficial charm
  • Impulsivity
  • Callous, unemotional traits
  • Lack of guilt
  • Lack of empathy

According to one study, around 29% of the general population possesses one or more psychopathic traits. Only 0.6 percent of the population, however, meets the definition of a psychopath. Characteristics of a psychopath can emerge in childhood and intensify with time.

Signs of a psychopath include –

  • Superficial Charm.
  • Need for Stimulation.
  • Pathological Lying.
  • Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth.
  • Manipulative.
  • Lack of Remorse.
  • Shallow Affect.
  • Lack of Empathy.
  • Parasitic Lifestyle.
  • Poor Behavioral Controls.
  • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior.
  • Early Behavioral Problems.
  • Lack of Realistic, Long-Term Goals.
  • Impulsivity.
  • Irresponsibility.
  • Many Marital Relationships.
  • Criminal Versatility.
  • Revocation of Conditional Release.

What are these 3 reasons why a psychopath cannot love someone?

Psychopaths have a narrow emotional range or none at all.

Psychopaths are incapable of falling in love or loving someone in the same manner that regular people can. This is difficult due to their restricted or non-existent emotional range, lack of empathy, and self-absorbed mentality. 

They can, however, briefly imitate and counterfeit love and romantic relationships in order to hide their true selves and manipulate others. Psychopaths are unable to form truly love relationships because they are unable to value others for who they are, rather than for the feelings, energy, or thrill they may derive from them. 

When a psychopath’s enjoyment wears off, the connection ends since there is nothing else they can get out of it. This is why psychopaths are infamous for throwing individuals out of relationships abruptly and cruelly, and then moving on to someone else without any emotional baggage. 

The psychopath can never regard or love individuals for their essential characteristics and virtues and only sees them as things to be controlled and exploited for their own enjoyment.

The greatest obstacle to a psychopath falling in love is their inability to feel genuine emotions, especially love. They have a very limited – and in some cases, entirely missing – emotional range, which essentially means they do not experience regular feelings like love, pleasure, or grief as we do.

A psychopath also lacks the ability to empathise, which is essential in any genuine romantic connection. They are unable to understand or put themselves in another’s shoes, which, along with other qualities such as glibness, shallowness, deception, and manipulativeness, implies they are not equipped for long-term close relationships.

Psychopaths use the psychopathic bond to create fake love.

Psychopaths adore hooking others on the concept of a phoney image of themselves and a relationship of “happiness” that does not exist. To form a deep psychopathic relationship with their victims, psychopaths employ a combination of slick charm, assessing and feeling people out, giving them what they want to hear, and playing the ideal match.

The target may have gone head over heels for the psychopath’s meticulously presented image, but the psychopath is never truly in love with them and watches the entire process with a cold, amused detachedness as if it were a game they were playing with the next victim.

Psychopaths can deceive others into believing they are in a romantic relationship for a short time. They are expert manipulators who can swiftly detect a person’s likes, dislikes, vulnerabilities, vanity, annoyances, and other traits.

This implies they can say all the correct things in a short amount of time to make someone believe they are in a love relationship.

This procedure is described by Jackson Mackenzie as the development of a manufactured soulmate. The psychopath is robotically constructing an image or persona of the exact person you were hoping to meet, the ideal companion that no one else can match.

They’ll walk and talk in time with you, finish your sentences, read your mind, and match you perfectly. It will appear that you have discovered “the one.” 

It’s vital to remember that the psychopath isn’t experiencing any of this and is just treating the whole thing like a game since they’ve done it so many times before that it’s second nature to them.

The idealise phase of a toxic relationship is when the psychopath or narcissist plays the part they need to earn your trust, preparing you for the devaluation and discard stages later on.

Psychopaths are only interested in stimuli and experiences, not in people.

Another major impediment to a psychopath falling in love is that they are incapable of loving people for themselves, preferring instead to appreciate the sensations, experiences, and “buzz” they receive when they are among others. 

Psychopaths are hollow and lifeless on the inside, and as a result, they are continuously in need of human interaction; they want the world to turn them on in order to experience any type of excitement.

This is what psychopaths want in human connection, rather than real love, in which a person is valued for their good characteristics or qualities. A psychopath is unconcerned about this. They want to start the party, create a “buzz,” and be constantly stimulated and immersed in life to mask their emptiness.

Their emotional range is stunted and restricted at best, thus they want continual “buzz,” “vibe,” and “energy” from others in order to feel alive. They are unable to give their own existence purpose.

In any connection when the supply of this pleasure is interrupted for whatever reason, they immediately disconnect and separate with no apparent remorse, sorrow, or grief.

This is because they were never in love with the person; instead, they were only interested in the sensations and pleasure they could obtain from the connection when they were near them.

The lower a psychopath’s score, the more likely they are to develop feelings for others, such as family members. Psychopaths are less prone to form close relationships with others. Psychopaths, on the other hand, may still desire to be loved, despite their near-impossibility of actually loving someone.

Whether or whether they marry or have a committed partnership, people with high levels of psychopathy form romantic relationships. However, such a connection could not be founded on psychological closeness in the usual sense.

Psychopaths are not immune to the advantages of love, and they suffer when they are not there. They are, however, generally divorced from sentiments of genuineness and vulnerability, which are essential in the formation of deep love ties.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, value their connections in their own unique way. If they do not get affection, they experience anguish, loneliness, cravings, and unhappiness.

According to new psychological research, most people do not consider psychopathic personality characteristics to be especially attractive in a love partner. However, the research shows that psychopaths are more attracted to other psychopaths.

Conclusion – 

This blog post aimed to answer the question, “Can a psychopath love someone?” and reviewed the various aspects of a psychopath and the psychopathic personality to help determine if a psychopath can love someone. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

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Whitbourne, S. K. What Happens When a Psychopath Falls in Love. (2015, May 26). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201505/what-happens-when-psychopath-falls-in-love

Can psychopaths and sociopaths fall in love, romantically? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Can-psychopaths-and-sociopaths-fall-in-love-romantically

Matei, A. Psychology suggests that psychopaths can be changed by the power of love. (2016, October 26). Retrieved from https://qz.com/819283/can-people-who-have-psychopathic-symptoms-feel-love-or-be-truly-happy/

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My 10 Lessons From Being In Love With A Psychopath- Part I. Medium. (2017, April 11). Retrieved from https://medium.com/@Mister_Nobody/my-10-lessons-from-being-in-love-with-a-psychopath-part-i-a3b5e66ac8bc

Can psychopaths love someone? MovieCultists.com (n.d.). Retrieved from https://moviecultists.com/can-psychopaths-love-someone

Horne, C. Love Vs. Manipulation: Can Psychopaths Feel Love? (2022. February 21). Retrieved from https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/love/love-vs-manipulation-can-psychopaths-love/

Can Psychopaths Fall In Love? Psychopaths in Life. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://psychopathsinlife.com/can-psychopaths-fall-in-love/

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