It makes me so angry when people take advantage of those who are generous, sympathetic, patient, and kind. I worry that, if such people are taken advantage of too much, they’ll ditch those wonderful qualities and just become bitter and cold. People who are generous, sympathetic, and kind deserve partners (and friends) who are equally so—not leeches who just want to drain the life out of them. But, I have to remember that, we’re all adults here and nobody forces the generous, sympathetic type to date or befriend anyone. Part of growing up is setting boundaries so you can still be the sweet, giving person without getting stomped all over. Sometimes, it takes that first person who really takes advantage of you to learn to create those boundaries. Here are signs he’s totally taking advantage of you.
He asked to move in fast
He asked to move in together very quickly. You felt like it was fast, and you knew it was risky, but, you were just so flattered that he was apparently so into you that you said yes. He didn’t, however, suggest you two find a new place together. He just asked to move into your place.
He’s not paying half the rent
He isn’t paying half of the rent. He has his “reasons,” but somehow, you come out paying three quarters of it and he’s paying one quarter of it. He says something about how you’re the one making more so it’s only fair, or most of the place is decorated your way so it’s not really his place.
He lived with all past girlfriends
He has lived with every single past girlfriend in their apartments. Hmm. That could be a red flag that this man is couch-surfing more than he’s relationship-hopping.
He’s “pursuing his dream”
He’s pursuing his artistic dream of being an artist, musician, or novelist. He claims that it takes up a tremendous amount of mental real estate, and of his time, so it’s very hard for him to…clean up around the apartment or…be there for you in any way.
But he’s barely pursuing his dream
Meanwhile, though he’s an aspiring novelist, you never see him at his laptop. Though he’s an aspiring musician, you never see him practicing. Though he’s an artist, he doesn’t even own the materials to create art.
His dream leaves no room for a real job
He says that pursuing his dream leaves no room for a real, money-paying job right now. But, the reality is that thousands if not millions of people around the world pursue their dream and handle their bills, working a day job while chasing their goals at night. It’s called being responsible.
He needs your constant emotional support
He’s kind of an emotional wreck. It seems every day he has a meltdown and needs you to talk him off the figurative ledge. He claims he needs you to skip your girls’ night and stay home with him or he’ll just lose it. So, in other words, his emotional wellbeing is more important than yours.
But he has no support to give
Meanwhile, when you’re having an off day and want to talk about it, he tells you he just can’t handle it. He has enough on his plate. He isn’t strong enough to support you and him. Hmm…if only you had the option to say that during his meltdowns.
These are his favorite traits of yours
The traits he praises you for are things like your generosity, your patience, your sympathy, your nurturing qualities…you know, the kinds of things he gets to take advantage of. He never praises your sense of independence or ambition.
He gets nervous if you have your own thing
If you take up a new activity—like a night class or social club—the only thing he focuses on is how that will affect him. How will you spend time with him? How will you tend to his needs?
His friends mooch, too
His friends mooch, too. In fact, it’s his idea they mooch. He often has some buddy over, eating all of the food that you bought. He always has some friend who needs to crash. You’re taking care of him and his crew.
He never buys anything for the apartment
He never buys anything for the apartment. Not one role of toilet paper. Not a carton of milk. Not cleaning supplies. You’ve asked him but he just “forgets” until you give in and buy it.
He has such a sob story
His story is so sad it’s almost hard to believe. It’s filled with mean, heartless bosses who allegedly fired him for “no reason” and roommates who apparently kicked him out “out of nowhere.” It kind of has you wondering—wasn’t there some reason all these bosses fired him or some reason roommates wanted him gone?
His history has holes
There are, however, holes in his story. The timelines don’t always add up. Details don’t make sense. And if you question him, he gets defensive and asks if you’re calling him a liar. He basically doesn’t want you to see he’s lived a life of mooching off others.
He feels more like a burden than a boyfriend
If you’re honest with yourself, you know that this man feels more like a burden than a boyfriend. If you were to ask yourself, “Does this person lift me up? Does this person encourage me to pursue my goals? Does this person energize me?” the painful but clear answer would be “No.”