Are You Dating A Masochist? 14 Signs He Gets Off On Pain

Although it was never put in the DSM, masochism is said to be a personality disorder also known as self-defeating disorder. They’re people who are drawn to pain, leaving them vulnerable to be in toxic relationships or with abusers. Are you dating someone like this? Here’s how you know.

  1. They don’t say no. A masochist has a built-in “say yes” mechanism. They seem to never be able to say no. This is a reflection of their poor boundaries and it results in them doing all sorts of things they may not want to do. They make themselves do those things anyway because they have very little self-respect.
  2. The meaner you are, the more they seek your approval. A masochist is known for loving pain. When you’re awful to this person, instead of running the other direction, they turn towards you and try to make you love them. They may make grand gestures like buying flowers rather than taking a hint.
  3. They’re attracted to narcissists. No offense to you, I’m sure you’re a great person, but masochists are generally attracted to narcissists. They feel the need to be with someone who cares so much about themselves that there’s little left over for them.
  4. They push people away when they get too close. They’re void of any true friendships. Sure, they have a host of fair-weather friends, but nothing too serious. When someone starts to become a good friend they either do something to mess it up or they back away slowly. A masochist definitely can’t handle true intimacy.
  5. They have a kink or three. Much of masochism, in this case, is about the emotional side, but there’s also the sexual side of it as well. In your case, your partner may be wildly kinky and they’re likely a submissive type. Like out in the world, they want you to boss them around in bed. They also want you to harm them and make them beg for things. This kind of play turns them on like nothing else.
  6. They have a harsh inner critic. The voice inside of them is constantly telling them that they aren’t enough. This drives a lot of their behavior and attitudes because they just feel like a piece of crap all of the time. That voice often drives out all reason, resulting in their ridiculous behavior.
  7. They stay in toxic relationships. Welcoming regular bouts of pain, they stay in a relationship that’s clearly toxic. Maybe there’s constant fighting or there’s meanness coming from the other party. Whatever it is, they stick around for it. People around them don’t understand why they stay, but they do it anyways.
  8. They complain a lot, but hardly ever make changes. They complain a lot about things that are wrong in their life like their crappy relationship, a job that they hate, and the friends that they also don’t like. Do we see a pattern here? A lot of these things are self-inflicted, which sort of takes away their permission to complain about things. Yet here we are.
  9. They feel hopeless about the future. Ask them about their plans for the future and they’d probably just shrug. They don’t feel confident that their future is going to pan out in a positive way (maybe because of all the negative crap they’ve invited into their life). Not only that, but they feel pretty hopeless.
  10. They love depressing music. When they have the choice, Amy Winehouse (RIP lovely) or some other depressing artist is on repeat for this person. Tear-inducing music is a regular thing, because why choose happiness? They live for this kind of music-induced mood.
  11. They’re self-destructive. Just when things are going well and something good is about to happen, they mess it all up. Then, on top of that, they’ll continue to make everything worse by doing things like drinking excessively.
  12. They’re a perfectionist. Everything that they try to do in life has to be perfect (to their standards). They have to be the best employee, friend, and lover even if they are suffering as a result of these things. Nonetheless, they drive themselves to do the very best that they can, yet nothing is ever enough. This leaves them with more pain.
  13. They love drama. Starting fights is their jam. They love to argue, but mostly to hear you mad at them. They just love the sound of drama in the air. Especially when there are tears and yelling, it’s all the better. Anything to inflict some pain on themselves while also bringing others down.
  14. They constantly put themselves down. In the same sense that they’re a perfectionist, nothing is ever good enough. They’re always calling themselves “foolish” or saying that something sucks. Especially in their work or school lives, they beat the crap out of themselves. It’s quite sad, really.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at