A popular piece of dating advice making the rounds on TikTok is, “If he wanted to, he would.”
The saying lacks nuance, but there’s truth there. It also goes both ways.
Sometimes, your partner may be going through something that makes them pull away, in which case an honest conversation is preferable to giving them the cold shoulder.
But if they consistently fail to match your energy and show up for you, staying with them doesn’t bode well for you in the long run.
Here are 8 signs you’re not a priority in someone’s life (and it’s time to move on).
I suggest you do it sooner rather than later.
1) They don’t make time for you
Family members require your assistance, work becomes overwhelming, and errands must be run.
Everyone gets busy.
When you’re a priority in someone’s life, though, you never wonder whether they think about you.
They let you know.
One of the things I appreciated most about my ex-boyfriend was that he was always in touch.
If he had a busy day at work, he would text me in the morning and say he wouldn’t be available in the next few hours.
If he couldn’t see me one weekend, he would explain why.
I never worried about him ghosting me or leaving me on read.
More importantly, someone who cares about you will make time to see you, even if it’s just for 5 minutes during a packed day.
If they don’t, you’re not as significant to them as you’d like.
2) You only see them on their schedule
Speaking of spending time together, think about how often you and your partner hang out.
If it’s only on their terms, it’s unlikely they see you as a priority.
A few signs to keep an eye for:
- They routinely chose other activities over spending time with you
- They cancel plans at the last minute if something that appeals to them more pops up
- Or, they make last-minute plans and expect you to be available
- They show little interest in your schedule and commitments
- Their effort to engage with you fluctuates (they’re attentive one moment, disengaged the next)
If you only spend time together on their terms, the relationship is one-sided – and your partner is putting their wants above your own.
To quote Taylor Swift, you know when it’s time to go.
3) They don’t consider you when making decisions
Considering each other when making decisions is crucial in a healthy relationship.
It shows that you respect each other, it fosters emotional intimacy, and it ensures that both partners have an equal say.
If your significant other frequently makes decisions without asking for your input, it suggests that they don’t value your opinion and don’t see you as an essential part of their life.
I’m not referring to decisions like what they should wear or have for breakfast.
(Although, if you’re a stylist or nutritionist, your expertise would definitely come in handy.)
Mostly, I’m referring to decisions that affect both of you.
How they spend their time, whether they should pursue a life-changing goal, social engagements you’re expected to attend as a couple, that kind of thing.
Not being taken into consideration makes you feel like you don’t matter to them.
I hate to break it to you, but it’s because you don’t – at least not to a degree you should be satisfied with.
4) They don’t take initiative in the relationship
If your partner isn’t excited to move the relationship forward, they’re not the one for you.
World-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê has a Love & Intimacy Masterclass in which he makes some excellent points about how expectations affect your love life.
In short, one of the hardest tasks in the path of love is figuring out what you want and taking responsibility for it.
When you first started dating your significant other, you probably had dreams of how the romance would play out.
Maybe you pictured yourself going the distance with this person, getting married, forging a beautiful life.
However, the more time you spend together, the more you realize that you projected all these dreams onto them.
In reality, their goals don’t align with yours at all.
But you still hang on, hoping your boo will see the error in their ways and decide they want you wholeheartedly.
As you do this, you’re giving them the love you should be giving yourself.
Do they talk about becoming exclusive, moving in together one day, meeting your parents?
Someone interested in potentially sharing their future with you takes the required steps to make that future a reality.
If they don’t push the relationship forward, they don’t see you as a priority.
What if they never change their mind?
5) Their actions don’t match their words
Your significant other can promise you the world. If their actions don’t back up their words, those words don’t matter.
I once dated a guy who liked to talk about our future. A lot.
Where we would live, what we would do, the adventures we would have together.
But when it came to following through and actually making plans for said future, he would immediately change the subject.
I quickly realized that this fantasy of us had no chance of coming true because he wasn’t committed to doing the work required to make it a reality.
You might be in the same boat if your partner:
- Fails to follow through on promises
- Doesn’t show up when they say they would
- Doesn’t take accountability for their mistakes
- Becomes defensive or evasive when you call them out
All in all, if you sense that your partner’s actions are inconsistent with their words, despite their explanations or assurances, you’re not a priority for them.
Moving on is the best available option.
6) They dismiss your concerns
In a sustainable relationship, both partners work together to resolve conflicts.
If your partner dismisses you every time you bring up a problem, it may be because they don’t see your relationship as meaningful enough to warrant a serious discussion.
Additionally, by downplaying your concerns, your partner invalidates them, making you feel unheard and unimportant.
It’s a form of emotional neglect.
“You’re overreacting.” “It’s not a big deal.” “We’re fine, don’t worry.”
7) They don’t introduce you to their inner circle
Introducing a partner to your inner circle is a huge step in integrating them into your life and making the relationship public.
If your partner is hesitant to do so, it can indicate that they would prefer to keep the relationship separate from their other connections.
In other words, you might not be a big priority in their life.
Granted, since this is such a big move, some people prefer to wait a while before they make it.
For instance, I don’t introduce a boyfriend to my family unless we’re in the “very serious” stage because I want to avoid explaining to everyone what happened if things don’t work out.
Even so, they know the guy exists, and I don’t shy away from uttering his name in someone else’s presence.
There’s caution, and then there’s secrecy.
If your boo never invites you over when they’re out with friends, never posts you on their social media, and never talks about the possibility of meeting their family, it’s a red flag.
8) They’re unwilling to compromise
Each person has wants and preferences in a relationship, which don’t always go hand in hand.
When conflict arises, compromising enables you to find common ground and come up with a solution that satisfies both partners.
If one of them refuses to do so, it leads to an imbalance of power.
They end up with more control, suggesting a lack of consideration for the other person’s feelings.
Your needs are just as relevant as your partner’s.
Don’t lose sight of that.
Being with someone who doesn’t see you as a priority damages your self-esteem and makes you doubt your worth.
Ditch that person and find someone who understands how amazing you truly are.
I’ve already mentioned Rudá Iandê’s Love & Intimacy Masterclass.
If you want your next relationship to flourish, give it a try.
It will empower you to not settle for anything less than you deserve.