5 Secret Ways People Use 'I Love You' As A Form Of Manipulation

We all want to be loved. Sadly, some people use that innate need to suit their own purposes.

couple hugging dekazigzag / Shutterstock

Falling in love is one of life's most beautiful experiences. And when someone tells you "I love you" for the first time, it's easy to feel like you can let your guard down around that person.

But how can you tell if they're truly being genuine or they're trying to manipulate you?

Therapist Logan Cohen breaks down the five ways people might use the phrase "I love you" to manipulate others.



5 Secret Ways People Use 'I Love You" As A Form Of Manipulation

1. Saying "I love you" before a request or when they know you will be upset.

When you were a child you likely pulled the "I love you" card to get what you wanted. You uttered this phrase to your parents in hopes of getting that extra slice of cake or quelling their anger for failing your math exam.


And like a child, this person may use "I love you" to get what they want out of you. So, if your partner says "I love you" right before a serious talk or when asking for something, they're likely trying to manipulate your emotions, summarizes Cohen.

RELATED: 9 Signs You're Falling In Love With Someone Who Thoroughly Enjoys Emotional Manipulation

2. Saying they adore every single thing you're interested in.

Meeting someone you have so much in common with is the greatest thing ever. And while talking, you might feel as if you've known this person all your life.

They like the things you like and adore the things you adore. But before you let your guard down, take a moment to question if they're truly being authentic with you.


In reality, everyone is different and you won't always like the things other people enjoy. So, if you see that you and another person have too much in common, to the point where they don't seem to have any differences from you, then you're being manipulated, explains Cohen.

3. Saying "I love you" in words, but without aligning actions.

Saying "I love you" is the easy part, but if their actions don't align, they probably don't care for you. Remember, our actions are a reflection of our state of mind.

And if their actions show they don't care, then deep down inside you likely aren't important to them. As Cohen puts it, "People might not always mean what they say, but always trust that people mean what they do."



RELATED: 7 Red Flag Signs The Person You Love Is A Master Manipulator


4. Overfocusing on sex as their only way of expressing love.

Connecting with your partner on a sexual level is great for your relationship. However, if they're only using sex to express their love then they're manipulating you.

Sex is just a puzzle of what makes someone fall for you. And if they can't express their love in other meaningful ways, then is it even love?

5. Constantly talking about a future you haven't agree to.

During late-night phone calls with a potential partner, they might bring up the future with you. Talking about the future isn't a red flag in itself. However, discussing it often too soon can be a form of manipulation.

"They're trying to get you to fall in love with an illusion," says Cohen. Be careful, as they may be trying to shift the focus away from one thing, to distract from potential red flags.


Connecting with someone is wonderful, but it's also important to not rush things. So, before you fall, take a step back and consider these five signs to see if this person you love truly loves you back.



RELATED: 17 Signs Someone Is Manipulating You


Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.