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Relationships

Feeling Like an Option in a Relationship? Signs You Need to Watch Out For


“Feeling like the one you love is starting to love you less is probably the worst feeling in the world.”

When someone is really into you, they make you feel special, consistently show their interest, and never leave you hanging on confusing signs. They do everything in and out of their way, to make you feel like you deserve the world. 

Sadly, that’s not the case for all relationships. In fact, there are many lovers out there trying to maintain a one sided-relationship. 

Signs you are an option for your partner

Sometimes, when you are madly in love, you refuse to accept that you may not be as important to your partner as they are to you. Even when things turn out extreme, you try to ignore their irrelevant behavior and think of ways to compensate for their actions. 

couple sitting next to each other

If you cannot recognize where you stand in a relationship, what value you hold in your partner’s life, and how often they make you happy —my friend, it’s time to reevaluate your self worth. 

Hoping to get value in your partner’s life in the future and waiting for them in the false illusion that they will love you back with the same intensity as you, will lead you nowhere. Moreover, it is very ruinous to your mental health. 

In such a situation, it’s not easy to jump to conclusions. Are they really into you, or are you just a last-minute option to them?

Here are signs that prove you’re just an extra option for your partner. Please read them carefully, they will help you make things crystal clear: 

1. They give you a feeling of being overburdened 

When your partner is not ready to cross boundaries for your happiness, they always come up with excuses and do not show signs that they care about you.  

This is a clear red flag for you to stop romanticizing your future with them.

If they intentionally leave your texts and calls unanswered and give you reasons to be busy, every day becomes an indication that you are a burden to them.

2. Your partner does not involve you much 

If your partner doesn’t like to show up with you at their business parties and doesn’t involve you in their friends’ get-togethers—you are not a priority to them. It also means that they take you for granted and don’t appreciate your presence. 

When a person prioritizes their love, they like to show their partner off with their spouses, and take them everywhere from birthday bashes to big weddings. 

If your partner doesn’t count you in most outings, maybe they have lost their interest or are embarrassed by you. 

3. Your partner behaves in a suspicious way 

If your partner keeps secrets from you, chances are they are probably trying to hide things from you. Always remember that  concealing is a sign of detachment.

By keeping things away from you, they are giving themselves less and less away. They don’t share things transparently in the relationship because they don’t want you to know everything about them. 

A person doesn’t involve an unimportant being in life, and it’s a well-served fact. This may be a clear sign you are not as important to them as you think. 

4. Treat you disrespectfully in front of their friends.

When someone loves you, they don’t have to say it, and you can quickly feel it by how they treat you. If your partner mistreats you, makes you feel inferior in front of their friends, and acts as the dominating one in a relationship, they don’t respect you enough. 

Respect is one of the main pillars that strongly hold a relationship. If your partner has stopped respecting you, it’s a sign they don’t find you as important as they did when you started dating.  

5. You are the only one to appreciate things in a relationship.

From morning texts to planning dates, you alone take the initiative in every single thing in your relationship.

Is your partner least concerned about the relationship and doesn’t seem interested in planning exciting things—candlelight dates, road trips, shopping? Do they show zero interest in planning outings that you both loved in the past? 

In such a case, you are choosing to exploit yourself by being with a downhearted person. It clearly shows that you are the only one trying to keep the love within you alive. 

6. You catch them lying more frequently 

Your partner constantly lies to you, even in minor circumstances. Chances are they might be untruthful to you on some serious stuff, which may hurt you later. 

Trust and transparency are base pillars for any relationship. You are an option for them when they are least concerned about your sentiments, and if they continuously break those pillars without caring about your feelings. 

7. They don’t show interest in your hobbies.

Does your partner show interest in your daily activities? Do they like to be involved with whatever you’re doing? 

If your partner never asks you about your day or doesn’t show up at your important events, it says a lot about your worth in their life. 

Another way to cross-check your value is by noticing their behavior when you share deep things about your life with them. Closely see how they react, is your problem concerning them, or are they just doing a formality of listening to you? This is enough to alarm you about the roots of your relationship. 

8. Your partner does not prioritize quality time

A lover always finds a way to make love if they are really into you. They will plan surprise dates to make you smile, and be on time to prove their affection. Even if they are busy with work, they will never forget to send bouquets with confessions about how much they love you. 

couple hugging each other

So if your partner doesn’t seem to perform anything, this is a sign of lack of interest, and they might not want to invest in you—you may not be the central person in their life. 

9. Your partner compares you

The basic fundamental of a relationship is to accept the person while adoring their flaws. So, if your partner compares you with others and gives you inferior complexities, don’t change yourself for them. Instead, change the partner. 

Relationships are for bringing happiness and peace in your life. If your partner makes you feel unhappy and bad about yourself, then this is not the right place for you to stay any longer.

10. They repeat a cycle of toxic behavior 

How a person treats you in their high temperament shows a lot about how much they are afraid to lose you. If your partner loses their patience, often gets angry, and yells at you—this is a sign you are just an easy option to them. 

Moreover, when you get hurt by their actions, they may calm you down with loving words and promises just to repeat the same behavior again. This toxic cycle will keep on continuing until you put a stop to their easy access to you. 

11. You are their alternative.

If your partner cancels plans with you at the last moment only to hangout with their friends or other people, they prefer to spend time with you only when they have nowhere to go. This clearly shows you are just a last-minute arrangement to them! 

They don’t involve you in their top-rank routine, and you are at the last on their to-do list. If they don’t apologize for last-minute bailing at you, you hardly matter to them. 

12. Only comes to you for physical needs.

Do they avoid eye contact with you on regular days, but when they are home alone, they come up with cheesy lines and start to make you feel cheerful? Be aware! This is an alarm of their selfish conduct.

If they only show love when they want to have sex, maybe you are nothing more than a late-night summon to them. This is a red flag in any relationship! 

How can you deal with being an option in a relationship? 

If you notice aforementioned behaviors in your partner, you must split from them. It is okay to make mistakes while choosing a partner, but the essential point is to mend those mistakes on time and move on with life. Identify these mistakes and accept the change for yourself.

What’s holding you to stay in a horrible relationship? Always remember, healthy love exists

Here is some advice to make your decision easier, and help you get out of that toxic relationship.

End the relationship. 

My best advice is not to tolerate any undefined behavior for the sake of love, because toxic people never unlearn disrespecting behavior. 

couple contemplating engagement

It is healthy to maintain distance from such people even though you have fallen in love with them; loving alone can’t make your life happier. You can’t force them into making you their priority. Instead, take control in your own hands and make yourself the prime concern of your life.

This is the best way to deal with feeling like an option in a relationship.

How to deal with a relationship that makes you feel like an option

Learn to speak out for yourself.

Raising your voice & speaking for yourself can be an uphill struggle for you if you are used to obeying/listening to your partner. However, in this case, you need to speak for yourself and raise your concern; there’s no other way around. 

Sharing your thoughts will make your partner understand what you are going through and will also let them know that you are not up for their mind games.

When someone treats you like an option, instead of hiding the pain, try to have an open conversation about how you feel and what bothers you. 

We can solve most of the issues via mindful communication. You must prioritize your needs and learn to speak out for yourself— it will also help boost self-esteem and increase your worth.

Never compensate with your ethics and values for anyone.

People start to play victim cards when they fail to use you. Don’t be a give-away option for anyone— a romantic relationship should reciprocate your love. If they are not ready to give; they shouldn’t receive anything either. 

We degrade our morals and start to take responsibility for their actions— later, and they will prove us guilty for their behavior. 

I used to do it too, and I degraded my value to make others comfortable, and later I found the person was using me for easy access. 

People don’t understand silent push, always be high maintenance — never allow them to negotiate with your authenticity. 

Be your own baby.

Learn to be happy with yourself, and take yourself out on a date. If needed, take space from everyone and plan a solo trip for yourself.

girl holding some flowers

Never underestimate the value of solitude; no one can make you happier than you. Oftentimes, we are forced to believe that we need others to fulfill our life and heart— however, all that you ever need is yourself. 

You are not incomplete without a partner; nobody can complete you but yourself. So, the best person we can love is ourselves. 

You never know how far solitude and self-love can take you. 

Meet new people and be open up to new opportunities.

Ask yourself, are you constantly thinking about your partner and how they mistreat you intentionally/unintentionally? If your partner occupies your mind day and night and doesn’t add any meaning or happiness to your life; think again!  

It’s time you look beyond and demand more from life rather than sitting and waiting for them to treat you better. 

When you learn to leave them behind and open yourself to new individuals— you will learn just how many people are dying to love you unconditionally.

Always remember, people will treat you the way you treat yourself. So, love yourself fully and prioritize yourself.

Stop holding yourself back.

You must be courageous enough not to turn back; you don’t deserve someone who treats you like an option; you deserve the world. Don’t ever forget that! So, holding yourself back for someone who doesn’t give you their whole world. 

We often hold ourselves back so as to not hurt our partner’s feelings. But what about your feelings? If they don’t care; you shouldn’t either. 

Don’t take things personally from a selfish partner. 

Selfish people would often make you feel inferior to make themselves feel superior. To boost their own low-confidence; they will inflict their insecurities on you to feel better about themselves. 

Such individuals aren’t actually passing judgments on you, but on themselves. They will laugh at you and point out your flaws because they are not ready to accept their own flaws. If your partner follows a similar pattern, let them go! 

They are insecure in their skin and will try to make you feel the same. Don’t let their opinion override you— their criticism isn’t a fact, remember that! 

Be more careful if your partner makes you believe that your needs are not more important or you are not good enough— never let them control your essence.

These people have their own emotional clutter— one they cannot deal with. YOu shouldn’t deal with it either. 

Count on your values.

The best way to bounce back is to rediscover the essence you left behind for a relationship. Now, It’s time for you to feel the absolute best of being a faithful companion to yourself:

  • Emotional side
  • Bold side
  • Entertainment side 
  • Hardworking side
  • Smart side
  • Loving side

List your qualities and speak them in front of a mirror. You will feel cheerful and confident. You don’t need to waste your time on a person who doesn’t see your worth, instead, spend that time working on yourself. 

Make yourself feel desirable, unlearn the habit of helplessness and be bold enough to take control of your thoughts and feelings. 

Have faith in a new beginning.

“Remember something has to end for better things to begin.”

People often believe they don’t stand a second chance at love, and thus, will continue to live in the same toxic relationship. Trust me when I say this, there are infinite chances for you to find love again! 

girl being happy with herself

Some emotional concerns are 

  • “How can I live without the love of my life”
  • “We are meant forever, I cannot lose hope in this relationship” 
  • “We must make it work until the end, don’t put this baggage on yourself.

Take these doubts off your list and understand the severity of your current relationship. Is it alright to go through so much or is it worth it? If it’s not worth it, you know the answer! If the other person is not investing in you, how long will you make this relationship work alone?

Sticking around someone just for the future you planned together can make you lose your best time in life.

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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