Online Dating Is A Hunting Ground For Narcissists And Sociopaths

How To Protect Yourself In The Modern Dating Age

Kenneth Carpina

The Tinder Generation

1. Hookup culture along with online dating has made us more desensitized to physical intimacy and instant gratification.

The younger generation is growing up at an exciting yet terrifying time: a time when connections can be made instantaneously, yet meaningful connections are becoming harder and harder to find. We are being conditioned to believe that we are entitled to an unlimited number of choices as we swipe through what is virtually a human meat market. The problem is, the number of choices we have is doing little to assuage the need for fulfilling and meaningful relationships. We are now looking at what some experts have aptly called “the dawn of the dating apocalypse” (Jo Sales, 2015).

Self-Care Tip

A digital detox is needed, especially in times like these. Frequent online dating app users may want to take a break from swiping-induced carpal tunnel and spend time alone or with family and friends rather than engaging in serial dating.

2. There might be good people with earnest intentions on dating apps, but there is no doubt that many narcissists and sociopaths infiltrate these apps and use online dating as their virtual playground and hunting ground.

Online dating gives malignant narcissists and sociopaths access to numerous sources of what is known as narcissistic supply — people who can provide them with praise, admiration, and resources — without any need for any form of investment, commitment or accountability. These digital platforms also enable narcissists to construct a very convincing and compelling false mask that lures potential targets into various scams. But perhaps the biggest ‘scam’ is when a narcissistic predator ‘cons’ his or her target into an abusive relationship, while presenting himself or herself as the ideal partner.

Self-Care Tip

Manage your expectations and listen to your intuition when online. Remember, immediate intimacy with someone can be a red flag of fast forwarding to get an agenda met. Always put your safety first and try not divulge too much about your income, your career, your relationship history or any other resource a predator might find appealing before getting to know someone. Build connections slowly and organically so that you have the necessary space to step back and reevaluate when needed.

3. Monogamy and emotional availability are becoming more and more of a rarity.

Our current hookup culture and the rise of online dating apps have made emotional unavailability a new normal (Garcia, et. al 2012). Many people now feel entitled to all the benefits of a relationship without actually being in one, engaging in the real-life equivalent of the ‘it’s complicated’ Facebook relationship status with numerous partners.

Self-Care Tip

Stay true to your standards when dating, whether you’re using an online dating app, meeting people in real life or both. If you’re a person who is interested in a longer-term commitment and you feel unable to engage in sex casually without developing feelings, don’t give into anyone else’s sexual demands or expectations for the sake of pleasing them or in the hopes of ‘winning’ a relationship. A half-hearted relationship that results in more losses than gains is one where no one wins — except, of course, the person who gets all the benefits of your company without the effort.

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