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Navigating the Dark Side of Online Dating: Tales of Manipulation and Abuse

Nearly six years ago, I embarked on a journey into the world of online dating sites in London. Freshly settled and eager to start a new life, I had encountered mostly reasonable individuals in my past dating experiences, people who were kind, considerate, and made the right choices for themselves and their partners. I had grown naive and complacent and failed to prepare myself for the darker side of the dating world.

This four-panel cartoon depicts how an Artificial Intelligence engine chooses to illustrate the meaning of a person with narcissistic personality disorder.

What I did not realize then was that these online dating platforms are not only home to reasonable people, but also to those with questionable intentions. Paying close attention to the signs could have spared me the horrors of meeting psychopaths, sociopaths, and people with narcissistic personality disorders.

In this series of articles, I will shed light on the types of individuals that can be found on dating sites, particularly those who display a grandiose and self-centred persona on social media, but whose actual lives bear no resemblance to their virtual selves. It’s important to note that these individuals pose a great threat, particularly to empathetic and honest people who have not experienced such manipulative behaviour.

These dangerous individuals will stop at nothing to harm and manipulate their targets emotionally and mentally, leaving them feeling dependent and powerless.

Six years ago, I found myself in a terrifying situation that took me nearly four months to recognize. I had become entangled in a relationship with someone who had a narcissistic personality disorder. The emotional and mental harm that I experienced took almost two years to recover from. During that time, I searched for every possible literature and study on the topic to help myself heal. I also wrote about my experiences in a personal diary, which I kept hidden away.

Now, for the first time, I find myself motivated to share my story publicly. Recently, I encountered a situation that was different from my past experiences, but no less dangerous. For nearly two years, I was enticed by a psychopathic grandiose narcissist and finally met them in person for four days. It was a harrowing experience, but I armed myself with enough knowledge to protect myself from falling into their net.

For those individuals who recognize themselves in my account, I want to assure you that I will not reveal your identity. Instead, I encourage you to seek help as it may be the first step towards recovery.

This series of articles is dedicated to all people who are looking for guidance and insight into navigating the world of online dating. By sharing my experience and knowledge of manipulative and abusive characters, I hope to prevent others from falling into similar traps.

It is essential to be aware of the risks and to approach online dating with caution. By arming ourselves with knowledge and staying vigilant, we can protect ourselves from dangerous individuals and seek out genuine connections that enrich our lives. As we share our stories and support one another, we can create a safer and more empowering dating culture for all.

I am currently in the process of writing a series of articles titled “Tales of Dating Apps”. This project stems from my recent experience of being in virtual contact with an individual with a grandiose narcissistic personality disorder, despite being aware of their true intentions. I allowed this individual to manipulate me for nearly two years, and they eventually spent three days with me in London upon my return from a long conflict reporting assignment in Ukraine, Moldova, and the Balkan Peninsula. During this time, I observed their behaviour and noted their tendency to switch between their true personality and a false persona they intentionally use to control and manipulate their victims’ emotions.

Through these articles, I aim to shed light on the dangers of dating apps and the tactics used by individuals with such personality disorders. I hope that my experiences can serve as a warning to others and help them recognize red flags in their own relationships.

The articles will be published every Saturday, and I encourage you to subscribe to stay tuned. Thank you for your interest and support.

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