Abstract Little work has examined the manner in which the Dark Triad may function in relationship contexts. In this online, international study ( N = 302), we correlated the Dark Triad with love styles. Individuals who scored high on the Dark Triad appear to have a ludus – game playing – and a pragma – cerebral – love style. Game playing may allow these individuals to keep others at an emotional distance to maintain their short-term mating style. The Dark Triad composite partially mediated the gender difference in the adoption in the ludus love style, suggesting that the psychological systems that underlie this love style may relate to the adoption of an agentic social style. Similarly, loving with one’s head and not one’s heart may be an expression of the limited empathy/emotional systems characteristic of these individuals.