A new study showed a link between people with emophilia and those with traits of the Dark Triad. Researchers suggested that those with emophilia might fall easily to a narcissist without realizing it.
The study that highlighted the risk of emophilic people to narcissists was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Nevada Reno. Due to the core trait of emophilia, a person could easily fall in love with others. But their susceptibility to those with narcissism might be greater than average. While they might be at risk of getting emotionally hurt, emophilic individuals could be highly attracted to the nature of the Dark Triad personality traits. They published their findings in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
Characteristics Preferred in Dating and Romantic Partners
Humans are social creatures that love interactions regardless of personality type. Although extroverts are likely to seek socialization, introverts do socialize with the people they are comfortable with. Without social interactions, an individual can suffer from feelings of sadness and loneliness. Even a single person someone can talk to and count on is a significant relief to their social needs. One social interaction many people crave is romance.
According to Statista, a German portal for statistics, a survey conducted from April 21 to 25, 2017 showed the characteristics users apply on dating apps and websites. Out of 1,042 adults aged 18 years and older, 39% apply open-mindedness and 29% apply confidence. It was followed by optimism at 29%, enthusiasm at 24%, outgoing at 23%, ambition at 21%, insecurity at 21%, impulsive at 19%, energetic at 18%, impatience at 16%, naivety at 13%, sensitivity at 13%, objectivity at 12%, dependability at 11%, self-centeredness at 10%, tolerance at 10%, passivity at 9%, and dominance at 8%. About 16% represented characteristics that were not listed.
Meanwhile, a different survey with separate periods between May 22 and 25, 2014, and May 29 to June 1, 2014, showed the ideal factors they want from a partner. Out of 369 respondents 18 years and older, 62% of men and 70% of women preferred shared ideas about having or raising kids. About 46% of men and 78% of women preferred someone with a steady job, 31% of men and 38% of women preferred having the same moral and religious beliefs, 28% of men and 28% of women preferred a good educational background, and 7% of men and 10% of women preferred similar racial or ethnical background.
Emophilia and the Dark Triad
In US magazine Psychology Today, psychology professor W. Keith Campbell and health and science journal Carolyn Crist defined the nature of emophilia. It is a relationship orientation used by psychologists to describe a person who has a tendency to fall in love easily and quickly, compared to an average person. The term has been created ever since researchers identified that some people are easily drawn to others. Even if the one they are attracted to is a direct opposite of themselves, they are still pulled as if by a magnet. Sometimes, emophilics are attracted to people with personality traits belonging to the Dark Triad.
In the study by Jacqueline Lechuga and Daniel N. Jones, the connection between relationship orientation and attraction to the Dark Triad traits was investigated. Apart from emophilia, other types of relationship orientation like insecure attachment and sociosexuality were investigated. The Dark Triad traits examined in the study were Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism. A total of 452 participants were assessed for reaction to an ideal romantic partner. The ideal romantic partner was defined by traits and dating profiles. These traits and profiles were analyzed to discover the likely personality traits the participants preferred. The Dark Triad traits were the primary objective of the analysis.
Results showed that among different relationship orientations, emophilia had the highest connection to the Dark Triad traits. Also, the orientation had a unique connection to those traits. The connection could be interpreted as emophilia getting more enjoyment in socializing with charming people. The excitement and thrill in the socialization would likely empower the connection. On the other hand, a Dark Triad trait would be able to successfully obscure its nature from emophilia. The former would give off the exciting vibe while emophilia would feed on that vibe. This might result in a powerful motivating force for the Dark Triad trait.
Among the three Dark Triad traits, narcissism might develop the connection faster than the other two. The reason would be the energetic and extroverted nature of narcissism. Emophilia would not mind powering narcissism since they prefer being charmed. If emophilia and narcissism dated, the latter could talk about nearly everything and the former would bask in the confidence emitted by narcissism. Their combination would likely lead to a potential romantic relationship. However, a romantic connection to a Dark Triad trait increases the risk of unhealthy behaviors. Outcomes like early or unintended pregnancy and short-lived romance are possible.
In terms of the emophilia intensity, those who scored high in this relationship orientation would be most vulnerable to a narcissist. They would be ready to fall in love and go full throttle without considering dangers. But if they fall in love with someone who was not a narcissist, they might have the best luck in the world. Because emophilia would likely maintain a long-term romance than any Dark Triad trait, a relationship with other personality traits could lead to a life-long commitment. Emophilia successfully risked everything and the other trait provided them comfort and security.
The experts recommend people with or without emophilia to spot signs of narcissism. The most obvious sign is the waning of true love at first sight. If this phenomenon begins, observe the possible causes of concern like coercion or manipulation. Most narcissists are excellent in verbal communication but fumble in action and history. To figure out their history, look for clues that resemble a tornado, wherein the person moves through life, may trample everything on the path, and leaves an obvious trail. This applies to narcissists who may or may not have a painful past.