29 Signs He Is Using You

From having double standards to ignoring you to get his way – here’s what to look out for.

Reviewed by Darrell Reese, MS, LMFT-A Darrell Reese Darrell ReeseMS, LMFT-A insta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA Sangita Goel MA

A man in love will do whatever it takes to show their partner how much they mean to them. If you feel your man is unsure about the relationship, you should watch out for signs he is using you and isn’t serious about you. It will help you protect yourself from falling further for the facade they have put up.

Greg Behrendt puts it aptly – “”If a guy truly likes you, but for personal reasons he needs to take things slow, he will let you know that immediately. He won’t keep you guessing because he’ll want to make sure you don’t get frustrated and go away.””

You may miss the obvious signs when experiencing the rush of romance. The following article explores 29 telltale signs you can use to determine whether your date is committed to you or merely trying to take advantage of you. Read on.

29 Signs He Is Using You

If you notice deception, exploitation, trickery, dishonesty, disloyalty, insincerity, selfishness, untrustworthiness, or ulterior motives, be aware that he may be taking advantage of you.

Using someone for personal gain can lead to betrayal, fraud, abuse, mistreatment, and neglect That is why it is important to protect yourself and make sure your relationship is built on mutual respect and trust.

1. Meets Only When He’s Available

If your partner makes time for you only when convenient for him, it may indicate that he is using you. Partners need to make time to see each other despite their busy schedules. It might mean pushing some things around to meet. But if your partner is not pouring in the effort to meet you when it is convenient for you and him, it can be an issue. If you both are meeting only on his time and terms, it is unfair.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Break away from this routine and let him know you are putting your foot down by being unavailable and prioritizing your work and schedule before his.

2. Does Not Do Anything Special For You

Does your partner send you flowers or take you out for dinners? Does he tell you how amazing you are? If the answer is no, that’s a red flag. If your partner does nothing to make you feel loved, special, and appreciated, he might not be serious about the relationship. He is just using you for money, sex, and a place to stay or to prevent loneliness.

3. You Always End Up Doing The Devil’s Tango

Whenever you both meet, if it always ends with sex, it might be a sign that he is using you. If he is making time only to sleep with you, he might be interested in physical intimacy rather than a committed relationship. If you both meet and he just wants to jump your bones and then leave, he is using you for sex.

4. He Doesn’t Want To Be Exclusive

Men who do not want to be exclusive want to check for more options. If a man can commit to a sports team so ardently (and for the rest of his life), he can commit to you as well. So, if your man ‘wants to take things slow’ and not be exclusive, he is not serious about the relationship.

5. Plays Double Standards

Some men like to hold you to standards that they do not keep. If he notices you talking to other men, he may hold contempt, but he might be talking to other women. Many times this indicates that your partner may be flirting with other women and thinks you are doing the same.

Another instance is that his workplace accomplishments are celebrated, but he never appreciates yours. Maybe he tells you not to go to clubs and bars, but he does it anyway. Such things are signs of some serious commitment issues.

6. Always Blames You

Blaming you for everything is a sign they are using you
Image: IStock

If your partner is always admonishing and blaming you for all the issues in the relationship, he may not be serious about you. They may be just be trying to find fault with you as an excuse to leave you. This can take the form of manipulation where you go above and beyond to earn his appreciation and approval.

7. Ignores You When He Does Not Need You

If your partner ignores you actively until they need something from you, they are using you. You message or call them, but they never respond. Then suddenly, like the clown in a jack in the box, they will pop out either have to sex, talk about something they are going through, or keep you hanging around.

8. Does Not Do Anything For You

If you are doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship but your partner does as they please, it is a clear sign they are using you. Both parties need to be equally participative to make a relationship work. If he does not do anything for you, he does not value your role in the relationship and uses you for gratification.

9. Is Sex Only About Him?

Is it only for your man’s satisfaction when you both become physically intimate? If yes, he is using you for sexual pleasure. Things may become hot and heavy, but once he reaches his sexual satisfaction, he stops caring about your feelings and physical needs.

10. Never Introduces You To His Family Or Friends

If you have never met his friends and family, and he does not want to meet yours, he is not serious about the relationship. Every time you try to meet his friends or family, he changes the subject or becomes silent, giving you some lame excuse. Whenever you try to get him to meet your family and friends, something else pops up. These are clear signs of being insincere in the relationship.

11. Does He Always Have You Pay For Everything?

Making you pay for everything is a sign they are using you
Image: IStock

Do you pay every time you both go out? Does he expect you to pay for his clothes, shoes, and other stuff? Is he staying with you but never pays the rent? Does he keep using your car without paying for petrol? Is your man comfortable lazing at home without a job because you pay for everything?

These are the ways your man can be using you for your money. It indicates he is with you because you pay for everything and not because he loves you. And the minute you ask him to get a job or handle the bill, he gets angry or irritated. Now you know why.

12. Does Not Understand Or Acknowledge Your Feelings

If your partner does not acknowledge your feelings, you may not be important to them, and he is not serious about you. When you feel angry or hurt and want to talk to your man, if he sidelines your issue and moves on to something else, you need to rethink your relationship.

During a serious conversation, if he demeans your feelings saying “that’s how all women feel” or “you always feel like that”, it is clear he does not understand your feelings.

13. Ignores You In Front Of Others

If he’s fawning all over one minute but barely acknowledges you when a colleague walks by, it’s not a good sign. Notice how your partner treats you around other people, especially people he knows.

14. Does Not Correspond For Days Together

Does your partner ghost you and then turn up at your doorstep suddenly when they need something? This indicates he is using you. You message him for days, but he does not respond to your texts or calls until he needs some validation from you – either money or emotional support.

15. Is He Staying At Your Place?

If your partner is staying at your place, he may be using you for that. Does he pay for the rent or groceries? Does he chip in for anything, or are you taking care of everything for him? If he doesn’t chip in for anything, he may be using you for a location to stay.

16. Meets You Only In The Night

If he meets you only at night, it means you are not his priority. He might have had plans that fell through, or maybe he did not have anything to do. Either way, you are always the last person he thinks of. Instead of prioritizing you and making plans with you first, he only calls you in the night because his actual plans have fallen through.

17. Suddenly Stops All Romantic Gestures

Depriving you of love is a sign they are manipulating you
Image: IStock

Maybe when you both first met, he went out of his way to make you feel special – bought you flowers, wrote you notes, and took you to dinner. But after some time, all of that just stopped.

You can feel his disinterest in you. He is not as invested in the relationship as he was initially. This can mean that he has found someone else or does not feel the same with you anymore. He keeps you around so that he is not left hanging and alone.

18. Never Appreciates What You Do

Does it feel like your partner always complains about everything you do? Does he make fun of your flaws and faults? You can go out of your way to do something special for him, but he would still complain.

You never appear to measure up to his expectations. So, you always try to please him and attain his validation. This is a clear sign that he is toxic and your relationship is not healthy.

19. Threatens To Leave You To Get You To Do Things For Him

Whenever you both disagree about something, does he threaten to walk away from the relationship? It indicates he is using you to feel better about himself. Many narcissistic and cunning men use such kind of manipulation to get their way.

This is very dangerous as you may constantly feel that you are not good enough for him. So, you agree to everything he wants to make sure he does not leave you.

20. Keeps You A Secret

When you both meet, is it always at your place? And maybe in the night? If yes, perhaps your partner is just using you. He does not want to be seen in public with you. Every time you suggest going out, he disagrees or even gets angry. This is an obvious hint that he is exploiting you for something.

21. It Feels Like You’re Pursuing Him All The Time

Ignoring you is a sign they are not serious about you
Image: IStock

You always make grand gestures and organize the plans to go out, while he does not take the time or effort to appreciate you. You end up feeling like you are chasing after him all the time.

You are always the one to bring up the future of the relationship. You always have to shift your plans to make time for him. While he seemingly exists in the relationship without doing anything to improve it. This might imply that he is using you to get some validation for himself.

22. Does Not Take Time To Get To Know You

If you and your partner talk only about him – his accomplishments, dreams, and career plans, he is not serious about you. He is not taking the time or putting effort into finding out more about you. When you talk about yourself, he somehow makes things about him instead.

23. You Are Not His Priority

If you are not in his top priorities, he is not serious about you and just using you. Do you both always meet only when it’s convenient for him? He may even forget about you now and then. All these behaviors indicate he is casual about you. If he ignores you to make his family happy, he is not serious about you.

24. He Is Emotionally Unavailable

An emotionally unavailable partner can ruin the relationship. Emotional unavailability is when your partner does not talk about their feelings and keeps everything inside. When you start talking about something serious, they become silent or angry, change the subject, or crack jokes.

This indicates they cannot handle the pain or other emotions that come from dealing with a situation. If your partner is unwilling to seek help to improve their state and make the relationship work, they may not be serious about the relationship.

25. He’s Hung Up On His Ex

If your partner is hung up on their ex, you may be a rebound for them. Does he keep checking his ex’s social media accounts? Does he keep bringing her up? When she is around, does he focus his attention on her? If your partner has not yet gotten over his ex, you need to let go of them.

26. It’s Always About Him

Is everything in the relationship about him? He gets to decide where you both eat, what works in the relationship, and always does what he wants. But when it comes to your likes and desires, you feel sidelined and unsatisfied. You both celebrate his accomplishments, but your achievements are never recognized.

It might feel like you are his sidekick rather than this partner. He feels powerful and in control of the relationship but doesn’t hear out your opinions. He is using you to feel good but doesn’t make you feel good.

27. Ditches You For Other People

Not prioritizing you is a sign they are using you
Image: IStock

If your man can ditch you for his friends, family, or other plans – you may not be a priority in his life. After making plans with you, if he suddenly changes his mind, it means you are the last person he’s making plans with. He might be using you not to feel lonely when his friends or family are busy.

28. Your Friends And Family Dislike Him

Sometimes we are too close to the situation to see the light. Ask your friends and family for their honest opinion about the man you are seeing. They can identify when the relationship is toxic, and your partner is not treating you right. If your friends and family do not like your partner, it may signify that he is not good for you.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Listen to your friend’s worries with an open mind and try to understand their perspective. Instead of defending your partner, analyze the situation calmly.

29. Makes No Compromise

When a person shows an unwillingness to make a compromise, it might be a sign that he is using you. This type of inflexible behavior often leads to one-sidedness in a relationship in which your needs and opinions are disregarded. It might be accompanied by a lack of respect or investment in the relationship’s mutual growth. In addition, your partner may exhibit selfish tendencies, avoid discussions or negotiations on day-to-day things, and only engage when it suits him. This behavior may extend to reluctance to meet your friends or family as well. Overall, a persistent unwillingness to make any compromises in a relationship could indicate that they are exploiting the relationship for their own needs without genuine regard for yours.

Now that you know the clear signs that your partner is using you, how do you stop it? Read on to find out.

How To End The Relationship If He Is Using You

1. Know Your Worth

If your man is using you, it can make you feel like a commodity. You end up questioning your worth and feeling belittled. You might feel that since you are not valuable, he is not serious about you. But hold on ladies, it is very important to know your worth. If your man cannot put in the time and effort to make the relationship work, does not appreciate you, or takes you for granted, he is not worth your time. You deserve better.

2. Let Him Know How You Feel

Talk to your partner about how he makes you feel. Let him know that you feel underappreciated and used. If he does not acknowledge your feelings, tell him that you do not think the relationship will work out.

Don’t beat around the bush while communicating your feelings. Just be straightforward and not aggressive – be calm but firm, and let him know how you feel.

3. Move On Silently

Once you let your partner go, stick to your decision. You may feel like going back, but remember how bad the relationship was in the first place. Take your time to heal – hang out with friends and family and meet new people. Make sure you have a friend on standby when you break up with the man. Never go back to your partner in a momentary lapse in judgment.

Infographic: 8 Warning Signs That Indicate He Is Simply Using You

It’s easy to get swept off your feet with silly romantic gestures and great first dates. Unfortunately, things are not always as they seem. While it is humane to overlook certain signs simply to hold on to a notion, it is important you understand when your partner is no more into you but simply using you. Check out the following infographic and learn about the biggest warning signs you are being taken advantage of.

8 warning signs that indicate he is simply using you (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Unhealthy relationships can negatively impact your life. It is important to set your own needs first and be ready to disregard a relationship that only shows you disrespect. There will be many hardships on the way before you successfully breakthrough, like the many memories, happy moments shared with your partner, or your unmet expectations and hope that make you want to stay and see if things change for the better. Find your inner strength by remembering the adverse effects these unhealthy bonds will have in the long term. Learn to recognize the signs that he is using you to avoid emotional upheaval in your future relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when a man is done with the relationship?

There are several signs that show a man is done with a relationship. Not making plans with you about the future and showing no interest in intimacy and conversations with you are some of the common signs that a man is done with a relationship.

How do you tell if someone is using you emotionally?

If your partner is passive-aggressive towards you, compares you to others, makes you feel guilty about doing something for yourself, gaslights you, or punishes you with the silent treatment, then these are signs that they are using you emotionally.

How to know if a guy is not emotionally invested in our relationship?

There are signs that your partner might not be emotionally invested in your relationship like he does not talk about or resolve issues, avoids physical contact, forgets important dates or promises, is not there for you when you need him, and is always busy even when you are next to him.

What are some red flags that my partner is not treating me with respect in our relationship?

When your partner ditches you for his friends and family despite having plans with you, he dismisses your concerns or feelings, meets you only when it is convenient for him, does not want to be seen publicly with you, and criticizes everything you do, he might not be treating you with respect.

What are some examples of my partner using me for my social status or connections?

A few examples to look for are – if your partner is excited to meet the people you know and they completely forget about you during the meeting. He might flirt with your female friends, make fun of you in front of the people in your social circle, and make plans with the people you introduced him to without informing you. If he ghosts you once you’ve introduced him to someone he wanted to eagerly meet, he is clearly using you.

Key Takeaways

  • A man in love with his partner will make sure to show his love and appreciation for them.
  • If your partner only meets you when it is convenient for him and does not want to be exclusive with you, these are some telltale signs that he is using you.
  • Once you recognize that he is using you for his own needs, let him know how you feel and move on.
signs he is using you

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Are you feeling used? Learn the 8 signs someone is taking advantage of you in this informative video. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of any longer!

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Darrell Reese

Darrell ReeseMS, LMFT-A

Darrell Reese is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate with 20 years of experience. He helps couples rekindle their love and create a loving and happy relationship through Darrell Reese Counseling. He employs various modalities for these sessions, including Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Collaborative Language Systems, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and The Gottman Method, to help deal...read full bio

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