Can a Sociopath Fall in Love?

Can a Sociopath Fall in Love?

Can a Sociopath Fall in Love

We know that sociopaths are arrogant, controlling, manipulative, and pathological liars. They lack empathy and are low on emotional intelligence. None of these are desirable qualities for love and relationships. 

So to answer the questions – Can a sociopath fall in love?  Or can sociopaths love?

The simple answer is no. But it’s not possible to stop with this simple answer. It’s far too complicated for that. 

In the real world, sociopaths do experience some kind of love but this may not be what you recognize as true love and romance. 

Moreover, people are not born sociopaths, unlike psychopaths. While the brain of a psychopath functions in a certain way, sociopaths are more the products of circumstances and environment. As sociopathic tendencies are formed in a person and are not inherent, there is a realistic possibility of them changing their behavior. This also means a sociopath can feel love.

This article takes a realistic look at sociopaths and attempts to find an answer to the question, can a sociopath fall in love? Before we try to answer this question, let’s begin with understanding the workings of the mind of a sociopath.

What makes a person a sociopath?

A sociopath is someone who values their wants, desires, and goals more than anything else. They disregard their own safety and well-being and that of others when they are in pursuit of their dreams. 

There is no specific definition, symptoms, or treatment schedule for sociopathic behavior. Various behavioral patterns and actions taken together are considered an indication of a sociopath.

The common sociopathic characteristics are:

  • Lack of empathy
  • Low emotional intelligence
  • Disregard for social norms
  • Need to control and manipulate others
  • Arrogance and brazenness
  • Lie compulsively
  • Use others for own gain
  • Impulsiveness and recklessness
  • Use threats and intimidation to get their way
  • Violence and confrontational behavior
  • Refuse to take on responsibilities 
  • Antisocial and criminal behavior

The most common sociopathic behavior patterns are:

  • Disregard for laws, norms, and values of society
  • Repeated breaking of societal laws and violating social boundaries
  • Use of lies and deception to control and manipulate others for gain
  • Resistance to making long-term plans
  • Refusal to own up to their own mistakes and accept responsibilities
  • Overly irritable or aggressive even when such behavior is unnecessary
  • Disregard for their own safety and that of others while making plans
  • Brazen behavior with no consideration for consequences 
  • No remorse or guilty conscience after hurting and mistreating others

Sociopaths are infamous for their obsession, impulsive and thoughtless behavior, and violent outbursts of anger. Sociopaths don’t and can’t hide their antisocial behavior. They neither try to hide nor dismiss them. However, when a sociopath decides to do something wrong, they don’t bother to factor in the consequences of their actions.

Can sociopaths love someone?

When a person is completely focused on using and manipulating others for their gain, it seems impossible that they can love someone. Moreover, they have trouble making long-term plans. So building a relationship with someone and proceeding through the relationship stages will be a tall order for a sociopath.

This is not just for romantic relationships. A sociopath may face the same kind of difficulty in all their relationships – with family members, friends, and also colleagues at work. They lack empathy and have low emotional intelligence, making relationships really challenging for a sociopath. Because of this, they find it impossible to feel empathy and relate to the feelings of others.

Neither does a sociopath learn from their mistakes nor do they actually care about anyone else. Together with their obsession and lack of conscience, it is near impossible for a sociopath to feel love. However, as fate would have it, people are attracted to sociopaths because of their attractive personalities. They can be deceivingly charming and manipulative.

To get what they want, they use deceptive tactics like gaslighting and love-bombing. They act as if they are in love. This means, despite all their deception and manipulation, they are very well aware of what love is and how it feels to be in love. They are so convincing that others may believe that they are in love.

But for a sociopath, this pretentious love is short-lived as they find it hard to sustain the facade for long. Sociopaths are more impulsive, making it difficult for them to maintain self-control. Moreover, they turn aggressive when things don’t go their way. All these will force the hands of a sociopath and the facade falls apart. 

A sociopath may be able to deceive a person into a relationship but due to their basic character, their true self will be revealed soon and this may lead to a breakup. 

Is a sociopath’s love real?

A sociopath may act as if they are in love to control and manipulate the person. Is there any chance that this love is real?

The morals, values, and beliefs of a sociopath are different from that of society. They too live by a set of rules and regulations, but again, these are not the same as ours. This makes their perception of the world different from the rest of us. As a result, their behavior and actions are not the same as ours. 

They are different doesn’t mean they are incapable of true love. They can indeed feel love for someone. But this love may not fit in with our description of love. So, whether we can call this love is doubtful. It’s a different kind of love.

The love a sociopath feels mostly comprises gratitude, admiration, and adoration. In a romantic context, a sociopath’s love may be more infatuation and sexual attraction. A sociopath may consider this cocktail of emotions as love, but others may not agree.

How do sociopaths love?

As mentioned earlier, the love a sociopath feels is not the same as the rest of us experience. However, with an honest, cooperative, and understanding partner, a sociopath may be able to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship.

However, if normal people fall in love with sociopaths unawares, most probably, they will become the sociopath’s target for manipulation. But on the other hand, if the partner enters into a relationship with a sociopath knowingly, they may find it easier to adapt to the kind of love and relationship possible for the sociopath. They may find it possible to go through relationship stages. 

A sociopath may consider love as not controlling, cheating, or manipulating the person. As long as they aren’t stealing their money or are nice to them when they’re upset, a sociopath may feel they are being considerate to the person. To sociopaths, love may mean not indulging in infidelity or even not being dishonest about cheating.

Can sociopaths love as others do?

They lack empathy and this makes it impossible for a sociopath fall in love the same way as the rest of us. As long as they don’t know or understand what their partner feels or aren’t capable of caring for the person, it would be difficult to label it as love.

Love, for human beings, means care and affection for another person. It entails prioritizing them before ourselves and revealing our vulnerabilities. A sociopath is incapable of any of the above feelings. Nor can they form deep and long-term connections.

However, sociopaths are capable of their own version of love. This kind of love entails no stealing or hurting the person. The sociopath may even admit to their mistakes and wrongs. 

In a regular relationship, all these are taken for granted. These are not considered signs of love. But in sociopath’s definition of love, these are definitely signs of love.

Bottom line

Love and relationships are anything but simple for even regular folks. It is a confluence of a multitude of feel-good emotions. When you fall in love with a person, you develop a deep and intense bond with them. You feel an intense urge to be with them and miss them when they are not with you. 

However, the definition of love for a sociopath is not the same as above. When a sociopath fall in love, they may consider it love when they refrain from hurting the person or own up to their mistakes. 

So, to answer the question, it can be said that a sociopath can fall into their own version of love.


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