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If You Fall in Love Easily, You’re More at Risk for Falling in Love With Toxic People

·405 words·2 mins
Psyched for the Weekend

Wow. Okay. Not only did today’s study come for me, it kicked open my front door and brought a bunch of friends with it, who proceeded to “toss” my apartment.

I am honestly feeling so attacked right now.

As some of you may know, while my love life is _fantastic _these days (and very stable), I have had a lot of bad past relationships with people who didn’t treat me very well. And in the past I’ve also been someone who tends to fall in love pretty easily.

Anyway, this personality trait apparently has a very specific name. The tendency to fall in love easily, fast, and often is called emophilia.

That was the happy part for me reading this study. I liked having that new, useful term.

Here’s the bad part: Emophilia is a strong predictor for being attracted to individuals with Dark Triad personality traits.

Boo boo, double boo, triple boo.

I covered the Dark Triad of personality in an earlier installment of this series, but here’s a brief refresher. Basically, personality researchers wanted to find out if there were traits that could act as early warning signs for antisocial behavior.

After much toil (and warring back and forth with one another), researchers came up with three personality traits that they call the dark triad. Individuals who are high in these traits are statistically more likely to commit crimes, be involved in interpersonal conflict, and cause disruption in the workplace:

  1. Machivallianism – behaving towards others in a cold and manipulative fashion, primarily self-interested, will not hesitate to deceive other people for their own benefit
  2. Narcissism – prone to grandiosity, entitlement, dominance, and superiority
  3. Psychopathy – distinguished by highly impulsive behaviors and a tendency towards thrill seeking, low empathy for others, considered most malevolent quality of the three

Woo. No bueno, right? No one _wants _to be especially attracted to those traits, do they?

Although it’s possible to attribute this Dark Triad attraction to emophilia making it easier to ignore red flags. The good old “fools rush in” theory.

Anyway, if you need me, I’ll just be over here throwing a tantrum about this study. It explains so much. But also… ow.


This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see this link.



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