7 Signs He's Using You For Emotional Support

A non-romantic girlfriend is the last person he'll choose when it's time to commit. So what are you sticking around for?

young couple, woman staring at man lovingly but he doesn't notice gpointstudio / shutterstock 

You’re hopeful about your latest crush. You can spend hours on the phone, and you have so much in common, but the relationship never seems to go anywhere. You find yourself consulting with your girlfriends to decipher what his actions really mean. Here’s the bad news: You’ve already been relegated to his non-romantic buddy, his emotional support friend. 

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger! We’re here to help you because there’s nothing more frustrating than discovering that your crush is using you for temporary companionship. And in your gut you know we’re right — the writing has been on the wall.


He’s happy to spend time with you but he never makes a move to kiss you or hold your hand, or even flirt. Instead of obsessing about how to win him over, maybe it’s time to take a new approach to love and dating.

You can get out of the roll of "emotional pillow" and create lasting love with someone else who is also hot for you, but first, you need to know the signs that you’re chasing a fantasy that won’t be fulfilled. If the majority of the following are true, you’d better face it: You’re being used by a man for emotional support.

RELATED: 7 Brutally Honest Signs He *Only* Sees You As A Friend With Benefits


Seven ways to know if your crush is using as an 'emotional support friend'

1. You’re convenient

Do you respond immediately when he texts? Does he ask you to join him last minute saying he has an extra ticket? He may see you as a convenient option for companionship (maybe even friends with benefits), but he’s not interested in a romantic relationship with you that grows serious unless he’s taking you out to impress you. If you’re constantly ending up with his last-minute plus-one you’ve definitely been friend-zoned.

2. Long talks but no dates

The same is true for long phone conversations that don’t lead to dates. He may be using you as a free therapist where he can discuss the issues of his life but not have to pay for the privilege. Long heart-felt conversations can feel like you’re building emotional intimacy but if he doesn’t try to see you in person, he’s not interested in anything more than talking. Plus, talk is cheap — if he wants a relationship with you he’ll want to take you out on dates, so pay attention to his actions.

3. He says you're like a sister 

If he says, “You’re like a sister to me.” or “I can’t believe you don’t have a boyfriend!” or “I don’t want to damage our friendship,” then you’ve been friend-zoned. These not-so-subtle statements should be taken at face value. He’s literally telling you that he doesn’t see romance in the future with you.

RELATED: 10 Brutal Signs He Just Wants To Be Friends


4. He asks for your advice

A man who is romantically interested in you won’t ask for your advice. He’ll want to impress you. He may value your opinion and he may even respect you, but if he’s not trying to be your hero and instead wants your help, you’ve been friend-zoned.

5. You find yourself consoling him

If he’s sharing his frustrations and looking for a shoulder to cry on, he isn’t looking for a relationship. Instead, he wants a friend he can come to when he’s feeling down. Being his emotional support person won’t make him want to woo you and claim you for his own. This one is tough because he’s been vulnerable with you — Ouch! You’ve been friend-zoned.

6. He always talks about his ex

A guy who is constantly talking about his ex and shares all the details of their messy breakup doesn’t see you as a potential romantic partner. He’s comfortable airing his dirty laundry and he’s looking for someone to help him feel better about himself. You want to be in a relationship with a man, not a boy, right? Let’s face it this guy is not emotionally available even if he was into you that way.

RELATED: Man Sues Woman For $3 Million Foe Friendzoning Him & Causing 'Damage To His Stellar Reputation' & 'Impacts On His Life'


7. His intentions are vague

A man who wants a relationship will pursue you for a relationship. He won’t keep things vague and casual. He’s either keeping his options open waiting for something better to come along, or he’s simply not emotionally ready to settle down just yet. If you’re filling in the space for companionship now, he’s not going to see you as a romantic partner even when he is ready. Move on!



Seven ways to avoid becoming stuck as his emotional support friend

If you take an intentional approach to dating you can avoid the friend zone. Most people stumble into “situationships” and feel frustrated because they don’t develop into a serious lasting partnership. You can avoid this mistake by dating with intention.

1. Stop twisting in a pretzel

If you’re looking for clues to figure out how you can get a guy to reciprocate your feelings of desire you’re essentially trying to earn someone’s love. This is a bad strategy that doesn’t serve your goal of lasting love with an ideal partner. Instead, simply show up authentically and let the chips fall where they may. Better to find out at the start that the two of you are not a long-term match.


2. Don’t easily invest your heart

Don’t give the benefit of the doubt to a stranger. A guy needs to earn your love and trust, so don’t commit your heart until you know his intentions. Once he’s proven himself over time with his actions, you can evaluate if the two of you are a good match long-term. Stay in the present and don’t dress him up in groom’s clothing.

RELATED: The 5 Manipulation Tactics Narcissists Use To Get Inside Your Head

3. Don’t look for subtle signs

Relationship-minded men are not subtle. If he’s serious about you he’ll move the relationship forward and ask to go exclusive. If you find yourself trying to interpret what he really means, you’re assigning meaning without facts. Stop being an interpreter and let his actions speak for his intentions. If he’s keeping things in the gray and not sharing his future plans with you then he doesn’t see you in his future. You don’t want to be friend-zoned again!

4. Don’t give to get

Don’t expect a man to reciprocate. If you’re doing things expecting to win him over, you have an unspoken expectation that he will do the same for you. This strategy will lead you to disappointment and heartache. Plus, if you’re attempting to win him over you’re energetically in the masculine role. This is not the way to man’s heart.


RELATED: How To Flirt With A Friend You Like Without Making It Weird

5. Date several people at once

Keep your options open and pay attention to who steps up to pursue you. Don’t turn off your dating profile as soon as you start crushing on some guy. Instead, commit to slow love. Just like soup or stew, you can’t rush it. Put off exclusivity until he proves worthy of your heart.

6. Speak up and make requests

One surefire way to never be friend zoned again is to avoid going along to get along. Speak up and make requests. If he’s only asking you out last minute to tag along, let him know you prefer to be asked out in advance. Don’t be so accommodating and don’t avoid speaking your mind in order to be agreeable. Sharing your life with someone will require that you know how to navigate through your differences. Find out as soon as possible if you two can get back on the same page.


7. Don’t settle

You deserve to be with someone who is as crazy about you as you are about him. Don’t invest your heart in a guy who hasn’t made his intentions known. Never make someone a priority who treats you as an option. You deserve more than the crumbs so don’t settle for anything less than your heart’s desire!

Friendship is not a consolation prize

Crushing on a guy who has friend zoned you can waste a lot of your time. You’ll be waiting in limbo and miss out on some great opportunities for love. Create a vision for love and then look for the man who fits your vision through the dating process.

Rather than risking your heart at the start, take things slowly so you can find out how he treats you over time. What happens when there’s a miscommunication, or when you make a request or redirect, or ask him to take things slow? Sharing your life with someone is the biggest decision you’ll make in life. Don’t treat it like buying a lottery ticket.

RELATED: 10 Undeniable Signs Of A Manipulative Man


Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. They're the authors of the free ebook, 7 Steps To Soulmating.