“Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is like hugging a cactus. The tighter you hold on, the more it hurts.”
Realizing that you’re in a relationship with someone who’s just pretending to love you can be difficult and painful.
But it’s a lot better to know than to continue to live in a lie.
This can happen for many reasons.
Maybe she’s already checked out of the relationship and is just biding her time until she finds another man to monkey branch to.
Maybe she draws benefits from her relationship with you that she’s just not ready to give up yet, despite not being ‘all in’ on the ‘love’ side of things.
Maybe you’re her best option for security and stability right now, despite the fact that she no longer has any love or romance for you in her heart.
Regardless of the reason why—the fact remains that it’s in your best interest to figure out whether or not the woman in your life actually loves you and desires you.
And if not, you deserve to know—so you can take whatever action steps you deem necessary.
The only issue is that this can be a difficult problem to spot.
So in this post, you’ll learn the 19 crucial signs to look for that’ll tell you if she’s just pretending to love you.
19 Signs She Is Pretending to Love You
1. Her Behavior Says Otherwise
In my coaching practice, I often tell my clients:
“Don’t just listen to their words. Watch their behavior.”
The reason for this is because people who are living a lie will often say one thing with their words, but then demonstrate something else with their behavior.
It’s easy to tell a convincing lie with your words.
But it’s not so easy to put in the extra work required to get your behavior to match that lie.
So if the words and the behavior are in conflict, always watch the behavior to learn the truth about a person’s motivations.
This is true in all areas of life, but it’s especially true within the context of a romantic relationship.
2. She Doesn’t Prioritize You
If the woman in your life isn’t actively and passionately trying to spend time with you before lining up alternative activities, there’s generally some kind of attraction/love issue at play.
When a woman genuinely loves and desires a man, she’ll value spending quality time with him very highly—and she won’t want to compromise on that.
If a woman isn’t trying to spend time with you and making time spent together a priority, it may be an indication that she doesn’t actually love you.
3. She Doesn’t Intentionally Invest in the Relationship
My girlfriend often does nice things for me for no other apparent reason than just to show me that she cares about me.
For example, she’ll buy me little presents, cook me meals, bring me my favorite drinks when she visits, etc.
She’s not required to do these things, and I don’t ask for them.
And yet, she does them.
And this shows me that she loves me.
Because all of these little gestures are actually small investments in the relationship.
By contrast, I’ve also been in relationships with women who didn’t invest in me in any meaningful way.
And in such cases, I always ended up realizing that there wasn’t any real love coming from the other side of the relationship.
(Cue the song Real Love, by Anthony Hamilton. Great song!)
4. She Doesn’t Respect You
This can be an especially difficult problem for men who struggle with masculine frame.
The truth is that a woman is highly unlikely to love or desire a man she can’t respect.
Does the woman in your life often treat you disrespectfully?
Does she try to cut you down with her words, insult your intelligence, or belittle you—especially in front of other people?
If she does, it’s highly unlikely that she actually loves and desires you.
This is an important thing for men to pay attention to and is part of the process of demanding high standards for yourself in life.
5. She Does ‘Sketchy’ Stuff with Other Men
You may not see any direct evidence of cheating right within your range of vision.
However, you may notice strange, subtle, weird things going on in her interactions with other men that just rub you the wrong way.
She may have a guy friend (an orbiter) who texts her just a little too often—or she may spend just a little too much time out at the bar with her male coworkers.
If your instincts are telling you that something weird is going on, there’s a strong possibility that you may be right.
A woman who actually loves you won’t want to waste her time on other men.
Because she’ll consider you her number-one choice—and spending time with other men would seem like a waste when she could be spending that time investing in a relationship with her number-one option (you).
To understand these dynamics better, read this guide: Understanding Female Hypergamy: 9 Ways to Use It to Your Advantage.
6. She Hides Things
If you’re a loving, empathetic, nurturing partner who doesn’t make the woman in your life feel like she needs to hide things from you, then learning that she does hide things from you should be a pretty big red flag.
This isn’t even about snooping or being in her business.
This is all about behavior—and perhaps even more importantly, the intent behind it.
A woman who really loves a man will want to have that man intertwined in all of the different and important parts of her life—even if just to a small degree.
If you realize that the woman in your life is hiding things from you, there’s a good reason to assume that she doesn’t respect and/or desire you to the extent that she should.
And unfortunately, that also means that she probably doesn’t love you as you deserve to be loved.
7. She Tells Little (Or Big) Lies
Lies and deception are always red flags within the context of a relationship.
And while these things may not necessarily always be an indication that she doesn’t love you, they certainly can be.
Plus, as a man, there’s a real question that you should ask yourself once you realize that your partner is lying to you.
“Do I really want to invest my time and energy into someone who isn’t honest with me?”
The answer should probably be a no—regardless of if she actually loves you or not.
8. She Doesn’t Show Appreciation
Back when I was married to my now ex-wife, after she had already ‘checked out’ of the relationship, it became obvious that she didn’t appreciate anything I did.
She stopped thanking me for contributions, she stopped telling me that she appreciated me, and she stopped paying me compliments or noticing the little things I did to try to make our lives better.
See, the truth is simple.
She wasn’t intentionally withholding appreciation.
She just wasn’t motivated or incentivized to show it.
Because she didn’t love me anymore. And in her mind, the relationship held very little value in the context of the larger picture of her life and future.
Never forget—attraction, romance, and even love are actually finely tuned survival instincts. And women tend not to invest their limited energy in places where they don’t feel that their investment is serving an important survival function.
As men, it’s vitally important that we learn to be in tune with how our partner is investing in us—because this gives us a direct perspective into how much she actually values (and loves) us.
9. She Doesn’t Take the Relationship Seriously
If you’re invested in this relationship, then you’re probably trying to:
- Take it more seriously
- Plot goals for the future
- And make plans for how to grow as a couple
And if you feel that she’s not taking it as seriously as you, or that it’s a struggle to get her to focus on these types of things, that’s a huge red flag and a big indication that she probably doesn’t love you the way you love her.
This is actually a commitment signal issue.
And while commitment signals are usually associated with male behavior, you should also be looking for commitment signals in your female partner in order to make sure that her feelings toward you are in the right place.
If you don’t see these commitment signals demonstrated in her behavior, that’s not a good sign.
Straight facts—if the woman in your life really loved you, she would have a massive incentive to take the relationship seriously, and she would absolutely be engaged in such important matters with focused attention.
Words are cheap. Watch her behavior to uncover the truth.
10. She’s Only ‘Into You’ When It’s Convenient
Sometimes women stay with men they don’t love because they love the benefits of being with that particular man.
This can be especially true of men who have a lot of money, social status, power, prestige, a great body, and/or respect from their peers.
If while at home, the woman in your life couldn’t care less about you—but when you go out with your friends, when you’re shopping, or when you’re dining at an expensive restaurant, she’s all over you and suddenly loves to dote on you—that’s definitely a red flag and something to look out for.
This could be a sign that she’s just using you for the benefits, and that she’s not actually motivated by true love and desire for you.
Not every woman is a gold digger. But they do exist—and they will finesse you and take advantage of you if you allow them to.
11. She Acts Differently toward You around Some People
Does the woman in your life sometimes treat you well around certain people, but then act in a different, more negative way towards you around others?
If she really loved you, she’d treat you with the same love, respect, and desire all the time.
She wouldn’t pick and choose her behaviors based on the audience.
This isn’t the way a loving high value woman conducts herself.
This is how a woman acts when she’s trying to fake it and/or gain some kind of validation from other people and doesn’t have the energy to keep up a full-fledged facade when the ‘audience’ isn’t around.
If she downplays her love or desire for you around certain people, that’s a major issue.
As men, we should always have higher standards for our intimate partners than this.
We should only invest in women who display true, genuine, burning desire toward us—who will show us the same desire, love, and respect regardless of who’s watching or listening.
Note: It’s also a red flag if she doesn’t want to post you on her social media. That’s a definite sign that she’s not actually in love with you.
12. She Doesn’t Bring You around Her Friends or Family
If a woman believes that you’re truly the best man for her, and if she loves, respects, and admires you, she’ll be excited to bring you around her family, social groups, friend groups, etc.
By contrast, if she doesn’t bring you around these people, it’s likely because she either doesn’t believe you’re a good enough man to win their admiration, and/or because she doesn’t see you as being high enough in value that you make her ‘look better’ when you’re standing beside her.
This is definitely a problem—because like it or not, this is going to impact how she feels about you.
A woman will want other people to see her as being ‘higher value’ due to the man she’s with.
If the man she’s with doesn’t help her to increase her own status or value, that’s going to cause a desire problem.
And that’s definitely not a situation where she’s going to have real genuine love for him.
13. She’ll Hesitate to Move Things Forward
After you’ve been in a relationship for a certain amount of time, and after the two of you have grown closer together, the natural recourse should be to want to take things to another level and move the relationship forward.
For example, you may discuss the possibility of moving in together, getting married someday, or even starting a family.
But here’s the thing.
If you’re excited to move things forward, but sense hesitation on her end, it could be a sign that she isn’t sure.
And guess what?
Love isn’t unsure.
Love between intimate partners is a conscious choice that’s heavily influenced by real, organic feelings of attraction, lust, and attachment.
(For a deeper dive into the neuroscience behind these things, read Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, by Helen Fisher.)
If she’s hesitating about moving the relationship forward, there’s definitely reason to believe that she doesn’t actually love you.
Here’s the bottom line.
And when someone hesitates about this, it’s usually a sign that the ‘wires aren’t connected properly’ somewhere in the ‘love’ dynamic.
14. She’ll Give You a Lot of Excuses
Do you get more excuses from the woman in your life than action or positive behavior?
For example, when you ask her for things in the relationship, try to communicate about important issues, or try to troubleshoot problems, do you get a bunch of excuses from her instead of real, intentional actions or results?
If so, there’s a high likelihood that she doesn’t actually love you—because a woman who loves a man will actually want to please him.
If she really loves you, she’ll definitely take action to help solve problems.
More often than not, if you get more excuses than actions from the woman in your life, it’s because she’s either already at least partially checked out of the relationship, or because she was never truly ‘in it’ on a ‘heart level’ to begin with.
15. She Doesn’t Get Sentimental about You
I can probably count on one hand the number of times my ex-wife would get sentimental toward me.
Any positive emotion that she showed toward me (especially toward the end of our relationship) was usually restricted to a half-hearted smile or an empty-feeling, vapid word of praise that sounded far more difficult for her to say than it should have.
By comparison, the woman I’m dating now literally gets sentimental about me on an almost daily basis.
She’ll express how much she loves me while we’re cuddling together. She’ll text me heartfelt messages about how I make her feel, how much she adores me, etc.
There’s a big difference between these two things.
Remember, a woman’s behavior will never lie.
Women pretty much always do what they really want to do.
If she’s not acting towards you in some kind of sentimental way and showing you that she has strong positive feelings for you, there’s a very good reason for it.
It’s because that’s just not how she feels. And that usually means that she doesn’t love you.
16. She Doesn’t Value Your Affectionate Gestures
If you’re out in public and go in for a kiss, to hold her hand, to put your arm around her, etc. only to receive the cold shoulder in return—that’s definitely a weird signal.
A woman who actually loves you will relish your affectionate gestures—especially the public ones.
She may even beg for them, or try to elicit them from you when you don’t extend them to her of your own volition.
This is a very subtle but powerful difference that men need to be aware of.
17. She Shies Away From Important Conversations
The upkeep and maintenance of any healthy relationship will require some important conversations about crucial matters between the two of you.
This could include things like:
- How you’re going to manage money
- Plans for building a family
- Plans for the future of the relationship
- Discussions about how to make the relationship better
But if you find that the woman in your life is shying away from important conversations, and/or if she doesn’t seem excited to have these types of important conversations with you, that’s a bad sign.
A woman who loves you, admires you, and desires you will love the fact that you want to have these serious conversations with her—and will feel important and privileged to be able to do so.
Learn to spot the difference.
18. She Won’t Want to Do ‘Cute Stuff’ with You
I once dated a woman who was constantly trying to take cute selfies with me.
At least three times a day, she would try to get me to pose with her sitting on my lap, giving me kisses, doing cute and trendy ‘couple poses’ together, etc.
Sometimes she would post these on her social media, but sometimes she would just keep them to herself.
In any case, this is a powerful sign of love and admiration.
If a woman doesn’t want to do ‘cute couples stuff’ with you (whatever her version of that is), that’s definitely a sign that she’s probably not actually invested in you.
19. Her Motivations Will Seem ‘Fake’
Do you ever just get the feeling that your partner’s behavior feels fake or inauthentic at times?
Do you ever get this creeping feeling in the back of your mind (and in your gut) that she’s just not being real with you?
This feeling is important to pay attention to.
As humans, we have a powerful sense that we can use to help us gauge whether other people are truly invested in our own self-interest.
This is called instinct—and contrary to what many people may believe, instincts can be incredibly accurate.
Now, there’s a difference between using your instincts and being paranoid.
But if you can rule out paranoia, and if you really do get the sense that her motivations just feel fake or inauthentic to you—well, that’s usually at least a pretty good reason to explore it further.
A woman who actually loves you won’t need to fake anything.
She won’t need to hide her true motivations or act disingenuously.
When a woman actually loves a man, her motivations and energy will often feel bulletproof.
You can really see it and feel it from a mile away.
What to Do Next (Conclusion)
If you’ve checked off a few of these boxes, and have realized that the woman in your life may not love you the way you thought she did, then you might be wondering what to do next.
First, you’ll want to gather a bit more information.
For starters, I recommend reading this guide: Does She Love Me? 26 Dependable Signs a Girl Loves You.
I also suggest you read this guide about breakups as well: 13 Surefire Signs It’s Time to Break Up With Your Girlfriend.
These guides will help you to gain more insight and understanding into what your partner’s actual motivations may be, and can help you to double-check your feelings about the issue.
You should also consider reading The Man’s Guide to Women: Scientifically Proven Secrets from the Love Lab About What Women Really Want, by John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, Doug Abrams, and Rachel Carlton Abrams.
This book will help you to understand female nature better, and will really help to reinforce some of the concepts that we talked about in this article with deeper scientific explanations and data.
And finally, check out this guide to learn how you can start improving yourself as a man today. The better the man you become, the higher the likelihood that women are going to fall (and stay) in love with you as you navigate the dating marketplace.
Always remember this.
You deserve love in your intimate relationship.
Don’t settle for less.
It may be tempting to want to stay with someone who doesn’t actually love you just for the sake of convenience or because it’s scary to imagine breaking up and starting all over again.
But as alpha mentality men, we should only accept the real thing.
We should only want to include people in our lives who actually desire us and love us on an authentic basis, and we should only let people into our inner circle when they’ve adequately demonstrated that their love for us is genuine.
Anything less than that should definitely be below your standards.
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Go with grace, and never give up your power.