Psychopathy and Love
How do psychopaths experience love?
Psychopaths don’t feel love of any kind. Chemical love, regardless of who or what it is directed at is an oxytocin necessitative emotion. If you don’t process oxytocin, you don’t feel chemical love, bonding, trust, jealousy, and several other weird things as well such as facial recognition and memory.
That's just how it is, that’s the deal. Psychopaths have a mutated oxytocin receptor, and that means that the oxytocin goes through the brain without binding to that mutated receptor, and passes through unused.
If a person feels love, they are not a psychopath. There is investment, and cognitive love. I spoke about that here;
This is what psychopaths can do in a relationship. We cannot bond to people, and we cannot feel the chemical component of love. We are immune to that drug. So, instead we invest in someone else.
A person that I am going to invest is is someone that I am compatible with as an individual. These are rare and far between. I don’t have a need to be around people, and I very much enjoy being alone. To me, alone is preferable to most other states. When I do run across a person that has an interest to me I have plenty of time to vet them and make sure that they meet my requirements. I never need to rush into relationships, so the ones I have are worth the effort necessary to keep them. Every so often, as I mentioned, it is rare, someone comes along that I enjoy being around. That person is worthy of my time, my effort, and my energy. My investment.
This is entirely done through action. It is a matter of considering the other person. Their needs, their wants, and adjusting my actions to accommodate their feelings.
I make room for them in my life. I will do what I need to do so that they know they are important to me. I understand that there is a certain degree of emotional feedback necessary. I will do this for them. I am there for them no matter what it is that they need from me. It isn’t something done because I feel like I should. It is done because I know that I should.
Learning to trust them. This is something that takes a great deal of time with me. If I am getting to know a person, violations of my trust are taken very seriously. I give very few second chances. Inadvertent violations are one thing. Intentionally doing something that makes me know I can’t trust them, betrayal or something along those lines, the gate closes and will never reopen. This includes behavior toward a person unrelated to me. I watch people very carefully to see what their character is made of. I won’t invest in someone that is presenting me a pretty paint job to hide the rust and Bondo underneath. They need to show me that they are worth my confidence.
How this works with trust is, they show me that I can trust them. Every day. It’s not a bank account that they should expect interest on. I expect the same response from them, which is why I work exceptionally hard if I am invested in them, to keep that position clear. I am worth their investment, because I expect that they will be worth mine. Violate that and it’s incredibly hard to get it back. It removes their credibility nearly completely.
That said, I can forgive a lot of things. Small inconveniences, little trespasses, very little makes me angry or affects what I think of them. If it’s something significant, that is a major problem. Trust is always a choice, and if you make my choice for me, I am going to be inclined to agree with you
I have to be trustworthy myself. They need to know that what I say I am going to do is what I do. I mean what I say, I speak clearly and without pretext. I am not going to play games with them, and I expect that in return. I won’t be cold and callous to their problems, and they don’t flood me in emotional soup. Who I am, is who they know.
Being loyal. That means that I will never betray them, and they are expected to keep my counsel in return. Betrayal on either side is unacceptable. What constitutes it would be established between myself and that person. I am very clear with what my investment means, and what I require in return from friends. No one goes into it with their eyes closed.
I will be sure that no matter what, a person in my inner circle is always okay. What they need, I will get for them. At different times this has meant everything from rescuing a person left stranded somewhere states away without hope of getting home, literally risking my life to protect them, to sending food across country to be sure that someone had something to eat and not continue to go hungry.
Investment is what I do and am for that person. It is my time, my effort, my consideration. It is unwavering until it is no longer desired, or until that person demonstrates to me that continuing to do so is a waste of my time. I will then withdraw my investment.
I can go months without speaking to a person. I don’t need to see them, or hear from them. The last time I spoke to them is what I will remember them as. The lack of bonding comes into play here. I don’t bond with a person. What this means is, while our past relationship has some bearing, it is no where near what it is between neurotypicals. If they screw up with a neurotypical and break trust, all the good and fuzzy memories that the two of them share can sway the other person’s opinion over towards forgiveness. It doesn’t work that way with me.
Our interaction is a series of events with little tying them together. Every moment of trust and loyalty I give out is intentional action and choice on my part. It is not something that runs on autopilot. My last interaction with an inner circle member is what determines my level of initial response to them the next time I see them. Imagine it as a pause button. If we pause after having a great night watching movies and having fun, bully for them. If we paused where they pissed me off? Not so much.
Investment is a series of intentional and intricate actions to provide a good relationship to the person that has earned it from me, to show them that they are important to me, to make sure their lives are good as long as they know me, and to accommodate them in my own life.
Love is a multifaceted thing. There is the feeling of love, and then there is actual love.
The feeling of love is caused by oxytocin. This acts much like a drug in the brain, and people respond to it as such. However, it is nothing more than that. It is a drug that you are reacting to. It is flimsy. There is nothing there but air to build a relationship on.
Actual love is what should happen if you have any intention for the relationship to have legs. This is beyond the feeling. It is the understanding of the person you are with, honesty with how that person enriches your life, what you value about them, and what you yourself are willing to do to be sure that they have a reason to stay around.
This is the hard work. This is where you know who the person is beyond the cute little things about them that you absolutely ADORE, that you will in time grow to resent, comes into focus. Relationships are work, and so is being with another person. You have to be willing to put that work in despite your feelings on the matter.
It is a choice to be mature, it is a choice to recognize where YOU have faults, it is the point in time that you recognize the autonomy of the other person and that you are not going to ever change them. That is solely at their discretion.
Actual love is investment. Of your time, your respect, your loyalty, and your dedication. You decide to give these things on a daily basis because the person across for you is worth it. They have aspects about them that you enjoy and want to keep in your life. Actual love is about leveling the faults of your mate against your own. Neither of you is perfect.
A chemical romance will only get you so far. Perhaps it will limp you across the starting line of marriage, but if you are relying on it to carry that marriage further than a few years, you are going to be out of luck. It simply won’t happen.
Psychopaths do not process oxytocin like neurotypicals. Without it we lack the chemical experience of love, bonding, and of trust.
We cannot bond, but we can dedicate.
We cannot experience chemical love, but we can love in a much more realistic way.
We cannot feel trust, but we can learn to trust someone that shows that they are worthy of that trust.
So, while these chemical shortcuts are barred from us, we are able to move about freely and without restraint. It is a form of love that may be lacking what most people feel is so fundamental, but whereas their relationships die on the altar of love, ours carries on without that limitation because we choose for it to do so. No one is in control of the relationship that we have but the two people involved in it. In the case of psychopathy I am clear minded and have nothing leading me around by the nose.
So many relationships falter because people want chemistry to do their thinking. The chemistry is the cheat code, but if you want to finish the game, you have to put the work into it.
There you go. Psychopaths. Relationships. The input into them. Intentional investment. Love without chemistry. Any other questions?
Chemical love is chemical love regardless of who it is for, and it has a formula that isn’t produced in the psychopathic brain.