Each one of us enters a relationship, hoping and wishing it is forever. We all want to love and be loved.
Even when we dream about perfect love, we are pragmatic and know that we may fall out of love and break up. This is one of the most terrible heartbreaks we may have to endure in our lifetime. Unfortunately, an unlucky few may have to endure something worse than this.
When you love your partner, you expect to be loved in return. What if your partner is only pretending to love you? Or is the man forcing himself to love you?
When you find out the truth, you will be shattered. Do you know that you can reduce your trauma if you can figure this out early enough in the relationship? The longer you stay in the relationship, thinking that you’re being loved, only to find out later that it was a sham, it is devastating.
The question before you is – How to tell if someone is pretending to love you?
This is where signs can come in handy for you. This article lists undeniable signs he is forcing himself to love you. Once you are aware of the signs his love is not real, you can decide how you want to proceed in the relationship. You can either confront your partner or walk away.
Undeniable signs he is forcing himself to love you
You may wonder why a guy is pretending to like you. A man may feign love for you for a variety of reasons. Maybe he desperately wants to be in a relationship. Or he thinks you are beautiful and successful and being in a relationship with you will do him wonders. Maybe he thinks he should be in love with you, though he doesn’t have any feelings for you right now.
Often, such a guy may not realize what he is doing. He may be unaware that he is forcing himself to love you.
No matter whether he is aware or not, the fallout of a man forcing himself to love you can be devastating to you. You may witness love flood and ebb in marriage but this is not right in the early days of a relationship. If love is absent and he pretends to love you, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to be in the relationship anymore.
The tricky part is to know for sure if the man is faking love. These signs may come in handy to confirm that he’s forcing love.
1. He asks/suggests you take a break
He is forcing himself to love you doesn’t mean he is bad through and through. He is decent and is concerned about breaking up with you. He may be worried about how you would react to it. Or, he may be feeling sad to leave you, though he is just forcing love on you. Instead, he asks for or suggests a break in the relationship.
He may suggest taking a break again and again, though you aren’t keen on the idea. He may present it in such a way that he is doing it for your sake. Amongst all the pretentiousness, you can see that he is eager not to hurt you but doesn’t want to continue in the relationship. He doesn’t see the relationship as a long-term affair.
2. He skips discussions on certain topics
If he is considering your relationship as a long-term deal, he should know that no topic is taboo for discussion and would be ready for it. No matter how much he hates talking about difficult things, it is vital for a healthy relationship. Ignoring such discussions may result in irreparable damage to your relationship.
When you commit yourself to a relationship, you need to cross these bridges to move ahead. If he’s uncomfortable discussing certain topics and avoids them again and again, it is not a good sign. Either he is fooling himself into believing that he loves you or he is deceiving you. He may want to be in a relationship with you, though he is merely forcing love on you.
3. He is laid back and doesn’t take initiative
A relationship is an equal partnership in which both partners share work and responsibilities equally. Equal sharing is not only regarding duties, but it also concerns expressions of love and taking the relationship forward. If your partner shows no interest in his relationship with you, be it saying “Love you”, bringing you gifts or tokens of appreciation, or doing small things to make you happy, it is just not right.
Maybe from the beginning, you must have taken the initiative to get things done in your relationship. Among partners, it isn’t always productive to keep tabs on who did what. But when the relationship is getting too one-sided, it isn’t healthy either. He may be just enjoying the free ride and forcing love to keep this arrangement going.
4. He was lonely when you met
Some people get into a relationship for the sake of being in one and not because they are in love with their partner. This may sound strange, but in real life, it often happens. These people feel lonely when they are single. They look for someone suitable and hook up with them to get rid of this lonely feeling. They are more in love with the concept of the relationship rather than having feelings for you.
From their perspective, they are left with no choice. They didn’t fall in love with anyone but don’t want to be left alone. Instead of living a miserable life, they choose to pretend that they are in love. They may have to convince themselves of their love for you. But they feel this is better than leading a sad lonely life.
5. He attempts to change you
There is a “but” in his love for you. This is something called conditional love. He loves you but he finds some of your mannerisms and behavior annoying. He will be pointing out your mistakes constantly or trying to influence your thoughts and decisions. From your food choices to what you wear and which music you listen to, he wants to change you to suit his likes and dislikes. He is merely forcing love.
You may be overly energetic in the way you live your life or too enthusiastic in expressing your emotions. This may not meet with his approval. He may like his partner to be a bit subdued and not over the top. He may constantly point this out and let you know in his own way.
Unless you adjust to meet his approval, he may not be ready to love you in earnest. He may be faking love until then.
6. He doesn’t give you top priority
At least in the early days of a relationship, partners afford each other top priority. As they settle down into a long-term relationship, this may change, but still, you should be somewhere near the top of his priority list. If you feel he has other things to do or to hog his attention, that is a sign that he is forcing love into the relationship.
Does he answer your calls or at least return your calls fast enough? Does he often back out of your dates? Is he always telling you about how busy he is and expects you to understand why he can’t always be there for you?
He clearly isn’t giving you the importance you deserve as his partner.
7. He wants to keep your relationship a secret
When you fall in love, the first thing you want to do is to shout it from the rooftops. Telling your loved ones that you’re in love is a highly anticipated event for you. What if your partner wants to maintain your relationship private? He doesn’t tell even his family and close friends, let alone post it on his social media profile.
You can’t find any lovey-dovey images of the both of you on his social media account. He even prevents you from telling your loved ones about the relationship or posting pictures together. This might make you wonder what he is playing at. If he’s in love with you, why isn’t he open about it? As far as you know, he is single.
Maybe he hasn’t made up his mind about you or is ready for commitment. He’s definitely hiding something from you.
8. He doesn’t include you in his future plans
One thing two people in love cherish to do is dreaming about a beautiful future together. Even if these are castles in the air, there is so much excitement in thinking about a future in the company of the person you love the most in this world. If your partner isn’t indulging in such dreaming, it is not a good sign.
Forget dreaming, it isn’t for everyone. If he is showing disinterest in serious discussions about the future, he is not considering you as a long-term partner. If he is asking you not to make such plans, have no doubt, he is just forcing love into the relationship.
9. He gives more importance to physical intimacy
He ranks physical intimacy way above emotional intimacy. This is a clear sign of his real intentions and ideas about the relationship. Is he nice to you and pampers you when he wants a physical relationship with you? Does he show interest in you only when he wants something from you? Do you sense a stark contrast in his behavior?
If he is sweet to you when he wants to have sex with you and at other times if he is distant and disinterested in you, he’s not genuinely in love with you. He’s faking love or forcing himself to love you for his own reasons. This need not be for physical intimacy alone. It can be about money, validation, or connections.
Final thoughts on a man forcing himself to love
Before jumping to conclusions, remember that he is also human. He too has his ups and downs, good days and bad ones. Noticing one or two signs described above occasionally doesn’t mean he is pretending to love you. It’s easy to throw away a perfectly good relationship with misplaced fears and suspicions.
The key to understanding your partner’s feelings may lie in an understanding of the ‘hero instinct‘. The hero instinct is a concept developed by relationship expert James Bauer which explains why men feel a deep desire to be admired and respected by the women they love. When men receive admiration, respect, and approval from their partners they are more able to return love without needing to pretend or force it in any way.
However, there is also the real possibility that he is forcing himself to love you, especially if he is in the habit of blaming you and not owning up to his part when things are not working out the way he wants. The ideal thing to do in this situation is to have an open conversation with him about what his needs are for feeling both loved and appreciated. This conversation may even help him tap into his hero instinct so that you can both gain mutual understanding from it.
If indeed he is forcing himself to love you and is unwilling or unable to open up about it, then this could be a sign that it’s time for you both move on for the sake of your happiness. A healthy relationship should give each partner space for growth and self-expression without feeling like they have to pretend or force themselves into something that isn’t compatible with who they truly are at their core.
Related: Hero Instinct 12-word Text Revealed