Is my partner taking advantage of me?
Relationship Self Help

Is my partner taking advantage of me?


In a relationship, it can be difficult at times to identify when someone is using you. There are several ways to be taken advantage of—financially, sexually, or emotionally [to mention a few]-but there is also a lot of deception and manipulation involved.

“On the less destructive basis but somewhere still on the problematic and toxic end of the spectrum, a partner might be using you to avoid loneliness. They may begin a relationship with you to fill a void in their life, obtain sexual pleasure, or relieve a financial load, unaware that they are being poisonous and unjust. They refer to these kinds of relationships as “convenience shops” since they might be using you to satisfy a need without intending to spend more time, energy, and effort or reciprocate equally. If the scales are constantly tipping in your partner’s favour, then there are high chances that you may be dealing with a toxic person.

Read More: 9 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

What are the Signs of You Being Used in a Relationship?

Sometimes the signals of someone exploiting you are obvious, but in other circumstances, the conduct is far more subtle. While everyone’s situation is unique, researchers suggest the following symptoms that someone could be taking advantage of you:

  • The individual requests for money, favours, or other stuff. For example, they might beg you to lend them money or pay their expenses.
  • The individual only expresses affection or intimacy with you when it is convenient for them. For example, they may be affectionate with you until they get their way.
  • The individual expects you to take care of their requirements. For example, if you go out to eat with them, they may not offer to pay and instead expect you to cover the bill.
  • The person does not attempt to be there when you need them. For example, even if they often borrow your automobile, they may not agree to offer you a ride to the airport
  • The individual seems uninterested in you once their wants have been addressed. For example, they may utilize you to suit their wants but prefer not to spend time with you otherwise.
  • The individual imposes on you without regard for your availability or preferences. For example, someone may move in with you abruptly or request to borrow your automobile at short notice.

Read More: Addressing the Motives & Factors Behind Cheating in Relationships

Signs that someone is using you might vary depending on the nature of the connection. A buddy who is using you may like to do activities together when it is convenient and beneficial for them. They may expect you to listen to them yet not want to hear what you have to offer. In a relationship, being exploited may include being selfish and indifferent about your needs. It might also mean that someone is solely interested in a sexual relationship and refuses to make any other form of emotional commitment.

The Impact of Exploitation on Mental Health

Being taken advantage of can cause serious mental health issues, especially if you have been exploited or hurt in a previous relationship. It can lead to symptoms related to anxiety, despair, and trauma, making you feel bad about yourself and having a detrimental impact on your relationships. Over time, this exploitation may erode your ability to trust others, making it tougher to build new connections in the future

How to deal with a friend who is solely exploiting you?

It’s difficult to accept that you assumed people to be your friend but they always had another objective. It will sting when you recognize the symptoms that a friend of yours is taking advantage of you. You may even pretend that it isn’t occurring. However, you have to be honest with yourself. You must eliminate this individual from your life and turn to your true pals for assistance. Who wants to acknowledge that they have been used? No one. But once you know, take action! Don’t allow them to keep walking all over you. Here are some of the ways to help yourself set boundaries:

1. Determine what they are using you for

Determine why they’re utilizing you. Is it for money? Accommodation? Status? Before confronting them or making a major choice, determine what they are taking from you. That way, you can validate your instincts and move on.

2. Reduce the amount of secrets you share with them

If you disclose personal information with them, now is the moment to restrict it. They have already utilized this knowledge to manipulate and take advantage of you. You can communicate with them, but be cautious about what you tell them.

3. Learn how to say “No”

You should start saying “no” as soon as possible. If they ask for money, answer, “No.” When they ask you to buy them supper, reply “No.” It’s time to set those limits so they understand you’re not someone they can utilize anymore.

4. Detach from them

You’ll need to create some space between you and the betrayer. Since you’ve discovered they’ve been using you, separate yourself from them. This does not mean you should ghost them, but you need some distance from them as you determine what to do next.

5. Understand that they were not truly a friend

Finally, you must accept that this individual was not your actual buddy. Hopefully, you may use this scenario as an example for the new individuals you meet, so you know what to look out for to avoid getting injured.

Read more: Trait Theory in Relationships

Strategies for Avoiding Being Used

Researchers suggest a few things you might take to avoid being used:

  1. Work on your self-esteem: Developing self-compassion and acknowledging your worth can also help reduce the likelihood of being taken advantage of in relationships.
  2. Seek advice: Seeking advice from a mental health professional, mentor, or someone you look up to can also be beneficial as you work toward building appropriate boundaries.
  3. Set limits: Learning to recognize violations of interpersonal boundaries and establish healthy boundaries is an excellent strategy to begin preserving your mental health and ensuring that you are not being exploited.

Read More: Importance of Healthy Boundaries in a Relationship

Recognizing whether someone is exploiting you may be a difficult and often unpleasant process. Understanding the indications of manipulation and learning how to deal with it can be critical for sustaining good relationships and personal well-being. You may regain control of your relationships and prioritize your well-being by recognizing indications of manipulation and using change tactics. Remember to demand respect, kindness, and honesty in all your interactions.

References +
  • Steber, C. (2022, January 27). 17 signs you’re being used in a relationship & how to fix the problem. Bustle.
  • Nihar, N. (2024, March 13). 10 Signs You’re Being Used in a Relationship. Marriage Advice – Expert Marriage Tips & Advice.
  • 5 signs the person you’re dating is using you. (2017, July 27). Cosmopolitan.

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