Are you Dating a Manipulator? 7 Clues to Find Out

In order to find a relationship that you're satisfied with, you need to stay away from unstable people. If you're dating a manipulator, the relationship could become a double-edged sword. Here are some clues to find out and how to solve it if you are.
Are you Dating a Manipulator? 7 Clues to Find Out

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 26 May, 2022

If you’re dating a manipulator, understand that this is not something to take lightly. It’s a sensitive issue because these people tend to be very dangerous. 

They may show the characteristics of a sociopath or psychopath. In most cases, they only look out for themselves.

Here are seven clues to help identify a manipulator. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to figure out why you’re exposing yourself to this and to look for help to get out of the relationship.

How to Know if You’re Dating a Manipulator


1. Manipulators are always the victim.

If you date a manipulator, no matter who is truly at fault in an argument, they will always end up being the victim. In the event that they’re the guilty ones, they may eventually accept the fault is not yours after a long discussion.

Chances are, they’ll always find a better argument or a third way to deflect the guilt. If you don’t apologize, they’ll portray you as a completely non-repentant person. They’ll blame you for the pain you cause them by “not forgiving them” or any sort of other excuse.

The key is that – no matter what happens – they will be incapable of recognizing if they had a role in it.

2. They focus on your weaknesses and shortcomings.

To be certain that you’ll stay with them, they’ll remind you of shortcomings that you may not even have, so you start to believe they’re true.

When you date a manipulator, they make you feel like they’re the only person that you can love and that they’re the only person in the world who will love you for your shortcomings, which makes you doubt yourself.

Your insecurities may grow to the point that you only feel safe at their side. With that, no matter the damage it does to you, you won’t let go because of the fear they have instilled.

3. They create resentment towards others.

A foolproof way for a manipulative partner to ensure that you are only theirs is to make up stories or cause fights between people.  

You may find that you fight with your family and friends. At times, your partner could become so convincing that you’ll only believe them. Then, you may even distance yourself from the rest of your social life.

If you date a manipulator, it’s possible that you’ll end up very lonely, because this person may encourage you to distance yourself from all other ties.

4. Manipulators react violently when you express concern.

When they’re under social pressure and feel like they’re losing an argument, manipulators personalities often change at once.

Although they try to paint themselves as calm and serene, if they feel targeted, mocked or referenced to as a failure, they’re reaction is often strongly negative.

You’ll notice changes in their facial expressions and tone of voice, and they will be extremely offensive. Worst case scenario, they may even become physically violent.

When you’re dating a manipulator and you see that they’re losing control, it’s best to keep your distance so they don’t take their emotions out on you. In these cases, you should seek help immediately.

Perhaps you’d be interested in this: 8 Things Lasting Relationships Have in Common


5. They make your decisions for you and make you think they’re yours.

It’s common for manipulators to give a choice of two or more options. They may even make not making a decision seem like an option.

However, they won’t allow you to make the decision if it’s different than what they want. Instead, they’re search for a way to guide you subtly to the option that they want. 

The way they do this is by making the other options seem negative, risky or simply a bad choice. In turn, they’ll make arguments so the choice they want looks like the best option.

Who do they do this?

If they make you feel like you’ve made the decision and then you both realize it’s a mistake, they can put the blame on you and they won’t have to take any of it.

6. They’ll do everything in their power to prevent you from leaving.

Manipulators will always look for ways to show you affection. They’ll take you away from your loved ones, buy you fancy things and take you to expensive places so you never leave them. They’re able to hear you, but they won’t listen to you.

All of this will make the relationship look perfect. However, if you contradict one of their decisions or make a decision without consulting them, you’ll discover an entirely different person.

7. Manipulators are impulsive and overstep boundaries.

When you date a manipulator, you’ll notice that when they feel like they’re losing control of the situation, they’re capable of doing things that hurt you such as humiliating you or not speaking to you.

Manipulators are often people who are even capable of threatening you with showing intimate photos or videos and putting your family at risk. Unfortunately, this situation can escalate to physical violence in the relationship

Now, after having these points clarified, ask yourself: Am I dating a manipulator? If you recognize at least four behaviors of those mentioned, get out of the relationship as soon as possible because they can be really dangerous people.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre. (Consulta 2018). PRESIÓN SOCIAL. Online [].
  • Maqueda, M. (2006). Violencia de género: Entre el concepto jurídico y la realidad social. Revista Electrónica de Ciencia Penal y Criminología. en Google Scholar y acreditado por la FECYT
  • Bogantes Rojas, J. (2008). Violencia doméstica. Med. Leg. Costa Rica.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.