Signs Someone is Using You & Wasting Your Time Part 2
by Lisa A. Romano
Relationships are not the be-all and end-all. It is important that you allow yourself the time and space to figure out who you are, what you want and what you deserve. Time and time again, I have seen people settle for toxic relationships and waste their time with people who don't match their energies because they don’t want to be alone or value their own worth.
Last week I talked about five warning signs that show someone is using you and wasting your time. In this blog, I will talk about five more red flags that indicate these things and why you should avoid them.
Red Flag #1: Booty Call
This is a huge one for a lot of us. I wish it weren’t, but it tends to be, where many of us settle for just being a booty call.
In other words, we know that the person isn't that into us, but we hope that it changes. Or we hope that through the intimate experience that certainly this person will fall in love with us. But there is absolutely no indicator that this person wants to take us out to dinner or wants to introduce us to his friends or his family. It is purely a sexual experience. So this is a big one.
When we notice, it's hard to face it, but if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who only calls you when they want a booty call, the chances are they’re wasting your time, or chances are she's wasting your time. You need to be objective about your relationship.
“The goal is to be able to increase our level of self-awareness.”
So that means we need to detach emotionally so we're able to examine what we observe. We need to be able to reflect on our behavior. And it can be difficult when you want a relationship, and you really like this guy. When you have this realization that, "Wow, he only calls me at 11 p.m., or he only texts me at 1:00 AM and when he wants a booty call. I've never met any of his friends, and we never go out to dinner. There's nothing but this." It can be difficult to accept, but that's a big red flag that this guy is wasting your time. You're in a relationship with someone who doesn't want the relationship to move forward, who is only interested in this booty call in the relationship, not interested in anything more. That's really hard to face.
I've walked many clients through this idea, and I always say: can we just focus on what YOU want? Because it sounds like you might just be settling for what's showing up.
We need to know that you’re seeing things clearly.
Even though it's painful, we have to deal with the idea that this might not be what you want; it might be a one-sided relationship. It's your job to decide, is it what you want? That's why learning to set boundaries and love ourselves, and being honest with what we want is so important. And so, even though the temptation is there if it's not what you want, ultimately, you have to be honest with yourself, and you have to go after what you want and not play games because the universe will only deliver to you what you believe in.
“If you think this is all you deserve, then that's all that's going to show up.”
So it's not the fault of the guy who's like, "Hey, you want to come over?" And you throw on your pumps and leggings, and you run out there. It's not his fault if you are always available for him and you are not honoring yourself. And I think that's a tough thing for women to look at, especially those who find themselves lonely and craving this connection.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone. But I think there's something really wrong with ignoring the red flag of our instinct and our intuition telling us, "This is fun, but it's not what I want long-term." So don't delude yourself into thinking that the person that's calling you for a booty call is anything but a booty call. And if that's all you want, then that's okay too. You're a grown adult. You're consenting adults. And there's nothing wrong with these types of experiences as long as both parties are honest with one another and they're not lying to themselves about what's really going on.
Red Flag #2: You’re Their Unlicensed Therapist
Another red flag that someone might be wasting your time is that you feel like their therapist or life coach.
So you meet for dinner, and you're talking to this person, and it's one sob story after the next sob story. You try to lighten the mood, but they bring it right down, and you find that there is this pattern of every time you get on the phone, you feel like you're this person's life coach.
They're not meeting you on that level where they see you as an autonomous, 3D human being that they're attracted to. So you never quite feel seen. You feel like the two people are in the relationship, and both people are worried about one person. This is the description I use to explain codependency, but in this situation, it's not that you're taking care of this person because you're codependent; what you're noticing is that when you're with this person, this is just the dynamic that unfolds.
It doesn't necessarily mean the person is a shy, vulnerable narcissist. It might just be that they’re someone who uses relationships as a way to garner a sense of feeling seen within themselves, or they're so confused, they can't talk to their family about what's going on or the problems that they have, they find an empathetic or sympathetic ear, and they're self-absorbed. That doesn’t mean that they are this way all the time. It doesn't mean that they're a narcissist at work or narcissistic with their children. But when it comes to emotions, they could be quite draining.
In a relationship dynamic, this could be someone that looks at the partner as their rescuer.
You want to be very, very clear from the onset if this is how your relationship starts. It doesn't get better; this person doesn't begin to change their world around, they don't begin to elevate or start to see you and make you feel seen, or every time you’re together, you’re talking about the same thing over and over. This is an indicator that he might be wasting your time.
Red Flag #3: Not Over Their Ex
Another indicator that someone might be wasting your time is that they’re not over their ex.
Every time you get together, they’re talking about how they saw their ex on Instagram and Facebook, and the gym, and they saw their ex with their new partner, and they can't get over it. And you're just noticing that over time, they bring up their ex a lot, and there's a lot of emotion tied to the ex, a lot of anger, and there's a lot of unresolved, emotional trauma or drama attached to the ex.
When you first start dating someone, it's natural, and it's normal to start sharing your experiences with your ex, and it's normal for the person you're dating to share their experiences about your ex.
But if you start to notice this victim mentality in the person that they’re dealing with, and this inability to shift and move beyond it, if you begin to see that this person is sort of obsessed with their ex and with damaging her reputation. And you're starting to feel invisible; you’re starting to wonder if this person has the bandwidth to be able to open up their heart and let someone else in - that doesn’t mean that he's a narcissistic person because he's not over his ex.
Red Flag #4: Trying to Hurt Their Ex
I believe that when you're dealing with someone who's trying to hurt another human being, I say, "Be very, very careful because you don't know if you're not going to be in that situation." And even if you work out, this is someone who wants to hurt another person is a huge red flag.
When people end relationships, the right way to go about it is to be able to look at someone and say, "Listen, it didn't work out. We were mismatched. Thank you for sharing my life with me for the past couple of years, and I hope that I've added to your life and your emotional growth." Wouldn't that be awesome if two grown adults could come together and just say, "Namaste, our time has come, to everything, there is a season, And it's time for us to move on"? It just didn't work out. That would be amazing.
But I think when we find ourselves ignoring red flags: when we lie to ourselves; when we try to change ourselves to be what we believe this other person wants us to be; when we don't listen to the red flags that someone's wasting our time. It's just a matter of time before we end up angry and start exhibiting unbecoming behaviors. Things that we say, things we don't mean. We say things that we don't want to say. And we can even do things that we don't want to do.
It's essential to remember that when we're in a relationship, we have to be supremely authentic and honest with ourselves. When we aren’t, it bites us in the butt. Eventually, it will surface. So if you're dating someone and you notice that they're not over their ex, and this goes on for quite a while, it's an indicator that he's wasting your time.
Red Flag #5: Trying to Change You
The last thing I want to talk about is when you notice that the person you're dating is trying to change you. So it may have started all fine and dandy, but over time, you begin to notice that this person does not accept you.
I remember the first boyfriend that I dated seriously, and he would throw out these comments about my nails not being long, that this girl I went to high school with had these beautiful, long nails. And I was like, "Okay, well, I don't like long nails. That's just me, nothing against women who have long nails. But I don't like really long nails. I hope that's okay with you?" But he would harp on it. And then there were things about my hair that he didn't like, I wish your hair looked like this and I wish you would talk like this, and I wish you wore these types of clothes. Like, "Why are you with me, dude? What's up? Just break up with me.” This is not necessary.
His words did not match his behavior. I was in a one-sided relationship, and I was in complete denial. I was a 15-year-old codependent love addict, obsessed with this boy, trying to gain his validation. So even though the red flags were there, I didn't see them. I talked myself out of them. I just figured, "Well, if he's with me, it must mean that he loves me," or, "If he says he loves me, he must love me." I'm not going to pay attention to the fact that he flirts with all of my friends; I’m going to pay attention to the fact that he cancels on me last minute; I’m not going to pay attention that he times me to see how fast I could get to his house, I'm not going to pay attention to all of that.
And so when we find ourselves feeling as if we are dating someone who is highly critical, or this is someone who just finds these very covert, sneaky ways to let us know, they wish that we would be different. If we find that they're trying to push their religion on us, or they want us to eat what they eat, or they want us to weigh a certain amount of weight. They want us to go to their gym. They want us to work with their personal trainer. They want us to read these books. It's an indicator that this person is struggling with who we are, and this could be narcissistic, or it could be something that this person is just not aware of, and they think they're doing this for our own good.
But again, the arrow always points back to us.
If I don't like that the person I'm with is consistently trying to change me, I have to own that. I have to acknowledge that, and I need to set a boundary with that. If I don't feel accepted by this person, even if they’re saying they love me, and even they think they love me. If you're in a relationship with someone, the goal is to send them the message that you accept them for who they are. And if you don't, you don't have to be with them.
I think we get ourselves in trouble when we think we have a right to change someone and when someone thinks they have the right to change us, especially when we stand on the moral ground that says, "Well, I know better than you." I've been guilty of that myself.
Why do you eat meat? Why are you doing this? Why don't you exercise more, thinking that, "Well, these are all good things." But it's highly self-righteous of someone to tell you what to eat and to tell you how to work out, even if it's coming from a good place. So we must acknowledge within ourselves when we're starting to sense that someone is unhappy with us and when they're trying to change us because then we need to set that boundary.
We have to recognize when we're starting to feel like someone wants us to change because far too often, I can speak for myself, what we do, especially if we're struggling with insecurities, we might be tempted to become what we think this person wants us to become.
“The goal is to be able to manifest a relationship in which you feel like your needs are met, and this person that you're dating feels like their needs are met.”
I think these are indicators that we can't ignore as people in relationships when we put ourselves out there and feel like we're looking for a match. We want a healthy relationship.
So if you're struggling with any of these issues, you mustn’t ignore them. It’s important you ask yourself, "Is he wasting my time?" And if you feel like your time is being wasted, don't fret; just brush it off.
Tell yourself that you are enough and understand that your divine partner absolutely is out there. When approaching the dating world, we have to have the right attitude; we must be excited about manifesting our divine mate.
Lisa A. Romano