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Is he using me? 19 big signs he’s using you

Being in a relationship is hard work – yet also so rewarding.

You know you like the guy, a lot, but you’re starting to have doubts about his intentions.

Whether you’ve been with him for one year or five years, it’s normal for these thoughts to creep in at times in our relationship.

Something just feels…off.

If you’re wondering whether he is using you, we’re here to give you the signs you should be looking out for.

If any of them ring true for you and your relationship, it’s time to run. Don’t walk, run and get yourself out of that toxic relationship.

Why might he be using you?

If you have a suspicion that your guy is using you, one of the first questions you might find yourself asking is: why?

Why is he using me?

Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer for this one. A guy might be using you for a whole range of different reasons.

Here are some of the more common ones:

  • He’s only in it for sex. Some guys simply don’t want a committed relationship but are quite happy to keep coming back for sex.
  • He’s after the money. Do you find yourself paying for him a lot more than he pays for you? And supporting him financially? He might just be in it for the cash boost.
  • He’s after an ego boost. Some guys simply like to have a pretty girl hanging off their arms. It gives their ego a good boost, even if they aren’t interested in a relationship.
  • He’s trying to make another girl jealous: this one can sting a little. When he’s using you to get to another girl and make her jealous of your relationship.

There are so many different reasons a guy might be using you. None are better than the last.

The best thing you can do is pick it up early and get out of that relationship as fast as possible. You deserve much more than that.

Here are 19 big signs he’s using you

1) Your phone only lights up after dark

He’s either a vampire who only comes out at night, or he’s using you for sex. Texting only at night to meet up is the classic sign of a booty call.

This one is easy to test out. Send him a message asking to meet up earlier in the day and see what he says. You’ll have a clear answer straight away.

If he says he’s busy or comes up with a number of excuses, take them for exactly what they are: excuses. The simple fact is, he doesn’t want to see you during the day. He’s after just one thing.

2) He doesn’t open up to you

OK, OK, guys are super talkative by nature (at least most aren’t). But if he avoids talking to you at all costs, then it’s likely because he doesn’t want to get close.

Test it by asking him some questions:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • How many siblings do you have?
  • Did you all get along growing up?

Pay attention to his answers. Does he offer one-word answers without going into detail? Does he try and avoid certain topics altogether? Siblings are about as personal as it gets – if he’s avoiding this one, he’s avoiding getting close to you.

A simple question about what he’s getting up to on the weekend could be enough to get him to shut down. Take these are warning signs and run.

3) He doesn’t ask about you

At the same time, pay attention to how much interest he shows in your own life.

If a guy likes you and wants to be with you, then he’s going to want to get to know you better and dive into your personal life.

Think back to those questions we mentioned above. Does he ask about your family? About your siblings? About your upbringing? Does he even care what you’re getting up to on the weekend?

A lack of interest is a big no-no in a relationship.

He’s likely using you for another reason. Take a step back from the relationship so you can see this for yourself.

4) He keeps putting off being ‘exclusive’

Does this guy avoid referring to the two of you as ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’? Take the hint!

Whether you’ve had the conversation, or you’re sitting back and waiting for him to commit – it’s a good sign he isn’t interested in making this permanent.

If you want to know for sure. Ask him! If he’s using you then the excuses will start rolling off the tongue:

  • I want to take things slow.
  • I’m just not ready yet.
  • I want to get to know you better.

This is a guy who is publicly avoiding calling you his girlfriend and is likely just using you for sex.

5) You’re not going on actual dates

He comes to your house, you go to him, or you meet at a bar with mates.

Other than this, there are no actual dates.

He’s either using you for sex or for a show, or a mix of both!

Some guys simply like having a good looking girl hanging off their arm while they are out with friends, but aren’t interested in a relationship.

Think back to the last three times you met up with this guy. Could you count any of them as an actual date?

If not, it’s time to get out now. He’s using you and has no interest in being in a relationship.

6) He’s financially dependent on you

You like the guy, so you’re all too willing to fork out some extra dollars here and there to cover him.

But those extra dollars turn into much more. You soon find you’re the one paying for dinner, drinks and in some cases, he’s staying over at yours and relying on you for rent too.

That’s not a boyfriend. That’s a friend who’s using you.

Start making him pay his own way. If he’s interested in you, he’ll stick around.

If he’s not, he’ll disappear fast enough.

7) He doesn’t go out of his way for you

When you’re dating a guy, you want him to be someone who will drop everything if you need him.

Whether you have a funeral to attend or find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire – is he there?

Would he show up on your doorstep with a box of tissues and a shoulder to lean on when you’ve had a bad day?

Does he go above and beyond to let you know he’s there for you, no matter what you need?

Naturally, some guys are just better at this emotional side compared to others, but if your guy is refusing to help you even when you ask for it – something is off.

He simply isn’t emotionally invested in you or the relationship.

It’s time to put yourself first and get out of there.

8) You’ve never met his friends

If a guy is into you then he’s going to want to brag and show you off to his friends.

Family can take a bit more time while he figures out whether or not you’re the real deal (relationships can take time), but friends are normally much sooner.

If you’re yet to meet his friends – try asking him about it. He simply may not have organized anything yet.

If the excuses roll in and he keeps putting you off, then something is up.

There’s a reason he doesn’t want to introduce you to his friends – and it’s never usually a good sign of a healthy relationship.

9) He ghosts you

There’s nothing more frustrating than meeting a guy you really like, getting to know him, then he just disappears out of the blue.

He ghosts you.

Doesn’t respond to your texts, doesn’t respond to your calls. You simply don’t hear from him.

That is until he comes crawling back a couple of weeks later packed full of excuses.

Don’t listen to them!

If he is ghosting you and coming back when suits it, it’s because he’s using you.

He’s only coming back when he needs or wants something. This guy isn’t afraid to hurt your feelings – he’s only thinking about himself in all of this.

Here are some of the common reasons guys pull the ghosting trick:

  • He’s still in a relationship with someone else.
  • He’s on other dates.
  • He’s avoiding getting too serious.
  • He prefers spending time with friends.

It all comes down to the fact he’s using you. And more than happy to leave you in the lurch anytime it suits him.

10) He avoids conversations about the future

When you’re in a relationship, it’s natural to talk about your future together.

Whether it’s simply planning a future date, a holiday together down the track, or where you see yourselves in the next five years.

It’s a conversation that slips in from time to time.

Sometimes the conversation is much more direct and simply a question of: “Where is this relationship going?”

If he’s avoiding all these conversations, it’s because he’s using you and doesn’t want to commit.

If he answers with, “I’m not sure”, this is another red flag. He’s sure, he just doesn’t want to tell you the truth. He’s using you for sex, money, etc, and has no long-term plans for your relationship.

11) He ignores you in bed

When it comes to the bedroom, it takes two to tango!

That is, unless he is only in it to please himself.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Does he always take charge in the bedroom?
  • Does he make an effort to please you?
  • Does he mix things up to keep it interesting for both of you?
  • Does he care whether or not you climax?

If the deed is one-sided then it’s likely he’s just using you for sex. He knows what he wants out of it, and isn’t wasting any time trying to please you at the same time.

Time to send him on his way.

12) He avoids seeing you if sex isn’t possible

This has to be one of the clearest signs that you are simply being used for sex.

If he won’t make the effort to come and see you – day or night – unless sex is on the cards, then it’s pretty easy to work out what he wants.

You can easily test this one too. Ask him out to an event with you. Then tell him that you have plans with girlfriends after the event.

Is he keen to come and enjoy the event with you? Or does the fact you have to run off after and can’t please him holding him back from saying yes?

You’ll have your answer straight away!

13) You don’t feel special

Sometimes, whether or not a guy is using you can come down to a gut feeling.

Think about how he treats you – both when you’re out and about and when you’re alone.

Is he kind?

Is he considerate?

Does he care what you are thinking or feeling?

Does he want you to be comfortable and cared for?

These are all signs of a guy who likes you and wants you to be happy.

If they’re missing from your relationship, then it’s worth considering whether he’s just using you for something else.

Remember, you deserve to be treated better. Don’t settle for less! You want a guy who goes out of his way to make sure you feel special.

14) He has a bad reputation

We all know the allure that comes with dating the ‘bad guy’.

It may seem like fun, but it comes at a cost.

If a guy has a bad reputation, it’s generally for a reason. So think twice before getting into a relationship with him.

If you do go for it, know where you stand and take the relationship at face value.

While it’s tempting to think you can change him, or that he’ll only have eyes for you, this is rarely the case.

Bad boys don’t change.

They use people and they get what they want – you’ll be no exception.

Before you start dating, ask your friends and his friends what he’s like as a guy. Get some other opinions on his character so you know what you’re getting into.

15) He won’t let you near his phone

We can all get a little protective of our phones every now and then. Even if we have nothing to hide.

But if he never lets you near his and takes it with him everyone – bathroom, to get a drink… everywhere. It’s because he doesn’t want you to see something.

If he is using to you and lying to you in the process, the way he acts around his phone is a sure sign.

A loyal guy who isn’t using you will be absent-minded about where they leave their phone. They’ll chuck it on the couch, leave it on the kitchen bench, or even forget where it is.

A guy who is using you will never leave it out of his sight.

He may have other girls on the side he is keeping from you, or possibly in another committed relationship.

If your guy always seems to have his phone glued to him, something else might be going on.

16) He turns up uninvited

While having your boyfriend turn up on your doorstep isn’t a bad thing. If he’s constantly crashing at yours and going in and out as he likes – he just might be taking advantage of you.

Whether he can’t afford his own place, doesn’t have a job, or was kicked out of home, he shouldn’t just assume he can live at yours.

He’s using you in this instance for stability. A place he can crash, without having to pay for it, coming and going as he likes.

If you’re happy for him to be there, make sure you set some boundaries. Recognise what’s happening and make it work for both of you. It may even mean asking him to chip in for some rent while he’s there.

17) There’s someone else

It’s a sinking feeling when you discover you’re not the only one in a relationship. But it happens.

There are plenty of scenarios that could be played out:

  • He’s got a girlfriend who doesn’t put out. Using you on the side for sex.
  • He’s got multiple women at the same time and isn’t looking to commit.
  • He’s using you to get another woman he’s interested in.

At any sign that another woman is involved, it’s time to run. Nothing good can come from that.

18) He makes you pay

I know, I know, we live in the modern age. A girl is allowed to pay her way without it being suspicious.

This is true! It’s absolutely true!

But, occasionally, a guy will want to treat her. Even if it’s to some popcorn at the movie, or a simple coffee while you’re out.

If your guy insists on paying your way through everything and is never willing to foot the bill, this is a warning sign.

This is a good indication he’s treating you like a friend – with benefits.

He’s not trying to romance you or win you over.

He’s not trying to show you he cares about you.

He’s not treating you with much respect at all.

He’s after one thing and one thing only, and he’s not willing to pay more than his fair share in order to get it.

19) You feel like he is

Only you can pick up on those small, little details that make you feel like he’s using you.

If you think he’s using you, and you’re not feeling happy in the relationship, then it’s time to get out.

Don’t waste your time on someone who barely gives you a second thought. You deserve so much more!

If you’re not feeling comfortable in a relationship and find yourself questioning whether or not he cares, that should be enough to convince you it’s not working.

Mr. Right is out there waiting for you. And he doesn’t plan on taking advantage of you in the process. It’s time to move on and find him.

Hold out for him, because once you find this guy, everything will feel right and you won’t find yourself questioning whether or not he’s using you.

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New video: How to deal with a narcissist (even your boss or co-worker)

Lachlan Brown

Written by 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 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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