11 warning signs your partner is only pretending to love you

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When you dedicate time and your affection to somebody, you take a risk. 

Love is always a risk, just like life is!

But finding out your partner is only pretending to love you is especially troubling, as I’ve had to find out in the past on one occasion. 

Here’s how you can know for sure… 

1) They take without giving

We’ve all been in one-sided friendships and relationships. 

They are:

  • Exhausting
  • Disappointing
  • Frustrating
  • Confusing

If you’re in a relationship with a partner who takes and takes without giving, then nobody would blame you for being frustrated. 

I’m not going to claim that every relationship has to be a 50/50 balance because that’s just not realistic. 

But it’s certainly fair and realistic to expect both people in a relationship to contribute somewhat. And when that doesn’t happen it’s upsetting to say the least. 

2) They flirt with other people 

When we’re in a relationship it doesn’t mean our sex drive suddenly turns off and we stop noticing if other people are attractive. 

Of course we do. 

But part of having a commitment and loving somebody is voluntarily deciding not to flirt and pursue sexual or romantic connections with other people (unless you’re voluntarily in an open relationship). 

As such, a key sign that your partner doesn’t really love you is that they flirt with other people. 

It’s not so much the flirting itself which shows this, by the way, as it is the fact that they don’t care about taking the risk:

Rather than being caught up in the heat of the moment, they flirt regardless, seeming to have no real worry about what happens if they’re discovered and you break up with them. 

3) They usually ignore what you say

Active listening and paying attention to your partner is a key part of every healthy relationship. 

If your partner usually ignores or dismisses what you say, it’s often because their love for you is fraudulent or at least minimal.

That’s just a fact of life. 

Think about the last person you loved: 

I’m guessing you hung on their every word and even thought about what they said and meant long after they said it. 

I know I did. That’s just what we do when we care about someone! 

4) They don’t celebrate your wins 

When somebody we love has a big win it’s natural to celebrate. 

If only this were the way it always is, but sadly it’s not. 

When a partner is only pretending to love you they will often have very muted reactions to your win. 

“Oh, great…wow!” they may say, while scrolling Instagram. 

The flip-side to watch out for here is a partner who’s over the top in their reactions and acts like the greatest event in human history just happened. 

If their enthusiasm seems a bit over the top it just might be!

5) They’d rather watch porn than have sex with you

I happen to believe that porn addiction is a very real (and damaging) thing that is currently affecting society. 

But whether you do or not, the symptom of a partner who’d rather get off to some pixels instead of spend intimate time with you is bound to upset you. 

And it should. 

If your partner would rather spend time on Brazzers than with you in bed, you could be excused for thinking they don’t really love you. 

At the very least, they clearly don’t physically love you or have become lost in a porn fixation to the point where their physical attraction to you is seriously flagging. 

6) They’re nowhere to be found when you crash 

Fairweather friends are those who want to ride the highs with you but are nowhere to be found when a low hits. 

Fairweather partners are in a similar vein. 

They can seem like an amazing person to have in your life up until you hit a real crisis or problem. 

Then they are suddenly “super busy” or nowhere to be found. 

This isn’t an accident, it’s them clocking out when the times get tough. 

7) They play the victim when you raise any issue 

There are all sorts of issues that come up in relationships, and they’re usually best dealt with as soon as possible. 

They may be practical matters like sharing finances or more emotional subjects such as working on your communication or telling your partner you feel neglected. 

This is impossible to do with a partner who plays the victim, because any time you bring up a concern they tell you that you’re being unfair or hurting them. 

This is typical behavior of somebody who’s only pretending to love you or has very serious emotional wounding they will have to resolve on their own outside of the relationship. 

This also relates to the next point… 

8) They gaslight, shame and start fights with you 

If you have a partner who’s always falsely accusing you, gaslighting you and shaming you, then you’re not wrong for wondering how much they really love you. 

If they do love you, they certainly need to learn to show it in a healthier and more balanced way. 

Relationships are more than enough work without feeling like you’re the subject of a federal manhunt every time you step foot in the front door or turn on the TV. 

“Why are you watching that?”

Well, excuse me…

9) Their affection for you wavers with your financial generosity 

If you have a partner who becomes noticeably more or less affectionate with you depending on how much money you give them, then you have a problem. 

It’s understandable that somebody would be disappointed if they are relying on you or hoping for a financial loan or gift. 

But to have their actual affection toward you waver is a very big red flag. 

If you notice this kind of thing my only advice is to realize:

  1. This is a transactional connection not a relationship
  2. Get out as soon as possible unless you are looking for a transactional connection. 

10) They mock, belittle or dismiss your core values and beliefs 

What you stand for understandably forms a big part of who you are. 

If your partner doesn’t respect that then their love for you is suspect. 

Mind you, they don’t have to agree with everything you believe or value. 

But respect and agreement are not the same thing, and if you’ve ever met a couple who come from very different walks of life and belief systems you know exactly what I mean:

They may not like each other’s beliefs, but they love each other. 

It’s visible for everyone to see that the level of respect is sky high and if that’s not the case in your relationship then there’s a lack of love (and respect!) going on… 

11) They picked you as their second choice

The last big warning sign I want to point to here is if you know you were picked as a second choice

Love’s not perfect and sometimes heartbreak paves the way for a new connection that ends up working out. 

But sometimes being somebody’s second choice also has all the usual issues that you might worry about: 

  • They only chose you because the one they really wanted rejected them
  • They argued themselves into dating you because they didn’t want to be alone
  • There are reasons to be with you that are more based on practical considerations and self-interest than love

If you know you were this person’s second choice then be wary: they may still see you as little more than a placeholder until they either:

  1. Get the person they truly wanted to start with
  2. Trade up and find somebody they like more than you 

Facing the ugly truth 

If a lot of the signs above are accurate then there’s a solid chance your partner doesn’t love you nearly as much as you’d hope. 

It’s time to start saying your goodbyes and planning a future without them. 

Not only do you deserve better, so do they and it’s time to think about moving on before you sacrifice your integrity and accept fake love

This person needs to work on their own sincerity and authenticity, and you deserve to find somebody who will go with you on the journey of life and help you grow, too. 

That’s the truth of the matter!

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