For a lot of people, the dating world is a place where they hope to find their eventual life partner. Sure, some people are only in it for a quick fling, but some of us really do want to find our Prince Charming! Even once you've started dating someone who you really get along with, there's often a voice in the back of your head that wonders where this is going to go. Do they really see you as a long-term partner? Are they actually just in it for a bit of short-term fun? Will you end up left out in the cold and back to square one?
Luckily, very few people are able to totally hide their intentions when it comes to love. Guys can put out a whole host of signs that suggest they see you as long-term relationship material rather than a stopgap before they find something better. Likewise, there are other pretty clear indicators that this is an unhealthy relationship that you're probably better off without. They're not infallible signs, of course - human motivations can be pretty complex. However, they can at least give you some idea of whether you've found your happily ever after or not. Here are just some of the things your partner might do if he's the one, and is definitely falling in love with you, and others that show you he's using you and doesn't want to stick around.
20 In Love: He Loves You For Who You Are - Flaws And All
Everyone has flaws - it's just a fact of life. As much as we'd love to be perfect people who never make a single mistake, none of us have quite managed it yet. However, our fallibility shouldn't mean that our partners should love us any less. Sure, they might get a bit annoyed by our quirks from time to time, but they put up with them. Maybe they think your flaws make you even more adorable! If your partner loves you for exactly who you are - and doesn't try to constantly change your little harmless faults - then it's likely you guys are in for the long run. This goes both ways, mind - you can't expect him to accept your flaws but constantly nag him about his! Mutual acceptance and respect is a core building block in any successful long-term relationship. While you might get irritated by him always leaving the toilet seat up, it shouldn't impact your love for him.
19 Using You: He Shows An Obsessive Interest In Someone Outside Of Your Relationship
They say that three's a crowd, and it's definitely true in relationships - unless that's something you've agreed, of course! If you're not in an open or polyamorous relationship, however, your partner becoming interested or even obsessed with someone else is more than just a red flag - it's a whole string of them. Maybe they're making their interest clear in a twisted attempt to make you jealous. Maybe they want to actively hurt you. Or, worst of all, maybe they have genuinely fallen for someone else and are in the process of leaving you. None of these possibilities are particularly great, are they? If your partner is getting uncomfortably close to someone outside of your relationship, a quick and frank discussion is needed. If they fail to see that their behavior is a problem, it's time to end things. You deserve someone whose eyes aren't going to wander when things get tough - or at all!
18 In Love: He Makes An Effort To Cheer You Up When You've Had A Bad Day
A true life partner is someone who sticks with you thick and thin. Even if the bad parts are just you having an awful day at work or getting super annoyed at a girlfriend, your partner's job is to comfort and reassure you when it's needed. If your boyfriend makes a conscious effort to cheer you up when you're low, he's probably a keeper. Likewise, if you're willing to do the same for him it just proves that you have a strong and mutually supportive relationship! While each half of a couple may not always be able to solve the other's problems, they should at least be there to put a smile on the other's face when the bad times roll around. The love of your life will know you well enough to realize exactly what to do or say to cheer you up.
17 Using You: He Makes Major Decisions Without Consulting You
When you're in a genuinely committed and happy relationship with someone, they should never spring massive life changes on you without consulting you first. If this is something your partner has done, it suggests that he only sees you as a temporary fling in the grand scheme of his life. He could be preparing to quite literally leave you behind by moving to a new city. He could have decided that his 'priorities' are changing and that you're no longer one of them. Whatever the specific situation, someone who truly wants you in their life long-term will keep you in the loop. To not do so is basically leading you on until they decide to either commit or toss you aside. Honesty is a key component of any relationship, including transparency about where you want things between you to go.
16 In Love: He Listens To Your Point Of View - Even If He Doesn't Agree With It
It's unrealistic to expect even the happiest of couples to agree on absolutely everything. While you should probably have similar opinions on the big issues in your relationship - such as marriage, kids, finances, and other life-changing choices - you're never going to be on the same page 100% of the time. Still, if your partner is willing to listen when you're putting forward a point of view that he doesn't agree with, it shows that he truly loves and respects you. He cares about your feelings too much to dismiss you outright: he wants to consider your perspective, even if he's not convinced by it. While the stubborn people out there might find this idea especially difficult to deal with, it's a crucial aspect of any healthy relationship. While you may make a great team, you're still individuals who are entitled to express your differing opinions.
15 Using You: He Constantly Criticises Every Little Thing You Do
There's nothing worse than someone who constantly calls you out for every little thing you do. Of course, if you've genuinely done something terrible, they're well within their rights to take you aside to discuss it. However, if they're using criticisms simply to hurt you, that's a massive red flag. Someone who loves you would never set out to cause you emotional pain or make you feel awful about yourself. If your partner is sending more negativity than positivity your way, that's a sign that they might not be as caring as you once thought. Everyone deserves a partner who builds them up and raises their confidence. If all they do is wear down your self-esteem, they probably don't have your best interests at heart. It's a sad truth, but many people simply use criticism of others to feel better about themselves. This is even the case in romantic relationships.
14 In Love: He's Willing To Talk Through Any Issues That Crop Up
Even the happiest of relationships face bumps in the road from time to time. While a lucky few might avoid fights for their entire lives together, they're the exception rather than the rule! Disagreements can often be a good thing: they let you air your grievances and can make you realize how much you want to save the relationship. However, if you've got any hope of making things work long-term your partner has to be willing to discuss any problems that crop up. If you skirt around them, tension will only build over time. If your boyfriend is willing to talk when things go wrong, it shows that he cares about you enough to want to fix whatever's wrong. Despite what some people think, arguments can actually make relationships stronger if both parties know how to deal with them healthily.
13 Using You: He Makes It Clear That He Resents You And Your Relationship
Resentment is the death knell for any relationship, no matter how strong it once was. It's a feeling that's very difficult to overcome, and one that only grows the longer it's left unaddressed. These kinds of situation often emerge because one partner hasn't been honest with the other. Maybe he said he was ready to move in together when he wasn't. Maybe he felt pressured into making a commitment too soon or has become unhappy in the relationship without telling you. If resentment is beginning to bubble below the surface of your partnership, it needs to be addressed quickly if you have any chance of repairing things. In many cases, it's already too late. If it's got to the point where your partner isn't even trying to hide his resentment anymore, your relationship is most likely doomed.
12 In Love: He Cares About Your Needs
It takes two to tango - which is exactly why your partner should be making an effort to satisfy your needs. Especially when you're in a long-term relationship, intimate time can become more of a chore than a time to connect emotionally and physically. This is especially true if one partner has decided to give up on pleasing the other. Physical intimacy should be mutually enjoyable and not just an opportunity for one person to get what they want. If your partner is still making an effort to keep you happy - and you're doing the same for him - you're on the right track. Of course, the amount of physical time together tends to decline after the initial honeymoon stage. That's totally normal! By the time you're in it for the long haul, it's quality and not quantity that counts.
11 Using You: He Lies All The Time - Even About Little Things
Telling a little lie every now and again doesn't always seem like the worst thing in the world. However, it's a seriously slippery slope. If your partner is starting to tell untruths even about little things, it could be a sign that he's actually got something bigger to hide. If he's willing to lie to you about exactly which friends he met up with the other night, what else is he keeping from you? Even if he genuinely is being truthful about everything else, the paranoia that catching out a lie causes can be pretty destructive for even previously strong relationships. Trust is an important cornerstone for any love that's going to last long-term. If it slowly begins to be chipped away, the whole relationship can ultimately crumble. Do you really want to be with someone who's feeding you lies, no matter how small?
10 In Love: He Respects And Encourages Your Life Goals
Even when you're in a long-term relationship, it's important to have individual goals outside your life as a couple. These might be career goals, achievements in a hobby you enjoy, or simply targets for personal growth. It's natural that you'd discuss such aims with your partner, even if they don't directly relate to him. In a healthy relationship, the response you should get is one of support and encouragement. Even if your goals are going to be difficult to meet, your partner should be there to cheer you on and raise you up where possible. If your long-term love is already doing this, congratulations - he's clearly committed to seeing you happy and fulfilled outside of the relationship! That's the kind of support you need from someone you're planning to share the rest of your life with.
9 Using You: He Badmouths You Both Behind Your Back And In Front Of You
Being overly critical to your partner to their face is, as we've already established, a pretty cruel thing to do. However, badmouthing them in front of other people can be equally destructive - especially if you share a lot of mutual friends. If your partner is criticising you and trying to turn other people against you, it's a major red flag. They want to isolate you from the people who care about you and ultimately control you. They're spreading negativity about you without even giving you the chance to defend yourself. Would someone do that if they really loved you? Surely they'd be singing your praises if they really cared, or at least keeping their grievances mostly to themselves? That's not to say that your partner can't ever discuss any worries he has about your relationship with people he trusts. However, if he's doing it in a way that's only intended to damage your reputation, it's probably time to cut him loose.
8 In Love: He Always Includes You In His Plans For The Future
A clear sign that your partner wants you by their side long-term is them including you in their future plans. This doesn't just mean them making time to see you next week, or booking your birthday off work weeks in advance. It's all about making any major decisions with you in mind, or even directly consulting you about them. Sure, if you've only been dating for a few weeks you really have no say in whether your new beau takes that job a few hundred miles away. However, if you've been together for months or years and you find yourself in the same situation, your partner should carefully consider your input. There comes a time where every couple has to start making major decisions as a team and not just based on individual wants and whims.
7 Using You: He's Selfish When It Comes To Your Intimate Relationship
Unfortunately, it's time to leave all of those warm and fuzzy feelings you get from being in a long-lasting relationship behind. There are a whole host of actions that suggest your partner isn't the one for you, a major one being selfishness in the bedroom. If your intimate time is all about you giving and him taking, it might be time to reevaluate how much he actually cares about you. If he sees you simply as a means to an end when it comes to his physical needs, it could indicate that he sees you as a way to pass the time rather than a potential life partner. Not only is this a pretty narcissistic way to treat someone you're supposed to be close to, it's also a massive red flag that your 'relationship' is more of a 'friends with benefits' situation in his mind.
6 In Love: He Trusts You - And Gives You No Reason To Distrust Him
If you need one thing in order to make your long-term relationship work, it's trust. Of course, you should always be able to trust your partner not to cheat, and vice-versa: that's a given. However, there are so many other areas of the relationship where trust is totally crucial. Your partner should trust you to support them when things go wrong. They should feel comfortable telling you pretty much anything and should trust you to give them shrewd and wise advice in times of need. While you don't want to stray into the dangerous realm of co-dependency, you should at least have the knowledge that the other person will be there to look after you if you need it. There should be no doubt in your mind that your partner will always have your best interests at heart.
5 Using You: He Tries To Publically Humiliate You By Making A Scene
One step up from talking about you behind your back is actively trying to publically humiliate you. Maybe he likes to pick very loud and very aggressive fights while you're out in public. In other cases, he might like to talk about wildly inappropriate things out in the open just to make you feel uncomfortable. If this even slightly resembles your relationship, it's a pretty concerning sign. Public humiliation is often used as a form of 'punishment' for a perceived slight that your partner has come up with. Whatever their motivation, it's a totally unacceptable way to deal with conflict. It's also a pretty damaging thing to do to someone who you claim to love. Why would you want to humiliate someone if you truly care about them? Is that the kind of person that you want to be with long-term? If not, run - and fast.
4 In Love: He Only Builds You Up And Never Puts You Down
Now, we're not trying to claim here that your partner should never be able to criticize you. Obviously, if you've done something wrong then pointing it out is the best thing for both of you. However, this should be the exception rather than the rule. Generally, a loving partner will do their best to build you up and raise your mood so that you can carry on being your best self. It might be little compliments about the way your look or praising you for how well your career is going. It might be as simple as just telling you that you're doing great and should be proud of yourself. Whatever the exact phrasing, if your partner goes out of his way to encourage you and improve your self-esteem, he's a keeper.
3 Using You: He Refuses To Officially Commit, But Won't Let You Go
There's something very insidious about a partner who refuses to give actual commitments to your relationship but gives you enough hope to keep you strung along. It's a classic manipulation technique and a cycle that's very often hard to break. You can be left feeling like your partner is on the verge of committing to you, even if they're not quite there yet. You never want to take the plunge and leave them because there's a chance they could give you what you want. Unfortunately, many people are ultimately doing this so they can keep their partner hooked until they find someone 'better'. If your partner is keeping you at arm's length but still clutching onto you pretty hard, it could be a sign that they're using you rather than preparing to finally make that commitment. Cut yourself loose and find someone that actually wants to be with you long-term.
2 In Love: He Takes Notice Of The Little Things That Keep You Happy
Sometimes, it's the little things in life that mean the most. It could be your partner bringing you a morning coffee that's been made exactly how you like it. Maybe you've snuggled up together to watch your favorite film after a rubbish day. Whatever it is that brings that little boost to your day, if your partner takes note of it and makes it happen, they clearly care pretty deeply about you. Making an effort to enact these small kindnesses shows a level of appreciation that you just wouldn't get in a short-term fling. There's a reason why old married couples know each other's likes and dislikes inside out! It might have taken a while, but they picked up on all of the little things about their partner that makes them who they are. More to the point, they've used that knowledge to keep each other happy for a pretty long time! This kind of understanding comes with time, but it's totally worth paying attention to.
1 Using You: He Emotionally Manipulates You Into Getting What He Wants
Emotional manipulation in a relationship is basically a form of maltreatment. It's totally unacceptable under any circumstances, and if it's happening to you, you shouldn't just let it slide. Recognising it and escaping it is easier said than done, admittedly. However, if your partner constantly tries to guilt you into doing what they say, that's a major sign you're being played. Likewise, if your partner's emotions always seem to take precedence over yours, it's time to take a step back. Emotional manipulation can often turn into gaslighting, in which your partner tries to convince you that the control and mistreatment are all in your head. It can be seriously emotionally damaging, and nobody should have to go through it. If your partner is putting you through this, they don't see a constructive future with you. They're using you, and it's better to leave them behind.