I am adding the following disclaimer to all of my dating related blog posts. I change details, and create composite characters when I write about dating archetypes such as “Mr. Houdini, Mr. Angry, etc. I would hate it if someone wrote about a high energy blonde comedian negatively in a blog, so because of that I never include a person’s occupation or anything about their physical description. I also change enough details that I doubt anyone I am referring to would even recognize themselves if they read one of my articles. I have split one person into three, or taken several people and put them all into one example. So simply put, I am very ethical on this blog.
I think we all know this type all to well. Again, this one is universal, and post-divorce individuals are especially vulnerable to their charms. Really no one is really safe with an emotional predator, as the best are masters of manipulation and deception. They can be
- Any gender
- Any age
- Any socioeconomic background
- Any sexual orientation
- Good looking, average or unattractive it hardly matters
An emotional predator will pick up on whatever weakness you have and exploit it. Their goal is usually to have a sexual encounter with you and they will do anything to reach that goal. They will lie about their past, their current living situation, their interests, goals, hobbies, whatever to transform into the person they think you would desire. The worst predators won’t stop at a one-night stand, they need to control and dominate their partner’s lives, and are truly insidious.They are highly skilled at figuring out what makes you tick and what will interest you on a deep level. They might use your insecurities or fears or play up on your strengths using flattery. I just dodged a bullet with someone I think may have been playing me, and playing me well.
I can think of someone from my not so distant past as an example. He figured out that I was a brainy type, so instead of trying to impress me with flashier credits in his past he used more intellectual ones. He was charming, sweet and went out of his way to ask questions about my interests and ongoing projects, pretty much anything that was near and dear to my heart. He also mislead me about his intentions. In doing so implying that he might be looking for more than a simple one-night stand. What all of this amounted to was me allowing my guard down. But I am generally a hard nut to crack, as I have major trust issues and I am not 22. So I didn’t immediately succumb and agree to hook up with him, or go out with him. Instead I remained coy and uncertain and definitely gave him mixed signals. Fast forward a length of time and he is curt, clipped and I discover that some of what he told me is blatantly false. What he was probably looking for was a meaningless fling, and even though people misunderstand me on this very topic, I am not against anyone having sexual encounters with virtual strangers. However I think both parties should know what they are getting into before they hook it up. Implications of a longer term, more invested relationship should not be used in order to make the one night of passion happen. And when a person is showing interest in a deeper part of yourself, that can blur many expectations. The funny thing is, had he been upfront about his intentions and what he wanted, he might have been far more successful in his pursuit of me.
In my case the example I use was a close call, as I was swooning over this man until I saw the other side of him. When that happened I simply cut him out of my mind like a dead tree branch, and added him to the list of many men who have been in that role before him. But I wasn’t so lucky in the time immediately after I left my husband. Blinded by grief I made some fairly huge mistakes when allowing people into my life. All it amounted to was more lack of trust, pain and anguish.
In some cases, emotional predators are just insecure conniving people who are self-serving and justify their actions as just a part of dating. But in others mental illness or addiction may play a role
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Profound Narcissism
- Sex Addiction
Unfortunately for the rest of us some people are just so insecure that they fulfill that emptiness with sexual or emotional conquests. They equate their personal value by how many people they can bed, manipulate or control. An emotional predator is a person to avoid at all costs. And the best way to do that is to take things slow, don’t rush into anything and try to see the forest for the trees.
- How do they interact with others, including people of the gender they date – If they treat other potential partners badly it is a bad sign
- Try to find out history or a back story about them, knowledge is power
- If you are suspicious trust that instinct and don’t rush in.
- When in doubt – Sleep on it. Give yourself space and see what happens when you pull away
Sadly there is no fool-proof way of avoiding someone who will cause you great pain and emotional harm as some predator types are so damn convincing. But if you have dealt with someone like this, take heart, as we all have. In most cases, it is all about them and has nothing to do with you. They played you and they will play other people in the future. The good thing is they are rare as most people don’t view others as objects or toys. But if you find yourself in these situations repeatedly, you might want to re-evaluate your dating style. A true emotional predator knows how to pick his or her prey. The balance is being vulnerable enough to allow a new person into your life, while not being so open as to become someone’s next victim.