How to tell if your boyfriend is using you

Is He Using Me? 20 Clear Signs He Is Using You & What To Do

Identifying signs that he is using you can save you from a lot of trouble in the future.

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Knowing the signs that he is using you can help women take accurate measures and avoid emotional breakdown later in the relationship. Falling in love is a thrilling experience that gives you butterflies, but it may not always go how you expected it to be.

Not all relationships are constructive, and it is always better to realize that you are not his priority and he is just using you. You may want to make him happy, but it is never enough.

Some indicators could help you if he is into you or just using you. Read on to explore a few signs that he is using you and what to do in such situations.

20 Signs He’s Using You

You have just started settling into the relationship, but something feels off to you, and you don’t know why. In these times, take a step back and see the bigger picture. Some of these warning signs that a guy is just using you might be right in front of you.

1. He closes himself off

He doesn’t open up to you. You want to give him the benefit of the doubt and suppose that he’s just shy. But, as days pass, you never really get to know about his plans or his friends or his life. He doesn’t seem like he wants to share anything with you. There is a communication gap as he never expresses his strong feelings. He might often come across as angry or upset, but he won’t tell you why.

2. Your conversations are lackluster

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Stimulating conversations that continue late into the night can help you understand him on a deeper level. But it doesn’t happen with your partner. He talks to you about sports, the weather, and politics, but you catch yourself looking for something more meaningful and personal. You find yourself revealing more and more about your life in the hope of getting the same insights, but it feels like he’s not into it. If he can’t have an honest conversation with you and voice out relationship concerns actively, then the bottom line is you should reconsider this relationship.

Related: 19 Clear Signs To Know When To Walk Away From A Relationship

3. He doesn’t care about how you feel

He seems distant and cold. If he doesn’t get you, then he isn’t the one, and you can be sure about that. An innate understanding is necessary to build an intimate and meaningful relationship. It is the little details that count, and it is important to know about your partner to make things work in the long term, after the initial interest has faded.

4. You haven’t met anyone he knows

If your significant other introduces you to his friends, it is a sign that he is serious about you and wants a future with you. But, somehow, if you have been together for a couple of months, and he hasn’t still introduced you to his circle of friends, and you know very little about his personal life, it is a major red flag.

5. He has issues discussing commitment

Finding ways to avoid discussing commitment with you is a sure sign a man is just using you. Being scared of commitment or not wanting something serious is normal, but refusing to discuss it definitely means that he has an ulterior motive and is just leading you on. If you are not looking for something casual, get out of the relationship as soon as possible.

6. He expects too many favors

Does he always need something from you? And do you always end up picking up the bill? If so, he’s definitely not in love with you. He might say he loves you, but actions always speak louder than words. If he always asks favors from you, or if you feel you are the one doing things to make him happy and he doesn’t reciprocate, he might be in the relationship only to fulfill his personal needs.

7. He is reluctant to compromise

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The reluctance to compromise is one of the most evident warning signs you’ll ever get. Whether it is work or personal life, his needs come first over yours, and he treats you like an option instead of a priority. He’s always busy, you don’t really go on any real dates together, and he gets upset if you ask for anything. These are worrying signs. A person will always make time for you and put your needs first to make you happy if they truly care about you.

8. He is selfish in the bedroom

Every relationship requires a balance. If you feel he’s just having sex and not making love to you or there’s no emotion involved, it’s a genuine problem. Maybe this can be solved if you reach out to him with good communication and some guidance. But if not, you know where you stand. Don’t let him put his own selfish needs before yours. Physical affection is an important part of any close and intimate relationship.

Related: How To Deal With A Selfish Boyfriend?

9. You don’t feel special

Are you the only one who’s putting in the effort to make things work? If so, you are in a one-sided relationship. If he treats you like he treats everyone else, and you feel like a colleague or a roommate, and nothing changes when you express your valid reasons and concerns, you may be dealing with an apathetic partner.

10. He doesn’t show physical affection

There’s no physical intimacy and conversations about needs and wants. He doesn’t really engage in foreplay and doesn’t seem very interested in pleasing you. You also begin to realize that you don’t see him doing nice, thoughtful things. If you experience these, he might be using you, and it is imperative that you heed the warning signs. Have an honest conversation as it could just be that they express love differently, but don’t be shy to demand what you need!

11. He shows too much physical affection

Too much physical affection is also a red flag. If your Netflix-and-chill sessions seem like booty call sessions, and your every encounter turns into something sexual, do not hesitate to set boundaries.

12. He doesn’t care about your dreams and goals

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One of the most important things to make a relationship work is to have similar values. While career, family, and ambitions are all crucial, if all he cares about are his dreams and personal growth, without taking your dreams and goals into consideration, he is using you. You will struggle to grow with him, and your relationship may feel toxic or stagnated in such circumstances.

Did you know?

Giving silent treatment to the partner is a form of manipulation and using them, which is a red flag that should not be ignored.

13. He doesn’t text back or try to get to know you

Cute text messages and online conversations are important to every relationship. However, you find that your conversations have died down, and you never made it past the second date. It’s not that he’s busy, but he seems to be genuinely uninterested. You feel like he forgets about you entirely when he is not around you and doesn’t take the time out for a simple cute text or a meme. All these could indicate that he isn’t serious about your relationship and is just using you.

Related: 21 Reasons He Isn't Texting You And What To Do About It


He doesn’t express his emotions

If he doesn’t tell you he loves you or express it in his deeds, it is a clear sign of a dysfunctional relationship. Moreover, it is difficult to establish a strong bond if your true feelings are never reciprocated. While it is only fair to give your partner the benefit of the doubt here, you should still consider your compatibility.

15. You only see him when he needs you

Being there for each other during the highs and lows plays a significant role in establishing a serious relationship. It is solid proof of the special bond that you share with your special someone. However, if he calls all the shots and decides when you do what, taking your time and decisions for granted, it is an awful sign that he is using you, and you should make a prompt decision to be or not to be with him, as it can make you question your self-worth.

Point to consider

Consult a psychologist to know if you’re a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. This is a coping mechanism in relationships where the victim could develop positive feelings for their abuser with time (1).

16. He makes comments on you

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He makes comments that make you feel uncomfortable. This can be one of the worst signs because it is manipulative and hard to identify. He will often phrase his comments with subtlety and have it come across as advice for self-improvement. Don’t fall for this trap. The telltale signs include telling you that you are not thin enough or encouraging you to go on diets and backbreaking workouts. He has an opinion on everything you wear and everyone you meet.

17. He regularly threatens to leave you

Does he seem to want to break up all the time? If he’s using you, he may make you chase him all the time and ditch your plans last minute. If you never feel secure in your relationship, and he always justifies his actions, you may have to reconsider your priorities and take a call on whether you want to be with such a person.

18. You are his secret

You haven’t met any of his inner circle, and he doesn’t post about you on social media, not even simple stories of coffee dates! If he tries to keep you to himself and doesn’t want the world to know about you both, it is a clear indicator that he is using you. Most probably, you will be left with a broken heart if the relationship continues.

19. Irrespective of the situation, you are always to blame

Every fight turns into a blame game. Even when he is in the wrong, it will be interpreted as your fault. It is extremely cumbersome and exhausting. In an intimate relationship, it is you and your partner versus the problem instead of you versus your partner. If he tries to win every argument, they are not the one for you.

20. He refuses to empathize with how you feel

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Does he not understand you? Wait, maybe he just doesn’t want to. Putting you down and refusing to empathize with you is a clear statement. Intimate feelings need to be shared, but if he makes it difficult for you, and you sense a lack of kindness, you are not in a healthy relationship by any means, and it is rare for this issue to get resolved.

Related: How To Build An Emotional Connection With Your Partner?

A relationship that does not have mutual love and respect for one another does no good. A relationship should be well balanced on both the partners needing each other and feeling incomplete without the other. Talk to your partner and discuss your apprehensions with them. If your guy shows any signs of using you, you must step back and give your relationship a thought. If necessary, you may also consider taking help from a counselor or therapist. It is not advised to continue this relationship if you do not notice a change in them.

Key Pointers

  • A guy may not be in love with you but using you if he avoids conversations about the future or commitment.
  • Being ignorant of your feelings, showing a lack of emotions while making love, and other toxic behaviors are more signs.
  • Either talk to him openly or move on to a better life.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

  1. Stockholm Syndrome.

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28 Signs That He Is Using You

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 28 telltale signs you can use to determine whether your date is committed to you or merely trying to take advantage of you. Read on.

In This Article

28 Signs He Is Using You

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.

StyleCraze Says

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


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.

Related: 8 Things To Do When Your Husband Ignores You

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?


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


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.

Related: How To Heal From A Toxic Relationship – 8 Best Ways To Follow

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 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


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


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.

StyleCraze Says

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.

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.

Related: How To Make A Guy Realize He Is Losing You

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.

Unhealthy relationships can negatively impact your life. It is important to set your own needs first and be ready to disregard a relationship that does not respect you. 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.

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.

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How to understand whether a man uses you or loves you: signs of deceit

If in a relationship with a partner you find one of the signs described below, this is an occasion to think about his intentions.

How to understand that a man is using you?

1. Under various pretexts, he asks for financial assistance

Anyone can find themselves in a difficult financial situation. But if this is not your spouse, with whom you always share joys and difficulties, nothing justifies a man who solves his problems at your expense. The person with whom you started dating and whom you care about will not ask you for money to pay for their personal needs.

2. He is interested in what you can provide him

Often such people are willing to discuss what you have and do not have in their lives. “This is presented, of course, as the fact that they are proud of your achievements. And it’s not always about material values,” says interpersonal coach Greg Mikaelson. - If you or people close to you have a high social status, you are known and you are accepted in circles of interest to your partner, then you can also be of interest to him. Especially if he has big career ambitions or if he craves publicity and fame.

3. He only appears when he feels bad

He always thinks of you only when he feels lonely, wants to talk or wants intimate relationships.

“It is sometimes especially difficult to leave such partners. Sometimes these people really suffer from depression or mental disorders and find in you the resource that helps them cope. Therefore, they will do everything to keep you. From such men one can often hear: “I can’t live without your support, only you understand me” and even “I will commit suicide if I lose you.”

During the period of falling in love, this can be read by you as an extraordinary passion, a magical feeling that you have found that very soul mate in each other. This is the most common trap women fall into,” Mikaelson says. Later, feelings of guilt and responsibility turn on, and these relationships can drag on for many months and even years.

4. He does not make general plans and does not even remember your birthday do you. All he is willing to offer is a stream of pleasant words, nothing more.

Actions almost never follow them. If you notice that your friend is always busy on those days when you need his presence and attention, this is an occasion to wonder if he really cares about your relationship with you.

“A man-manipulator is a good test of the strength of your boundaries”

Natalia Artsybasheva, Gestalt therapist

". He picks up your unconscious signal: the willingness to give a lot and ask for little. And now an infantile partner is knocking on your life.

Here comes the moment of your choosing and testing the health of the boundaries. How and why do we choose to uncontrollably give away our resources to incomprehensible people on strange grounds?

The most striking example: the story of childhood with an alcoholic father, when mother spent all her energy on saving him. A daughter in such a family learns important rules for herself. She is not worthy of being the center of attention and getting enough love and support (“well, you understand how hard it is for mom and dad!”). And love is when one partner is very difficult, he causes only problems, and the other runs after him and enthusiastically spends his energy on him.

How to understand that a guy is using you


Sometimes this is the last thing to become apparent. But how much it hurts. So let's learn to identify this infection in the first stage. Here are 10 clear signs that someone is using you. Check it out.

You meet and go somewhere only when it is convenient for him

He is only available when he has time and desire. All your plans are his plans. When you offer something, he doesn't have time. He is busy all the time. You never do what you want.


He insists on sex every time you meet

A real relationship is so much more than just sex. Therefore, if your boyfriend communicates with you only for these purposes, it's time to think about whether you need such a guy? Seems like you deserve more.


He doesn't want to advertise your relationship. But if he hides you from friends and tries not to appear anywhere together, something is wrong here. Trust us. If he is really interested in you, he will not be ashamed of you. Or does he have another?


Everything revolves around him

He often asks you how are YOU doing? No? Is he only interested in HIS business? The thing is bad. It seems that you are dating a complete egoist. These guys are unable to see anyone but themselves. The rest of the world simply does not exist for them. Or exists to bring him pleasure. You are included. Don't blend in with the environment. It's not worth it.


He always asks you for help, but doesn't help you himself

Sometimes guys use girls for more than just sex. Sometimes it's something else. Money, car, parents, apartment... You can continue the list at will. Relationships are always about mutual support and help. If someone only takes and gives nothing in return, this must be decisively put an end to.


He is romantic and gentle only when he needs something

Romance in a relationship is wonderful. Especially when flowers are given for nothing, just like that. If you notice that before asking you for anything, he gives you daisies, be careful. Perhaps he is just manipulating you and trying to get what he wants from you with the help of cute romantic little things.


He does not want to advertise your relationship, but he wants you to act like his girlfriend

Sounds weird? But it often happens. For example, at a party, he acts like you barely know each other. But at the same time, he requires you not to flirt with other guys. Often he is allowed to flirt with other girls. You must firmly stop this.


He flirts with other girls

This is the most alarming sign. He keeps you just in case and remembers you only when he needs to. Run!


He never does anything for you himself

Has he ever helped you without you asking? Did you do something nice? Lost to you in an argument? Tried to find a compromise in a difficult situation? No? Say goodbye to him right now.

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