Relationships are great when they are mutual. But what if you are not sure about your partner's feelings? We've collected 9 expert opinions on how to tell if your boyfriend is just pretending.
EMDR certified therapist at hopehealstherapy.com
1. No reciprocity in the relationship.
All the expectations and pressure to show up in the relationship is on you. When your partner does not put in any effort to show up for you in the way that they know you would need them to.
For example - If you are feeling sick and you need them to do a chore that was otherwise your responsibility and they refuse to do it and criticize you for needing help.
2. Your partner does not know you well enough.
After being in a relationship for a few years, if your partner still does not know your likes, dislikes, expectations, what gets you excited. You find yourself giving more in the relationship. The relationship revolves around him and his needs.
3. Your partner does whatever he wants
Sometimes, people agree with whatever you say, but then they do whatever they want. If your partner is not being honest with you about their own wants and needs. They agree with you to avoid conflict. They don't follow through with the agreement and do whatever they want to.
4. Your partner prioritizes his image in society over your needs.
When your partner needs external validation and his image is more important than what you are experiencing.
For example, if you were disrespected by a family member and your partner makes you go to their thanksgiving even if you don't want to because if you don't, then it will make him look bad.
5. Your partner is not encouraging.
In a relationship, both individuals involved show confidence and trust in each other's abilities. They motivate each other. If your partner doubts your ability and makes you feel like you are not good enough.
Licensed Psychotherapist at christinasteinorthpowell.com and Author of Cue Cards for Men: A Man's Guide to Love and Life
1. He looks away when you kiss or hug.
Body language will tell you everything about a relationship. Whenever I see a couple kiss or hug and one of them is looking the other way during the act, I know for certain the relationship is on its way out. Body language never lies.
2. He tells you he loves you, but when you need him, you can’t reach him.
Again, actions speak louder than words. Someone who loves you will be there when you need them, and if they aren’t immediately available, they’ll call you back.
If excuses like “I was charging my phone,” “I didn’t hear it ring,” etc., happen on a regular basis, I assure you—he doesn’t love you.
3. He still talks to his ex even though he knows it bothers you.
If your man truly loves you and he knows you don’t feel comfortable with him communicating with his ex, he’ll stop communicating with her.
If your feelings aren’t a priority to your man or if he diminishes them in any way, he’s not in love with you.
Neuropsychologist and Founder of thenarcissisticlife.com
1. He doesn't want to introduce you to friends or family
This is a serious red flag. If someone is committed to the relationship, they are eager to introduce you to their loved ones. They want to know their opinion about you. The opposite is also true. If he keeps dodging this topic, he probably isn't as into you as he's suggesting.
2. He only talks about his future
If he only mentions things he wants to see, experience, or accomplish, that's a red flag. When people are in love, their future is full of "we" possibilities. They're excited about what you two will do together! But if he doesn't bring up a mutual future, he probably doesn't see one.
3. He openly flirts with other women
This means he doesn't respect you and doesn't really care about the relationship. He may be trying to make you jealous or have you break up/divorce him, so he doesn't have to do the messy work himself.
4. He doesn't show any interest in your life or goals
If he loves you, he deeply cares about what's happening in your world. If he doesn't, he just won't be very interested or engaged. So notice if he seems forgetful about things you tell him or becomes distracted when you talk. It means he probably isn't paying you much attention.
5. He keeps trying to change you
Love entails accepting the other person for who they are. It's reasonable to ask for small requests from your partner. But if he constantly makes it seem like you're this terribly flawed person who needs to change, that's a serious red flag.
CEO & Co-Founder of So Syncd
One key indicator that your partner doesn't love you is if he only says what he wants you to hear rather than showing real empathy. It can be hard to determine if someone is sincere, but your gut instinct is usually right.
When you share serious news with your partner, wait to see if he properly digests it and is authentic in his response. If he is pretending to love you, he will most likely say what he thinks he wants you to hear rather than taking the time to deeply understand your situation in order to help.
Certified life coach and CBT practitioner at maxjancar.com
1. He says you're a priority but acts in a way that clearly shows you're not
For example, your partner may say that he loves you, adores you, misses you, or that you're beautiful and mean oh-so-much to him. Yet, if he doesn't show you these things through his actions, then you know where you stand — you know what his values are and how he prioritizes them.
As a rule of thumb: whenever you're unsure whether your boyfriend or husband loves you, look at his actions. But not only for a split second: observe them for a good amount of time — perhaps a few days or weeks.
Then determine what those actions sub-communicate and how they match up with whatever he is saying. The newfound knowledge should illuminate his true values and give you the insight and clarity you're searching for.
2. He is considering backups, has backups, or has cheated
If your boyfriend or husband is seeing any other woman with the intention of getting involved with her romantically and/or sexually, be it now or in the future, that behavior clearly shows that he doesn't love you.
He may love the attention, affection, or validation that you give him, but not you as a person — at least not enough, in my opinion. For if he loved you enough — not forgetting about trusting and respecting you, of course — he wouldn't be engaging in any shady relational business.
3. Your friends and family keep telling you he doesn't love you
Sure, sometimes your friends and family are dicks and won't like the man you are dating no matter what, even if he's an angel. Still, even under those circumstances, there will be people who will tell you how good he actually is.
However, if literally, everyone is warning you about him, implying he is a bad influence or a bad person, blatantly telling you to your face, then you should investigate their advice further.
Here's my theory: If everyone is telling you something is off with your man, and you're the only one thinking otherwise, chances are, you're the one who is wrong.
1. You Don't Trust Him
If your "love language" is receiving gifts and your man gives you gifts, but you are suspicious instead of feeling loved and happy, that's a trust issue.
Unless you have a history of being insecure and paranoid, there is no reason why you shouldn't trust your gut instincts.
Sometimes gifts and amazing surprises are given as a way to distract a person from contemplating their mate's potential deceitfulness or cheating.
Ultimately what we are talking about is not his actions but rather how you feel about them and his possible motivations behind them.
If something doesn't feel right to you, it's probably not right for you.
2. Unwilling to Make Compromises
Having a partner who always has to have things his way is a sign he's not in love.
No one expects their mate to be attached to their hip, but it's reasonable for couples to make sacrifices for one another from time to time.
Seeing a particular movie or attending an event/gathering may hold little interest for one person but may mean the world to the other.
Always telling you to go with a friend or family member as opposed to him occasionally being your "plus one" is not an expression of love.
If you notice you are always the one "going along to get along," or you're always the one initiating makeup conversations after disagreements, that's a "red flag.”
He has no worries about possibly losing you if he never apologizes or never makes compromises because he really doesn't care if you do walk away.
When someone is emotionally invested in a relationship, their partner's happiness is important to them.
A matchmaker and a relationship expert at sameerasullivan.com
My experience and background in psychology have given me good hindsight to recognize when the male partner in a relationship, be it boyfriend or husband, isn't really in love with their partner. Here are three signs that indicate a dishonest relationship:
1. Keep it Hush
One of the biggest red flags that your boyfriend doesn't love you is if he insists on keeping the relationship private. This includes things like not telling your common friends about your scene, refusing to post pictures with you on their socials, and refusing affection in public spaces.
If all the love they show is behind closed doors, you're probably just entertainment for them!
2. Hot and Cold
One tricky pattern of a shaky relationship is when your boyfriend is only affectionate with you in public. You guys hold hands, cuddle, and share affectionate moments in front of friends, but does he go cold when you're alone? If that's the case, your boyfriend is probably struggling to love you, so better watch out where this relationship is headed.
3. Poor Communication
Healthy relations constitute honest communication both ways. If you've noticed that your boyfriend doesn't share much about his life with you or doesn't listen to you about your day, you should probably re-evaluate whether he's with you only for physical intimacy. You might also have noticed that they hate confrontation and avoid it at all costs. This behavior roots from the guilt of dishonesty and will never result in a long-term commitment.
A Relationship & Communication Expert at chloesconsciousnesstraining.squarespace.com
What a man does, he is - not what he says. Here are some signs that your boyfriend may not be sincere in his affections:
- He fails to make and keep commitments. But he's got lots of excuses.
- When he does show up, he's late.
- When you disagree with him, he fights dirty, hitting below the belt to hurt you rather than express an idea.
- He disappears for periods of time, and his explanations don't add up.
A certified life transformation and relationship coach at completecase.com
1. You are unsure about your place in his life
You don't know what the status of your relationship is, and you don't know what you mean in his life. You feel that you are strangers to each other and have fewer contact points.
2. Physical intimacy for him is more important than your inner state
He is gentle and caring only when he wants physical intimacy. At other times, he is mostly aloof and cold. This indicates that he is just manipulating you.
3. You don't feel like you can rely on him in times of need
He often ignores your requests for help, and you understand that in difficult times you can hardly rely on him. This suggests that he is not seriously interested in you and is not ready to take responsibility.