10 subtle signs of fake love in a relationship you need to be aware of

There’s nothing more beautiful than a healthy and happy relationship between two partners who deeply love each other.

But not all couples are in real relationships, where true love is reciprocated back and forth.

For some people, they may be stuck in relationships with “fake love”; it feels like real love sometimes, but other times it feels like something else entirely.

But how can you tell when you’re in a relationship with fake love, or just going through some tough times?

Here are 10 clear signs that point toward fake love in a relationship:

1) They Never Make Sacrifices

There is no such thing as a “perfect couple”.

Two people will never be perfectly compatible with each other.

A normal person simply has too many dimensions and sides to themselves, and those will never perfectly and completely align with their partner’s.

This is why successful and loving relationships require sacrifice and compromise.

You always have to be flexible and willing to compromise, knowing that it’s never about “winning”; it’s simply about finding ways to make your partner happy even if it means making a choice you wouldn’t otherwise make.

But your partner never sacrifices or compromises for you.

It’s their way or the highway, and there’s an overall feeling of dominance in the relationship.

You start to forget what it feels like to have the freedom to make your own choices because your choices hinge on the desires of your partner more than your own.

2) They’re Very Affectionate, But Only When Others Can See

You have the sweetest, most affectionate, most romantic partner in the world… but only when other people can see it.

Your partner does whatever they can to show you how romantic they are, but only when they’re in public and only after making sure they capture everything on camera for social media clout.

Here’s the thing – if they’re Romeo or Juliet outside but cold and distant inside, then they’re not really doing it for you; they’re doing it for themselves, to show the world how amazing they are.

Love isn’t a real feeling for them; it’s an act they’re performing for their own selfish reasons.

3) They’re Always Trying To Change You

Before anything else, it’s important to say that change is always part of any relationship.

The best couples help each other grow and evolve to become better versions of themselves continuously, which is why it’s so vital that you find a partner who really cares about you.

But when a relationship only has fake love from one person, then the change they try to enact in you isn’t change for your self-growth or benefit; it’s change to make you more accommodating to them.

They might ask you to change your hobbies, to change your interests, to change even your values and the way you do things, and if you don’t, they make it clear that the only other option is fighting or breaking up.

They don’t see you as an individual, but rather as an extension of themselves.

4) They Cancel Plans On You Very Easily

When you make plans with the person you love, you do whatever you can to keep those plans.

After all, you don’t always get the chance to go on a date with your person, and you care about respecting their schedule and expectations.

But when you’re with a partner only giving you fake love, you’ll notice very quickly how easy it is for them to cancel on your plans together.

It only takes the slightest hiccup in their schedule for them to say that they’re too busy for you, and they’ll have to postpone to next week.

Or worse yet – they might cancel on your full day of activities but still ask you to come over at night so you can sleep with them.

There’s no clearer red flag showing that they don’t think of you as a partner but just an easy lay.

5) They Don’t Get Excited When Talking About the Future With You

Planning for the future can be exciting, but not everyone likes to do it.

Some people get nervous or anxious when they look too far ahead, and that can be for a number of reasons: they might not feel stable enough in their present circumstances to plan for any future, or maybe they feel insecure in their capabilities to create a future they want.

But there’s a huge difference between someone who is reluctant to plan for their future because of personal reasons and someone who shows absolute disinterest in it.

Your partner has zero interest in planning any kind of future with you, whether it’s something big like buying a house together in ten years or something minor like a vacation abroad in a few months.


Because you’re not part of their future. In their mind, you’re just something that exists right now, a future problem they’ve yet to deal with.

6) You Feel Empty After the Thrill Is Over

Whether it’s fake love or real love, here’s one constant: it can be thrilling.

The rush of being with someone and doing fun, happy, sexy things together can quickly fill you with all the feel-good chemicals you need to convince yourself that it’s real love.

But the rush doesn’t last forever, and when the thrill is over, the difference between fake love and real love is that real love still feels like love, whereas fake love will just feel… empty.

You’ll soon realize that you don’t care about this person as much as you thought, or they don’t care about you as much as you thought.

7) They Don’t Hold Back From Hurting You

Fights happen in every relationship, no matter how perfect two people are for each other.

But there’s a difference between a fight between two people who love each other and a fight between two people engaged in fake love: in a fight with real love, there are always lines that you just never cross.


Because no matter how angry you are in the moment, you still love this person you’re fighting with, and vice versa.

You know not to say or do certain things that would make it impossible to come back from the fight.

But when you don’t really love a person, you’re more than happy to dish out the pain in whatever way you can, preferably in the most punishing ways you can imagine.

8) You Don’t Really Know Them

Ask yourself – what do you really know about your partner?

Sure, you probably know their favorite food, their favorite movies, and the type of music they like, but what else?

If you were asked to write an essay about your partner, could you really fill it out?

In a fake relationship with fake love, the fake partner often doesn’t open up enough, because they’re not really “into” the relationship in the first place.

When you love someone, you want to share as much as you can about yourself, because you love them and that simply feels natural.

But when you don’t, then this person is just an object to you; someone to fulfill your needs, whatever those needs may be.

9) Romance Ends After the Sex

With all the time we have to invest in a relationship to make it work, you have to wonder why people end up staying in relationships with partners they don’t even love; why do we even have problems with “fake love” in relationships in the first place?

One of the biggest reasons? Sex.

Most people have sexual urges that need to be fulfilled, and when you have a person who is happy to fulfill those needs for you with little to no effort on your part, then it’s easy to fake romance and love with your bare minimum, at least until your lust is sated.

This is why one clear and obvious red flag of fake love in a relationship is when someone loses absolutely all interest in maintaining the facade of romance as soon as the sex is over.

Now a note for women: this shouldn’t be confused with something known informally as “post-nut clarity”, which is the change in mood men experience after orgasm.

While post-nut clarity might make a man less playful and excitable after sex, it won’t turn them into a completely different person who can’t even look at you anymore.

10) You Feel “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

One of the most magical parts of being in a relationship is the fact that you truly matter to another person.

Even if you’re not in the same room or even the same country as your partner, you just know that they still love you; that you have a home with them no matter where you go.

But fake love doesn’t give you this kind of security.

When you’re with someone giving you fake love, you often feel like the moment you walk out the door, you stop existing with them.

They very rarely reach out to you through chat or call, and when they do, it’s because they need something.

You don’t matter to them outside of the physical benefits, which is why they never reach out to you for the sake of simply checking up on you, hoping you’re having a good day, or just reminding you that they love you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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