12 signs your partner looks down on you (and what to do about it)

Every relationship is unique, and not just in good ways.

When two people join lives, it’s not all sunshine and roses.

Here are the top signs that your partner considers themselves superior to you and how you can respond effectively and with maximum self-respect and dignity.

12 signs your partner looks down on you (and what to do about it)

If this is happening to you, then you definitely have a problem.

Watch out for these signs.

1) They talk down to you

Talking down to someone is one of the worst things that happens in some relationships.

It’s not only romantic relationships of course.

This goes on in family relationships, friendships, work interactions and many other situations.

This is one of the most worrisome signs your partner looks down on you:

They talk to you like you’re an idiot, a nobody, an afterthought.

Their voice carries a note of deep exhaustion when speaking with you, but regains normalcy in conversation with others.

There may be many reasons for this including them being in a bad mood, but when you notice that it’s happening often and is an ongoing trend, don’t write it off as no big deal.

It is a big deal.

Like it or not, you have been relegated to a place of being a disempowered b*tch in this relationship.

Your partner looks down on you, or at least they certainly act like they do.

Not good!

2) They ignore you

Another of the disturbing signs your partner looks down on you is that they ignore you, sometimes for weeks or even months at a time.

Apart from a cursory “hey,” they are looking right through you.

You may as well be a ghost.

Of course there are reasons this happens, and being showered with constant attention has its own unattractive aspect.

But being fully ignored by someone you care about certainly does hurt.

If this is going on with you, it’s crucial to try communicating with your partner and asking them what’s going on.

Let them know you feel a desire for more communication and interaction, and that you understand that this is challenging for them at the moment.

If your partner is extra busy or going through a hard time they will hopefully open up to you.

If they just look down on you and find you annoying to interact with this will also potentially come out and the relationship will generally end.

3) They leave you baffled

Among the worst things about a partner who believes they are on another level to you is the feelings of confusion it may generate.

You wonder why they don’t seem to care about you or would want to be with you anyway if they think you’re crap.

It’s a good question!

While this article explores the main signs your partner feels above you, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like being in love with someone who feels they’re better than you or on a higher level.

They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.

How do I know?

Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship.

After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to get started.

4) They flirt with others

Another upsetting of the signs your partner looks down on you is that they flirt with others, sometimes right in front of you.

Talk about disrespect!

The least somebody could do if they’re in a relationship with you is respect your time and love for them by not openly showing interest in others more than you.

This kind of flirtatious behavior will often be accompanied by comments about the attractiveness or intelligence and charm of others.

Missing in there is any mention of your own charms and appeal.

A bit of lighthearted flirting or pointing out that another person is very attractive never hurt anyone, but it’s a much different matter to openly try to woo someone else in front of you.

If they’re doing that, you have some real issues to worry about in this relationship.

Whether they’re cheating is another question worth asking and investigating…

What’s certain is that they are letting you know that they find others more attractive than you and don’t respect you enough to even hide it.

This is very disappointing and is a sign that your partner considers themselves to be higher value than you!

5) They treat you as a fallback option

Being treated as an afterthought and fallback option is painful in all areas of life, especially in romantic relationships.

In the one scenario in which you would hope you rank higher in importance and priority, you are instead informed in many ways that you are not very important and not as good as their ex.

This is really a painful thing to experience and if it’s happening to you, then you have a right to feel quite upset and disappointed about it.

Amanda Chatel wrote some very true things about this at Bustle.

“Although we all know that one of the biggest no-nos on a date is talking about your ex, a sign that your date looks down on you is when they compare you to their ex, especially if everything you say and do isn’t as fantastic as everything their ex says and does.”

6) They make you ‘work’ for their attention

Attention and love don’t come in an endless supply, but if your partner gives you the impression that you have to “earn” their love and respect, then they’re engaging in really harmful behavior.

This isn’t a healthy relationship and it isn’t something that’s going to bring out the best in you.

The more you work, the lower your own self-esteem will slide as you constantly compete for your partner’s approval against a host of other factors.

The basic idea is simple:

They are leveraging your own love for them into power over you.

Then they are setting hoops for you to jump through that you always turn out to not be quite good enough at doing.

How can you win?

Sometimes only by leaving!

7) They bring out your worst traits

Another of the signs your partner looks down on you is that they bring out your worst traits.

When you’re around them you somehow become toxic or insecure and you aren’t sure why.

Here’s the reason…

Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?

Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…

We’ve all been there: confused as hell, feeling let down and being so into someone but totally unsure if they really feel the same…

When you’re dealing with a partner who makes you feel unworthy, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.

I want to suggest doing something different.

It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.

In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.

As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.

We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like feeling disempowered and devalued in a relationship.

We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.

We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.

We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.

While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to a critical and unaffectionate partner who sends mixed messages about their interest in us.

If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Click here to watch the free video.

8) They use jealousy as a tool against you

Jealousy is a powerful force that can corrode even the brightest and most loving relationship.

At the heart of jealousy is another emotion:


Fear of being not good enough…

Fear of being alone…

Fear of being abandoned

These emotions of our primal, infant self keep coming back up and they can be so difficult to work through and come to terms with as adults.

Many adults suffer from the patterns imprinted on them without ever becoming conscious of how they are a slave to emotional wounding that was never their fault in the first place.

It’s not psychobabble bullsh*t, it’s true and it really leaves a deep mark…

9) They threaten to break up to get their way

Another of the awful signs your partner looks down on you is that they use leaving you as an open threat.

It comes back up when you don’t do what they say…

When you annoy them…

When you become distant from them…

They suddenly are about to leave you at any time.

It never quite happens, but this shoe that’s about to drop definitely has you scared.

“You shouldn’t have to go through life cringing every time you say or do anything, worrying that your S.O. is going to drop you for good,” wrote Hannah Orenstein and Carolyn Twersky at Seventeen.

“You should feel secure in your relationship and comfortable enough to be yourself around your bae, not walking on eggshells constantly.”

10) They don’t include you in financial decisions

Financial stress splits up many couples for the very basic reason that finances are very stressful.

The ultra wealthy still get worked up about finances and the stresses associated with them, which is part of why many very prosperous people hire money managers and people to look after their financial matters.

It can literally be a full time job just to manage money and figure out what to do with it, how to save it correctly and what to spend it on that meets your goals.

Apply this to your average couple and you can see a recipe for tension.

What makes it much worse is when one partner does not deign to involve the other in crucial financial decisions…

They just go for it, even on shared accounts or in situations where they had not ethical right to do so (even if they had the legal right).

This is a clear sign your partner looks down on you if they do it.

Failing to include someone in important financial decisions such as big purchases, investments, withdrawals or other matters is an awful thing to do and indicates a real lack of taking the other person into account.

This is the sort of problem that needs to be tackled head on.

Making separate accounts won’t always address it, because the issue of the lack of respect in making financial decisions will continue regardless and cause major problems in the relationship.

11) They’re all take and no give

The thing about selfish people is that it’s not black and white. We can all be selfish at times, even the most generous of us.

There are times when putting yourself first is absolutely necessary and it’s something your partner should respect.

But the problem occurs when there’s a partner who’s only considering their side all the time.

When they no longer have any give and only have take…

And then use the love between you as the justification for why that needs to happen…

They need more of your time, love, energy, attention, compromise or what have you.

But whatever you need from them is demanding, unacceptable, outlandish and so on.

There’s a balance! You don’t want a partner who just does everything you say and doesn’t care about themselves.

Yet at the same time, a partner who doesn’t respect you enough to ever care about your needs clearly looks down on you in some fundamental way that will have to be rectified and addressed for the relationship to be repaired and potentially continued.

12) They try to get you to break your beliefs

The deepest relationships still have two members present in them: these are two people with unique life experiences, beliefs and philosophies.

Two people who get together sharing many commonalities and beliefs will often find that they have more differences in their outlook than they realized as they grow together.

This is normal and can be a source of growth and positive learning between partners.

But it can also lead to one trying to impose his or her beliefs on the other as time goes on or to break the others worldview.

This is clearly a sign of enormous disrespect. Presenting your beliefs and speaking in favor of them or strongly advocating them is one thing: forcing them or holding the relationship conditional to them is something else entirely.

One of the worst signs your partner looks down on you is that they try to force you to change your beliefs or shame you for the way you see life, love and the world.

If they still won’t let up when you explain how hurtful this is to you, it can definitely be the stress point that ends up breaking the relationship unfortunately.

Time to go?

We can’t control how someone else feels about us.

Trying to do so has sabotaged so many relationships it’s impossible to count.

The harder you push and try to lead a heart to love, the more it will resist falling.

It’s one of the sad ironies of life.

If you’re with a partner who looks down on you and it’s reinforcing all your worst doubts, fears and inadequacies, it may be time to break up.

Speak with them and try to work through this and bridge the gap.

If your partner is not open to that, you need to seriously consider speaking to a coach at Relationship Hero.

It could be there is another way to salvage this connection, but it could also be that walking away and having a clean break is your best bet.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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