Heartbreak

How I Was Scammed By An Over-50 Sociopath

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Smiling older man

At some point in your life, you may be divorced, widowed, or still on the market and someone 50 or older will seem like an age-appropriate dating partner. 

Know this: Potential partners in the over-50 age group may appear to be mature but they can still be hazardous to your health — and your emotions, psyche, and finances. 

This happened to me. I dated, then married, a man who was over 50, although he lied about his age. He turned out to be a complete con artist.

He took $227,000 from me, cheated on me, and swindled the other women as well.

Because of my experience, I have commited to warning people about the con artists living among us.

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Who are senior sociopaths?

I surveyed readers of my website about their experiences with "Senior sociopaths" — people over age 50 who could be diagnosed with antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, or psychopathic personality disorders.

More than 2,100 people responded to the survey, describing their experiences with romantic partners, spouses, parents, family members, work colleagues, and acquaintances.

Dating senior sociopaths

Of the survey respondents, 512 people started dating the individual after he or she was already 50. Many of them thought they finally found, later in life, Prince or Princess Charming.

But what they thought was a dream come true turned into a nightmare.

Here’s how one woman described the beginning of her romance:

"He made me feel very good about myself. Dinners out all the time, bought me a lot of things very expensive. There were the small red flags of devalue I ignored mixed with the positive and amazing sex. I was on cloud 9 in love like never before."

Here’s how she described the end: "He hit me choked me threatened to kill me and my dog, shoot me grind me up and eat me if I were to cheat."

What happened to the loving behavior?

It was all an act, designed to seduce her. Sociopaths don’t really fall in love. In fact, they are incapable of authentic love.

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So why do sociopaths pursue romantic partners? 

They want to use you — for sex, money, a place to live, business connections, or entertainment.

As they get older, there may be a new objective — they want someone to take care of them when they are infirm.

How do senior sociopaths meet romantic partners?

The survey respondents had a lot to say about how senior sociopaths hook romantic partners and what happens when they get snagged. 

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Where do senior sociopaths find their targets? A total of 497 survey respondents answered the question: 

  • Internet: 36%
  • Social situation (bar, restaurant, club, party): 17%
  • Knew him or her from the past: 12%
  • Other (gym, university, volunteer work): 11%
  • Doing business or working together: 10%

As this list makes clear, the internet is dangerous when it comes to con artists looking for prey — that’s where more than a third of survey respondents met the over 50 sociopaths.

There's no such thing as a safe dating app — I’ve heard of people encountering sociopaths on everything from Match.com to eHarmony to Christian Mingle. Facebook and Skype are also filled with predators. 

Plenty of survey respondents also said that they knew the individuals from the past and reconnected, particularly on Facebook or at reunions.

Many respondents dated them in high school or college, broke up because the individual was a jerk, and assumed that now, perhaps 30 years later, he or she had grown up.

They were wrong.

How senior sociopaths seduce their targets

To reel in their targets, senior sociopaths use all the standard seduction strategies that they used when they were younger. But by age 50, after practicing for decades, they know exactly what works.

RELATED: 7 Major Differences Between A Psychopath And A Sociopath You Need To Know

I asked the survey respondents to list the seduction strategies that they experienced. A total of 506 people answered the question:

"It was a whirlwind romance, swept me off my feet": 63%

  • "Called me frequently": 63%
  • "Sent me a lot of text messages": 59%
  • "Said we were 'soul mates,' I was the person he or she was waiting for": 58%
  • "Asked about my hopes and dreams then promised to make them come true": 45%
  • "Sent me frequent emails": 39%
  • "Did something extravagant to demonstrate love for me": 38%

These are the same seduction strategies used by younger sociopaths do senior sociopaths just keep doing what they’ve always been doing.

One woman in the survey said this about her new, supposedly mature, romantic partner: "He was the nicest man I had met. So I thought! Definitely love bombing me, obviously, I had no clue what this phrase was at the time. When the mask slipped he was the vilest creature I ever encountered. Temper tantrums, no boundaries, pure evil underdeveloped psycho."

How senior sociopaths harm their dating partners

So what happens to the people who unfortunately get caught?

Of the survey respondents who became romantically involved with senior sociopaths, 59% lost money — the amounts ranged from under $5,000 to more than $500,000. 

Financial losses were the easiest to quantify, but survey respondents reported plenty of other harm as well: 88% said they became anxious or depressed, 72% said the stress of the involvement made them ill and 66% said they suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

This is serious.

The time may come when you’re looking for a new relationship with an older individual. Or, if you’ve been out of the dating market for 20 or 30 years, and now find yourself divorced or widowed and wanting a partner, please educate yourself about senior sociopaths. 

It is certainly possible to find romance later in life, but you need to be careful.

RELATED: If He Says Any Of These 5 Things, He's Trying To Control You

Donna Andersen is the founder of Love Fraud and author of the book "Senior Sociopaths — How to Recognize and Escape Lifelong Abusers," available on Amazon and elsewhere. She also works with clients during personal consultations

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This article was originally published at Lovefraud.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.