31 Eye-Opening Signs He Pretends To Love You (2024)

Are you not sure whether your boyfriend or husband really loves you? This list of signs he pretends to love you should help you discover the truth.

Signs He Pretends To Love You
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In my role as a life coach, I am often helping people better understand themselves and those closest to them. 

That’s why I’m keen to share this guide with you.

So, let’s dive in.

Why Do Guys Pretend To Love You?

You might think that pretending to love someone makes no sense. If you stopped loving someone, you’d leave them, right?

However, for some men, it’s not that easy.

A lot of guys are terrified of getting a divorce or becoming single. They might hate the idea of breaking up a family. They’ll most likely lose access to their kids if you have them. 

Alternatively, guys with low self-esteem might feel unable to attract any other women. Perhaps they don’t want to go through the effort of getting in shape, going out to the bar to meet women, or navigating the cesspit that is online dating. Maybe they feel like you’re their only option. 

They don’t want to feel like their relationship was a failure. They don’t want others to see them as a failure! So, they decide to stay in the relationship and pretend to love their partner instead. 

Ultimately, that’s the easier option in their mind.

This might seem like a bizarre life choice to you, but it’s more common than you may realize.

Below, you’ll find a list of the most obvious signs that your partner pretends to love you.

31 Signs He Pretends To Love You 

He Pretends To Love You
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1. His Actions Don’t Match His Words

I had to mention this among the first signs he’s pretending to love you, because this is likely to be a running theme in his behavior.

A man who pretends to love his partner might occasionally utter ‘I love you’, but actions speak louder than words.

If he doesn’t act like a man in love, there’s a high chance that he’s just pretending.     

2. He Only Treats You Well When Others Are Watching 

Of all the signs he’s pretending to love you, this is one of the most clearcut.

Does he treat you well when he’s around his friends and family, only to turn completely cold behind closed doors?

This is a clear sign that he’s trying to keep up a facade. 

Most likely, he wants his friends and family to think that he’s in a happy relationship, even though he doesn’t truly love you. 

3. He’s Doesn’t Make You A Priority 

Men in love make their girlfriend or wife a priority. If he’s pretending, he’ll prioritise other things above you.

4. He Does The Bare Minimum

He doesn’t love you, but he does want you to stay in the relationship, so he’ll do the minimum it requires to make that happen.

5. He Doesn’t Compliment You

Men in love will shower you with compliments, because they want to make you feel special. Pretenders won’t bother.

6. There’s Barely A Sniff Of Physical Intimacy Outside The Bedroom

When a man is truly in love, daily hugs and kisses are common. Men who are pretending may only look for physical intimacy if there’s a chance it leads to sex.

7. He’s Rarely Selfless

Men in love will do things they don’t want to make their partner happy. Pretenders will avoid this as much as they can.

8. He Doesn’t Listen

Do you notice his mind wandering as you talk? Does he seem to ignore you a lot ? This is a giveaway that someone doesn’t really care about you.

9. He Doesn’t Ask About Your Life

If your boyfriend or husband doesn’t ask about your life, it’s probably because they don’t care. This curiosity comes naturally when a man is in love. 

10. He Doesn’t Consider Your Desires Or Feelings

Does this guy make future plans based on what you both want, or just what he wants? If it’s the latter, he’s probably just pretending to love you. 

11. No Thoughtful Gestures

Cute and thoughtful gestures are a key indicator of real love. A lack of thoughtful gestures is an indicator that they just pretend to love you. 

12. No Special Dates

He may be your boyfriend or husband, but that’s no excuse to stop courting you. If he really loves you, he’ll want to keep taking you out to nice places.

13. He Doesn’t Invite You To Whatever He’s Doing

If he truly loves you, he’ll enjoy spending time with you anywhere. If he doesn’t invite you to the things he’s been invited to, that’s a red flag and a reliable sign that he’s playing pretend.

14. He Doesn’t Try To Impress You At All

It’s an indicator of real love that a boyfriend or husband will want to keep impressing their woman.

Related: Why Does He Keep Me Around If He Doesn’t Want A Relationship?

15. He Doesn’t Tell Other People About You

A man in love will always be boasting about his relationship to other people.

OK, some people like to keep the finer details of their relationship private, so maybe he’s not having deep conversations about you. 

But if a close friend or family member doesn’t even know he’s in a relationship, it’s fair to question whether he truly loves you.  

16. He’s Distant

A man in love finds it easy to be present with his special person. A man who’s pretending will look for ways to distract himself. 

17. No Emotional Intimacy

A good boyfriend or husband will always want to share how he feels. Someone who doesn’t really love you will avoid talking about his emotions. 

18. He Keeps Secrets

This is one of the biggest red flags in relationships. If you notice he keeps important secrets from you, he’s certainly capable of pretending to love you too 

19. He Lies

If he’s a frequent liar, what’s stopping him from lying about how much he loves you?

20. He’s Not Excited To Meet Your Friends

When he’s truly in love, he’ll want to learn more about your life and talk to your inner circle of friends. If he pretends to love you, this will sound like a nightmare to him. Most likely, your friends will spot the truth and accuse him of not loving you. 

21. He Doesn’t Want To Meet Your Family

When he’s truly in love, he’ll want to be a part of your family. When he’s pretending, he’s going to try to avoid this at all costs. After all, he’ll have no interest in being part of your family, nor being accused of treating you badly.

22. He Avoids Making Plans Too Far In The Future

A lack of mutual future planning is a fairly obvious sign that he’s not sure about the future of your relationship. Perhaps he’s already making his plan to walk away.  

23. Signs He Pretends To Love You Through Text 

Does he rarely initiate text conversations? Is he slow to reply? Does he keep his replies to the bare minimum? These are all signs he pretends to love you through text. 

24. He’s Only Nice To Get Sex 

This is one of the slimiest reasons men pretend to love you. It’s also one of the most common.  

25. He’s Less Interested In Sex

Does he rarely initiate sex? Is he always ‘feeling sick’ when you intitate? Is he too busy or too tired? It doesn’t take a relationship expert to realize this is a problem.

You need to calmly talk about the origin of this disinterest, because it’s often a sign that he doesn’t love you. 

26. No Effort To Spice Up Your Sex Life

Is he not interested in trying new things in the bedroom? Is there any emotional  intimacy when you have sex? Does he even try to get you off? If the answer is no, there’s most likely a lack of real love in your relationship.  

27. He Avoids Difficult Conversations About The Relationship

Most probably, this is because he doesn’t want to get called out for not really loving you.

28. He Manipulates You 

Does he blame you for the problems in the relationship? Does he manipulate you to make you believe you’re always wrong, no matter what the argument is about?

This isn’t something a man in love would do. It’s absolutely something a man who pretends to love you would do. 

29. He’s Aggressive

A man who truly loved you wouldn’t be aggressive towards you. This is either a sign of bad mental health or a result of bottling up his frustration in the relationship. Either way, it’s best he gets specific advice from a therapist or relationship coach to fix this problem and become a better person in his relationships.  

30. He Cheats

No matter what excuses they make, no-one cheats on a person they truly love. If you catch him cheating, leave him to be in this secret relationship with this other woman. 

31. He Doesn’t Say “I Love You” From The Heart

It’s difficult to fake real love when you talk. Watch and notice his body language when he says he loves you. Is he showing signs of love when he says it?

Does something feel wrong? Do you not feel the love when he says it? That’s probably because he doesn’t mean it.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s round off this guide with the answers to some frequently asked questions about the signs he pretends to love you. 

When A Man Doesn't Love You
Photo By Ayo Ogunseinde On Unsplash

How Do You Know When A Man Doesn’t Love You?

The list in this article presents plenty of clear signs that a man doesn’t love you. Some might show these signs without even pretending to be in love. The more of these signs your boyfriend or husband shows, the more sure you can be that he doesn’t love you.  

Signs He Never Loved You

Was this guy treating you poorly from the beginning of the relationship? Was he showing signs of low self-esteem from the start? Could he be the type of guy who would accept a relationship with just anyone? If so, it could be true that he never really loved you.

How Do You Know If A Guy Has Strong Feelings For You?

Honestly, if a guy is doing the opposite of the things on this list, there’s a great chance he has strong feelings for you. You can discover more signs of strong romantic feelings from a man in my list of Signs He’s Pretending Not To Like You, But Really Does.

What Are The Signs Of True Love From A Man?

When a man truly loves you, he treats you like the most important person in his life.

Yes, there may be times where it seems like he’s taking you for granted. Sometimes, you’ll have fights. At times, he could be too busy to spend quality time with you.

But a man who is in love will eventually snap out of it – and show his woman what a special person she is to him.  

To dive deeper into this topic, see my guide on the Signs Of A Love-Hate Relationship & How To Fix It

Signs He Is Forcing Himself To Love You

A man who is truly in love will not only do things to make you feel special, he’ll want to do them.

If you regularly spot signs of resistance within him, there’s every chance he’s forcing himself to love you, so you don’t leave him. 

Does He Really Love Me Or Is He Playing Me?

You may notice that some players are really very good at playing the love game. If you need help spotting these red flags, see my list of clear signs he’s a player.

Any Questions?

Thanks for reading my guide. I hope it brings you more clarity about your partner and the signs he pretends to love you.

If you’ve concluded that your boyfriend or husband only pretends to love you, please take some steps to fix this. 

It’s possible to turn this around by seeking relationship advice from a counsellor or a therapist. 

At the same time, I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to walk away and find the love you truly deserve. 

If you have any question on the matter of a man pretending to be in love, feel free to leave a comment below. 

It would be great to hear from you – and of course I’ll do my best to reply as soon as I have some free time.

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.