Is He Using You or Does He Really Care? Here’s How to Tell, the Signs to Look for, and What You Can Do

Is he using you? Does he really care about you? Left unanswered, these questions can wreak havoc on your emotions.

Is he using you? Does he really care about you? Left unanswered, these questions can wreak havoc on your emotions.

When you fall in love, you might feel almost exhilarated.

Love can give you complicated feelings, sweaty palms, a flushed complexion, heightened anxiety, and other stress responses.

But how can you tell whether your partner feels the same way?

If he’s using you, your boyfriend might still act like he’s smitten.

But there are telltale signs that he’s not truly in love.

Fortunately, there are explanations for why some men treat women poorly, plus ways to tell whether a guy is using you.

Along with telltale indicators that he has ulterior motives, there are also ways to check on the state of your relationship through other means.

Read on to find out whether your partner is showing signs of living a lie in your relationship, plus what to do if you think he is.

Updated 2/9/2020

Reasons Why Some Men Walk All Over Women

Although not every man is out to get the women he dates, some guys walk all over women.

But why?

Science (and psychology) tells us there are many reasons. Here are a few that may help you gain perspective on your own relationship.

Insecure Men Are Insecure in Relationships

One reason why some men walk all over women stems from their own feelings of insecurity.

In fact, some men can appear to be quiet and shy but are, in fact, painfully insecure. Those feelings of inadequacy can cause them to criticize others, including their partners.

In fact, deep insecurity can also cause men to cheat on their partners. Through seeking attention and happiness from someone else, they are, in effect, trying to make themselves feel better. However, that doesn’t mean the behavior is acceptable or that you should forgive it.

As thoughtful and emotionally attached partners, some women don’t immediately realize their partners’ destructive and controlling behaviors. They may even forgive cheating, often without addressing the underlying issues between partners.

The bottom line is that men who don’t feel good about themselves likely won’t treat others well, even if they think they’re in love. And while it’s not our job to help every man feel good about himself, we need to be aware of the issue to avoid potentially toxic partners.

Some Men Keep All the Power

Another reason some men walk all over women is that they want to feel powerful.

As one psychotherapist explained, some men behave badly because “they can.” Society practically demands that men be authoritative and powerful, and treating women poorly is almost seen as an expected side effect.

Of course, once you’re in a relationship with a guy who treats women poorly, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to change him. In the end, he’ll have to want to change in order to turn his life—and relationships—around.

The thing is, a man who is with you to make himself feel good won’t often acknowledge that he’s using you. He may even be a willing and somewhat caring partner, though his inconsistencies and power plays are what makes his partner question his intentions. But in many cases, a man who refuses to acknowledge that he’s using you is just as harmful as one who intentionally misleads and manipulates you.

Some Women Don’t Stand Up for Themselves

Though women can’t take the blame for the way some men treat them, many of us unintentionally make ourselves targets.

We let men get away with behaving badly because we care about them. In some cases, we tolerate it out of insecurity, not wanting to give them a reason to leave us.

Many women fall for cruel men, as one therapist explained, because they don’t feel worthy of being loved. Instead, they equate a “strong man” as one who will treat them badly, perpetuating the cycle. And once they find that “strong” man, they’ll become attached and codependent on him.

The problem is that a strong woman doesn’t need a strong man. But even women who are strong on their own tend to bend to their new partner’s wishes out of habit. Of course, this isn’t a healthy behavior or conducive to a healthy relationship.

To avoid becoming that woman, we need to look inside ourselves and reaffirm that we’re worth it, we’re valuable, and we don’t need a man—“strong” or otherwise—to make us complete. Of course, part of retaining our sense of self has to do with identifying and getting rid of a man who is just using us.

3 Ways to Tell If a Guy Is Using You or If He Really Cares

When you find yourself in a new and exciting relationship, it’s often challenging to figure out whether it’s for real or not.

After all, overwhelming emotions in the early days can skew your perceptions of what’s really happening.

In fact, both love and lust create visible brain activity—just in different areas. But the fact remains that it’s hard to differentiate between the two. It’s also difficult to know how someone truly feels when you suspect ulterior motives.

Here are three ways to tell if a guy is using you or if he really cares.

1) Look at His Signals: 15 Signs He May Be Taking Advantage of You

If he’s using you, a guy isn’t going to come right out and say so.

Therefore, you’ll have to pay close attention to his actions to figure out whether he’s being real with you or just faking it for all the benefits that come with a pseudo-relationship. Here are fifteen signs he may be taking advantage of you.

1. He shows signs of lying.

Frequent lying means your partner is hiding something, but how can you tell they’re lying?

The bottom line is, if you have a gut feeling that someone isn’t being true to you, they are likely hiding something. Some indicators of lying, according to researchers are:

  • Irregular eye movement, though not necessarily averting their eyes; irregular refers to eye movement that’s different than normal or “baseline.”
  • Microexpressions, which are a “crack” in the façade that show true emotion behind a lie. If you’re vigilant, you’ll notice your partner’s true feelings coming through, even if their words are saying something entirely different.
  • Fake smiles; where the liar presses their lips together instead of smiling naturally with their entire face. When someone smiles authentically, their mouth, eyes, and even eyebrows move to show happiness. A forced smile is usually fairly obvious because it only uses the mouth.

2. He’s not around when you need him.

For example, he’s always unavailable when you need help with something.

At the same time, he’ll expect you to drop everything and help him when he needs it. The one-way-street mentality of your partner may be one of the first signs that he’s less than committed to you.

3. Your partner tends to let you foot the bill for everything.

It might seem innocent, but “forgetting” his wallet is one sign he’s enjoying you more for money than for your company.

If your guy regularly expects you to take care of the finances but doesn’t contribute his fair share, he could be taking advantage of more than just your wallet.

4. He prefers to spend a lot of time “alone.”

Whether he’s actually alone or not, spending a lot of time away from you could mean that he’s not ready to share that much of his personal life.

Though he might expect you to share yours, a man who doesn’t fully embrace your partnership and keeps an entirely separate existence is cause for concern.

5. Everything happens on his terms.

Whether it’s where you go out to eat or what day you meet up for coffee, keeping control of everything is one sign your man might be taking advantage.

He may not want to take part in activities that you enjoy, or he might complain while he does whatever it is you want to do. He may also try to make you feel bad for wanting to do something different than him.

6. Physical intimacy is the only intimacy you have.

He might be using you for your body if all you ever do together is hook up. Going your separate ways right after the act can also suggest he’s just in it for the physical perks.

7. He shies away from commitment.

If he won't commit to you, he may just be using you.

If he won’t commit to you, he may just be using you.

Whether it’s going public on social media as a couple or meeting his family, shying away from a commitment to you may mean your man is just taking advantage of you.

Keeping things on the “down low” not only makes him feel like he’s still a bachelor, but it leaves the door open for other potential suitors.

8. He talks about himself constantly.

This is another sign that your man isn’t fully invested in a relationship. If he doesn’t ask about you or seem to care about your interests, he might be using you.

A lack of interest in who you are as a person, what you like, or what your dreams are likely means he doesn’t see a future with you, so it’s not worth his time to track all the details of your life.

9. He makes a big deal of making you a couple.

While some guys are reluctant to commit, if he’s using you for a green card or for a place to live, he’ll likely be eager to get serious.

Keep an eye on the timeline for evidence of his intentions and make sure he’s showing his true feelings before it’s too late to get out of the relationship.

10. He keeps you away from his friends.

If a guy doesn’t want you to meet his friends, he’s likely trying to hide something—and it might be you.

He could be using you if he doesn’t want his buddies to know you’re together, whether there’s another woman involved or not. Keeping your relationship a secret is never a positive sign, regardless of who he’s keeping you from.

11. He’s only nice when he wants something.

Whether it’s money, a ride somewhere, a place to crash, or any other favor, if your guy only acts sweet and suave when he wants something, that’s an indication of his intent to use you. He might turn on the charm to convince you to do something you don’t want to, or he could amp up the sweetness when he knows you’re upset about something.

12. He gets upset when you ask him for anything.

If your man gets upset when you ask for help or acts like it’s an inconvenience to give assistance, he might be using you. He should want to do nice things “just because,” not in exchange for favors—and a reluctance to be nice on his own could mean there are other factors at play.

13. He avoids “the talk.”

If your man is reluctant to discuss your relationship, that could be a bad sign.

Whether or not you’re “official,” if he balks at the idea of discussing feelings and your future, that’s not a positive indicator. Refusing to talk about the two of you means he prefers to keep it casual, which may not line up with what you want from him.

14. He talks about his ex a lot.

He could be using you to get over her if he constantly waxes poetic about their time together, or even if he seems angry about their breakup.

If he’s still hanging on after finding someone new, he might see you as a rebound instead of relationship material. Or, he might see you as an ego boost that soothes his need for attention while he recovers from past heartbreak.

15. He doesn’t have his own money, a job, or a place to live.

If your guy seems to struggle to take care of himself, he may have latched onto you because of the stability you offer. If he has no money and no place to live and isn’t trying to do anything to change his situation, you could be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to the relationship.

2) Reach Out to His Friends and Family

Depending on how long you and your partner have been together, you may have already met his family.

Usually, getting to know your man’s family means that he’s likely serious about you. But what if you’re not close with them and still have questions about whether he might be taking advantage of you?

Why You Should Meet the Family

Reaching out to your man’s family could help clarify things. Of course, going behind his back to talk to his mom or siblings is a serious no-no. But relating to his friends and family is one way to learn more about your partner and what his goals are in life.

You might be able to understand him better by forming relationships with people from his inner circle. Especially if you have doubts about his authenticity in the relationship, spending time with his family can give you clarity.

Another important distinction about meeting family and friends of a beau is to notice how he acts when he’s with you in a group of people. If you notice that he treats you differently in front of his parents, siblings, and especially friends, you’ll see his true nature under whatever his normal façade is.

After all, he’s not going to fake things when he’s with people he knows and trusts. If he does, it could mean there are underlying issues within his family, something he may share with you beforehand. This is another perk to meeting his family; learning more about how his childhood was and how his personality developed.

What It Can Tell You

As one psychologist notes, the way that your partner interacts with his family can have a big impact on your relationship’s future.

You may also realize that personality traits your man has have come from his early experiences or relationships with family.

Getting together with them can shed some light on your man’s behavior and attitude toward commitment. Of course, spending a few hours watching him interact with them may not tell you everything you wish to know. But it can help show you another side of him and perhaps leak some truth out, too.

For example, if you find out he grew up with a single parent, that could mean he has trouble developing attachments to new people in his life. If he argues or appears uncomfortable with his parents, that may mean he doesn’t have a healthy relationship with them, which could explain why he has difficulty expressing his emotions.

Seeing your partner with his friends can also show you where you stand in terms of your relationship. If your partner is eager to introduce you to his friends, encourages you to hang out with them, and talks positively about you in their presence, he might be aiming to impress you.

On the other hand, if your man resists letting you meet his friends, barely speaks when you’re all together, and avoids scheduling future group outings, that could mean he’s not thrilled about you getting to know his pals.

Although watching your partner’s behavior can give you some positive or negative signals, it’s not one hundred percent effective when it comes to finding out the truth. If you can convince him to introduce you to his inner circle, you might find yourself disappointed when nothing revealing emerges.

The thing is, many men who use women are very good at masking their true feelings. Therefore, if your guy is really invested in the relationship for his own benefit, he might do everything in his power to keep you—and that includes faking it in public.

3) Get Answers from Someone Who Understands

If you're unsure if he's just using you, you can talk to somone who knows the answer.

If you’re unsure if he’s just using you, you can talk to somone who knows the answer.

With so much at stake in your relationship—from your feelings to your future and finances—it’s understandable to want clarity.

After all, if you desire a long-term and stable relationship with some type of future, you won’t want to waste time with a man who seems to be using you.

The thing is, if you have so many suspicions already, it could be that you already know the answer yourself. Of course, there is another way to get answers, and that’s from someone who understands where you’re at and where you’re hoping to be.

Why You Should See a Love Psychic

If you are still unsure whether your guy is truly committed to you, consider calling up or chatting online with a psychic specializing in love readings.

The experience can help you dig deeper when it comes to your connection with your partner, and your psychic may offer insights you hadn’t considered.

Speaking with a love psychic may provide you with the confirmation you’re looking for so that you can move forward in your life and your relationship.

And keep in mind that you’re not alone in wanting to know what your future holds—71 percent of women in one survey responded that they had contacted a psychic in 2015.

91 percent of women also noted that they would consult a psychic on “sentimental matters,” including relationship concerns. While a psychic may not deliver a definitive explanation on your partner’s behavior and intentions, the experience may give you insight into the problems you’re experiencing.

What It Can Tell You

As women who have experienced psychic readings before will often explain, psychics tend to “tap into” your underlying feelings and emotions.

And while they may, in fact, know things that you don’t, the guidance they offer can give motivation and even closure.

Of course, there are no guarantees, which is one drawback of this method. But the ultimate benefit is that many women find themselves more at peace after getting a relationship psychic reading and receiving confirmation of (or information contrary to) their suspicions.

Getting an outside and unbiased opinion can help clarify the issues for you.

Chatting with someone who’s unbiased and knowledgeable can also inspire you to take action toward either improving or leaving a relationship that’s not fulfilling you in the way that you deserve.