They are focused on themselves
One of the primary psychological indicators that someone you love is using you is their self-centeredness. Such individuals often prioritize their needs and desires above everything else, placing themselves at the center of the universe. As a result, they exhibit little interest in your life or well-being, demonstrating a selfish approach to the relationship.
They don’t listen
As their attention is solely focused on themselves, they tend to overlook the details of your life. If someone is unable to retain basic information about you, it could be a clear indication that they aren’t interested in you. Failing to listen and retain information is a common sign of someone who is using you for their own benefit.
Do you notice your partner exaggerating their helpfulness, even when they’ve only done the bare minimum? This is a common tactic used by those who are using you. They may overemphasize their small favor to make you feel guilty and stressed and then ask for a bigger favor in return. This can create a sense of indebtedness and manipulate you into doing more for them.
They borrow money
Occasionally asking your partner for financial assistance may not be a problem but when it becomes a pattern, it could be a sign that they are using you for money. If you find that you have become a reliable source of funding for your partner’s activities or lifestyle, it is not typical behavior in a healthy relationship. It indicates that they prioritize your wallet over your well-being.
They fake being nice
Those who use others are often cunning enough to understand what they want and how to be pleasant to get it. They are skilled at appearing kind and considerate in front of friends and family, but remember, it’s all for their benefit. They may drop the act and reveal their true intentions as soon as they’re alone with you.
Do you find yourself constantly making plans and putting in all the effort in your relationship? If so, you may be in a one-sided relationship where the other person isn’t putting in any effort. A healthy relationship requires balance, and if you are the only one who seems to care, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the situation.
If your love interest only reaches out to you when they’re feeling down but disappears when they’re happy and content, it clearly indicates that they’re using you as an emotional crutch. They may want your support and sympathy but don’t expect them to reciprocate when you need it. This one-sided behavior shows that they’re taking advantage of you and using you as a security blanket. It’s important to recognize this pattern and set healthy boundaries.
Always get what they want
They possess great skills in manipulation! You may feel powerless to say no to them as they know how to play you to get what they want. If your partner pressures you after you deny their request, it’s a clear indication that they are using you. This is emotional blackmail, and it’s not acceptable behavior in any healthy relationship.
All talk and no action
Users often mask their true motives by promising to change or improve their behavior, but they consistently fail to follow through. This behavior will ultimately erode your trust in your partner. It may be time to stop fulfilling your end of the bargain until they fulfill theirs.
Only ring you at night
If your partner or love interest only contacts you during the late hours of the night, it could be a sign of them using you. This behavior may indicate that you are a backup option or a secret they are trying to hide from others. Don’t be fooled by these late-night “hook-ups,” as it is a clear indication that you are being taken advantage of.
They only get in touch when they want something
If you roll your eyes every time their name lights up your phone screen, something is clearly wrong. They might only ever call you to ask a favor for the hundredth time, never ringing you simply to see how you are. If it’s always this one-sided, it’s time to reassess where this person stands in your life.
They don’t include you in their lives
Perhaps you’re left out of their lives, never truly involved in their social circles. Your loved one could keep you at arm’s length, not introducing you to their friends or family. If this is the case, it’s highly likely that they want to keep your relationship for the benefits it brings, without involving you too deeply in their personal affairs.
You feel like an option
Let’s be honest: If your partner is using you, you’re an option, not a priority. This is no way to maintain a healthy relationship – if you’re together, you should be valued and nurtured. Deep down, you may feel like you’re an option for them, a backup until they ditch you for bigger and better things.
You don’t know much about them
You can be with someone that you don’t truly know. If you don’t know the basics – their education, their exes, their hobbies – it could be because you’re being used. Users keep their barriers up, not allowing anyone to get too close, ready to discard those who no longer serve them at a moment’s notice.
They belittle you
Narcissists use an arsenal of tactics to keep someone around. They may be sweet as pie when they require something from you, but turn condescending and disparaging once their needs are met. Equally, they could sing your praises in front of others, portraying a dream relationship, but turn nasty behind closed doors.
They don’t respect your boundaries
Users don’t care about boundaries. They constantly encroach on your time, personal space, and mental energy, soaking everything up for themselves until there’s nothing left. An apathetic approach to your boundaries is a lack of care for you as a person, showing that they don’t truly care how their actions make you feel, as long as they get their way.
They expect you to take care of them
We should always take care of our loved ones – an exchange of care is the whole point, after all! If there’s a constant unbalance in this dynamic, however, then it’s time to take a closer look at your relationship. If you’re giving time and time again, receiving little in your hour of need, it’s worth assessing what you’re actually getting out of the connection.
They’re dismissive of your needs
Your needs are valid and important. If your loved one puts no effort into fulfilling your personal requirements, even though you’re forever bending over backward to cater to theirs, it’s likely that you’re in a one-sided relationship. The only result is you being taken advantage of.
Once you help them, they go quiet
You’ve done the right thing and supported your loved one, doing them a favor once again. Now, you’re sat checking your phone, probably left on read. Users drop people at a moment’s notice – if you’re no longer being useful to them, they have no interest in talking to you just for the sake of enjoying your company.
You’re always doing things that make you uncomfortable
There’s nothing wrong with helping your loved ones out. However, if you’re constantly finding yourself in situations that make you feel uncomfortable and being put in positions that you find awkward to your very core, it’s time to review the connection. Listen to your gut – it’s rarely wrong.
Their affection is consistently inconsistent
Affection isn’t a bargaining chip, and shouldn’t be treated as such. If your spouse only displays appreciation for you right before they ask you a favor – then reverts back to their usual selfish ways after you’ve satisfied their demand – you’re being emotionally exploited. Nobody deserves to be manipulated through sporadic devotion.
They never ask about you
Relationships are a two-way street. If your partner never asks how you are, forever bombarding you with their own feelings – you may be being emotionally taken advantage of, being used as their psychological punching bag. If they don’t care about you, there’s little motive to be with them.
They always flake on plans
Perhaps you always arrange plans, only to constantly be stood up at the last minute, with nothing but petty excuses and a fake apology. Worse still, whenever they make plans – even if at the last minute – your partner expects you to drop everything at a moment’s notice to be there for them.
Your favors are their expectations
Where you’d once do favors for your partner as a rare occurrence, they’re now an accepted part of your relationship. Doing something special for your spouse has now become a normality, going unappreciated and unvalued – with your partner now believing it’s your responsibility to do so.
They throw past favors back in your face
Your partner may forever be bringing up the one time they did something nice for you, using that one small act of past kindness as leverage to continuously exploit you. Not only is this manipulative, selfish behavior, it’s also a form of emotional and mental abuse.
They only get in touch when everyone else is busy
If you only get invites to see your boo when their pals are otherwise engaged, you’re being used. Keeping you around as a backup option when there’s nothing else to do is exploiting your time and company – knowing you’d be switched out at a moment’s notice if there were more preferable plans on offer.
They exploit your connections
Your partner may only be using you as a stepping stone. Are they constantly sniffing around your connections – be it your work colleagues, friends in high places, or potential career opportunities? If so, they might be keeping you on hand to only benefit themselves, not because they actually want to be with you.
They forget important dates
Wrapped up in their own little world, your loved one may forget dates that are important to you. Whether it’s your anniversary, your birthday, or important life milestones – if they’re constantly ignoring things that are significant to you, it may be because they’re using you. This is especially true if they expect you to remember things that are important to them.
They get defensive when you call them out
When you call your partner out on their exploitative patterns, they may get defensive – a sure sign of a guilty conscience. An angry outburst when you’re simply to trying address the unbalances within your relationship shows that not only are they likely exhibiting the behaviors you’re accusing them of, but that they also don’t care about how their actions make you feel.
They gaslight you into saying yes
Whenever you do put up boundaries, your other half may get irate, resorting to gaslighting tactics in order to get their way. They make you feel guilty for not obeying them, or claim that they feel undervalued as a partner. Whatever the case may be, a partner who gaslights you will only make your life miserable.
They never mention you
It may seem like a minor annoyance, but if your loved one never refers to you as a collective, it may be a warning sign. Using phrases such as “I had such a good night last night” instead of the collective “we” shows that they don’t value your company – and that they don’t want to discuss you with their friends.
They expect you to pay
If your partner never offers to get the bill, you may be being used. Always waiting for you to pick up the tab and never reaching into their own pocket shows that they are dismissive of your expenses. By prioritizing their own wealth over yours, they create a toxic dynamic.
They lie to you
Liars manipulate in order to wriggle out of facing consequences. If your loved one is constantly telling you mistruths – even if they’re only small white lies – they’re extorting you. It may not be an extortion in a material sense, but still a valid and harmful form of emotional fleecing.
There’s no intimacy
Intimacy is important, even in platonic relationships. If your loved one rarely shows any intimate tendencies towards you – whether it’s physical, verbal, or emotional – it may be because they’ve already gained what they needed from you. A sustainable relationship has a secure bond at its base – without it, it’s doomed to fail.
They do what they want, when they want
If they’re forever staying out until the early hours of the morning without so much as a second thought for you, it’s a key sign something’s wrong. Ignoring you while they do whatever they want, whenever they want, shows that they’re using you as a fallback, not treating you as a priority.
They won’t define your relationship
Being strung along is a horrible experience. If your loved one refuses to define your relationship, they may be using you to fill a void in their life. Rather than elevating you to exclusive status, they could consistently refuse to explore your future together. This suggests that they only want you to fulfill their needs in the short term.
They ignore you in front of their friends
They may be the best partner (or friend) in the world behind closed doors, acting doting and attentive to your every whim. The second you’re both in a group setting, however, you may be cast to the wayside, being ignored in favor of more appealing options.
They never ask for your opinion
If you don’t have a voice in your connection, there’s clearly an issue. Your partner may never ask or simply disregard your opinion on all kinds of matters. If so, they may be evidently using you for the sake of not being lonely, rather than actually enjoying your company.
Your partner is cheating on you
This one’s obvious: if your partner is cheating on you, you’re not being valued, you’re being used. They’re simply using you so that they don’t have to face the fear of being alone, while still getting their rocks off. If this is the case, cut the cord – your life will be better without them.
You feel like you should be doing more
Whether it’s with parents, friends, or a romantic partner, if you’re forever feeling like you should be doing more to appease them, they’ve made you that way. Constantly striving to meet their impossibly high expectations while they give little in return is exactly what they want – exploiting you for all that you’re worth.