Relationships are hard when they’re mutual, so when one person is consistently pulling all of the weight, it’s that much worse. You might be in a relationship like that right now, but even if you were, admitting that is much easier said than done. Nobody wants to come to that realization: that someone you really care about really doesn’t care about you the way you should be. However, even though it’s a hard thing to come up against, you need to know that you deserve a much better relationship with a person who’s going to treat you like a priority, instead of a person who’s only going to treat you like an option.
If you feel like your significant other is treating you more like an option rather than how you should be treated, you probably have a nagging feeling in your gut about it, because your intuition won’t steer you wrong in a situation like this. However, if you don’t have that feeling, there are signs you can look out for. While these signs can be rationalized away, too many of them popping up means that you might have some thinking to do about your relationship. Here are some signs that your significant other is treating you like an option and not like a priority.
Every concession in the relationship is yours. If you find yourself making compromises in your relationship, that’s often a sign of a healthy relationship, but only if your partner is doing it too. If they’re not, and you find that the sacrifices being made are all yours, you might be getting treated like an option.
No plans are ever made in advance. Your partner makes plans with you, sure, but they’re never made more than a day or two in advance, and chances are you need to scramble to move your schedule around to accommodate them. That’s not something that happens when you’re a person’s priority.
You wait on them, but they don’t wait on you. If they ask you to wait, you’ll do it, almost without question. However, if you need your partner to wait on you, they’ll bail on you faster than you can blink. You can’t rely on them in any way if it inconveniences them.
No dates ever happen outside. You might have the nicest dates with your partner who treats you like an option, and maybe these are some of the better dates that you’ve ever had. However, if you think back, you can’t remember the last time you had a date that happened publicly. Maybe you’ve never been outside with your partner before.
Sometimes their behavior changes, but it’s never for long. Every so often, your partner will change when called out on this behavior, or even just on their own. That sounds like good news as it’s happening, but before you know it, they’re back to their old ways and you’re left wondering what happened.
They actually tell you they’re seeing other people. A general rule: when someone tells you who they are, believe them. If your partner tells you outright that they’re seeing other people, or worse, that they are and they’re prioritizing one of them over you, take them at their word.
Your messages go unanswered or even unseen. Have you ever watched your phone for a message from your partner that simply never arrives? Then, you go and check the message thread (whether on Snapchat, Facebook, text messages, or anything else you communicate with) and find that your partner who has their phone with them all the time hasn’t even opened the thread. That means that they saw the text or message or even the missed call notification and chose not to do anything about it.
You feel taken advantage of. This is where your intuition comes into play. Your intuition is often correct in this case. If your partner doesn’t care, they won’t be putting in the effort to show you that they are, and you’ll pick up on that really easily.
They’re made of excuses. Your partner might sound like they’re made of excuses. They have excuses for everything: why they can’t be with you right now, why your messages go unanswered, why every interaction with you is private. If someone wants to be with you, they’ll find a way, trust me.
They always seem bored. Does your partner always seem like they’re bored whenever they’re around you, like they would rather be doing anything else? Perhaps they’re constantly checking their phone when they’re with you, to further drive the knife in that they don’t answer your messages.
They don’t show any interest in your life. They simply couldn’t be bothered with anything that you do when you’re not with them. Anything that you do on a daily basis, even the things that matter to you, is just beneath their notice. Also, when you do tell them about things, you may as well be talking to the wall because they just don’t remember.
They lie about things that they don’t have to lie about. Do you ever catch your partner lying? Not about anything world-ending, just small things that you would never think about if they hadn’t lied about it. More often than not, small lies about small things are never insignificant.
They act suspicious all the time. Your partner constantly acts squirrely, like they have something to hide. Chances are, their behavior is indicative that they actually do have something to hide, so this one is important.
They don’t understand things that are important to you. This is more than just not paying attention to what interests you, this is simply ignoring the things that really matter to you. For example: the holidays are coming up, and you don’t know if your partner is even going to bother showing up.
They make you feel terrible. Do you find that your partner makes you feel depressed, unhappy, or just bad in general? More importantly, do you find that you feel terrible more than you feel happy? This is a big one, and it’s not something you should dismiss. If you feel this way and have for awhile, that’s a good sign that you need to let the relationship go.