If you’re wondering if she’s pretending to love you, you’re in the right place.
Despite every fairy tale and romantic comedy, we all know that love in the real world isn’t a walk in the park set to a catchy tune.
Falling in love may contain moments of pure magic, but it also can hold slivers of unimaginable pain. Loving someone who is only pretending to love you is one of the worst kinds.
While you can tell yourself later that you dodged a bullet, the actual experience of seeing that someone doesn’t really love you is excruciating. You might pretend for a while that you don’t see it.
You might tell concerned friends and family that everything is fine — better than fine, really.
You’ll make excuses and explain it all away, but beneath the surface, the truth is growing.
It pushes through your denial, your explanations, and your own fierce desire to hold on. You need to see it, and it won’t just stop growing no matter how much you try to uproot it.
15 Signs She’s Pretending to Love You
There are signs that she’s just pretending to love you. It might feel too painful to look at head on, but it just might be exactly what you need to set you free.
Here are 15 signs that she doesn’t actually feel the way you do.
1. She Wants to Keep You a Secret
While she might be happy to be with you in private, you’ll notice that she doesn’t want to go public with the relationship. She always has a reason.
If you do end up out with her, you might notice that she keeps her distance, keeps photos friendly rather than romantic, and basically lays the groundwork for plausible deniability that you were ever together at all.
You might think you’re being paranoid, but she’s keeping you secret for a reason. Is she private like this about all her friends and former lovers? Or is it just you?
2. She Treats You Differently Around Other People
The person she is when the two of you are together is everything you’ve ever wanted, but you’ve noticed she’s not that same person when you’re around other people.
In fact, she can be critical, outright disparaging, and dismissive of you when other people are present. She’s just not that nice to you, and no amount of explaining it away removes the sting.
3. Her Words Don’t Align with Her Actions
She says that she loves you, but she doesn’t act like she does. In fact, you spend a lot of time analyzing what she says versus what she does to try to make it make sense.
You want to believe that she loves you when the words come out of her mouth, but you don’t really feel loved, do you?
That’s the crux of it. No matter how much she says it, she doesn’t really treat you in a loving way. It’s almost as if she’s saying something she doesn’t really believe.
4. She Cheats on You
A person who loves you doesn’t betray you with another person. If she was really head over heels in love, you wouldn’t be suspicious of infidelity or finding evidence of it. A person who cheats isn’t a person who’s in love.
Even if you’ve forgiven her and she says she loves you more than ever, you might notice she avoids the hard conversations or doesn’t want to be reminded of her betrayal.
She just wants you to treat her like you always did and sweep any other inconvenient emotions under the rug so she doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable. This isn’t how someone who loves you would act.
5. She Doesn’t Respect You
If you really look at her behavior, you won’t see a lot of respect.
The way she talks to you, the way she acts…it’s almost as if she doesn’t respect you at all. In fact, every time you give up more of yourself for her, she respects you just a little less.
While she might say and sometimes do the right things, she doesn’t really respect you or your opinions.
It’s not hard to see if you’re paying attention. Does she roll her eyes when you speak or immediately dismiss any suggestion you make?
Does she criticize you in front of others and complain about the things that make you, well, you? These aren’t the actions of a loving partner.
Recommended read: 19 Red Flags in Women You Should Look Out For
6. She’s Inconsistent with Contact
You’ll note that the woman who is pretending to be in love with you is inconsistent with her contact.
She is seldom the one to initiate contact, and her response times seem to become more erratic the longer you know her.
It’s not that she doesn’t text back, but she certainly doesn’t make a timely response one of her priorities.
You can explain this one away. She’s busy. Her job or other responsibilities are demanding.
It’s not until you see how quickly she responds to other messages she receives in your presence that you realize that she doesn’t quite treat you with the same consideration — or let’s face it, interest in what you might be messaging about.
7. She’s Only Affectionate When She Can Benefit
A woman who is pretending to love you may only be affectionate when she stands to benefit from buttering you up.
If a little affection from her results in a gift from you, don’t be surprised if she notices and takes full advantage.
If it seems like the rest of the time you can’t tell if she even likes you anymore, you might grow suspicious at the timing of her affectionate behavior.
Is she really sweet right before she asks for a favor — and not in a joking way?
If her affection is so mercurial that you seem to only be blessed with it when she wants something, this doesn’t sound like a woman in love. This sounds like a woman who might be using you for your assets.
8. She Keeps Trying to Change You
One of the signs she’s just pretending to love you is that she keeps trying to change you.
She wants to change the way you dress, the way you talk, how you present yourself, or even what you like to do in your free time. You might even be starting to feel like her DIY project.
Her constant criticisms are often accompanied by suggestions. She has an idea of who you should be, and anything that doesn’t align with that idea is subject to her disapproval.
She doesn’t really care about your goals, she’s more focused on getting you to fall in line with hers. That’s not what love looks like.
9. She Doesn’t Seem Excited to See You
A woman in love will light up when she sees you. Even if she’s not particularly demonstrative, you’ll still see it in her eyes. But a woman who is only playing at love might not seem all that excited to see you.
She doesn’t light up. She may even seem embarrassed, annoyed, or bored with your presence.
It’s not just that she takes you for granted, although she does. She’s just not that excited about the two of you as a couple.
She can ship her favorite celebrity couple with real enthusiasm, but romantic overtures from you might just earn you an eye roll as reward.
Recommended read: 7 Signs She’s Losing Interest And What You Should Do
10. She Only Reaches Out When She’s Bored or Lonely
A woman in love will reach out to you because she misses you and wants contact with you. If the one you’re with is simply pretending to love you, she might reach out when she wants something.
While your mind might go straight to money, she could also be using you for validation, attention, sex, to make someone else jealous, or a variety of other motivations.
Oftentimes, the true answer is that she’s bored and lonely, and you’re a sure thing.
If she only calls when there’s nothing better going on, only reaches for you when she’s out of options, and treats your relationship like an option rather than a priority, you already know she doesn’t really love you.
11. She Doesn’t Talk About a Future with You
If you really want to know if she’s just pretending to be in love with you, initiative a conversation about your future together as a couple. Is she vague? Does she try to change the subject?
Does she immediately start putting some distance between you or urge you to slow down?
While some people might just want to move slowly from an abundance of caution, that’s not what’s happening here. It feels like every step you take forward, she takes three back.
She doesn’t ever bring up your future in specific ways. In fact, she may even stop talking about what you’ll do together for the next holiday or be non-committal when you bring it up.
These are warning signs that she’s got an eye out for something better and isn’t fully committed to the relationship.
12. She’s Never the One to Compromise
Not everyone enters relationships at the same maturity and life experience level.
Compromise can be hard for anyone, but someone who loves you will likely try to compromise even if they aren’t all that good at it.
Someone who refuses to compromise ever for any reason might not really care about the relationship that much.
It’s not healthy or normal for one person to do all the compromising.
There’s supposed to be balance, a natural give and take in relationships. If you’re giving and she’s taking and that’s all it ever is, that’s not a sign she loves you. It just might be a sign you need to love yourself better.
13. She Doesn’t Show Interest in You or Your Life
Notice what you two talk about. Is it all about her? Does she ever ask about you or the things going on in your life? If you start to talk about you, does she get bored and stop paying attention?
While communication skills vary, someone who loves you is going to want to know about your day, what you’re thinking, and how you’re feeling.
They’ll be genuinely curious about you and what you have to say. Someone who doesn’t show that interest isn’t in love, merely pretending to be in love.
14. She’ll Drop You if Someone “Better” Comes Along
Sadly, the only way you’ll know this sign is true is if it happens to you. If you’ve got an on-again-off-again partner who has dropped you for someone else only to come back later, you know that she’d do it again.
You can’t really trust her. Everyone makes mistakes but dumping you any time the grass looks greener isn’t a mistake. It’s a warning sign that she’s not right for you.
15. She Doesn’t Like the Real You
One of the most important signs she’s pretending to love you is she doesn’t like you for what you really are.
When it comes right down to it, you don’t really feel safe to relax and be yourself with her. If you’re honest with yourself, you’re always having to play a role, and it’s one she’s assigned you.
You can’t just be goofy or say what you’re thinking without wondering how she’ll respond. In your heart, you know that she doesn’t really like the real you — because she hasn’t even taken the time to get to know that person.
You know it every time she tries to change you, every time she acts embarrassed by glimpses of who you are, and every time she compares you to someone she sees as better.
You probably suspect that love shouldn’t feel like this, and you’re right. This isn’t love. Whatever it is, it’s not that.
When You Know She Doesn’t Love You
If you suspect that she doesn’t love you, you have choices. You can choose to stay or to leave the relationship, but it’s certainly time to have a conversation about what you’re thinking, how you feel, and what you need.
It’s daunting, I know, but you deserve someone who loves you.
The tough truth is that she might be loving you the best she knows how. She just might not be a good fit for you life. You might be so focused on attraction, chemistry, and attachment that you’ve overlooked issues of basic compatibility. You can’t force the fit, no matter how hard you might try.
No one else can make the choice for you, but I hope you know that everyone is innately worthy of love. That includes you.
You deserve to be loved for who you are now, not who you could be one day. If you see all the signs that she doesn’t love you, I hope you make a choice that honors the love you have for yourself.
If you don’t yet love yourself, I hope you learn.