Is my boyfriend taking me for granted?
Is my girlfriend using me?
Are you always giving but rarely receiving?
Today, we’re talking about the signs your love partner may be taking you for granted and what to do about it.
So grab a beverage and get comfortable.
Let’s dive in.
What Does It Mean to Be Taken for Granted in a Relationship?
Taking someone for granted is a common occurrence. While we all probably believe that we never engage in such impolite behavior, the reality is different. In truth, we all sometimes get caught up in our own heads and don’t interact at our best.
However, as with most things, there’s a boundary of acceptable misconduct.
So what are the signs that your partner’s attitude is turning toxic?
Second-Class Citizenship: Do you take a backseat in your relationship? If so, it’s likely an ominous sign. Healthy unions are equal ones.
Invisibility: Do you feel invisible in the eyes of your partner? It may be time to find someone who sees you.
A “Due” Drought: Does your partner rarely extend your proper due? You deserve someone who does.
The Butt: Are you always the butt of your partner’s “jokes?” You’re right to be annoyed, and it may be a sign that they take you for granted.
11 Signs Your Partner is Taking You for Granted
How can you tell if your partner is taking you for granted? Every relationship differs, but there are a few common signs.
1. They’re Rude
Has your partner stopped saying please and thank you? Do they boss you around and speak to you like you’re a servant to their ruling monarch? Rudeness is never okay — not for lovers, friends, acquaintances, service workers, or colleagues.
There’s a reason why we learn how to be polite very early on in the game of life.
So if you’ve suddenly found yourself on the receiving end of a self-important ass who treats you like an inferior species, you’re more than likely being taken advantage of in more ways than one.
2. They Always Cancel Plans
Is there a 75% chance that an hour before you’re supposed to meet, they’ll contact you with an excuse about why they must cancel?
Sure, in some instances, there’s an excellent reason. Life happens. But constantly moving you to the back burner when something better comes along is unacceptable behavior. It’s also a sign that you’re playing second fiddle in the relationship.
3. They Spend Your Money
Have you watched “Bad Vegan” on Netflix? Though an extreme example, it depicts what can happen when you let a controlling partner take hold of your finances and use you as a piggy bank. Destruction and massive financial trouble often follow.
Here’s a great nugget of advice: Always have your own money — your own bank account — even if you’re happily married. It’s fine to have joint accounts; just make sure you also have one for yourself.
It doesn’t mean you don’t love each other; it merely demonstrates wisdom and an understanding that life is everything — including unpredictable.
4. They Don’t Ask You Questions
Another telltale sign you’re being taken for granted is that your partner rarely, if ever, asks you questions about what’s going on in your life — not about work, friends, goals, or issues going on with your family.
Disinterest is a red flag that should not be brushed under the rug.
5. Compromise Is a Foreign Concept for Them
Is it their way or the highway — all the time? Is compromise a foreign concept to them? Or worse, do they regularly develop win-win solutions with everyone else except you?
Compromise is a vital aspect of healthy relationships. Learning how to “give and take” allows us to live in harmony with others.
If your partner can’t summon the grace, it may be time to reconsider your partnership.
6. They Spend More Time With Other People
It’s good to maintain relationships outside of your romantic union. Healthy, even.
But if your partner always makes time for others and not you, what does that say about their priorities? Do they really want to be in a relationship with you, or do they just like the idea of being in a couple?
7. The Take Forever To Return Messages
Do you send a message on Monday and not hear back until Thursday without an explanation? If you’re already in a committed relationship, this is a sign that things may be winding down, and your partner now sees you as an annoyance that they take for granted.
If it’s still the beginning of the relationship, your love interest may be playing hard to get, or they’re just not that interested in you.
8. They Keep You Secret
Are you invited to hang out with his friends and family? Are you their plus-one at events? Never being invited to social happenings in your partner’s life is a blinking red alarm.
Let’s face it: If this sounds suspiciously like your relationship, it’s time to think of the possibility that you’re only being used for sex. Harsh but possible.
9. The Make All the Plans
When vacations roll around, you always find yourself somewhere your partner wants to go. Regarding dinner plans, you haven’t been to your favorite restaurant in months but patronize theirs weekly.
If your wishes aren’t weighed equally, it could be a sign that they’re taking you for granted.
10. They Lie A Lot
Contrary to accepted moral standards, we all lie. Sometimes it’s to spare someone’s feelings; other times, it’s to escape uncomfortable conversations.
But if your partner is constantly lobbing fibs into your lap, don’t ignore it. Lies are red flags.
11. You Always Feel Inadequate
Supportive, healthy, thriving relationships make you feel strong, capable, and ready to conquer the world. So if your union leaves you feeling tired, guilty, and inadequate, something is probably rotten in the state of your partnership.
In these instances, figure out whether you want to make it work or let it go.
How to Stop Being Taken for Granted in a Relationship: 17 Ways to Put a Stop to It
It’s clear: You’re feeling taken for granted, and after reading the signs, you’re now reasonably sure you are.
So, now what? How can you turn the situation around or develop the courage to walk away?
Let’s explore some options.
1. Set Clear Boundaries
Set personal boundaries and start taking good care of yourself. Heck, treat yourself like you do other people you love. Doing so will shield you from toxic behavior and reckless emotional invalidation.
Communicate where your lines are drawn and why. Be polite but firm.
2. Quiet Quit the Relationship
You’ve undoubtedly heard of “quiet quitting” — the refusal to do tasks that don’t fall under your official working purview.
It’s also a reliable tactic for people in lop-sided relationships who want to express their displeasure to their partners.
Learn to say “NO!” Cease going above and beyond the minimal call of duty.
If your partner is merely going through a phase and doesn’t realize they’re being inconsiderate, this tact may wake them up.
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3. Speak Up
You have a voice — so use it! Speak up. Ask for what you want, and don’t assume people can read your mind.
Many people make the mistake of expecting people to know what they want without actually saying it. So if you feel like you’re getting the shaft, say something. Be your own advocate.
4. Reward Good Behavior
We’re not suggesting treating your partner like a dog in training — but we’re also not ruling it out.
Look, some people need outside positive reinforcement to change their behavior — and that’s okay. We all have different motivating triggers.
So if your lover falls into this category, reward them when they behave well. Withholding intimacy can be another effective tool. However, it’s essential not to weaponize sex.
5. Improve Your Communication Skills
Improving your communication skills will help you in all areas of your life — including situations where you’re dealing with someone who takes you for granted.
People understand us better when we’re clear and deliberate about what we say. And don’t forget about listening. It’s just as essential.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the art of living in the present. Instead of fretting about the past or worrying about the future, mindful people focus on the now. Yoga, meditation, and journaling are the most common tools.
They can help you figure out the state of your current relationship and your available choices.
Studies repeatedly prove that exercising is fabulous for our minds and bodies. When we get moving, our endocrine systems reward us with feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
So if you’re down in the dumps and ambivalent about your relationship, break a sweat. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine will improve your mood, clarity, and problem-solving skills.
8. Don’t Overcommit
A lot of people overcommit, which causes problems and hard feelings. People who make this mistake may feel resentful and overwhelmed, leading to miscommunication and frustration.
Take a step back and assess your life as objectively as possible. Determine whether overfilling your plate is causing you to feel taken for granted when the problem is your tendency to get your hands into everything.
9. Return the “Favor”
Is your partner acting like a fool and treating you like poo? Then go ahead and give them a hefty dose of their own medicine. Take them for granted!
Sure, this falls on the pettier side of the scale. But hey, it often works, and sometimes, pulling out the petty is precisely what the doctor ordered.
10. Work on Yourself
Forget about them and work on yourself!
Personal growth and self-improvement are essential to becoming the ideal version of yourself.
So focus on building healthy habits, developing a self-care routine, and learning new skills.
When you shine a light on yourself and prioritize your needs, other troubles have a way of working themselves out.
11. Demand Respect
You’re responsible for determining what you will and won’t tolerate. If your partner is treating you poorly, stand up for yourself! Tell them you refuse to be treated as a second-class citizen in the relationship.
If you’re not naturally assertive, demanding respect may feel uncomfortable initially. But we encourage you to try it on for size. You may find you have a lot more chutzpah than you ever imagined.
12. Hold Onto Your Power
You are a powerful being! And you should never relinquish your force to other people. Nourish it. Exercise it. Doing so will give you the fortitude to never settle for anything less than you deserve.
13. Set an Example
Take Mahatma Gandhi’s advice and “be the change you want to see in the world.” In other words, treat your partner like you want to be treated. If need be, point it out.
Partners invested in developing a healthy relationship will take the hint and work on their behavior. Sometimes, all it takes is modeling good behavior and discussing it openly.
14. Try Quote Therapy
Reading motivating and affirming quotes can fill you with hope. So if you’re summoning the strength to reassess your relationship, gather quotes pertinent to the situation. Use them to make quote graphics and share them on social media. Dissect them in journaling sessions.
Whatever helps you internalize their message works.
15. Clearly Communicate Expectations
Who knows, maybe some people can read minds — but the overwhelming majority of us cannot. So if you’re unhappy with your relationship’s trajectory, perhaps you need to communicate your expectations more clearly.
If you try and are ignored, it’s probably time to think about getting out.
16. Eat Well
We get it. You’re tired of hearing how healthy diets…blah, blah, blah. At this point, nutrition enthusiasts all sound like the Peanut’s teacher to you.
But the bottom line is that health nuts are onto something. When we fuel our bodies and minds with healthy food, we function and perform at higher levels.
If you’re stuck in a toxic relationship, it may be time to amp up your nutrition, so you can feel your best and find the courage and resources to move on and find someone new — or just enjoy being single for a while.
17. Honor Your Emotions
Do yourself a huge favor and pay zero attention to advice that encourages you to “be happy” and “stay positive” no matter what. That is garbage advice that ultimately does more harm than good.
Instead, honor all your emotions. Let them have their time in the sun and stretch their limbs. Studies show that the more you try to suppress your feelings, the more mental health issues you’ll develop.
Being taken advantage of feels crappy. But you have the power to set your boundaries and demand what you need. If your special person doesn’t appreciate how special YOU are, it may be time to find someone who does.