Men Share The Warning Signs That A Woman Was Just Using Them

One of the most heartbreaking things in a relationship is when you realize your infatuation with someone is not only unreciprocated but that the person you thought loved you was only using you the entire time. Often this realization happens far too late.

User Darkbrotherhood1 asked Reddit what the warnings signs are that a woman was using them. From romantic relationships to casual friendships, men shared the toxic and heartbreaking red flags that a woman they cared about was only using them as a means to an end.

The Relationship Is Unbalanced

Set of outdoor seesaws
Photo Credit: Markus Winkler / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Markus Winkler / Unsplash

One of the biggest red flags for users was the feeling of an unbalanced relationship—if you feel like you’re giving more than you’re receiving, or if you’re being forced to give more than you want to via coercion or emotional manipulation.

“This kinda reminds me of a quote I read somewhere: A good relationship is 60/40 with each person trying to be the one giving 60%.” —basszameg

Bargaining Chip

Pair of women's underwear and a donut on a pink background
Photo Credit: Dainis Graveris / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Dainis Graveris / Unsplash

A major red flag for commenters involved using sex as not an expression of love, but a weapon.

Some say that if a woman you’re in a romantic relationship with or are casually seeing uses sex as a bargaining chip and even withholds having sex until she gets her way, it’s always a bad sign. Another red flag was trading sex for various favors.

Uninterested In Your Life

Woman looks at camera bored/disinterested
Photo Credit: Leandro Lucas / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Leandro Lucas / Unsplash

Another red flag is if the woman appears uninterested in what’s happening in your life. You could share with her an amazing day that you just had with your best friend or a new promotion at your job, but if she only asks superficial questions, later forgets important details, or steers the conversation back to her, it could be a sign.

“There’s a big difference between asking how someone is doing because you actually care, or because you just want something.” —MentallyDonut

Preys On Your Vulnerability

Sad man looks away from camera on overcast day
Photo Credit: Andrew Neel / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Andrew Neel / Unsplash

Another red flag for users is when a woman preys on their vulnerability. How does that happen? Well, they explain that the woman would feign interest and first get them to emotionally open up, that way she would then know what buttons to push and what weakness to exploit.

“Givers: Be mindful of your limits because the takers don’t have any.” —corrado33

A Lack Of Empathy

A woman is served food at a restaurant
Photo Credit: Sebastian Coman Photography / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Sebastian Coman Photography / Unsplash

If you’re at a restaurant and your date says “please and thank you” to the server, it’s probably an indicator that they’re a good person. But if they’re treating them as their own personal servant, then that’s a huge red flag.

A person who is using you will do so with no qualms or empathy. “She often accused me of having no empathy, because I was very calm and level-headed, despite the fact that I work with disabled kids which requires a lot of empathy. She had no real concern for anyone unless it was to maintain [a] public image.” —DrRonSimmons

A Meal Ticket

Woman seated at table with spread of burgers and fries before her
Photo Credit: Obi Onyeador / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Obi Onyeador / Unsplash

If a woman only wants to spend time with you because you buy her food or clothes, then perhaps you need to permanently close your wallet. Some users noticed that a woman was only paying attention to them as long as the promise of free meals or other purchases kept coming their way.

This happened to Redditor yankstraveler who writes, “She never calls you by your name and you find out you’re labeled ‘free food’ in her phone.”

Uses You As A Therapist

Upset man sits on therapist's couch
Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash

Another obvious red flag for users was if she only runs to you when she’s troubled and needs to vent her emotions, using you as her own personal therapist. You’re always there to emotionally support her, but on the other side of the coin, she feels like your issues aren’t important enough to talk about.

“Guys, if she only reaches out to you when she’s hurt or vulnerable, she doesn’t want YOU, she wants sympathy and knows you’ll give it to her.” —AlphaTangoFoxtrt

Fish On A Hook

Blue and white fish hook
Photo Credit: Anne Nygård / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Anne Nygård / Unsplash

Some women will keep you around because they like the attention and might want something from you in the future, often stringing you along with the promise you might one day be a couple.

When you eventually tell her how you feel and your desire to be in a relationship, she uses lines such as “I’m just not ready yet” or “maybe,” and you fool yourself into thinking that “yet” is just around the corner, but it never is.

Energy Vampires

Single bat flies through the night
Photo Credit: Vikram Nair / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Vikram Nair / Unsplash

No, they’re not actual blood-sucking vampires, but they’re pretty close.

One user explains that “energy vampires” are selfish people who will unload all their emotions and problems onto you, but at the same time will never ever reciprocate because they think their issues are important, but yours aren’t. It’s always about them and never about you until it personally affects them, thus sucking the energy right out of you.

Hard To Get, Then Forgets

Man kisses woman on the cheek
Photo Credit: freestocks / Unsplash
Photo Credit: freestocks / Unsplash

“She doesn’t act that interested when you are interested, flirting, contacting her, but when you stop, suddenly she is very interested and contacts you a lot until you act interested again, the cycle then repeats.” —IrishB_Cubed

So basically it’s the adult version of a child wanting to play with a specific toy, but only because they saw someone else enjoying it.

Projection

Woman stares at her shadow reflected on a screen
Photo Credit: Nicole Cagnina / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nicole Cagnina / Unsplash

Another warning sign that someone might be using you is called “projection.” It’s when a person accuses you of negative behavior or wrongdoing when they themselves are the ones actually committing that behavior, such as cheating.

They can’t deal with their own issues, so instead, they project their negative emotions onto those around them.

Walking On Eggshells

Broken eggshells with a tally inside
Photo Credit: Dennis Anderson / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Dennis Anderson / Unsplash

If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells when you’re around them, such as avoiding certain behaviors or discussing certain topics because it’ll upset her, then that can be a telltale sign.

One user writes that phrases like “how could you even bring that up knowing it was going to upset me?” or “I’m mad at you for bringing that up knowing full well what I’m going through” are giveaways.

Emotional Manipulation

Man outside on street puts his head in his hands
Photo Credit: Erik Mclean / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Erik Mclean / Unsplash

Redditor corrado33 shared his experience of being used and manipulated, writing that he had people tell him, “I can’t be there for you in any way, shape, or form, but I don’t want you to leave,” all while sobbing, and in other cases, the woman accused him of being selfish. Both are designed to guilt-trip someone into behaving a certain way.

“If that’s not being used, I don’t know what is,” he adds.

Group Consensus

Group of male friends hang out outside
Photo Credit: Matheus Ferrero / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Matheus Ferrero / Unsplash

If you’ve ever noticed that your friends don’t seem to like your girlfriend and never want to hang out with her, then perhaps there’s a reason why.

Many men shared their experience with trying to get their friends to see that the woman their friend was dating wasn’t actually as sweet as she pretended to be, and in some cases, they were the ones who wouldn’t listen to reason.

“Be A Man”

Lumberjack holds his suspenders
Photo Credit: Abby Savage / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Abby Savage / Unsplash

One user recommends that if a woman ever utters the phrase “a real man would…” or “be a man,” then they should run for the hills and never look back.

They say it’s an emasculating tactic designed to manipulate you into doing something that she wants, and she’s targeting an aspect of you that you’re probably most protective of—your masculinity.

Did We Miss Anything?

Line of red flags blowing in the wind
Photo Credit: Zachary Keimig / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Zachary Keimig / Unsplash

When it comes to the signs that a woman—or a man—is using you, are there any other red flags that we missed? For the men who fell for these women and realized it too late, what was the final straw?

Let us know in the comments!