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User Topic: t/j confused on nice... nice guy vs. psychopath
Lonelygirl10
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Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 9:02 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is there a way to tell the difference at the beginning of a relationship between a genuinely nice guy and a psychopath? Or do you just have to take it slow, date the person, and find out months later that your nice guy is really a psychopath?

I've read books and articles on psychopaths, and I've learned that it usually starts out by the guy being very nice and drawing you in. Once he has you, he then starts chipping away at your confidence by doing things like the silent treatment or criticizing you. Been there, done that. If a guy starts putting me down or doing the silent treatment, I'm gone. But how do you distinguish in the beginning between the normal honeymoon stage of a nice guy and a psychopath drawing you in? Is it possible to tell the difference in the beginning, or do you just have to hold yourself back and wait for the other signs to show?

I'm dating what seems to be a nice guy now, but I feel on edge on trusting that it's real.

What is the difference between love bombing and normal honeymoon stage? Which category do these things fall into:

--texting good morning every morning, texting once in middle of day saying thinking about you, and calling every night to talk

--offering to take you to surgery a month after you meet and take care of you

--telling you that he can't see you for the next 5 days, and then asking last minute on the 2nd day if he can stop by to say hi

--saying things like "you're worth the wait" when you say you want to go slow

--seeing you 7 days out of the last 10 days (granted, some of those were with mutual friends)

--asking your parents for permission to date you

--being exclusive in the second week of dating

--saying "I love kissing you" in the second week of dating

--telling stories about nice/romantic things he has done for his parents

--saying his last relationship ended because the girl started expecting him to do overly sweet things, and he didn't have time with his schedule.

These are all standing out to me as "danger, danger"... but, he's not overly complimentary. He doesn't constantly tell me that I'm the one or the best thing that's ever happened to him like my ex did. He doesn't hate his exes like my ex did. He doesn't agree with everything I say, and he admits he has different taste in movies, food, music, etc. Even though we've only dated for two weeks, we met 2 years ago and have mutual friends. He said he's attracted to me because I seem independent and he gets the impression that I'm happy on my own without a guy.

I feel uncomfortable with how attentive he is, and I've called him out on it a few times. When he said I was worth the wait, I told him that I question whether that's a line or if its genuine. He responded that he just likes me a lot, and I'll see that if I give him a chance.

I do not want to get into another psychopath situation, but I do want to date a nice guy. I just don't know how to tell the difference.


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1212 | Registered: Jul 2013
Sad in AZ
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Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The key here is that you feel uncomfortable; you should always trust your gut. Having said that, you're only 7 months out of a bad relationship and you're already involved with in a new one. You may not be ready.

The strong feeling of needing to protect yourself ( (i.e.,reading so much about psychopaths) is a good indication that you still need time to process your past before moving on to the next relationship.

Your description of the new guy makes him come off as clingy and pushy. You need to feel comfortable so if you don't, back off from him.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20292 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Crescita
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Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 9:21 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've never dated a psychopath, but in my sister's experience the "mask" slips. I recall her being freaked out by some remark a guy she was seeing made about the shower hooks. It made no sense from an outside perspective, but it was just a little thing that aggravated him so much he momentarily dropped the facade.

So just watch the little things. It's those everyday little annoyances that are most likely to trip them up the most. Like a shopping cart bumping his car, a waiter messing up an order, a kid spilling a drink, etc... Those things are annoying for everyone, but shouldn't incite that glimmer of rage.

This guy sounds fine so far though!


“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Lonelygirl10
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Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 9:40 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The strong feeling of needing to protect yourself ( (i.e.,reading so much about psychopaths) is a good indication that you still need time to process your past before moving on to the next relationship.

After everything I went through with my ex, I don't think I will ever not feel the need to protect myself. I barely survived it, can't go through it again. I've been completely free for 7 months, but I was slowly removing myself from it before that. It was a lot of stalking behavior.

So just watch the little things. It's those everyday little annoyances that are most likely to trip them up the most. Like a shopping cart bumping his car, a waiter messing up an order, a kid spilling a drink, etc... Those things are annoying for everyone, but shouldn't incite that glimmer of rage.

Yeah, this happened with my ex. But it took about 6 months for the mask to start slipping a little (in hindsight), and another 6 months for me to really see it.

The only thing that has seemed "at odds" with this guy's personality is that he made a sort of crude joke in front of me last weekend. Our mutual friends were talking about this girl's boobs, and he made a motorboat joke. It made me feel awkward, and I told him afterward. He apologized, and said he just likes to make people laugh. But other than that, no anger or weird things that I've noticed...except that he's extremely interested in me.

[This message edited by Lonelygirl10 at 9:41 AM, July 30th (Wednesday)]


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1212 | Registered: Jul 2013
Red Sox Nation
♂ Member
Member # 26358
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hope you don't see this as an attack, but I think you're a little way from being ready for dating as a path to a relationship.

In the legal world, you don't have a blockbuster trial, complete with discovery, a couple of Gene Hackman scenes, hundreds of hours of research and a verdict... all in 24 hours.

There is no shortcut to a healthy relationship.

I don't know if this guy is a psychopath. Admittedly, if I had a 29-year-old daughter and some guy was asking me permission to date her after just a handful of dates, I'd probably ask him if I had permission to shoot him if he hurt her... just to mess with him. He sounds very fragile.

Who knows? We take risks when we date.


When someone tells you who she is, listen; when someone shows you who she is, listen carefully.

Posts: 1896 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: Midwest
risingfromashes
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Member # 3903
Default  Posted: 10:19 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I understand this completely. The person I am seeing seems to be smitten rather quickly. We spend a lot of time on the phone. He is kind, courteous and polite. More important though is he that he is the same way with everyone he encounters. The X was nice to me but very rude/demanding of sales people/waitstaff. That is a red flag!
My daughter is coming home tonight after a month away. He told me last night that he does not expect to hear from me because it is more important that I spend my time with her.
I do not see any red flags other than the speed in which the relationship appears to be a serious one.
Could it be we are both in our fifties and at this point we know what want and don't want in a partner?
After years of dealing with a NPD I think I will always have some doubts in the back of my mind about any partner. The difference is that I will never second guess myself when a mask slips and a person reveals a hidden darkside.


There is life on the other side of hell.

Posts: 1670 | Registered: Mar 2004
meleanoro
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Member # 6210
Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, take some more time for you alone. It will help you get back to trusting your gut.

If you choose to continue this, keep asmall journal to note patterns, gut red flags, and the like.

One thing you can consider is criticizing him. Watch how he handles that. It should be noting a trait of his you find questionable. It doesn't have to be a huge, dramatic thing. But this is one way to initially test.


Me: Tired BS.
(I frequently edit for typos)

Posts: 287 | Registered: Jan 2005
libertyrocks
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Member # 38924
Default  Posted: 10:32 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've dated 4 guys so far. Three of which I saw the red flags within first 2 weeks. I let them all go. I realized I was on autopilot to another NPD or at least womanizers at worst. I slammed on the brakes with each one. I felt sad, sure. But, what I'm trying to get at, is dating has actually made me realize what I want and especially what I don't want. I don't want a guy who has a lot of "Girl" friends. Or someone who just wants to make out all the time. I've since changed the qualities I like. I find that I like quiet, sincere, kind, men with eccentric interests. They suit me best. Those crazy bad boys aren't good for me. I know that. I know what I want now. It just took a while and some tiral-and-error to figure that out. Once I started getting the feelings I did with ex, jeaously, anxiety, sad, excited,etc, I cut loose, as that's not healthy and it exhibits co-dependency again. I guess what I had to do was change the way I behave as not to get into the same old pattern of what I attracted with my ex.

Good luck, Lonelygirl. It's not easy, that's for sure.


Me-BW 36. STBXH-35,Recovering Alcoholic, M6yrs T13. Boys 2 & 4 1/2.
DDay #1 Nov,2012. 1 1/2 year false R & TT. 10 OW PA's 1LTA (W lied to) 3 years.
S Nov, 2013 again Jan,2014
Filed for D Feb,2014.

Posts: 962 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: So Cal, baby. :)
Lonelygirl10
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Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 10:57 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know if this guy is a psychopath. Admittedly, if I had a 29-year-old daughter and some guy was asking me permission to date her after just a handful of dates, I'd probably ask him if I had permission to shoot him if he hurt her... just to mess with him.

Hah, that was exactly my dad's response. I thought it was pretty dumb, and resisted bringing him to dinner when my parents were in town. But my dad told me to bring him so he could judge him. My dad is eerily accurate at predicting why all of my relationships have ended. I usually introduce the guy to my parents after about a year. When he met xwSO, I was smitten with him. My dad told me that xwSO was hiding something, and I got upset at my dad for not liking him. With this guy though, he had nothing negative to say.

If you choose to continue this, keep asmall journal to note patterns, gut red flags, and the like.

That's a good idea. I'll do that.

He is kind, courteous and polite. More important though is he that he is the same way with everyone he encounters. The X was nice to me but very rude/demanding of sales people/waitstaff. That is a red flag!

Yeah, I haven't noticed anything like that. We have mutual friends, and he's well liked by everyone.

He's ex-military, and has a huge family. Parents still married. Talks good about his family. Nothing bad sticks out except the speed of how often he wants to see me.


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1212 | Registered: Jul 2013
Nature_Girl
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Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 11:11 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In my world, a grown man asking a father's permission to date his grown daughter is creepy. Like, he's trying to snow your dad. That's just bizarre in my world.

The things you're describing would be red flags to me. The relationship sounds very rushed. He says one thing, then turns around and does something else. He's pushing for emotional intimacy very quickly. *I* would feel smothered by this guy. I would feel that he's putting way too many hooks into me too early in the relationship.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9827 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Crescita
♀ Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nothing bad sticks out except the speed of how often he wants to see me.

Remember you don't have to say yes to every date and phone call. Be sure to keep making other plans, or take time just for you.

-telling stories about nice/romantic things he has done for his parents

Also, just caught this, WHAT? Who does romantic things for their parents?


“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
homewrecked2011
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Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 11:18 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My counselor told me if you see what you think is a red flag (wanting to see you so much) write it on your calendar for 6 months from today,, and at that time see if it is still a red flag.

I personally think the best approach is to keep your life going -- your interests, etc even if the relationship works. That way you will have your selfconfidence intact in case you have to suddenly break up with him if he turns psycho.

I also would try to have times where yall hang out with his work friends, his friends, etc and try to talk to the wives of these people...what impression do they have of him? What do their husband's say? You don't have to just flat out ask them, but you can see after a while the comments they make...

Does he have friends? This is a biggie to me. Most guys will distance themselves from a psycho, or their wives will make them distance themselves from a "player".

Lastly,,, my grandfather had my Dad checked out - and this was way back in the 1950's. Had a PI investigate him and had the PI do a
little surveillance.
IDK, it sounds a little psycho, doesn't it? But after reading A Deadly Game - The Scott Peterson story,, if Laci's family would have had a PI on Scott when they were in college, they would have known he was sleeping around on her way back in college.


me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 2216 | Registered: Jan 2012
Lonelygirl10
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Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Also, just caught this, WHAT? Who does romantic things for their parents?

He planned out their anniversary dinner at a nice restaurant, and paid for everything. I heard the story once, and then he told it to my parents too.

I personally think the best approach is to keep your life going -- your interests, etc even if the relationship works. That way you will have your selfconfidence intact in case you have to suddenly break up with him if he turns psycho.

Yeah, I'm doing this and keeping boundaries up. He was already friends with my friends before we started dating though, so he gets invited out by my friends on Friday nights even if I don't invite him. There's a group of 10 people going out of town for my birthday, and he suggested renting a hotel room instead of staying in the house. I said no, and that I wanted to stay with my friends. So I'm keeping boundaries up, and not going along with everything he suggests.

Does he have friends? This is a biggie to me. Most guys will distance themselves from a psycho, or their wives will make them distance themselves from a "player".

He's friends with my friends. I think he has separate friends too, but I haven't met them yet. You're right though, that was something I noticed with my ex. I'll need to pay attention to that when I meet his friends.

In my world, a grown man asking a father's permission to date his grown daughter is creepy. Like, he's trying to snow your dad. That's just bizarre in my world.

Me too. He explained that he was raised to be old fashioned and show respect. He has a huge family, and was home schooled.

[This message edited by Lonelygirl10 at 11:31 AM, July 30th (Wednesday)]


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1212 | Registered: Jul 2013
NaiveAgain
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Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 12:39 PM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I married 2 of them. Yay me! They were both very different but they had a few things in common.

1. Both got me to feel sorry for them at some point, or make excuses for their behavior. With one, it was pretty overt. With the other, it was very subtle. I didn't even know I felt sorry for him for a long time.

2. Both had a shady past. By which I mean, it was very difficult to discern the truth. Psycho #1 - when asked about his childhood, could pick out a few small incidents here or there but usually I just got a vague "it was good, like everyone else's." In reality, later I found out his grandfather was horribly abusive. Psycho #2 - was over the top with his stories about being a boy that liked to cause trouble. He used humor to make it sound funny that he "accidentally" set his barn on fire, was truant, or got into fights. He also told me his mom was crazy and kept me from meeting her for a very long time. He also lied about how many times he was married.

3. Both were very good liars. Pathological. It took a while to catch the lies though.

4. Neither were good with money. Psycho #1 at least admitted he was not good with money. Psycho #2 had every excuse in the book about why he had worked as a cop for 21 years, took out his retirement, and was now totally broke.

Psycho #2 lovebombed. He was "in love" with me from the very beginning. He was a smooth talker, and everyone liked him. He came highly recommended. He pretended to be a nice guy, but he was a predator. He was very extroverted. Psycho #1 was shy.

At this point, I do watch closely for signs with relationship partners or close friends. I watch for true compassion (#2 was good at faking compassion). I watch to see if they are risk takers or if they used people in their past. I watch for some stability in their lives.

I don't think you can tell until you've really gotten to know someone. Keep in mind that even the experts are fooled by these people, so I would keep it fairly casual for a while and just give it time to develop slowly. Remember, no one can fall in love with you in a week or two, because they can't really know you deeply for quite a while. If they fall in love quickly, it is a superficial type of love.


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15291 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
norabird
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Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 1:10 PM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

All of this seems pretty fast for me (dinner with your parents?!)...but I am a habitual commitment-phobe. Since he knows your mutual friends, I'm more inclined to hope that he really is just an old-fashioned guy. Don't let him fast forward you and speak up when you're uncomfortable; you're going to have to face the triggers of this at some point, and I think if he is able to be patient with them it will be a good sign. Right now, it is way too early to be letting your guard totally down, no matter your history--even without having been deceived, developing intimacy and trust is *supposed* to take time. There is no 'test' to weed out the sociopaths,m unfortunately; you have to be able to trust yourself to figure that one out in due time. As RSN says, there is always risk.

I find reading on Baggage Reclaim usually gives me a gut check, if you want to do a little browsing there to help you think this through.

Fingers crossed for you. No matter what, you are going to be fine--whether this guy is getting too emotionally committed too soon in an unhealthy way, or whether he turns out to be as good as his word.

I have to say I'm relieved that the last guy is gone, at any rate.

((((LG))))


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Lonelygirl10
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Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 1:25 PM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

NA-- hearing things like that is what scares me so much I think. I believe it is totally possible to end up with a second psychopath even after learning the signs in the first one, and I really don't want that to happen to me. So far, I'm not aware of any shady past, and haven't been suspicious of any lies. He's not great with money, but I think that's because he's in school full time.

There is no 'test' to weed out the sociopaths,m unfortunately; you have to be able to trust yourself to figure that one out in due time.

Sigh, yeah. But I wish there was The scared part of me has considered pushing him away. But if he is just a genuinely nice guy, I would kick myself later for it. He treats me pretty much exactly the way I want a guy to treat me. It just scares me because of xwSO.

I have to say I'm relieved that the last guy is gone, at any rate.

Which one? Nightgown guy? Yeah, now that I'm with a guy who is clearly interested, I can see how disinterested he actually was. I don't think he was a bad guy, but I think he wasn't ready to date for whatever reason.


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1212 | Registered: Jul 2013
norabird
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Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nobody puts nightgown in a corner!


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Lonelygirl10
♀ Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 1:57 PM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nobody puts nightgown in a corner!

Love that movie! I bought a new dress yesterday at the mall, and sent new guy a picture of me in it. Just a normal dress, nothing special. His response was "Wow! You're so pretty." And then he asked about my day. Much better response


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1212 | Registered: Jul 2013
Forged1
♂ Member
Member # 43418
Default  Posted: 2:50 PM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

LG

This -

--saying his last relationship ended because the girl started expecting him to do overly sweet things, and he didn't have time with his schedule.

- does not gel with all the other nice/sweet stuff you've listed.

If I understand what you've written correctly, the line is "Hey, check me out, I'm super-sweet, super-nice and you should totally be with me because I'm all awesome and nice and stuff, but my last relationship ended because I couldn't be as super-sweet and super-nice as she wanted because of my schedule, but remember that I'm super-sweet and super-nice".

Uhhhmm. Something's off there.


Me: BH - 30s
Her: WW - 30s

Married - 2008
PA with boss for at least 5 months in 2013, possibly longer.
DDay - Feb 2014
Separated, heading to D
==================================
At this stage, I'm pretty much bulletproof.


Posts: 307 | Registered: May 2014 | From: USA
Lonelygirl10
♀ Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 3:15 PM, July 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If I understand what you've written correctly, the line is "Hey, check me out, I'm super-sweet, super-nice and you should totally be with me because I'm all awesome and nice and stuff, but my last relationship ended because I couldn't be as super-sweet and super-nice as she wanted because of my schedule, but remember that I'm super-sweet and super-nice".

Uhhhmm. Something's off there

Yeah, I caught that too and questioned him about it. The explanation makes sense to me, but see if it does to you as a guy. He said that it was an on again off again relationship. He started dating her before he was going to school full time (in addition to working full time). He said that when he started school, she had a hard time accepting that he had to study. So she would end things, and then get back with him, and then end things. The last time she ended things, he told her that it was the final time. I personally don't see how he didn't have enough time for her because he's spending plenty of time with me. He said that she wasn't as independent as me though, and didn't have stuff to do if he wasn't with her. He also said that at the end of the relationship, he wasn't being as sweet to her because he was frustrated. She was upset that the sweet stuff stopped. He said that he "loves to be sweet to a girl, but gets frustrated if the girl starts to expect it." Basically, he explained that he wants to feel appreciated.

I made note of it, but don't know if it's a red flag. I can understand what he's saying, because I'm a super sweet person too. When a guy stops appreciating the sweet things I do (like my xwSO), I stopped doing the sweet things. But.... there's also the thought in my head of "what if he's like my xwSO who did so many sweet things and then pulled away drastically after the first year." My IC said that xwSO "held his breath" and did sweet things for as long as he could, and then the real him came out.


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1212 | Registered: Jul 2013
Topic Posts: 93
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