18 Shocking Signs He’s Using You

Author: Paul R. Brian & Renée Shen

It’s not always easy to tell when somebody is using us. 

After all, you may have been raised to think the best of people and to trust somebody unless given a reason not to. 

That’s why I’ve written this list: to save you the heartache and pain. 

If you’re into a guy and think he is into you, too, beware of these shocking signs he’s using you. 

It’s like counterfeit money: sometimes a fake can look very real!

Let’s get started:

#1. He doesn’t open up to you

One of the top signs you need to look out for is that he never opens up to you, and this lasts for an extended period of time. Months or years, perhaps. 

It’s like he’s a blank page who just won’t reveal any of himself to you or be vulnerable in any way. 

Now, some men find it hard to open up, I get that. 

But if you’re seeing a man who won’t reveal any of himself or show any emotions, then there’s a good chance it’s because you’re nothing more than a way to pass the time for him.  

Even if it’s hard for him to open up, a man who’s truly into you will open up about how it’s hard for him to open up.  

That’s the first step of opening up, right?

You at least communicate that it’s not an easy thing for you to do.

Some men may have an avoidant attachment style and cannot be vulnerable. 

How would you know the difference between an avoidant and a man who is using you? 

An avoidant won’t seem like he’s consciously or deliberately withholding himself from you. He will at least show signs he loves you that are typical of an avoidantly attached person. 

But if a guy is just a closed book with no care or explanation, he’s likely not very into you at all.  

On the bright side, there is an emotional trigger you can tap into that exists within every single man that makes him want to take care of you and only you. 

Make sure you keep this one for the future, as you should only ever be spending extensive time with men who are emotionally committed to you and pair-bonded to you. 

Here’s more on that emotional trigger: 

CLICK HERE to LEARN the One Specific Emotional Trigger Within Every Masculine Man That Inspires Him to Want to Take Care of You, Worship You and Deeply Commit to You.

attachment style quiz

#2. He’s vague about defining your relationship

Do you find that your guy is very vague about defining the relationship? That’s a worrying sign.  

You may be wondering: are you “dating,” is it “serious,” and are you even exclusive for that matter? 

He hems and haws about it a lot and dodges the subject, sometimes outright refusing to give an answer and always saying he needs more time. 

He usually will end up taking all the time he possibly can until he ends up fully breaking up with or ghosting you. 

Some guys move more slowly and that’s OK. 

But there’s a difference between moving slowly and not moving at all. 

For more on this, you should check out the 8 Unusual Signs He Will Eventually Commit. 

#3. He’s always horny when he contacts you

There’s no sign more obvious than this one. If he only contacts you when he’s on the hunt for sex and naughty times, there’s a decent chance that he is using you.

Everything else is just a prelude or afterlude to this goal. 

This can be hard to spot at first, especially if you’re also strongly attracted to him and find the sexual element pleasing and exciting.  

But longer-term this isn’t always just a phase or just him being excited, it may well be his main objective in being in touch with you. 

But how could you really know for sure?

You may want to check these 8 Genius Questions To Ask A Guy To Know His Intentions. 

If you look closely at his pattern of contacting you and wanting to spend time with you and you see that it’s generally centered around sex, watch out:

He’s using you. 

One way to figure out for sure whether he’s going to commit to you is to take our quiz and easy quiz.

QUIZ TIME: Is your man serious about committing to you? CLICK HERE to find out with this specially crafted quiz!

#4. He doesn’t care about meeting your friends and family

Another sign that he’s not into you for real is that he doesn’t care about meeting those close to you.  

Some guys are shy or afraid to get in too deep, too fast. That’s fair. 

But this is different. It’s like him having an allergy to meet those who know you best. 

(And it should give you a big sinking feeling in your gut if he’s actively avoiding meeting the people who are close to you!)

Why would a guy do this?

One of the most common reasons is that he knows they’ll sniff him out and discover that he’s just toying with you. 

Another reason is that he doesn’t want the bother or the drama of having to pretend to care about you.

Nor does he want to talk to those who care about you. 

He’d rather just be home watching porn or playing video games, most likely.

#5. He shies away from calling you his girlfriend

Labels do matter, and if he shies away from calling you his girlfriend it’s one of the signs that you’re nothing serious for him. 

If a guy likes a girl and wants her to be his he will make that clear. 

But when he’s just using her for sex, attention or company he won’t want to define the relationship. 

And he won’t be interested in calling you his girlfriend in public or anywhere else (such as on social media or among friends).

There is an exception to this which I’ll get into in the last point, but in general when he’s not wanting to call you his girlfriend it’s because he doesn’t like you much.  

Don’t let a guy treat you this way. 

As a woman, you should always aim to be a man’s one and only woman, never the ‘one of many’.

What am I talking about here?

Well, men place the women they meet in one of two baskets (it’s never both!).

As the relationship expert and co author of this article Renée Wade tells us, these baskets are labelled the “one and only” (where only one woman can ever be in at once), and the “one of many” basket, where literally any woman who is willing to have sex can be placed in.

Every guy knows this intuitively, even if they won’t admit it. The women in the ‘one of many’ basket could be any woman.

But the woman in the one and only basket can only be ONE woman…the right woman. 

The woman who shows up high value. Through her vulnerability , the one and only woman makes him fall deeply in love, causing him to emotionally attach and bond to her.

If you would like to always be a guy’s one and only and never be used or placed in the “one of many” basket again, check out our online course “Becoming His One And Only”.

The promise of this course is for you to have your chosen man fall in love with you & beg you to be his one & only by embodying 5 feminine secrets, even if he’s been distant, avoidant, or losing interest…

#6. He ghosts you and comes back repeatedly

Another of the tactics that a guy will use with a girl he doesn’t really have feelings for is called zombie-ing. 

That’s where he disappears inexplicably and drops off the radar…

Only to appear weeks or months later as if nothing has happened. 

He’s a zombie, back from the dead and here to love you again? 

This is very disrespectful, but you’d be surprised how common it is for guys to do this. 

No thanks! 

Here are 8 Concrete Signs He Doesn’t Want A Relationship With You.

#7. He plays with your emotions (for him)

When a man is using a woman he will not respect her, and any affection he shows will be geared toward his own self-interest.

One of the very disturbing signs he’s using you is that he plays with your emotions - for him. 

If he knows that you have strong feelings for him, he will see how much he can get away with and abuse that affection you have for him.

In fact, he will really enjoy the fact that you’re getting attached to him, which is cruel.

On that note, some of the more sinister behaviors a guy may exhibit in this context is that he will:

  • Abuse your feelings of guilt and use it as fuel to get what he wants (some guys know that women are prone to feelings of guilt and are master manipulators of this emotion)
  • Gaslight you and make you think you’re overly insecure and jealous, or that you’re the one who make a mountain out of a molehill

#8. He’s sexually selfish

One way he’ll misuse your feelings for him is by being very sexually selfish. 

The bedroom will be all about him getting off and doing what he wants to do, rather than whether or not you’re getting any satisfaction. 

He just doesn’t care. 

And if he’s in the mood and you’re not? He applies the pressure like crazy or sulks in response.

Case study: From icebreaker to engagement in just 8 months… Discover the exact steps Yana took and the specific banter lines she used in order to attract the man of her life online and inspired him to propose after a short 8 months. (And then married within another 2 months…)

#9. He expects you to do everything for him…

Another of the unfortunate signs he’s using you is that he expects you to do everything for him. 

If he needs you to help him move, pick him up from an appointment or do a chore for him, he expects that to happen ASAP. 

Don’t you care about him at all? Why are you late? 

He doesn’t want to hear about your day being stressful, you said you’d be here 15 minutes ago.

And so on…

The problem is that he asks so much of you:

#10. …But does so very little for you

When it comes time for you to ask for his help, he’s nowhere to be found. 

His problems and priorities suddenly take the front seat. 

If you insist that you need help or that you have a crisis, he may help you out but only very begrudgingly, and usually by making you feel guilty about it. 

“Sure I can come but I’ve gotta run right after, you know the boss is giving me all this extra work.” 

Your time together always being a one-way street is one of the worst signs he is using you.

#11. He’s a freeloader

On a related note, one of the signs he’s using you is that he’s a freeloader. 

He expects your time, money and assistance, but he’s never there to reciprocate. 

He may even ask you for loans, ask to borrow money or your vehicle and other things, but he’ll never end up paying it back in any way. 

He basically sees you as an open-ended source of resources for what he needs.  

But what you need just never really matters to him. 

This is very sad, and not to mention toxic!

If you as a woman put up with this type of behavior for too long, your self esteem will tank and this will make you much less attractive for the right guy in the future.

Additionally, when you feel bad about yourself due to being with a bad quality guy who doesn’t really love you, it drains you of your resources and makes you less valuable as a partner for the right guy.

#12. He doesn’t care about your problems

That leads directly to this next sign:

He doesn’t care about your problems. 

A man who is just using you might pay lip service to your issues, but he will never make any sacrifices to fix your problems or see you happy. 

He may put a hand on your shoulder and tell you it will be OK or something, but there’s no emotion behind it. 

Because this is what guys who are not genuinely in love can be like. 

They aren’t emotionally attached to you and they feel no emotional attraction for you, so they don’t care.


Look harder at his actions, not just his words and you’ll find a steady pattern of disinterest in your life.  

He’s in this for himself, not for you. 

He’s using you, I’m sorry to say.  

But it’s ok, we’ve all made the mistake of being with the wrong person. 

Let it be a lesson in valuing your own time, energy and life.

As a woman you really cannot afford to waste valuable reproductive years (and your youth) on a guy who doesn’t care.

You know why?

Because guys like this are only keeping you around for their own satisfaction, until their ‘one and only’ comes along.

It happens a lot. 

Then, when they do actually fall in love with someone, they’ll drop you like you never meant anything to them. 

Does this mean you aren’t worthy?

Not at all. 

It just means that you weren’t the right one for him, and he wasn’t the right one for you. 

So always make sure you’re a man’s one and only, not the one of many. The one of many will only ever get crumbs. At best.

Click Here to Learn More About What Makes A Man Put A Woman in the “One and Only” Basket and Take Care of Her for Life. 

#13. He vents to you frequently

Guys don’t only use women sexually. They also use them emotionally. 

If he always treats you as his personal complaints department, you have to take a deeper look at your relationship with him and the direction it’s going (hint: it may not be going anywhere great!)

If he’s had a bad day at work, you’re going to hear about it…at length. 

If he’s having a hard time financially he’s going to talk your ear off (and probably ask you for a loan too, hello point 11).  

The problem here is that he has no filter. 

He’ll talk for hours about how frustrated, sad or stressed he is, but he just doesn’t stop. 

And he expects you to listen to every word, to nod and give him sympathy and whatever else he wants.  

How splendid.

#14. He flirts with your friends

One of the signs you’re being used as a woman is when he flirts with your friends.

This sounds over the top.  

What type of guy would date or sleep with a girl and then openly hit on or proposition her friends?  

Well…this type of guy!

He will not only eye up your friends and make flirtatious comments, he may literally make a move, try to get their numbers or flirt in even more direct ways like dancing with them when you’re absent.

If you comment on it at all he may accuse you of being jealous, laugh it off or explain that he’s already told you he’s not looking for anything serious.  

He’s using you, for sure.

There’s definitely no sign of emotional commitment from him here. But that doesn’t mean you’re not deserving of emotional commitment from a good guy - that is exactly what you deserve. 

Related: How To Get Him To Commit Emotionally in 8 Simple Steps.

#15. He forgets what you tell him

These days everyone seems glued to their phones and there are definitely times that it’s easy to miss what somebody says to you. 

But one of the signs he’s using you is that he consistently forgets what you tell him. 

There’s a catch here:

The reason he forgets is that he was never listening at all in the first place.  

When a guy is truly interested in a woman he at least makes an occasional effort to listen to the words she says. 

If he’s not making that basic effort it’s because he’s not interested in you in any way apart from the various benefits you can provide him.  

Let me be clear about something: 

A lot of women who find themselves with this type of guy put his forgetfulness down to just being, well…a guy.

But that’s not the case at all.

A guy who is truly in love with you, pair-bonded to you and wants to take care of you for life, will naturally remember the things you say.

Recommended: 19 Reliable Signs He Is Slowly Falling For You.

How do I know this? Because my husband does it. But my ex didn’t. 

The difference?

My husband is in love with me, but my ex never was. 

It was a hard pill to swallow, for sure. 

But the truth is the truth and it’s much better to accept it earlier, because if you don’t, you’ll only keep lying to yourself about who this guy is…

And waste even more precious time with him.

QUIZ TIME: Anxious, avoidant or secure attachment patterns? Which one do I have? CLICK HERE to find out with our specially crafted women-specific 10 Question Quiz! (Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!)

#16. He placates you with false praise

Players and guys who use women love using words, because words are easy, (and women fall for words all the time).

If a guy actually has to back up those words with action or commitment it’s a different story. 

But if he can just tell you how beautiful and special you are and how much he cares about you as a way to calm and placate you (without committing), then why not? 

He’ll lay it on thick with all sorts of kindness and romantic words. 

He’ll send you a gif of roses and a wine glass with all the right words. Why not?

It’s easy for him, and he’s likely already done it with dozens of other women. 

My advice? 

  1. Test every single guy you date, and do it early. No, it’s not wrong or manipulative, it’s smart, especially if you do it in the right way.
  2. Don’t fall for praise too easily. Remember that talk is cheap. 
  3. And say these two specific words to see if he responds well or not. 

#17. He uses you for status or appearances 

I talked earlier about how concerning it is when a man is reluctant to define you as his girlfriend or meet your friends or family.

There is an exception to that. 

In some cases, a guy will use a woman for status, such as when men hire a hot young escort to go with them to a dinner party or event. 

In this case, he may be dating you for your looks or status: essentially treating you as an escort, but without paying. 

This is one of the sickest signs he’s using you, because it’s so condescending. 

He wants you as arm candy and wants to introduce you around but he doesn’t actually care about you in any way. 

Your job is just to make him look good.  

Are you insulted yet?

#18. He tries to ‘open’ the relationship

Open relationships are quite the hot topic these days. 

Whether or not you agree with the concept of making your relationship or marriage non-monogamous, it’s often a way that guys try to bench girls. 

Benching is where you keep numerous women on your roster and call them up for sex on a rotating basis.  

It’s basically polygamy without the financial investment, and an “open relationship” is the perfect way for a guy to do it under the guise of open-mindedness. 

Sorry to say, but this is not a good sign for you as a woman.

Final Words

If you see more than 5 of the above signs, beware, because he may just be using you.

If you see 8 or more, it’s really a good time to leave him. Like right now.  

But I get it. Sometimes it’s really hard to leave someone you’re already attached to, especially if you’re a woman. 

As a woman, getting attached is just what you do. It’s for your survival and the survival of your future children, should you find yourself pregnant by this guy. 

However, just because you’re attached doesn’t mean you’re not capable of walking away.

It’s ok to want more for yourself. If you don’t demand more for yourself, who else will?

Who else could possibly be a spokesperson for you?

But here’s the key:

You first have to get angry about it all. Don’t  pretend the anger is not there, because it would be.

I’m not saying you need to just take all your anger out on him (chances are, he wouldn’t care anyway).

 But your anger may be the only key that leads you out of a terrible and dead end situation.

Over to you now. Do you know of any signs a guy is using you? Please share them with us below!

Paul Brian
Renee Shen

Paul R. Brian

Paul Rowan Brian is a freelance journalist, author and writer from Canada. He's written for Ideapod, Hack Spirit and Love Connection and is focused on culture, relationships and self-development. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian.

Renée Shen

Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.

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