signs he's using you

His midnight text, asking if he can come over, doesn’t surprise you anymore. Even though you are irritated that he didn’t answer any of your calls this week, you tell him “Sure, come on by”. As you think about all of the times he ignores you when you give him hints that you want more of a relationship, you start getting a feeling that those might be the signs he’s using you for sex.

You have every right to do whatever you want to especially in regards to sex. I don’t cast any judgments about sexual relationships. However, I do want to make sure that you are seeing a hook up for what it is. This is because I don’t want you to experience hurt or pain in the irrational thinking that he wants a relationship with you.

There are many obvious signs he’s using you for sex, but if he is sending mixed messages it can be hard to decipher. I decided to break down a few of these signs that you need to take notice of immediately.

He is only available on his timeline

Have you tried to make plans to see him and he always has an excuse for why he isn’t available. He creates time to see you, only when he wants to and it always involves sex. This is a red flag that this isn’t a relationship it’s a hook up for sex situation. If he will not make time for you except when it is convenient for him, then these are signs he’s using you for sex.

A past client of mine, let’s call her Joy, found herself in this exact situation. She started counselling because of her anxiety around a relationship. She shared how frustrated she was that the guy she was involved with only reached out to her when it was convenient for him. She kept on inviting him to hang out, but it rarely happened. She also was upset that all he wanted to do was have sex. She continued asking him to go on dates and meet her friends. Joy began to see that she was ignoring his actions and what he was telling her. He didn’t want a relationship and he only wanted sex. Through counseling she was able to decide that she wanted a committed relationship and that she wasn’t getting her needs met in the current one. She was able to end the relationship with him and told him to not contact her again. Joy continued her self improvement, increased her confidence, and a few months later found the relationship she was looking for.

Remember, a hook up relationship is only a problem if you want more from it than just sex. If you are good with this kind of relationship and like the set up around his timeline, then own it, and don’t pretend it’s anything different.

He doesn’t introduce you to his friends or family

As a female, I’m the first to admit that we work hard to make up excuses to justify men’s behavior. When we want a behavior to keep happening, we tell ourselves whatever we have to so it continues. If the guy you are having sex with doesn’t introduce you to friends or family, then ask yourself if this is okay with you. If both of you are out for the night there shouldn’t be a reason to not meet up to hang out unless he only wants to have sex with you. This means he will text you at the end of the night to come over for sex, that is if he doesn’t have other plans. You are left to wonder why he didn’t invite you out with his friends. If this is happening, make sure that you aren’t expecting more from him. Don’t get upset when his family is in town visiting and he doesn’t invite you to meet them. If he wanted to invite you he would, but this isn’t going to happen. The reality is that he may care about you as a person, but he only wants a physical relationship wit you.

Don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that you are not good enough or that this is about you. He isn’t ready to be in a relationship and it may have zero to do with you. The good news is that he is being clear about what he wants and doesn’t want. Make sure you see and listen to his behavior. If you choose to ignore it you will face heartache.

He limits your access to him

Do you feel like he hides from you on social media or has he blocked you from seeing his post? If he only responds to you when he wants to and how he wants to then he’s just using you for sex. If a guy is limiting your access to him, he is trying to control what you see and how you can reach him. If you ask him to take a photo with you and he says no or avoids the camera, he is telling you that he doesn’t want a picture with you in it. This may not have to do with how he feels about you, but the reality is he doesn’t want a photo with you in it that you might post on social media. He doesn’t want it to look like he is in a relationship. He doesn’t want another woman to see him in a picture with you. Many guys do this so that it doesn’t hurt their chances of hooking up with other women.

A few months ago a friend of mine couldn’t understand why the guy she was sleeping with wouldn’t take a picture with her. She wanted a photo of the two of them to post on social media. She told me how great they get along with one another. She wanted a relationship with him and he told her that he wanted the relationship to stay the way it was. He said he doesn’t want a relationship at this point in his life, which meant that he wanted to keep having sex with her, and nothing more. She kept hoping he would change his mind and that they may be able to date in the future. I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her. Instead I used my calm therapist voice and asked her if he wanted to date her. She said no he didn’t and she finally heard herself. She decided that she wanted a relationship and not just a hook up, so she finally cut him loose.

Most women have faced this situation of being used for sex and wanting something more. I have first hand knowledge from my personal experiences, my friend’s experiences, and over a decade of clinical work with women. However, we aren’t victims because we signed on to this kind of relationship. Take the opportunity to learn from this experience. Be aware if he only reaches out to you on his timeline, doesn’t invite you to meet friends or family, or limits your access to him.

Realise these obvious signs he’s using you for sex, stop avoiding the reality of the situation, and decide if you want to continue in this kind of relationship or not. No one can make the decision for you. You can prevent feeling hurt by figuring out what you are looking for sooner rather than later.

Kristie is a clinical sexologist, psychotherapist, and author. She specializes in relationships, sex therapy, and gender identities. Kristie helps people improve the relationship with themselves and others. When she isn't working with clients, consulting, or writing she enjoys spending time outside. She loves surfing, running, yoga, traveling, and reading.

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