In Part 1, we discussed four signs that your boyfriend or girlfriend might be using you. Today we will cover the final three. If you are concerned that you are in a relationship where you are being used and mistreated, seriously consider walking away. Remember, you are worth more than being used.
5. He or she is constantly asking you for rides, money, or help with projects, but does not reciprocate when you need him or her. Let me speak to the ladies for a moment. If you are dating a guy that is constantly borrowing money from you and all the while he is not trying to find work, lose him! It is a sorry man who will use a woman for her money. I’m not saying that you can’t give to him on occasion (of your own free will), but if he is living off of you, RUN! If you get married, you’ll be working for the rest of your life as he will probably be in and out of work constantly. Gentlemen, if she is always whining and asking for the next piece of jewelry, clothes, or technology, you will probably be working a lot in your lifetime too. A woman who spends money foolishly is not a blessing to a man! If you are being expected to give handouts, rides, and labor at every turn, consider his or her motives. Are you a convenient person who is willing to make his or her life easier or are you a partner of sorts (e.g., are they always taking from you – or are you both giving and taking as necessary?). You may be a nice person who wants to be helpful, but if you are getting the feeling that your significant other is simply using you to make his or her life easier, seriously consider terminating your relationship.
6. He or she spends time with you in order to be around other people. Do you ever get the feeling that your boyfriend or girlfriend is using you to get close to other people? Maybe there is a crowd you are a part of that your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to join. Does your boyfriend or girlfriend seem interested in your friends? Is he or she using you to spend time with someone else? It’s not fun to consider that as an option, but don’t sit silently and ignore the signs if your boyfriend or girlfriend is using you gain social status or to hit on your friends. At the risk of sounding redundant, you’re worth more than that!
7. He or she plays mind games and/or flirts with others. It is an insecure person indeed who feels the need to play mind games. Playing mind games is a way of psychologically manipulating someone. In a past relationship, my boyfriend would come to me occasionally pretending to be torn inside because he was afraid he might have feelings for someone else. I wish I could tell you that I said, “That’s nice. You go your way and I’ll go mine.” But that’s not what I did. I did just as he wanted me to. I assured him of how much I cared about him. I cried. I screamed. I stripped myself of seventy percent of my self-respect trying to persuade him not to leave me. Thankfully, I can say this happened when I was quite young (I was far from old enough to get married), but the experience still left me questioning my worth, my strength, and my desirability. If I could go back in time and talk to myself, I would’ve said, “This guy isn’t worth your time and he’s certainly not worth your heart. Get out now and know that someday God will send you someone who will love you the way you were meant to be loved.”
Also, if your sweetheart is flirting with other people, don’t tolerate it. You should not waste your time on someone who doesn’t care about your heart. There are far too many others in the world that will treat you well. Even if that were not the case, it is better to be alone than to be with someone who continuously bruises your heart. Are you ready for it? YOU’RE WORTH MORE THAN THAT!
I’m sure this list (and the previous four) just scratches the surface. Can you think of other signs that someone is being used? Do you have a friend who is being used? It won’t be easy, but if you are concerned for your friend let him or her know. You don’t have to be harsh. In fact, you won’t get anywhere unless it’s obvious that you care. Even then, your friend may resist your interference. I’ve had friends and occasionally family warn me that I was being used. It was hard to swallow, but it meant a lot to me to know they cared about me and my well-being.
Do some soul searching. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is showing signs that he or she is using you, don’t allow yourself to continue being mistreated. If you aren’t sure, ask your good friends for advice. Others can often see our situation more objectively than we can.
If you find that you have been using someone, I would encourage you to apologize and make amends. If you are not serious about the one you’re dating, let the relationship go as gently as possible, but with a clean break. It’s not fair to continue stringing him or her along.
Have you been in a relationship where you were used? How did that experience affect your life in the days, months, and years following?