I’m not one to judge people’s character, but recent experiences have gotten me to change my tune. Friendships are deeply important to me—so are the guys I’m dating. So when you get the feeling that one is using the other, it can be incredibly sad.
It’s especially upsetting when you hardly know the guy. He comes into your life and it becomes transparent that he’s using you for something, though you can’t quite put your finger on what. The whole thing seems a bit disingenuous until it finally becomes clear by these particular red flags:
#1) He invites himself everywhere you go with your friends, but when it’s just you alone he seems to “have plans” with other people. Strange, right? Miraculously things change when you say that so-and-so is coming. The whole time he was with you, you neither saw him text his imaginary friend or see to it that their “plan” was thwarted.
#2) He squeezes in the middle of you and your besties in photos and/or when you sit at a restaurant—and basically makes no apologies for it. It’s a bit weird and you wonder in the back of your mind if your friends notice but you’re scared to bring it up in case you might sound paranoid or worse, “jealous.”
#3) Your true friend notices it and tells you without fear. He/She will say “Umm he’s totally not right for you,” and you know they’re right because you shouldn’t ever feel like you’re being used. You’ll also have a great time talking about all the crap that happened that night.
#4) He never asks but rather states he’s coming or staying. He won’t ask if he can stay the night when your best friend is over—he’ll say, “I think I’m going to stay over if it’s okay with you.” He won’t ask if there’s any room to come out tonight, but he’ll say “I think I am going to come out…” (as if you’d begged for him to come out earlier or something).
#5) You remember him mentioning a while back that “networking” is what he does. Then you realize that’s the only reason why he invites himself to places. You know it’s true because he doesn’t seem to have fun or try and make an authentic connection with anyone. But he does take pictures and tags everyone on FB in spite of not knowing their name.
#6) Drama seems to follow him everywhere and he doesn’t know why. He’s vented to you that people get “jealous” of him and that everyone wants to “have sex” with him and it makes his life dramatic. At first you stroke his ego a little bit by saying, “It’s because you’re valuable. You’re a good human being” but then you realize, holy crap, this guy is incredibly self-absorbed and expects everyone to worship him. Why is he here?
#7) He doesn’t support you in front of your friends. It can be anything. You order pickles on a burger, “Ew. Gross! Pickles are disgusting.” You get an extra shot of espresso, “Holy crap. I don’t think you can handle that.” You have an idea to go to a particular bar, “That bar’s stupid.” Keep in mind this is the first time he’s meeting your friends—wouldn’t a guy who’s really into you try and impress the friends in your life?
#8) He doesn’t pay for anything and never speaks up about it, but rather relies on you or your friends to fork the bill. You don’t realize it until you look at your bank account the next day and remember it was YOU who whipped out the card all night long—not him.