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girl is having coffe with a guy who is her backup guy
Relationships

Are You The Backup Guy? 15+ Signs You May Be Wasting Your Time

Are you looking for Signs that you are her Backup Guy?

Have you ever been when you give a lot to one person and, in return, they give nothing back to you? This feeling of being taken advantage of can be overwhelming, especially when you have strong feelings for someone.

We’ve all been there before. You meet a girl; you hit it off; you start dating, and things seem to go great. But then she pulls away. She’s less available, she’s less responsive to your texts, and you felt like you’re being pushed into the background. If this sounds familiar, there’s a good chance you’re the backup guy.

You’re wondering if it’s worth it to continue pursuing her, or if it’s just a waste of time and energy.

What is a Backup Boyfriend?

couple listening to music and laughing together

He’s the guy she turns to when her first choice isn’t available. He’s always there for her, but he never has a chance of being her number one. She may string him along for emotional support or physical intimacy, but she’ll never fully commit to him.

Being the backup boyfriend can feel frustrating and heartbreaking, especially if you have strong feelings for her. You may try to rationalize it by thinking that at least she’s choosing you over other guys, but in reality, you’re just settling.

If you have a girl around that you feel strongly about, it’s important to look at the signs you are her backup guy.

Here are 15 ways you can tell:

1. She Only Sees You on Her Schedule

If she only ever wants to see you when it’s convenient for her—say, always on a weeknight at 10 PM—it’s a pretty clear sign that you’re not her first choice. A woman who’s interested in you will want to make time for you in her busy schedule, even if it means sacrificing some of her other commitments. 

2. She Keeps You Hidden

If she’s never introducing you to her friends or family, it’s likely because she doesn’t see a long-term future with you. On the other hand, if she proudly displays you as her significant other to those closest to her, it shows that she values your relationship and wants to include you in her life. Even if you guys are not officially dating and still getting to know each other, she should at least introduce you as a friend if you are important to her.

3. She’s Noncommittal About The Future

When asked about the future, does she hesitate or brush off the question? A woman who sees a future with you will happily make plans, whether it’s discussing where to go on vacation or even just making plans for next weekend. If she’s constantly avoiding the topic or making excuses, it’s because she doesn’t see a future with you.

4. She flakes… a lot

girl being flakey by sleeping in, signs that you are her backup plan

Flaking is defined as “the practice of canceling plans or not showing up at the last minute.” If she frequently flakes on plans with you—or worse, stands you up entirely—it’s a sign that she doesn’t value your time. And if she doesn’t value your time, it’s probably because you’re not her top priority. 


This isn’t only a sign you’re her backup plan, it’s also disrespectful and unfair to you. It’s important to communicate your feelings and set boundaries with her, because excessive flaking should never be tolerated in any relationship.

5. She’s Never Single for a Long

If she always seems to bounce from guy to guy, it’s a sign that she’s not ready or willing to commit to just one person—and unfortunately, you’re likely just another option in her rotation. Some girls just enjoy being single and it has nothing to do with whether you’re a good guy. It’s important to consider that she may not be ready for a relationship and it’s better to walk away than to wait around and waste your time.

6. She Takes Forever to Text Back… if she texts back at all

In today’s day and age, there’s no excuse for taking more than a few hours to reply to a text message—unless, of course, you’re not that interested in the person you’re texting. If she always seems to take forever to get back to you, it’s a sign that she has other people in her life who are more important to her than you are. 

7. She Keeps You at Arm’s Length… Emotionally speaking

If she always seems distant and guarded with you, it could be because she’s afraid of getting too attached. After all, if she gets too emotionally invested in you and things don’t work out, she’ll be heartbroken—and chances are, she doesn’t want that drama in her life right now. This could also mean she’s keeping her options open and doesn’t want to fully commit to just one person.  

 8. She’s Still Actively Dating Other People

girl going out and parting living the single life

If she’s still actively dating and pursuing other people, it’s a clear sign that you’re not her top choice. And if she’s hiding this fact from you, it shows that she doesn’t see the two of you as being in a committed relationship. It’s best to cut your losses and move on to someone who sees you as their number one.


Remember, it’s not worth investing your time and energy into someone who doesn’t see your worth and value you as their top choice. Don’t settle for being the backup guy—you deserve better.

However, if you haven’t been clear about where you stand in the relationship, have a conversation with her about your thoughts and feelings. She may not know how you feel and where you want the relationship to go.

Communication is key to any successful relationship. If she truly values and cares for you, she will take your concerns seriously and make an effort to be more committed to the relationship if that is where she sees you guys going. But if not, it’s time to move on.

9. You Don’t Know What’s Going On

You feel confused and uncertain about where you stand with her, but it’s important to trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the friend zone or be used as the backup guy—move on and find someone who recognizes and appreciates your worth. You deserve to be treated like a priority, not an afterthought.

It’s important to be confident in yourself and your worth and to not settle for less than you deserve. Don’t let someone use and manipulate you—cut ties with the liar and find someone who values you as their number one.

Someone that values your time and attention will

  • Never make you feel confused or second-guess where you stand in the relationship.
  • Have Open Communication
  • Be willing to commit and make yourself a priority in their life.
  • Have Respect for your time

10. She only Contacts you When she’s bored or has Nothing Better to Do.

If she only reaches out to you when she’s bored or has no one else to hang out with, it’s a sign that you’re not a priority in her life. She probably sees you as just an option and doesn’t value your time and attention. It’s important to have self-respect and not let someone treat you like a backup plan. Find someone who will prioritize and value you in your life.

11. She Still Talks About her Ex

A girl that still talks about her ex or constantly mentions other guys she’s interested in is not focused on you. This could also be a sign that she’s not over her ex and may still have feelings for them. It’s not fair for her to involve you in this and use you as a rebound or backup option.

If she’s going through her healing phase, it’s best to take a step back and give her space.

12. She seems Distracted or Disinterested When You’re Together.

girl and guy arguing

When you’re spending time with your significant other, do they seem distracted or uninterested?

This could be a sign that the relationship is only temporary and not meant to last. It’s important to feel valued and have someone give you their full attention and focus. Find someone that is excited to be with you and values your time together.  

13. Follow Your Gut Feeling

Listen to that little voice in your head.

It’s telling you something. You can’t always trust what people say and do because they might be wrong or lying, but sometimes their actions speak louder than words (or at least this has been proven). So just go with whatever intuition tells me right now- it’ll all work out, eventually! You know if this relationship is worth pursuing or not.

Don’t let someone manipulate or use you. Find someone who wants to be with you and only you. Trust yourself and your worth, because you deserve the best. ​​​​​

14. Physical Intimacy feels like a Chore

If your partner regularly rejects you, it may be a sign that they are not fully invested in the relationship. A healthy and happy relationship includes an enjoyable physical connection. If your partner no longer seems interested or makes excuses, it may be time to reassess the relationship and find someone who values and prioritizes intimacy with you if you feel like that’s an important component of your relationship.

15. She’s Dismissive of your Feelings or Concerns

Your partner constantly dismisses or belittles your feelings and concerns. It’s a sign that they are not willing to compromise or consider your wants and needs in the relationship. This is not healthy and can lead to resentment. Find someone who is willing to work through conflicts with you productively.

According to Research:

Over 50% of women have a backup option in relationships, so it’s important to pay attention to any red flags or warning signs.

Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t value you and your time. Trust yourself and know that you deserve better. cut ties with anyone who doesn’t treat you right and find someone who will love and appreciate you as their number one priority. ​​​​​

Although this magazine is focused on women’s empowerment, being part of a healthy relationship is a two-way street. Here at Harness, we teach women how to become their best selves and ultimately attract the right person for them. But that also comes with growth and self-reflection on the part of both partners in a relationship and learning how to respect your significant other.

It’s important to communicate, compromise, and prioritize each other to have a healthy and happy relationship. ​ ​​​​​​

Bottom Line

If any of these signs sound familiar, there’s a good chance you’re the backup guy in your relationship—and trust me when I say that being the backup guy is never fun.

If you’re tired of being treated like second best, it might be time to have a talk with your partner and figure out where things stand between the two of you.

If things can’t be resolved, it’s important to have self-respect and move on from the situation. You deserve someone who will choose you as their number one and treat you with the love and respect you deserve.

Don’t settle for being a backup option in someone else’s life—find someone who wants to make you their priority. ​​

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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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