The difficult thing about difficult relationships is that when our hearts are involved, we are often blinded. However, no matter how blinded we are by love, eventually, a bad partner will show their true colors.

Being used is not a good feeling. Regardless of whether you are being used for money, sex, as a placeholder, or any other purpose, no one likes being used. Even worse, is that toxic partners are oftentimes manipulative and very good at covering up what they are doing. To me, this is even worse than when someone genuinely loves you and messes up and causes you harm, because a user is pretending to love you. That might be a hard fact to face, but someone who will use your own heart and soul against you to get what they want is someone that is best left alone.

If you are here, you likely have an inkling that you are being used. Please, use the information below in conjunction with your intuition. Listen to yourself, ask your friends and family, and make a decision that best serves you and your situation. Here are 8 signs you are being used.

1. They are only nice when they want something.

Whenever they want something, they are suddenly on their best behavior. However, this only lasts during the time they are trying to get you to do what they want and once they have what they need, they are back to their bad behaviors all over again.

2. They are inconsistent.

One day they love you, the next they cannot stand you. One moment they are all in and the next they are all out. You never really know where you stand with this person, and their feelings and desires are all over the place.

3. They disregard your boundaries time and time again.

Every time you assert a boundary, they trample all over it. They have no respect for your boundaries or your ultimatums. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t feel like they respect you at all.

4. Everything is always about them.

Everything is all about them. When you are talking with them, they dominate the conversation. When it comes down to making a decision, it’s their way or the highway. If you are in a situation in which everything is always about the other person and what they want, believe me, this is not good behavior that is conducive to a relationship.

5. Your needs are never considered.

A partner who is just using you will not be considerate of you at all. To them, you are merely a pawn that they can use to get what they want. Whenever you try to voice how you feel, it’s likely you will only get talked over and disregarded.

6. Your friends and family have told you to watch out.

A major red flag to me is when you already have a bad gut feeling and then your friends and family both confirm your suspicions. While one friend or family member saying something may not be a big deal, if you have multiple friends and family members who are voicing their opinions about you being used, it might be time to listen.

7. They are not affectionate.

If someone only shows you love when they want something, and never any other time, this is a sign you are being used. Someone who is with you because they want to be (not because they feel like they should be or because they want to use you) will openly show love to you and show you affection.

8. They only want you on their terms.

If someone loves you conditionally, this too is a sign you are being used. For example, if your partner says, “I would love you a lot more if you _______,” or “if you would just do this one thing for me, I would finally love you,” this is a major sign you are being used.

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