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Relationship Trouble

Recognizing the Four Signs of a User
by John D. Moore, MS, CADC

Susan has a problem. "I'm in love with this guy named Mike who is only interested in me for sex. He doesn't seem to understand that I want more from our relationship. It's all so depressing — knowing that I am nothing more than a 'sex toy' for him. The problem is that I'm afraid to say anything because he might dump me. What should I do?"

Richard has a similar problem. "I think Debbie is just using me for the money. We have been dating for about two months and she has never once offered to pay for dinner or even help pay for a movie. She claims that she is strapped with a ton of bills, but if that's true, how come she always wears the latest style of cloths and drives a brand new car? This situation is getting real old, real fast. Should call it quits?"

Can you relate to Susan and Richard's stories? Are you in love with someone who you believe might be using you for sex, money or something else? If so, then you know how much it hurts to deal with this kind of caustic relationship. It is human nature to believe that the person we are involved with feels the same way we do about the relationship. Sometimes however, our feelings for another are so powerful that they blind us from seeing things as they are, as opposed to the way we wish them to be. Consider the following four red flags as possible signs of a "User".


This typical warning sign is easy to detect. He or she will only call you when they want to have sex. Conversations are usually sexually charged and meaningful dialogue is commonly avoided. Words such as "love" and "care" may be muttered by the other person, but usually only during the sex act. Otherwise, true feelings are avoided like the plague.


The person who is in the relationship just for the sex, commonly referred to as a player, will often will have other sex partners. They will of course deny this is the case, however you will know they are lying by their behaviors, including lying about their whereabouts and excuses about why they cannot see you. Overt flirting with others may be an indication of this kind of user.


This monetary user is one that cries poor and is all too willing to let you flip the bill. Usually, this kind of person wants to be treated to the most expensive restaurants or taken out for a "night on the town" without chipping in a dime. Often, they will say the right words to you knowing that if they sweet-talk you enough, you will give in and provide for them. During times when you are stretched for cash, they often vanish and magically return again once you have money. A telltale sign of this kind of user is that they often cry poor. Funny how they always seem to be wearing the latest style in clothes or driving an expensive car.


This is a continuation of point three. This kind of user always seems to be swimming in a pool of debt. They often act depressed because they are so "behind" on their bills and whine about their situation. The goal here is for you to feel sympathy for them and pull out your checkbook to "help them out." Once you do this, they come to you again and again with the same story.


Nobody liked being "played" by a user and it hurts when you love someone and they don't love you back. To be sure, entering into a romantic relationship with another is often exciting and fun. However as time goes on, certain behaviors may become apparent that must be examined in order to determine the person's true motives. If you feel as if you are being used, don't be afraid to challenge your mate and discuss your concerns.

So how did Susan and Richard resolve their problem? Susan cut off the sex and Richard cut off the money. They both soon discovered their respective partners had glommed onto someone new — using them for various means. In the end, they learned the painful truth. More importantly however, the stopped the cycle of using and put an end to being someone' sex toy and bank account.

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