With all the stories on social media about people who have been betrayed by their partners, it’s quite possible you have wondered whether your relationship is doomed to end the same way. If so, you might be looking for signs she is pretending to love you to ensure that you, too, don’t end up heartbroken one day.
If you want to know if she truly loves you, we at Bonobology can help you find the answer. While discovering the truth can hurt, the pain you would feel if you ignore the red flags and choose the wrong partner will be a thousand times worse. Here are some signs to watch out for, and what you can do about them.
18 Signs She Is Pretending To Love You
Sometimes, it is not easy to tell if your partner actually loves you, or if she is just leading you on because it’s beneficial for her. If you are wondering whether your relationship is genuine or if you are in a fake relationship, a few questions would have arisen in your mind; these could be:
- Does she feel like a stranger to you?
- Do you find that you cannot trust her actions or intentions?
- Is your intuition telling you she is not right for you?
- Are you more invested in the relationship than she is?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, to put your mind at ease, here are 15 signs you should look out for if you feel like your girlfriend is not serious about you.
1. She minimizes your feelings
According to this study “Emotional invalidation is theoretically and empirically associated with mental and physical health problems.” In simpler terms, when someone’s feelings are not taken seriously, it has a large negative effect on their mental well-being.
This is the one of the most obvious signs that she is pretending to love you. If she has a habit of dismissing or invalidating your emotions, it is very clear that she is not serious about you. You could just be a standby lover for her and she is just using you for whiling away her time. During your relationship, if you feel like she invalidates your feelings a lot, chances are she doesn’t love you and is a sign she is just keeping you around for company/sex/money/prestige. Here are a few example of what this behavior might look like:
- Tells you you’re overthinking and it’s all in your head
- Laughs at your discomfort
- Tells you that you’re being too sensitive
- Your consent is not important to her
2. There’s a constant lack of appreciation
In a healthy relationship, both partners perform small acts of service for the other as a way to proclaim their love. However, if your partner is stringing you along, she would not appreciate those gestures; she would instead feel entitled to them. This is a sign she is just keeping you around.
3. Your relationship is grounds for emotional warfare
This is one of the most toxic aspects of a relationship. If you are looking for signs she is just keeping you around, watch out for this one.
This girl will constantly try to emotionally abuse and manipulate you into doing something you are not comfortable with. She would withhold intimacy when she wants to control you, and shower you with it once you submit to her will. Here are a few ways this can manifest:
- She cries when she does not get her way
- Tries to guilt you into performing acts you are not comfortable with
- Uses sex as a means of control
- Tries to make you angry so that she can complain and tell you that you’re abusive
Related Reading: Emotional Validation In Relationships – Meaning, Importance, And Signs
4. A sign she doesn’t love you: She’s loving in public, cold in private
Andrew, a Reddit user from Pennsylvania, said, “It’s like I am dating two different women. I do not know which version of her is real, but I do know that she doesn’t love me for me.”
When your partner is faking a relationship, she will be the most doting girlfriend you have ever had, as long as you’re surrounded by other people. Once the two of you are alone however, her behavior turns cold and she distances herself from you. She will indulge in hot and cold behavior with you. This is a sign she is just keeping you around and using you for attention.
5. She still acts like she’s single
A heart-breaking sign she is pretending to love you is when you realize that she still acts like she is single.
This could take on many forms, such as her not disclosing to her close circle that she is in a relationship, encouraging the courtship of other people, or not respecting the commitment and trust that is supposed to be put into a partnership. This is a sign she is just keeping you around. Here is what that might look like:
- She does not introduce you as her partner
- She flirts with others and lets them flirt with her
- Has not told her friends about you
- She still uses dating apps on her phone
6. The lies never end
You should know that a girl’s leading you on when you realize that she either omits details that she doesn’t want you to know, or when she outright lies and keeps secrets. This doesn’t always mean a major secret like infidelity, it could be something as minor as who she had lunch with. One of the signs she is just keeping you around is when she always seems to keep these minor secrets from you.
7. If she’s not serious about you, she would avoid being alone with you
When looking for signs she is not really interested, this one stares you right in the face. When she is not serious about you, you will find that the two of you hardly spend any quality time together as a couple. She seems to only hang out with you when her friends are around and never in a romantic setting like an intimate dinner. This is one of the signs she is using you for attention. Here are a few traits that she would exhibit:
- Always has other plans when you ask her to hang out
- Your dates always include other people
- Your sex life feels like an obligation
- You feel more like a friend than a romantic partner
8. She demands all your attention
On the other hand, if a girl is always demanding your attention and doesn’t give you the space to indulge in your own interest or hobbies, you can be sure that it is a sign she is pretending to love you. You will know she is future faking. If she demands all your attention, this this what that could look like:
- She wants you to make her feel special regardless of the circumstances you are in
- She takes it as a personal attack when you want to hang out with your friends or by yourself
- She demands that your hobbies and interests should be secondary to her
9. She doesn’t respect boundaries
According to this research, healthy relationship boundaries, setting a mutually beneficial dynamic between partners, as well as practicing self respect for standing your ground – all of these help avoid conflicts in the future.
You will know she is not serious about you when she constantly disrespects your boundaries in the relationship. She may keep ignoring you unless she needs something or doesn’t give you the space you require to be your own person. One of the signs she is just keeping you around is when you constantly find yourself compromising your needs to keep her happy.
10. It’s all about what you provide
One of the signs she is pretending to love you and uses you for money is when she only cares about what you can provide. This could be free meals, the various gifts that she receives, or even just a status boost she receives amongst her friends for dating someone with money. When you always seem to be giving and not receiving, that is a sign she is just keeping you around for her benefit.
Related Reading: 8 Ways A Physical Relationship Before Marriage Affects Your Relationship
11. Her inconvenience trumps your needs
There are some obvious signs she doesn’t love you, one of them is when her inconvenience trumps your needs. For example, you may be sick and need some medicine, but she won’t get it for you as it’s cold outside, or you may want to meet her somewhere in public for a change but she refuses because she does not want to face traffic. If this happens regularly, these are all signs she is just keeping you around and she is not serious about you.
12. If she’s not into you, she will evade conversations about the future
One of the signs a girl is messing with you is when she doesn’t discuss the future with you. She does not care about making plans where the two of you build a future together. This is a sign she is just keeping you around as she does not actually see herself being with you in the future. Look out for the following signs that she is not serious about the relationship:
- Her own future plans do not involve you
- She is not interested in talking about living together, building a life, or how to keep a relationship strong and happy
- There are no serious discussions about the state of the relationship
- Topics of exclusivity or marriage are never brought up
13. She tries to “upgrade” you
One of the more subtle signs she is pretending to love you is when she constantly tries to make minor but noticeable changes to your personality. If she tries to change any of the following, she doesn’t like you for who you are:
- Tries to change the way you dress
- Dislikes your diet
- Tells you your hobbies are childish
- Tries to control your spending habits
When she tries to control these aspects of your life, she doesn’t love you. it is one of the signs of a controlling woman. She’s in love with a figment of her imagination and is just keeping you around.
14. She’s a well-known stranger
The concept of a well-known stranger is a little difficult to grasp for some people. Basically, it’s trying to say that you can spend a lot of intimate moments with a person, but still know nothing about them. Here are a few ways to know if your partner is a well-known stranger:
- You do not know her thought and feelings about anything in general
- You realize that she has not confided in you
- You spend a lot of time together, but never talk about anything meaningful or important about your relationship
One of the glaring signs she is just keeping you around is when she refuses to define the relationship with you or others. She may not acknowledge you as her boyfriend and you may not even be sure if you are exclusive or not. This is when you know that she is trying to deceive you.
Related Reading: 9 Sincere Ways To Apologize To Someone You Hurt
15. She’s not interested in your life
The first sign she is pretending to love you is when she has absolutely no interest in your life. She doesn’t care about your friends or family, nor does she care about how you spend your day. You find that she texts you only when she is bored and doesn’t make any time for you to be together. If this happens often, she’s stringing you along until she finds someone better.
Also, she doesn’t bother to learn about the following things:
- Your love language
- Your hobbies and passions
- Your triggers/traumas/mental health conditions, if any
- If you belong to a marginalized category, she doesn’t bother to unlearn bias or learn how to be an ally
16. You have to lie many a time
If you realize that you need to lie to her, or act like someone else to make her happy, you can be sure that’s a sign she is pretending to love you. If she expects you to be someone else to please her, she is not serious about you. Some examples of this are:
- You can’t tell her how you really feel for fear of upsetting her. So, you end up walking on eggshells in your relationship
- You lie about the people you’re with as she disapproves of your friends
- You omit details about your day as you know she will judge you
- You pretend to go along with her opinions as voicing your own would get you in trouble
17. A sign she’s using you: You’re her crutch
A textbook sign she is pretending to love you is when she uses you as an emotional crutch for all her problems. This is not the same as confiding in your partner.
When she uses you as a crutch, she behaves as if she cannot independently solve any problem that she faces. The responsibility of sorting out her life always falls on you. If this is the norm in your relationship, she doesn’t love you, she is keeping you around because you’re useful. Here are a few signs that she sees you as a crutch and not a partner:
- She demands solutions to all her problems and gets upset when you can’t come up with one
- She expects you to step in and intervene wherever she needs you to
- You have to drop whatever you’re doing and give her all your attention so that she can vent
- She makes handling her emotions your responsibility
Related Reading: 15 Signs Of Attention-Seeking Women In Relationships
18. All jokes end with you
To paraphrase this study, there is a thing called disparagement humor. This is where something offensive is said with malicious intent under the guise of humor. Needless to say, this can be a form of bullying.
In every relationship, partners tease each other. That is natural. However, when you are the butt of every joke, and when she tries to embarrass you in public or in front of your friends, you can be sure that it’s a sign she is pretending to love you. When the jokes turn malicious, you should know that the girl is playing with your feelings.
What Should You Do?
So maybe you have realized that your partner exhibits some of the signs she is pretending to love you. If you are wondering what can be done, here are 5 tips for when she is leading you on.
1. Discuss intimacy issues
The first thing you should do is discuss your feelings and intimacy issues with your partner. If the problem still persists after multiple discussions, it’s a sign that she only pretends to love you. If she is not serious about you, no amount of talking would solve the problem.
2. Go for couple’s counseling
Sometimes your girlfriend may actually love you, but is unable to showcase it in a way that makes you feel loved. At this point, couple’s counseling is the best option to try to get to the root of the problem. If your girlfriend refuses the idea of counseling, or any other steps to better the relationship, the partnership is not sustainable.
3. Stop financing her lifestyle
If you are concerned that she is using you for money, the best way to test that theory is to no longer spend money on her. If she really is using you for money, she would immediately start complaining about how you no longer pay attention to her or her needs. If the relationship has progressed and you are either married or considering marriage, you should look into a prenup or leave her out of the will.
4. Stop prioritizing her over everything else
If the issue is that she is not as invested in the relationship as you are, you should stop prioritizing her feelings over yours. If she still doesn’t put the effort into the relationship and demands that you prioritize her again, that’s a sign she is just keeping you around.
5. Leave her
If you have exhausted all other options and she still shows signs she is pretending to love you, you need to realize that this girl is playing with your feelings. At this point, you need to end the relationship, heal, and find someone you can be more compatible with.
- If the relationship is not genuine, she would not advertise you as her partner
- If your feelings are not considered important, or if she lies and gives you reasons to distrust her, she is just not that into you
- She keeps trying to change you
- She uses you but offers very little in return
- Try to talk to her about this, get to the root of the issue, establish emotional boundaries, or leave her if this behavior persists
It is always difficult to come to terms with the fact that someone is playing with your feelings. A lot of these traits would be really subtle and difficult to spot. The only way to see yourself through such a situation is by really evaluating your relationship with a fine-tooth comb. While dealing with matters of the heart is never easy, these tips can help you realize if you are in a relationship that is not right for you.
15 Warning Signs Your Partner Is Losing Interest In The Relationship