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Dark Triad Personality Traits, Romance, and Dating Sites

Updated on June 27, 2019
TessSchlesinger profile image

Tessa Schlesinger developed an interest in human behaviour and ethics while studying anthropology at the University of South Africa in 1975.

The three personality profiles that comprise the Dark Triad - Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.
The three personality profiles that comprise the Dark Triad - Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. | Source

She Married My Father - My Stepmother - The Perfect Fit for the Dark Triad

I was seventeen when I met her. I was home from boarding school and my mother introduced me to her.

In those days, I always had a doll lying on my bed. Later that day, when I came home from a shopping expedition, Vera met me at the front door. She asked to look at my hands and when I gave it to her said to me, “You were born under the Star of David and will have a miserable life.” I was puzzled why someone I had just met would say this to me, but as I was accustomed to abuse, just didn’t take it seriously. Then I went to my room and saw that the doll on my bed had pins stuck all over it.

That was the start of my relationship with Vera. She convinced my mother to marry a very evil man. Then after my mother had done so, she set out to snare my father. I found out about it six months after the marriage when I received the wedding invitation.

Shortly after that, I received a letter from my father saying he wanted nothing more to do with his children as his wife came first. I cannot even begin to explain the degree to which that was out of character. I wrote to him to tell him that there would come a day when he regretted that and that his new wife was a very evil woman.

During the next fifteen years, Vera created havoc in our family. She attempted to rape my brother and told my father that my brother had tried to rape her. She told my father that the cleaner had stolen her engagement ring when, in reality, she had sold it.

She totally destroyed our family. She demonstrated every single trait of a classical psychopath. About six months before my father passed, he finally realized that. A few weeks before my father passed, he said to me, “You were right, you know – in everything you said.”

It was my first introduction into just how evil people can be, and it is surprising how many of these people use romance, marriage, and sex to destroy and/or take from others.

Dating Sites: The Perfect Hunting Ground for Those from the Dark Triad

Dating scammers is the biggest fraud operation in the world.
Dating scammers is the biggest fraud operation in the world. | Source

The Dark Triad Personality Traits

The dark triad refers to a group of personality traits that include narcissism Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Narcissistic traits include grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy towards others. It can be summed up in the words – excessive self-love. Machiavellian traits include the manipulation and exploitation of others, no morality, with self-interest being the driving force. It can be summed up in the words ‘the manipulation of others.’ Psychopathy includes antisocial behavior, a lack of remorse for actions that harm others, a lack of self-control, and a general callousness towards others. It can be summed up in the words ‘lack of empathy towards others.) They tend to overlap to some degree.

Those over 70 years average a loss of $10,000
Those over 70 years average a loss of $10,000 | Source

Romance and the Dark Triad

Possibly the biggest and the most successful forms of fraud these days are the numerous romantic scams that are perpetuated on those who are looking for partners. The more lonely, insecure, and desperate people are, the more likely they are to fall for these scams.

To quote from the AARP site, “Reported losses totaled $143 million, the most for any type of consumer fraud. The older the victim, the heavier the financial toll, according to the FTC — the median individual loss for people aged 70 and over was $10,000.”

This type of fraud is carried out by people with no morality, no empathy, and who clearly demonstrate the traits of those on the dark triad.

If you’ve been on a dating site recently, you will know that these sites are full of exceptionally good looking people who give you the kind of attention that you can only dream about, who want your what’sapp or email address immediately, and who tell you how much they love you within a week or two. Then after you have formed an emotional connection with them, they attempt to ask you for money…

International crime network of romance scanners

Victims of People with Dark Triad Traits

Those people who tend to fall victim to psychopaths, Machiavellians, and Narcissists tend to trust easily even when others (naïve) would pick up warning signs. They also tend to be emotionally needy or isolated from others.

My late father was the perfect victim. He was lonely and isolated in many ways.

The Dark Triad Personality Test

The dark triad personality test is available on the web and comprises twenty seven statements. The degree to which you agree and disagree with the statements will determine the extent to which the dark triad personality traits are dominant or not-so-dominant in you. The idea is that, to some extent, we all have some of the dark triad personality traits.

How to Spot a Romantic Scammer Online

Common Personality Traits for Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Machiavellians!

These would include dishonesty and having no problems about cheating if there was the assurance that they wouldn’t be caught. While psychopaths and Machiavellians actually enjoy lying just to harm others, Narcissists tend to lie mostly to elevate themselves due to delusion.

Gaslighting, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.

Gaslighting is the application of behaviours that result in others questioning their own sanity. In other words, someone will tell you one thing on day one, and then on day three tell you that you might have imagined it because they said no such thing. Machiavellians use this technique in order to enhance their own power over you and others.

Psychopaths use it simply because they enjoy destroying others.

About the Personality Test of the Dark Triad

How to Spot People Who Demonstrate the Dark Triad

Peter Jonason and Gregory Webster created a twelve point questionnaire in order to determine the degree to which people had these traits. You can use these questions to determine whether someone in your circles demonstrates them or not. Unfortunately, in order to determine whether people have these traits or not, we will have known them for some time, and by that time the damage could be done.

Tends to manipulate others to get my way.

Tends to lack remorse.

Tends to want others to admire them.

Tends to be unconcerned with the morality of their actions.

Tends to use deceit or lie to get their way.

Tends to be callous or insensitive.

Tends to use flattery to get their way.

Tends to seek prestige or status.

Tends to be cynical.

Tends to exploit others toward their own ends.

Tends to expect special favors from others.

Tends to want others to pay attention to them.

Of course, it’s a matter of degree. In the questionnaire, there are seven levels varying from ‘not at all’ to ‘100%.”

Because it would need someone who is trained to make a real diagnosis, this can only be used by the rest of us to give us an inkling as to whether someone might be on the dark triad scale.

It is more that we have an awareness that these traits in someone else can harm us. This is especially so on dating sites and on the web where we are inclined to meet strangers who have no connection to anyone we know.

Signs of the Dark Triad

Protection Against Those Who Have the Dark Traits

There are ways in which we can protect ourselves from coming into contact with people who demonstrate these very dark personality traits. They are:

  1. If you come into contact with the person on the web or on the dating site, always ask them for a facebook or other social networking site. Make sure that they have a long history (at least three or four years) and that it comprises people who know them in real life. There should be photos of him or her together with others. Any refusal to provide this data is suspicious.
  2. Ask about his or her job. Check that the person is working there by making a phone call and asking what the person does. If there is a conflict, again, be suspicious of the person.
  3. If you are meeting in real life as opposed to on the web, check with friends what the person is like. If you have met at a coffee shop or some other social function, make it a point to meet their friends. If they refuse to introduce you, be wary.
  4. On a dating site, be careful if the picture of the man or woman is too good-looking or beautiful to be true. I can’t begin to tell you how many George Clooney types have approached me. When I ask to meet, there is always a reason that they don’t want to meet. That is a very real indicator that the person is a scam artist. They will tell you that they are in another country or another city. Don’t trust them. As a result of the number of scam artists that are now on the web, there’s about a 90% chance that they are out to scam you.
  5. When people you have just met ask for your whatspp/duo or email address, the danger of this is that they have direct access to you. Do not give it. Again, offer Facebook Messenger which means they don’t have direct access to your personal information.
  6. If the person says they are an engineer on an oil rig or shows himself to be a member of the American armed forces, there is a 95% chance you are being approached by a scammer.

Your greatest ally in determining someone else’s character are the people they associate with. If the types of people they associate with are of the criminal element or have jobs that are less-than-desirable, take two steps back. If you hear snarky remarks about people, learn to listen for the things others are saying. Of course, gossip can be malicious and untrue (it generally is), but I’m talking about someone you don’t know and who has already demonstrated traits and actions that might be classified on the dark side

Have you ever met people who definitely belong to the Dark Triad

See results

Life is About the People We Interact With

We meet them and come into contact with them - the good guys and the bad guys. It’s important to make sure that the people we hang with are the good guys. When we have people in our lives who demonstrate the dark side, no matter who they are – even family – it’s best to move away from them. Distance is the best protection against psychopaths, Machiavellians, and narcissists.

Our happiness and peace of mind depend on that.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Tessa Schlesinger

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