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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.