The Emotional Romeo is a Thief of Hearts

The Emotional Romeo

The Emotional Romeo is a most interesting character. Basically, he or she is a narcissist of the amourous variety. (See also: Amorous Narcissists Can Charm Convincingly and The Amorous Vulnerable Covert Narcissist.) Such narcissists can be of the vulnerable or grandiose (i.e. purely exploitative) type. The vulnerable types more benign. But some can still be dangerous. And the grandiose types are always big trouble. In any case, you have to beware. These folks can steal your heart. And, sadly, most of the time they’ll surely end up breaking it.

What makes someone a thief of hearts?. The same thing that makes anyone a thief! Thieves seek to possess something of value without paying a legitimate price for it. And what could be more priceless than a human heart? Emotional Romeos want to win your affection and devotion. But they’re unwilling to do the work of genuine loving necessary to truly deserve it.

How They Do It

How does the Emotional Romeo steal your heart? Generally, with charm and a lot of apparent interest in you. Some are especially adept at making you feel special. But that’s not necessarily because they have any genuine regard for you. (See also the article on mistaking interest for regard.)

The Emotional Romeo can make you swoon. He or she can sweep you off your feet. Their interest in you is genuine, alright. But their purpose is not pure. It’s one thing to desire only to love someone. But it’s quite another to be mostly interested in getting someone to love you.

Some Emotional Romeos have plenty of charisma. They can have an almost mezmerizing effect on others. They’ll worm their way into your heart and take your breath away. Moreover, eeryone seems to like them and want to be around them. That can add to the gaslighting effect you feel when things go south.

The Cost of Heart Thievery

In summary, these thieves of hearts want your love and devotion. They want you to give yourself away. And some have just the charm, charisma, and interpersonal connection and seduction skill to entice you to do so. But are they really worthy? That is, do they have the character to truly merit your devotion.  An Emotional Romeo may very well appreciate your value. And they may very well want to possess what you offer. But like any valued possession, you eventually end up just one more prize in their trophy case. And as we all know, trophies aren’t about relationship. They’re merely testaments to a person’s greatness.

Enabling the Robbery

The Emotional Romeo is, therefore, a true thief of hearts. These folks use charm and seduction to steal what genuinely good character would earn. We enable emotional Romeos by not adequately vetting character. And sadly, for a variety of sociocultural reasons, we’ve just about lost the art of proper character vetting. That makes everyone all-too-easy prey for those who know how to charm and seduce.

When it comes to character, history and not impression usually tells the truer story. That’s especially true when it comes to relationship history. It’s not how successful you’ve been at currying love that attests to your character. It’s how faithfully you have actuallly loved; how you’ve sacrificed for the well-being of another.

The best way to safeguard against relational heartbreak is to understand and properly vet character. And that’s one of the reasons I wrote Character Disturbance. There are far too many character-deficient folks out there. And some know just what to do or say to steal your heart. In our times, especially, beware of the theif of hearts!

I’ll have more to say on this topic in the coming weeks.


The first live broadcast of Character Matters in 5 years is now posted as a podcast on YouTube. You can also find it in the Archives here on the blog. Sadly, the program experienced many streaming interruptions. Future live programs will likely not be Facebook Live events. Other formats will be tried, including YouTube Live, and Spotify’s Green Room. Technical improvements are also underway. Stay tuned for more information in upcoming posts.


One thought on “The Emotional Romeo is a Thief of Hearts

  1. I’ve had a few “Aha” moments reading this article.
    The “theif” is truly someone that everyone around him seems to like. And the importance of character vetting is truly a lesson for me. I am now finding that glimpses of people’s character can be seen when I say, “No” to them. How do they react? Do they push boundaries and keep trying to get me to say “Yes”? Do they guilt-trip? Or do they initially say they understand but soon after passive-aggressively retaliate? Do they suddenly lose interest in me? …

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