There is something worse than desiring to be loved and not being loved, it is being with someone who is simply pretending to be in love with you.
While men do fall for women who don’t love them, we are likely to find more women in this bind because men rarely settle.
Women, on the other hand, make a habit of settling and being blinded to a man that obviously doesn’t care for them.
If you are in a relationship, you should be certain your boyfriend loves you as well.
If you find these signs in him, it is clear he pretends to love you.
10 Signs He Pretends To Love You
- He wants to keep you/the relationship a secret
I saw something recently on social media where someone said, “you cannot love someone quietly.”
That resonated so much with me because it occurred to me that indeed, love is obvious. It is not vague; not to you and others.
If a man loves you, there is absolutely no way he will want to keep you a secret or be kept a secret.
In fact, he will get offended if your family and friends don’t know about him.
Don’t misunderstand me, some people usually mistake this for being public; some people like being private but there is a difference between keeping the relationship private and keeping it a secret.
Privacy means not talking about it on social media, secret means hiding you from people around him, and it’s a big sign that he pretends to love you.
2. You are not sure of your place in his life
Like I mentioned earlier, love is not vague; not to others, but especially not to you.
If a man loves you, you will just know.
If he is telling you he loves you and you are still unsure of your place in his life, it’s a sign that he is pretending to be in love with you.
You might be insecure; that is always a possibility. But if you are sure it is not insecurity and you are just uncertain where you stand with him, you are likely right.
3. He never talks about the future with you
Imagine being in love with someone and not wanting them to be around forever.
If he loves you, you will find yourself in his future.
He will say more of “we”, “our” and less of “mine” and “I”.
More often than not, you won’t even have to push for these things, he will make plans for the future considering you in the picture.
You will find him talking about your goals and dreams to see how they align with his.
4. He cares more about physical intimacy than emotional intimacy
Let me be clear; a man that loves you will be physically attracted to you. He will want to touch you and be close to you.
Even if you are in a relationship where you are practising abstinence, the physical attraction will be obvious, and sometimes, you will even feel it in the atmosphere.
But a man can also be physically attracted to you without having any feelings for you.
How do you know the difference? A man who loves you will also want to know you; he will be interested in understanding you and knowing what makes you tick.
Your dates will not solely be about the physical, but getting to know each other more.
5. He’s only after what he can get from you
A man that is just pretending to be in love with you can want different things from you; it could be money, connection, sex, attention, and anything he feels he can get from you.
So, naturally, he will pretend to love you to keep getting what he wants from you.
However, a healthy relationship is “give and take”; a man who loves you will also give to you.
In fact, he will push himself to give more to you.
Love gives; any supposed love that does not give is obviously not love.
6. Your family and friends don’t like him
Our family and friends are a lot more perceptive than we give them credit for.
These are people who have known you all your life/a long time and cared about you that long; believe it or not, they know you and have a good idea what’s good for you.
Now, it is possible to have a friend or family member who might disapprove out of jealousy or any other selfish reason, but if all or a huge percentage of them disapprove, take a step back to investigate.
7. He’s unavailable when you need him
Apart from a lot of the things we enjoy when we are in a relationship with someone, one of the things we enjoy is that they are usually available when we need them to be.
So, if you are with a man who is never available when you need him, chances are he is just pretending to be in love with you.
There will be times when he is unavoidably unavailable, but if that always happens and he never makes you a priority, it is a huge red flag.
8. He is never to blame
When two people love each other in a relationship and they offend each other, they will be quick to apologize and resolve issues.
But when you are in an unrequited love situation, the person doesn’t care to resolve issues or take blames for them.
Of course, sometimes you will be at fault but you cannot always be at fault and if he is never ready to take responsibility for his part, he doesn’t care how you feel.
People like this are usually good at gaslighting; they always turn situations around on you.
9. He doesn’t challenge you to be better
A man that loves you wants you to be a better person. He will lovingly correct you when you are wrong and challenge you in areas you are slacking, but he knows you can do better.
It is because he genuinely wants to see you win.
But a man that doesn’t love you doesn’t care if you win or not, so he will never care about challenging or helping you become the best version of yourself.
10. You know in your guts
Trust your guts; if you just know in your guts that your boyfriend doesn’t love you, chances are he doesn’t love you.
However, in order not to be rash, investigate and find out why you feel that way. What you should not do is ignore it.
The thing about pretence is that nobody can consistently act; they will slip up and these signs are some of the things you will notice when they do.
If you pay attention and notice any of these signs, rethink that relationship; he might just be pretending to love you.
Now that you know the signs a man pretends to love you, I guess you are wondering why on earth a man would pretend to love you.
Below are reasons why a man could pretend to love you:
Why Would a Man Pretend to Love You?
It is not such a big deal whether someone loves you or not if you are just in a casual relationship with them.
However, if you love them and really want something serious with them, then it is a different ball game entirely.
Now, having doubts once in a while is normal in most relationships.
However, when you are always wondering if a man is pretending to love you, then it is only right that you find out why indeed your man is pretending to you.
Understanding the reason a man would pretend to love you will give you an insight into how it happened and how to get yourself out of that situation.
So, without further ado; why would a man pretend to you?
The motives of many men to get laid are glaring or apparent while for some, it is subtle and not straightforward, they pull out all the stops to make you emotionally attached.
For most of these types of men, they believe if you are not emotionally attached, you won’t give up the goods.
And they do it most especially for women that they know are not comfortable with casual relationships or who want emotional intimacy before physical intimacy.
Now, one would believe that they should be with women who don’t mind casual s*x but no, there is just something about ‘conquering’ a woman who will say no to casual s*x.
So, for this kind of men, the victory is breaking her by making her believe they care about her more than they actually do.
And sometimes, they do this for their ego as well; a lady rejected them and they want to prove they can sleep with her or a lady is declared difficult by other guys and he would get a trophy as the ‘baddest’ guy if he gets her to fall in love and sleep with him.
Similarly, some men also want the fun and s*x that comes with a relationship and not the responsibility so instead of giving up entirely, they pretend to love the lady and pretend to be interested in a relationship.
There is no limit to what humans can do just to get the attention they seek, some become obsessed with rejection and looks for all means to get the person to like them.
And although people might think that only women crave attention; men actually battle with the same things women do, they are just better at hiding their inadequacies because society doesn’t forgive them for a display of weakness.
So, a man could be pretending to love for a number of reasons, including prior rejection, low self-esteem, unhealthy jealousy, parental emotional neglect and so on.
Similarly, when you hear the word gold-diggers, you naturally think of ladies but there are also men who are gold-diggers, looking for richer and accomplished women to fund their lifestyle.
Most times, they profile such women, know what makes them tick; their likes and dislikes and then approach them intentionally.
In fact, some of them go as far as pretending to like the same thing she likes and have the same favourite just to further make her feel they relate to her.
Basically, they worm their way into the heart of said lady and pretend to love her while in fact, they are only after her wealth and assets.
Just like in the case of pretending to love for money sake, some men profile and intentionally approach ladies who can be pivotal or are of great importance to attaining the peak of their career or amassing some properties or sealing a deal.
They could approach an heiress or even a successful woman who could be a ladder to the position they hope to attain.
And they will pretend to love you, make you feel you have found true love when in reality, he just sees you as a means to an end.
- You are his Arm-Candy
For some men, you are a ‘prize’ that needs to be won, you are the lady that will look just perfect on his arms for all the occasions he needs to attend with a plus 1, playing hostess, being the perfect mother to the children, being able to smile and entertain other partners while he closes deals, heck, even for the picture-perfect couples of social media.
In essence, you look perfect on his arms in public; the right height, weight, body shape, eyes and hair colour, body pose and so on.
To the lady, she’s found her knight in shining armor when in fact you are just the perfect arm-candy to him.
What to Do When You Realize He’s Pretending to Love You
It’s not enough to know the signs a man is pretending to love you and the reasons, it’s important to know what to do about it.
Below are five smart things to do:
- Have a Candid Discussion
If you’ve been able to extensively evaluate your relationship and find the signs that he is pretending to love you, then it is time to face the reality; he doesn’t love you, he’s only been pretending to.
Therefore, it is high time to have a candid – polite but firm – discussion or conversation with him on the red flags you are seeing and your willingness to address them.
What you want to bring out of this discussion is his awareness that the red flags are present, what is making him behave or act the way he’s doing and what is the way forward.
If he’s able to accept and ready to deal with whatever factors made him pretend to start with, then you can have a detailed picture of where to go from there.
- State Your Expectations
He might have pretended to love you because he saw that you have little or no expectations or they were not fully stated and y’all have only been going with the flow.
It is time, therefore, to state your expectations in such a relationship. This is acknowledging your self-worth and the need to be cared for and loved, just as you have been doing.
- Leave the Relationship
I mean, this is a no-brainer.
There is nothing more hurtful than to find out that a man has been pretending all along to love you – for reasons best known to him – you begin to question all the seemingly good memories and fond moments you’ve built together, you begin to doubt yourself and feel you are partly responsible.
This is not what you deserve; you deserve to be loved and cared for genuinely and truthfully, therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself is to leave such a relationship.
The relationship will only sap you of your energy, resources and you’ll fade away with time so don’t be afraid to leave such toxic relationship if he’s not fessing up and not ready to make it work.
- Talk to a Trusted Friend or Seek Professional Help
Often times, dealing with the hurt and pain of a person you once thought of as “The One” but turned out to be a pretender can be overwhelming and traumatic.
It can lead to trust issues and make you question the validity of genuine love or it may lead to you messing up a good relationship in the future.
Therefore, there is a need for you to deal with it, with the help of a trusted, capable friend or a professional (counsellor, therapist, etc).
The point is to talk it out, get helpful tips moving forward and heal.
- Love Up on Yourself
Realize that your happiness doesn’t lie in the hands of anybody neither do you need to look to others for validation.
Be your best company, your best cheerleader, and supporter, advisor, and focus on the things that make you happy and whole.
We all need to learn to be okay being alone so we don’t waste time with people that make us unhappy because we are afraid of being alone.
In fact, after a breakup is a great time to take care of yourself more than before; smash those goals, get that house, bag that degree, pitch that business idea, go on that trip, take a vacation.
Whatever makes you feel happy and loved, start doing them for yourself. In essence, make YOU the priority.
Let me conclude by reminding you to remember that you are the most important person in this equation and his actions are not your fault.
They are solely his; don’t beat yourself up for it. Pick yourself and keep loving yourself and one day, someone who is worth your time will come your way.