10 undeniable signs you’re more of an option than a priority to them


Are you a top priority in your partner’s life or are you just an option they exercise when all other options are unavailable or exhausted?

Be honest. 

Because you deserve a partner who makes you feel special, not someone who calls you when their “real” plans fall through. 

You’re definitely not out of line for expecting your significant other to make time for you. And certainly no one would fault you for ending a relationship with someone who doesn’t make you a priority in their life.

Being someone’s backup plan or a fallback position is grossly fair to you. You’re not that person who just sits around in limbo waiting for your partner to get bored enough to interact with you. 

And if you are that person, why are you that person? 

Please don’t be that person. It will not end well for you. Harsh, but factual.

Here are a few clues that you’re nothing but an option to your partner, and not a priority. If too many of these resonate with you, you may want to reevaluate what kind of relationship you have, or if you even have one at all.

1) Is this even a relationship? 

Are you even in a relationship, or do you always feel like an afterthought? Is it almost like you’re being used? 

Ask yourself these questions

Do you talk about your interests? Do you discuss having a future together? Are you going out on actual dates? Have you met each other’s family and friends?

Or are you just the person who’ll answer their call in the middle of the night when no one else would pick up the phone?

And let me be clear. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with casual sex. There isn’t.  But both parties have to be on the same page.

This is key.

 You can’t be mentally planning your wedding with someone who considers you a booty call.  And if that’s not what you signed up for, don’t settle. 

Move on to a more reciprocal relationship with actual parameters and labels. 

2) No labels 

Does your partner refuse to hang a label on your relationship? Are you introduced as the “friend” and not the girlfriend or boyfriend?  

Your “friend” sounds like they struggle with commitment, at least as far as you’re concerned, anyway. 

Again, any kind of relationship between two consenting adults is fine as long as both parties are on board. So, did you agree to this arrangement, or are you dissatisfied and craving more?

A desire to avoid labels means that your partner isn’t interested in a serious relationship and probably considers your relationship a strictly sexual one—and only when it works for them.

3)They don’t care about your needs 

Why would they? If they don’t really care about you, why would your needs even cross their mind? It’s likely they only worry about their own needs and expect you to meet them while giving nothing back in return.

Zero reciprocation.

When you’re just an option for someone, you exist only to cater to their whims, and only when it’s convenient for them.

But even at that, you’re almost always the one initiating contact and suggesting meet-ups.

4) They never initiate contact

Are you always the one who initiates contact, whether it’s calls, texts, or making plans to hang out? They rarely contact you first, and usually, it’s when they have nothing better to do.

Sometimes they won’t respond to your messages or just answer with terse, closed-ended replies. It’s pretty obvious that they don’t want to prolong the conversation.

These are not the actions of someone who puts you first.  

5) You’re never number 1

When your love interest has a choice between a date with you or a party with friends, your partner doesn’t need to think twice, and it’s not to your advantage. 

As far as their relationship priorities go, they’ll always put everything and everyone else ahead of you. Whether it’s work, friends, or anything else, they’re all booked up as far as you’re concerned, anyway.

If they ever do reach out to you, it’s only because all their other plans have fallen through. If you’re only on your partner’s radar when they have no other options, then you are not their priority. 

You don’t feel you’re valued by them. That’s because you’re not. 

6) They don’t make you feel important 

things manipulative partners say to keep you in a relationship 10 undeniable signs you’re more of an option than a priority to them

Would your partner care if you laid low for a while and ignored their calls and texts? 

Would they even notice?

Do they value your opinions and feelings? Do they care about the things that matter to you? Or do you get the impression you don’t matter at all to them?

And one last question: If you feel like nothing that you say or do matters to your partner, why are you still with them? 

Your partner should treat you like you’re the most important person in their world. When you’re viewed as an option, it definitely shows.  

And since they don’t make you feel special, it’s time to reassess your relationship with that person.

7) They don’t make you feel special 

If you’re just their option, your partner probably treats you like everyone else in their life, if not worse. 

If the vibe is more like an acquaintance than a significant other, you probably feel like the other people in their lives are more special to them than you are.

And no doubt you’re right. 

Exit stage left.  

If they don’t see how special you are, they’re definitely not the one for you. If you’re not important enough to meet their family and friends, you’re not important to them, period. 

They’re only using you for the love you’re willing to shower them with until something better comes along.

8) Your partner never introduces you to his friends and family

Does your partner avoid introducing you to his friends and family? When they aren’t making any effort to introduce you to his inner circle, it’s a clear indication they aren’t serious about you.

At all. 

9) They put you in the friend zone

This is a very common occurrence, and a lot of people fall into this trap and don’t realize it until it’s too late. 

You’re stuck in the friend zone, which calls to mind a line from the Eagles’ Hotel California – “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

The friend zone is harder to escape than Alcatraz. 

In reality, they aren’t ready for a commitment with you, and they never will be. If you confront them about the nature of your relationship, you won’t get a positive response. 

In fact, they may get resentful that you dared to disturb their peace with your silly demands. 

10) All plans revolve around their convenience 

When you’re someone’s option and not their priority, your wants and needs don’t matter.  The only thing that matters to this type of partner is what they want and how fast you’ll give that to them. 

So, you always have to work your schedule around theirs. You wait for them to have an opening in their schedule and drop everything else when they do.

You’re constantly available, while your partner is only available to you when there’s nothing else going on. Everything happens at a pace that suits their comfort level. 

You just exist to accommodate their “busy” schedule, and they don’t care one little bit about yours.

And you put up with this … why?

The bottom line

They treat you badly.

And you know, deep in your heart, that you’re not being treated the way you want, need, and deserve. 

You’re the backup backup plan, the worst-case scenario, not a girlfriend or boyfriend. This person doesn’t want to cut ties with you because you’re useful as a plan B in case everything else falls through. 

 But they’re not interested in having a relationship with you, especially not for the long haul. 

Run, don’t walk, away from this septic situationship.

You deserve so much more than to be just an option. 

Picture of Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden lives in a New England forest paradise with her cats, kid, and trusty laptop. She has been writing since age 8 and is such a pack rat she can back that up with physical evidence. Music is her solace and words are her drug, so her house is strewn with records and books. Watch your step.

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