ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Your new romantic partner says you're "soul mates," and quickly proclaims undying love. You fall head over heels—into a web of deceit and destruction. It's called "love fraud," and a new book helps you avoid it: "Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you're dating a sociopath."
The author, Donna Andersen of Atlantic City, New Jersey, was married to a sociopath. Her ex-husband took $227,000 from her, cheated with six women during their two-year marriage, had a child with one of them, and 10 days after she left him, he married the mother of the child—the second time he committed bigamy. Andersen has told her story on "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?," "My Life is a Lifetime Movie," and the "Ricki Lake Show."
"These relationships usually start as a whirlwind of love and romance," she says. "Sooner or later, they spiral down into lying, cheating, manipulation and abuse."
The people who engage in love fraud, Andersen says, are sociopaths. She founded Lovefraud.com to teach people how to recognize and recover from them. "People think sociopaths are all deranged rapists and serial killers, but this isn't true," she explains. "Sociopaths are social predators. They live their lives by exploiting people."
Andersen says up to 12 percent of people have serious psychiatric disorders that make them social predators — psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, narcissism, borderline personality disorder. That means 37 million people in the United States are unsuitable, even dangerous, as romantic partners. Andersen will present data about these exploitative relationships at a conference of researchers who study psychopathy next month.
"The good news is that love fraud is totally preventable, if you know the warning signs," Andersen says. "Most people see the warning signs of a scam relationship, but don't know what they mean."
In "Red Flags of Love Fraud," Andersen reveals the tactics of social predators who pursue romantic relationships not for love, but for exploitation. She explains how these charming charlatans seduce their targets, why it's hard to escape the relationships, and how people can protect themselves. The book highlights:
- Top 10 signs of sociopathic suitors (Number One: charisma and charm)
- Why anyone is vulnerable—especially powerful women
- How sociopaths use love bombing to seduce their targets
- The pitfalls of online dating
- Why there's no such thing as "just sex"
- Three steps everyone can take to protect themselves from love fraud
This book is a must-read for anyone looking for a partner—and anyone mystified by the partner they have. "Red Flags of Love Fraud" is available on Lovefraud.com and Amazon.com. When readers purchase from Lovefraud.com, they receive a free workbook that helps them assess their own vulnerabilities. The Midwest Book Review gave Andersen's first book about her personal story, "Love Fraud," five stars, describing it as "a fine read with intriguing ideas, highly recommended."