Five Lessons Christie Smythe and Martin Shkreli Can Teach Us About Love

If the first person your relationship brings to mind when you describe it is “Harley Quinn”, it’s a red flag.

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The Background

When Smythe and Shkreli first met-after Smythe tried, then succeeded, to secure an interview with him-she portrays herself as instantly entranced by Shkreli. In fact, Smythe stated the following during the Elle interview:

“You could see his earnestness,” Smythe says. “It just didn’t match this idea of a fraudster.”

But if Shkreli is indeed a sociopath, it would be easy to fake such emotions, especially to invoke sympathy from the interviewer. Or maybe it was just a case of him drinking his own champagne. Neither concept is new; earnestness was one of Elizabeth Holmes, the now disgraced Theranos founder, famous qualities-people who knew her said she really appeared to believe she was going to change the world with her fraudulent technologies.

“It really felt like he didn’t have anybody to talk to that he could bounce ideas off of…I was like, ‘All right. I guess I can do that.’ He (was) ragged and fragile, and I got concerned he would commit suicide because all this stuff was all happening at once.”

To me, the above quote encapsulates many of the underlying issues we often experience in relationships. Smythe has projected her personalized image of Shkreli over his own being while creating a narrative in her head of what would happen if she wasn’t present for him, if she couldn’t be there to save him.

Why do woman love “bad boys”?

Actually, most don’t. The number one quality women look for in a partner is “kindness”. Multiple studies have shown that women value kindness over more superficial characteristics, like net worth or attractiveness. The latter two characteristics is where sex differences reveal themselves most clearly: women are far more likely to be attracted to men with higher incomes and men are far more likely to pursue women they find physically beautiful in comparison to the other gender. But while each gender has their equally shallow shortcomings, it’s worth noting that most men also prioritized finding a kind partner over other desirable traits, like youth and beauty.

Why do some woman love “bad boys”?

An article by recently stated that Chris Watts, the family annihilator who killed his pregnant wife and two young daughters, has received multiple love letters and solicitations while he sits, for life, in prison for multiple homicide. This is nothing compared to serial killers Richard Ramirez and Ted Bundy, who both had loads of their own “groupies”, eventually resulting in marriages.

So, what lessons can we learn about love from Christine Smythe’s and Martin Shkreli’s relationship (or lack thereof)? As I see them, they’re as follows:

1. No Guy Wants To Be Chased

Being in prison does not make a man an exception to this rule. After-all, the ending of the Elle interview seems to imply Shkreli wants Smythe to move on with life.

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Image via Christie Smythe’s Twitter

2. Open Communication Is Key For Successful Relationships

This advice is as old as time and yet, it oft goes unheeded. So, just remember: open communication, early on in relationships, is key for maintaining successful ones.

3. Listen To Your Inner Circle, Not Just Your Heart

Smythe explicitly mentions, multiple times during the interview, of being warned that Shkreli was manipulating her. Her Columbia University professor, Michael Shapiro, told her his concerns: that she was a tool for Shkreli; Her own (ex) husband said she was being used. Her friends were aware of the problem. And yet, Smythe kept on.

4. Know the Sunk Cost Fallacy & Why It Matters In Relationships

The Elle article reveals that Smythe had spent the fair amount of four years pursing Shkreli.

5. Don’t Romantically Pursue Men Being Indicted For Serious Crimes

At the end of the day, readers, if the man you love is being indicted on multiple charges and isn’t returning your advances, this could be a very sincere “It’s not you, it’s me” situation.

Finance, healthcare, and technology nerd, aspiring writer, and pop culture junkie. All views my own. Work in progress.

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