Psychopaths are generally suggested to be avoided, especially when it comes to dating, but there’s actually more to the term than people just coining a crazy ex as one. And, because we’re here to offer up some advice on what you should look for in a person to truly tell if they’re a psychopath or not, we’re giving you some traits to look for, as proven by science.

Before getting into what psychopaths actually are, it’s important to understand the difference between someone who is one compared to a sociopath. For instance, sociopaths are typically people who display certain characteristics due to their upbringing or environment — like loving themselves and never accepting responsibility for anything because their parents raised them that way.

Psychopaths differ from this because psychologists believe that these types of people pose a threat on society due to genetics, not as a product of their environment. Either way, though, dating a psychopath or sociopath is something most guys want to avoid, as they both share similar traits to look for.

So, what are those traits that truly define a psychopath? We offer some red flags to look for, so keep an eye out and make sure you’re not getting in too deep with a partner if these are often displayed.

Most psychopaths are extremely uncaring

To say that psychopaths display coldheartedness would be an understatement, as many people defined this way rarely show any feelings for others, especially sympathy. While emotions are a big part of life for everyone, for psychopaths, they avoid showing such behavior, often blankly looking through someone as if they’re not present at all.

Psychopaths often have a high tolerance for disgust when it comes to gore in a movie or a bad odor, but, emotionally, they have a difficult time displaying emotion for it when dealing with other people.

Psychopaths display shallow emotions

Relating to the above, the emotions that psychopaths do show are shallow and self-absorbed, which is difficult when relationships are meant to be built of a foundation of trust and communication. Rather than deal with a partner’s problem, psychopaths often shame their significant other or show a lack of remorse.

A prime example of this is if you were to lose your job and talk to a psychopath girlfriend about it, she wouldn’t offer up much support, and leave you to bottle up all that emotion and stress. Whereas if the tables were reversed, she would only make it about her, ignoring any of your needs in that moment.

Psychopaths rarely, if ever, take responsibility for anything

If you’re dating a psychopath, be prepared to always have things be your fault, because they never take responsibility for anything. If there’s an argument in the relationship, it’s immediately something you did wrong to get there, not the other way around.

In rare occasions, psychopaths will admit guilt if they’re really forced into a corner or something’s obvious, but even then, they often don’t know how to adjust their brain to learn from the problem and adjust any future behavior. This is why dating psychopaths can be so difficult for people, because there’s no balance in responsibility.

Overconfidence is constantly on display for psychopaths

Psychopaths have a high sense of self worth, and frequently boast about how great they are at things. This can range from work, to salary to other accomplishments, and they’re always looking for validation — even though their own approval is really all that matters.

When it comes to relationships, a psychopath’s overconfidence could stretch into them bragging about how great they are as a partner, whereas you aren’t up to par. This can take an emotional toll on people, leaving them feeling as if they’re never good enough.

Psychopaths have no idea to plan for the future

Psychopaths have no life plan, and, when they’re presented with anything that resembles one, they often lack realistic long-term goals or fall off course. Whether that’s applying to jobs that are high-paying but they lack experience for, or they seem uncomfortable when discussing a future with you, like marriage, psychopaths will try to avoid planning at all costs.

Violence is a major trait of psychopaths

Rather than deal with frustration by talking it out or simply being grateful for what they have, psychopaths often escalate their feelings and turn them into anger. This aggression can lead to violence, resulting in physical fights.

While in a relationship with a psychopath, most times, the significant other is the one who falls victim to this violence, as the frustrated person sees them as an easy target to attack as the closest person emotionally to them.

Most psychopaths are trying to make up for a something from their past

If you’re dating a girl who was teased growing up, or may have been confused about her sexuality as a young adult, there’s a good chance she could be suppressing things and taking her feelings out on you. That means she’s making up for all those bad days by putting herself before anyone else, including you and your relationship.

Likewise, if your girlfriend experienced any type of physical abuse and seems to have overcome it by getting a high-paying job or elite title at work, she may see herself as “winning” over the person(s) who hurt her growing up.