How many times have you looked at other relationships and said to yourself, “That guy or girl is being used and doesn’t even see it!” I’ve had that thought a time or two, but I’ve also been on the flip side of this scenario. My friends could see that I was being used, but I was too caught up in the relationship to realize it until after the damage had been done.
Thankfully, by the grace of God I was able to leave those relationships and I now have a tremendous husband. For those guys in my past that I used in any way, I am sorrier than I can ever express.
So what are a few signs that your boyfriend or girlfriend might be using you?
1. He or she treats you poorly in front of others, or acts ashamed of you in public, but then treats you like royalty later in order to get something from you. If your “sweetheart” makes fun of you in front of other people in order to appear funny or be the life of the party, you can be assured that he or she does not care about you with that everlasting, unconditional love we all desire. If you are being mistreated and humiliated in front of others, and then buttered up later, or told that he or she didn’t really mean to hurt you, don’t wait around. Get out of the relationship. You are worth more than that!
2. He or she wants you around on his or her terms, but wants you to go away whenever your presence is inconvenient to him or her. In every relationship, there are times when we need to be alone. It’s not healthy to spend all of your free time with your significant other; but, if your boyfriend or girlfriend expects you to be available when he or she wants you, but then harshly dismisses you whenever he or she has something better to do, don’t put up with it. It is incredibly hurtful to put your heart into a relationship only to have it stomped on and pushed away at every turn. During some seasons (e.g., death of a loved one, loss of a job, health problems), your honey may need a little more time alone than normal, but if he or she has a pattern of expecting you to be available for his or her needs and then casts you aside when he or she is done with you, let him or her go. It will hurt to break off the relationship, but it will hurt more to stay in it. Not only that, but leaving the relationship will help you regain the self respect your boyfriend or girlfriend weakened in you.
3. He or she pressures you physically. If you have set up physical boundaries in your relationship (e.g., abstaining from intercourse, keeping clothes on at all times, staying out of secluded places, etc.) and he or she is constantly trying to get you to compromise your standards, you are being used. We all have physical urges and it is difficult to remain pure. If your boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to get you to go farther physically than you are comfortable, ask yourself if it is a pattern or if your sweetheart had a moment of weakness for which he or she has repented. We shouldn’t write off relationships because our loved one isn’t perfect, but if he or she continues to push the envelope on the subject of purity, you are being used. Someone who loves you will be willing to wait for you. Additionally, if you have strong Christian values regarding purity, and your boyfriend or girlfriend does not, you will want to notice whether he or she is living for the Lord, or just putting on a show for you. If he or she is only putting on a show for you, I can assure you the show will end after you are married.
4. He or she lacks empathy to your needs, but expects you to be available to fulfill his or her needs. Double standards are no fun. No fun at all. When you are involved with someone who only thinks of him or herself, you can expect a long life of giving, and little receiving. Love is something we give without the expectation of return, but when you see that your significant other is in the relationship only for what he or she can gain, you can be certain that this person is not the one for you. Someone who loves you will give time, energy, and kindness to you. He or she won’t be perfect, but he or she will show a general positive regard for you.
Ponder these points above and ask yourself if you are experiencing them in your relationship – or, if you are using your boyfriend or girlfriend. We will complete the remaining three signs in the next post on Friday – stay tuned!
After reading the points above, are you concerned that you are being used or that you are using your boyfriend or girlfriend?