27/10/2016 08:35 BST | Updated 27/10/2017 06:12 BST

Life After A Sociopath: The Ultimate Dating Betrayal

We all have to face the feeling of betrayal at some point in our lives whether it's that close friend that let you down, that promotion you were passed over for or that guy who cheated on you. But if you discover that you've been engaged in a relationship with a sociopath, chances are you'll never see it coming and you won't know you've been had until you're left high and dry.

Sociopaths are master con artists and if you've had a relationship with one it's like crossing paths with a destructive typhoon that leaves you feeling crushed, angry and bewildered. The deception often runs very deep and you'll never really be able to fully untangle or even understand the web of lies they weave and the destruction they leave in their wake.

1. They Need to Have Complete Control

When I met my ex-sociopath he was in the midst of a promotion to head a number of advertising agencies, a role that made him the gatekeeper of power in his world and he loved every minute. Sociopaths often do have very high-level jobs and thrive in cut-throat environments. This gives them the ability to completely control many aspects of their lives and all the people in it. They'll have multiple people dependant on them and will keep them on a very tight leash.

2. You've Been Targeted and Psychoanalysed

Everything is fair game for them and you will have been selected for a specific gain. They will study the intricate details of your life, identify your weaknesses and become the person you need them to be like a true chameleon. My ex saw I had come out of an unhappy relationship and knew I yearned to be wined and dined. He would shower me with compliments and leave me craving for him until our next meeting. They will also lay out their vulnerabilities to you very early on to make you in turn let your guard down and trust them implicitly.

3. They Lack Empathy

He would often tell me about the brutality of his job and how he had to hire and fire entire companies. Often he would only give the order but he would always tell me the specifics of when he had to do it personally. How they appear devastated and they would sometimes cry. He would almost relish in the lack of emotion he had for them. At the time I rationalised it as something he just had to do and needed to stay detached but in hindsight this would have been the ultimate ego-boost and only reinforced for him the power he had.

4. They Make Promises They Can't Keep

When I look back at our time together I can now see many instances where he not only let me down but I also made excuses for him. He would always be the one to make plans to meet my friends and family but something from work always came up. Also part of his need to control me involved suggesting us going away together. He would often travel for work and excited me with his plans to take me away to various different places. We even booked a holiday together for a week which unbeknown to me at the time; he had no intention of going on. He even sent me his booking confirmation with our chosen seats next to each other. I flew out first to meet friends and while I was there found out he had cancelled his flight two months before we were due to fly. I never heard from him again.

5. They Are Incapable of True Love

You will need to remember that a true sociopath can never ever love you. They don't know how to, only how to simulate it. They will even declare their love for you but that is simply another way for them to maintain control. If you feel you have met the love of your life and you think they feel the same way, it makes manipulation very easy for them. The love, attention and flattery they give you is all part of the game and will continue only as long as they want it too.

6. You Will Never Know the Truth

As frustrating as it is, you will never know the truth about what happened in your relationship, their reasons for their actions or what really goes on in their lives. They have painted you a picture of what they wanted to you to see, no more, no less and this means that you can never really have any closure. They will never admit to being in the wrong which is why when they're about to be exposed, they often disappear. In my case he knew the end of the relationship would be that holiday and let me believe he was coming right up until the last moment. They would rather remain in control of the answers by not giving them to you which is a thought-process inconceivable to most rational human beings. So don't try to understand it because you never will. They will never feel bad about what they've done. You're not the first and you certainly won't be the last but at least it will never be you again.