10 Signs He Is Forcing Himself To Love You

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Everyone should be with someone who loves them fully and completely, for everything and all that they are. But what are the signs that there’s something not quite right in your relationship? How do you know if your boyfriend is forcing himself to love you, and his feelings for you are not as strong as you deserve? Well, my friends, in this post – we’ll reveal all! Here’s the 10 key signs he is forcing himself to love you, and what to do about it – whether you should actually leave.

10 Signs He Is Forcing Himself To Love You

So let’s jump straight in, shall we? Here’s the 10 key signs he is forcing himself to love you.

As you read through, make a note of how many ring true – and to what degree. As this is what’s going to help you make your decision at the end, as to whether it’s time to walk away and leave…

1) He Feels Pressure To Settle Down

So first off, one of the key signs he is forcing himself to love you (or may be anyway), is if you know he doesn’t like being on his own.

Maybe he’s had a string of past relationships that haven’t worked out, but is now at a stage in his life where he THINKS he should settle down.

(Or perhaps he is slightly past that… I.E. he thinks he should have settled down a couple of years ago and time is now ticking on!)

Now this is not uncommon. See a recent study from Eharmony showed that, yes – we can all champion the benefits that come with being single.

For example, personal independence (61%), time for new hobbies (33%), being free to do what you want on a night out (24%) and even the freedom to enjoy new sexual relationships (10%).

In fact, two fifths (41%) of respondents agree that they would rather be by themselves than with the wrong person.

Yet despite these many positives, single men still feel under significant pressure to find that special someone.

In fact, contrary to popular perception, they feel more concerned about finding a partner than their female counterparts (71% vs. 58%). (Yikes!)

What To Look Out For:

  • Does he bring up his age, and where he THINKS he should be, or needs to be, relationship wise?
  • Did he bring this up quite early on – just to put it out there?
  • Have all of his friends settled down? Or are starting to settle down? And he seems to be very aware or conscious of this?
  • Does he seem to want to move the relationship on quickly? Even if there are things that aren’t quite right between the two of you?
  • Do you feel like he’s acting more out of obligation than love?

See this sign – you can’t take on it’s own completely. You have to see how many of the other signs start to ring true… But if they do, this one can actually play a pretty big part in all of it!

2) Or He Has External Pressures From Others

Now, not only might he be feeling the pressure from the expectations he puts on himself, but he may also feel it from the pressures of others. For example:

  • It might be that all of his friends / family really like you and want you to stay together (forever!) That can make it more difficult to walk away from, especially if you’re not having any major issues, as such.
  • Or maybe you’re going through a tough time in your personal life. If this is the case, he will still care about you (just not so much in the romantic sense.) But because of everything going on – he feels like he can’t add to it, or so is staying more out of obligation.
  • The external pressure could even be coming from you. Perhaps you pushed to move in together / to get engaged / take your relationship to the next stage. And yet – things still aren’t right. He doesn’t know what to do or how he can walk away easily now. Everything moved so quickly and he feels like he’s in too deep!

These can all be difficult things to hear, but they’re worth considering. After all – like we said – it’s all about piecing things together.

Just try to find the FACTS and “proof” as opposed to letting your mind run wild with “what ifs.” And if all else fails – ask! (Communication is everything!)

Recommended Read: 50 Tough Relationship Questions (You Really Should Ask!)

Signs he is forcing himself to love you

3) You Don’t FEEL The Love From Him

Having said that, gut instinct can go a long way. Particularly if it’s based off your relationship standards / expectations and these aren’t being met.

See, you may be looking for the signs he is forcing himself to love you, because you personally, feel like the love just isn’t there fully and completely.

You feel like you have to work for his love: fight for his love. It’s not just given freely and completely as (you’re concerned that) the truth is, it’s not fully there.

I mean, yes, everyone is different. Everyone has different ways of showing love, and different attachment styles that play into it too.

  • But do you know that your partner can do better?
  • Do you see the way he is around others sometimes and want that warmness towards you too?
  • Did he used to try harder?
  • Or it’s always been this way, but you know – deep down – it’s not good enough?

These are all things worth weighing up. Just make sure you’re remembering your worth. After all, we really do accept the love we think we deserve.

And how you’re treated, or made to feel – is important.

So if he doesn’t make you feel loved, you really may have to raise the question of: “Am I with the right person?” Because the last thing you should do is settle when it comes to being loved.

4) He’s Inconsistent

Another key sign he is forcing himself to love you, is if he’s inconsistent with the love he gives you.

See, you should know where you should stand. You should know how a person feels about you (no matter what may or may not be going on in your relationship / lives.)

And yet, for you – sometimes he may make you feel loved and do kind things. Other times, it’s like he HATES YOU. (It can be pretty extreme!)

Or perhaps, in public it’s like you’re all good, and yet at home – the effort diminishes.

He’s up and down, hot and cold, unreliable and can go off the rails at times. This is one of the biggest signs he is forcing himself to love you and things aren’t quite right.

See, he’s kidding himself, or trying to “fake it ’til you make it.” But the truth is – his feelings just aren’t strong enough for you, otherwise he wouldn’t be treating you the way that he is.

And that doesn’t mean that he wants to act this way, or that he has no feelings for you at all.

There’s a good chance that emotional immaturity is coming into play here, and he’s probably just not quite ready for something serious.

Either way – you’re not there to just wait around… especially when you’re not being valued like you deserve!

Is he genuine?

5) He Doesn’t Treat You Like a Lifelong Partner

Do you find that you aren’t often involved in decisions? (Especially the big ones.)

In fact, at times, it feels like you aren’t even considered? It’s like he’s single in that respect, and always just does his own thing, with no thought towards you?

Do you feel like he puts others before you, often? Or other things before you relationship? You matter, but not enough it seems. Just like he probably loves you – but again, not enough.

And so the relationship isn’t everything that it should be, and it’s certainly not progressing.

See it could be that he’s TRYING to love you, he WANTS to see a future with you… But deep down, he knows it’s not all there from his side, and so he continues to stay set in his ways.

As a result, you may also notice a slight distance between the two of you. You’ve never fully gotten as close as you’d like to, and he’s never completely let you in.

See, relationships move at a pace that each person is comfortable with. And it can take some people longer to open up than others.

But if your relationship is one-dimensional and you don’t have that emotional intimacy fully there – you have to start asking why…

Signs He Is Forcing Himself To Love You

6) He Doesn’t Treat You How You Deserve

Another thing you’ll find if he’s forcing himself to love you, is that, consequently, he then doesn’t treat you how you deserve.

Not only is he not meeting all of your needs, but he may also be breaking some of your key boundaries.

Like for example – being unfaithful, disloyal or cheating. Or maybe it’s just the fact that you’re recognised the signs he has a crush on another woman… And you want him to only have eyes FOR YOU!

Whether he’s crossed small lines or big ones, he’s far more likely to be crossing lines to begin with if he doesn’t truly love you.

Why? Well it doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t care about you, or wants to hurt you. But he certainly doesn’t care enough, is acting selfishly and not thinking.

This is all because, deep down, there’s not as much “to lose” in his mind, because you’re not really “his world.”

Now of course, there are exceptions. People make mistakes. Situations can be different. But if he truly loves you, he shouldn’t be doing things that conflict against that. Especially consistently.

You may also find that the relationship is one-sided – all of the effort seems to be coming from you. Whats more, at times, he may be pretty mean, rude or disrespectful towards you.

This is because he’s lashing out – he’s confused about how he feels or what he should do. And so (unintentionally in most cases), he’s getting frustrated and taking it out on you.

Signs he is forcing himself to love you

7) He Wants To Go On a Break

Now it’s never a good sign if someone wants to go on a break, which is why it can sometimes be one of the signs he is forcing his love for you.

He wants to end things, but he doesn’t have the courage to do it completely, so he’s “testing the waters” with the rather confusing “on a break” label.

Now remember – this may not necessarily be the case. It’s just one possibility, which is why you must, must, must, see how many of the other signs align!

JUST NOTE: If this whole “go on a break” request came out of the blue (in your mind), it’s more likely to be because his feelings aren’t quite as strong as yours, or he’s been keeping things in which you didn’t know about. Things aren’t quite adding up.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: If you have been blind-sided by this a little bit, it can help to get the truth finally out in the open, and give you the thinking space you need to remember your own worth too!

8) He Tries To Change You

Now, working on the things that aren’t working in a relationship is a good thing. Even trying to help someone work on their flaws is okay…

But trying to change a person and who they are or trying to mould them into who you want them to be? That is not.

See, if he can’t accept you as you are, he doesn’t fully love you as you are. Because the right person? They will love and appreciate you for everything and ALL that you are! You know?

If your boyfriend is forcing himself to love you, he probably thinks well, “if this can change” or “she can be more like this or less like this”, it / you will be “perfect.”

But there’s no such thing as perfect and you should be enough – just the way that you are. (You will be for the right man anyway!)

This is a common and fatal mistake however – falling for a person for who you THINK they are or who you WANT them to be. It all ties into fantasising and the picture you build in your mind about them.

But that’s what then pulls a person into a situation where they are then trying to backpedal and force themselves to love the person as they are.

Remember: it’s nothing to take personally and this is no reflection on you. It’s not that you’re not good enough. It’s probably just that the relationship has moved too fast and your boyfriend isn’t ready for a relationship or clear on what he TRULY wants / needs.

So this is to do with him- not you. Don’t ever forget that.

Does he feel the same way as me?

9) He’s Just Got “Comfortable” Or Doesn’t Like Change

What else do you want to look out for when it comes to the signs he is forcing himself to love you? Well, if he’s just got “comfortable”.

Now we’re not talking about when the relationship starts to settle in. (This is a good place to be if you can still keep it fun and exciting!)

Instead, we’re talking about when someone is relatively happy, and so just stays where they are. (Even if it’s not everything it should be.)

If this is the case, you’ll find that he likes you, but he just doesn’t love you. You get on well, but there’s just not that passion there. It’s a nice, pleasant, easy relationship, but that’s about it.

Another thing that keeps people where they are, is if they don’t like change. Breaking up is difficult, and the inevitable hurt that comes after it is TOUGH!

Therefore he may be forcing himself to love you because – right now – things are actually pretty okay, and he’d rather it stay okay, than to have to start over…

JUST REMEMBER: The easiest option is not always the best option. And this is no reason to stay!

Recommended Read: 20 Signs He Doesn’t Feel The Same Way Anymore

10) Deep Down, You Know You’re Better As Friends

Last but not least then, through all of this – it could be that your relationship is, or has turned into, more of a friendship.

And as hard as you try to make it something more – you’re facing it because you really are just better as friends.

If this is the case, he does care about you. But that’s one of the reasons he’s staying and trying to make it work – because he doesn’t want to hurt you!

He also probably love you (very much so, too!) but he’s not IN LOVE with you! He only loves you like a friend and he’s trying hard for it to be more.

With this, acceptance is key. In time, you can move on to be just friends (even though he’s your ex!) But in order to keep that friendship, you have to try to end things – at the right time – and on the best terms, as that’s the only way to protect it…

Is he pretending to love me?

What To Do If he Is Forcing Himself To Love You

So there we have it – the 10 key signs he is forcing himself to love you. Oh, it’s tough to hear, I know. But remember your worth. Remember what you deserve.

If you read through this and you noticed just 1 or 2 signs ringing potentially true, then try not to jump to conclusions. 

You could be misinterpreting things. He could have other things going on that’s affecting your relationship, or you could just be going through a rocky patch… 

So start off by having an honest and open conversation with him. Try to get to the bottom of things.

Should You Leave?

If you recognised pretty much all of these signs he is forcing himself to love you, then there’s got to be a point where you take a step back and ask yourself…

“Is this really what I want and deserve?

See, there IS someone out there, who would love and appreciate you for everything and all that you are… with EASE. So never settle, or think you couldn’t / wouldn’t find that, okay?

Be brave. Do what’s right for you (no matter how hard that may be!)

Do what you’d tell your best friend to do, if you were out of this situation and looking in. And never forget how worthy you are of true, deep, pure LOVE!

Take care. Wishing you all the best.


Signs he is forcing himself to love you
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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