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ouch. yeah i guess a couple signs would be 1) his words say he loves you but his actions say otherwise 2) he ignores you around his friends 3) giving is not quid pro quo he takes and you give

...although as I write these, I think it could differ depending on what he's using you for? Acceptance, money? Your cable?Whatever it is, if he doesn't feel genuinely into you, just into your money or HBO, you can tell. Also, get the perspective of some friends. Good friends don't steer you wrong.

Absolutely good advice Liz, Mostly its the friends that will notice the differance, but one doesnt, so friends advice is mostly always the truth.

I'd say this goes both ways in a similar way - here are the warning signs I recognize:

1) Nice until I am on the hook, then bosses me around all the time. 2) Unable to make the smallest sacrifices - particularly when it really counts (family, health, money). 3) Never apologizes unless I am holding something of value to them.

Basically a person who uses you is someone who loves what you do more than they love you. The inevitable outcome is that this person will find something else to love more, and if you do not see the signs early enough, you will feel cheated. That could be alcohol, drugs, fame, money, youth, sex, whatever. It's 'stuff' and not you that they are passionate about.

The risk is to believe after this that you are nothing more than what you own or what you offer to people. Sometimes folks go ape trying to make themselves a great asset for someone else to exploit.

The solution is to put yourself and your needs between the person who wants what you have and what you have to offer others. Let people know that if they want what you've got to be a part of their life, they need to show that they are in it for you, not just for your stuff.

Otherwise, they are trying to con you to get what they want. The sad thing is, some people will lie, cheat and steal in order to get what they want, and rarely will they reform themselves with a person once they know how to get what they want from you.

If you could buy a skirt from a store for $5, why would you continue to shop there if the next week the store realized they made a mistake and the price is now $100? The same thing happens when you realize someone has used you - don't haggle - it becomes time to exercise your right to refuse service to anyone. Otherwise both of you feel cheated by the exchange.

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