Narcissism, Psychopathy, and the Dating Game

People with a darker personality than most, those who score higher in psychopathy and Machiavellianism, are usually manipulative, vain, selfish, and callous. A sane person who can identify these people from a crowd would keep his or her distance but that begs one important question: How is it that psychopaths and narcissists are so popular in the dating scene?

Psychopathy and Manipulation

Psychopaths make up one percent of the general population and, given the population crisis in the world, that is a lot of people. Psychopaths are typically selfish and lack emotions. More often than not, they lack a conscience. One of the psychologists who study psychopathy at the University of British Columbia stated that psychopaths make for very dangerous interview subjects since they can easily manipulate anyone with the help of falsified emotions. The same very easily applies to dating.

The Narcissism Epidemic

Narcissism is also known as excessive self-love, bloated vanity or absolute lack of consideration for others. According to the book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, writers and psychologists Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell say that America is on a fast journey to becoming a nation of egomaniacs obsessed with self-gain, self-love, and no consideration for others.

Advantages in the Dating Scene

Whether it is a narcissist or a psychopath, their personality traits offer a lot of short-term advantages when dating someone. Most commonly referred to as the Dark Triad people, they may seem obnoxious and self-absorbed after a long period of time, but as far as first impressions go, they can be something of a smooth talker. This applies to men and women alike.

Speed Dating and the Dark Triad

We are sure you are familiar with the process of speed dating. But for those unaware, it is when people sit with each other for no more than a 3-minute session and score each other based on attractiveness and whether or not they would like to see them again. In order to test the theory of the attractiveness of the Dark Triad people, a study consisting of 46 women and 44 men was conducted. The average age of this study was 23 years and the sexual preference was all heterosexual.

The findings of this study were published in the European Journal of Personality and they showed that men who scored high points with narcissism were rated substantially higher by women for both short-term and long-term relationships, but they were not rated highly for friendship. It can be deduced that their scores in the Dark Triad traits had little impact on their dating success.

Psychopathy is a Huge Plus

The same rule applied to women who rated higher in narcissism. They attracted higher scores from their dating partners for long and short-term relationships but were rated poorly for friendship. Both men and women who scored high in psychopathy did infinitely better in the ratings for dating partners looking for one-night stands.

The reasons for people being attracted to women are different than men. When it is the matter of a male narcissist, they score higher in terms of extroversion. They tend to appear to be more open and honest about their feelings in front of a partner. They will be more brazen with their words and won’t care about how crude they are, thereby enticing a woman’s attention. But when it is a female narcissist, narcissism and psychopathy go hand in hand with her physical attractiveness. Once the appeal of the physical attraction wears off, the narcissism offers very little for the partner.

Are Youngsters Easily Manipulated?

It can be deduced that in the dating game, narcissism plays well for both genders whereas psychopathy only works in the favor of women. Since activities such as speed dating are popular among youngsters, the Dark Triad people have a bigger advantage than the rest.

If we are to look at psychopathy and narcissism, we cannot completely rule out other factors that aid them. Narcissism and psychopathy alone don’t do very well for people but add attractiveness into the mix and that is what makes most people date narcissists and psychopaths for years without knowing. Sometimes, they are just that good at fitting in with the rest.

About Maham Khan

Maham is a 22 year old Pakistani who is obsessed with pasta and Wonder Woman. She will be the voice of Pakistan in a place where it truly matters and bring light to matters nobody dares to speak about. Join her on this journey as we talk about issues that our modern world endures.

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