How to Tell If a Guy Is Just Using You

A girl who learned how to tell if a guy is using you, looking at her boyfriend as they hug and wondering how he feels.

We’ve all been in a situation where we are super into a guy, but things just aren’t adding up. Yeah, they’re super affectionate and awesome and even tell you they love you, but why don’t you ever see them in the daytime? Or maybe they always have elaborate excuses why they don’t text or call during regular hours, but are those even for real? Maybe they always have exactly the right thing to say to ease your concerns, but you still have this nagging suspicion that something’s not right.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re unsure whether you’re being used:

1. Is the relationship one-sided?
Does he only talk about himself or only ask about you? Both are red flags. Either he’s so self-centered that he doesn’t realize you don’t want to hear the minutiae of his workout practice that day or he doesn’t want to share anything with you and instead wants you to dominate the conversation. The latter is more insidious because you may think he’s very interested, but then realize you know nothing about him because he’s constantly deflecting all of your questions back at you. This is a great hook because you’re likely to bring your guard down much earlier.

2. When is he texting/calling you?
Does it seem like he’s mostly only reaching out at night and he’s mute throughout the day? He might have good excuses like, “I’m too busy at work,” but is that realistic? Probably not. Everyone can find snatches of time throughout the day to text, even if they have the busiest jobs, and he would likely be doing that if you were a priority. If he really can’t text or call throughout the day, is he doing so once he gets off work or is he then waiting hours and hours before giving you a ring, when it’s conveniently close to “bed” time?

How does he respond to you talking about commitment?
Maybe you want exclusivity and therefore want him to delete his dating apps, so you ask him about it. Is he evasive or is he on board? Does he say, “I have them on my phone, but I never use them,” or does he do it right away? If he’s still got them on his phone, that means he has easy access to start them back up, and if he’s not using them, why even have them on there? A guy who’s certain about you is going to have no problem deleting them for good. And what about the “labels” situation? Does he try to avoid talking about that altogether or is he just not into them? This is important to assess because if he’s not willing to say you’re exclusive or that he’s your boyfriend, then he may not be willing to do those things either.

How giving is he in the bedroom?
Are your needs being met? Yes or no? Do your needs even factor into the equation? You may want to say things like, “I mean they are, but…” If there’s even a question or a ‘but’ in there, the answer is no no no.

How does he respond when you share your feelings?
If he’s quick to make an excuse when you start talking or can’t take a break from his phone for one second or says things like, “I don’t know what you want me to do with that information,” he’s not someone you should share your feelings or your bed with.

You accept whatever you think you deserve, so if you realize you’re being used and don’t WANT to be used, your next step should be cutting things off completely. You might want to talk yourself out of it, but you have to remember that if it’s not right now, it’s not ever going to be right. Someone who thinks it’s okay to use you isn’t going to start acting respectfully tomorrow. You also have to know you deserve so much more and not accept that kind of behavior moving forward.

Tara Mae Mulroy

Tara Mae Mulroy is a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on relationships. She is a regular contributor on Medium as well as the author of the full-length poetry collection, Swallow, and other writing found at taramaemulroy.com.

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