Simply writing and reading about about human wickedness has a sobering effect on one. When reading what follows, please keep in mind the author has been, if not frighted rigid then, had his protectiveness ratcheted way up.
I once wrote a piece – mainly for women’s eyes – about how dating (by which I meant dating in the hope of meeting a partner/spouse) doesn’t work.
My argument was that men have an aversion to that kind of ‘energy’. (I could have written another piece about how what is attractive on a first date is a very poor predictor of what works in a long-term relationship.)
But I was talking there about decent men. What about dating when they’re, shall we say, not quite so decent?Advice from a female criminal profiler
Pat Brown from The Daily Profiler knows a thing or two about how things can and do go horribly wrong. Her advice:
Speaking of MO [criminal modus operandi], ladies, here is a suggestion about dating: don’t. Dating is a good way to become familiar with other MOs of the fellow you are getting to know, but by the time you realize he has repetitive concerning behaviors, it may well be too late to get away from the creep. Instead, get to know men in groups and in social activities involving many people so you can weed out the ones whose actions raise red flags. If you get to know someone well enough through group activities to feel you would like to get to know them even better, don’t get into a sexual relationship until the man has proven himself to be an honorable gentleman who treats you like gold. I guarantee most control freaks and psychopaths won’t be very interested in a girl who takes that long to get to get into an intimate relationship. The right man is worth waiting for and the right man will wait for you as well.
I know, I know – it’s very old-fashioned, etc.
Stalkers and partners
Then in response to a reader’s comment about stalkers who aren’t put off by women who don’t rush in to intimate relations ships she answered thus:
You are speaking of erotomania, the kind of obsession of certain stalkers where they make up a fantasy of connection to an individual and then exaggerate it in their minds. While these kinds of stalkers can be dangerous, they mostly go after people in the public eye (I have had two of them myself and it can be unnerving). On the other hand, the majority of stalkers who kill women are men who dated or married them and then the women wanted out of the relationship.If you are going to become a celebrity or a very public figure, stalkers pretty much come with the territory and there is jack you can do about it. But, for most women, it is the men they “love” that will do them in and, therefore, it is wise to be very selective in choosing who you become intimate with.
In my piece on dating I argued that it wasn’t commitment phobia which makes dating such a bust for finding a partner. I used a metaphor of smell to make my case:
It’s not that the woman literally smells. Rather it’s that the affect (basic emotion) the man experiences is not fear (commitment phobia) but dissmell (commitment aversion). Dissmell is one of the six basic negative emotions identified by the great psychologist Silvan Tomkins. It is rooted in the our physical reaction to a bad smell, say sour milk. The head pulls back and the corners of the mouth are pulled down.
Here’s the awful truth. Men ‘smell’ her desperation and without mentally processing it go, No, thanks all the same!
Again, that’s decent men. Let’s return to the picture of the dating couple, but insert the psychopath. If the ‘smell of deperation’ is a sour one for the regular guy, it is sweet for the psychopath. Desperation = vulnerability = weakness. And we know that the psychoapth is drawn to weakness like the cat is drawn to the mouse.
As Sgt. Phil Esterhaus said in Hill Street Blues: “Hey, let’s be careful out there!”
(The post immediately below accompanies this one as does a guest post by Donna Gallagher of lovefraud.com on Jan. 3.)