A little appreciation is nice, especially from the one you love. But maybe your partner doesn't doesn't appreciate you. Or, at least, they don't show it. And no matter how much you give or do, it doesn't seem to make a difference. This is one of the first signs that your partner is taking you for granted. When your partner stops seeing all of the things you do for them as wonderful, giving acts of kindness and starts seeing them as everyday life, or stops noticing them at all, it doesn't just damage your relationship. It damages your self-esteem. It makes you feel like nothing you do is good enough. It makes you feel like your partner isn't interested in your anymore.
And it's important, in terms of being in a happy relationship, to make sure you make your partner feel appreciated. Taking your partner for granted is often the first step in the long, miserable road to relationship collapse. I saw it all the time when I worked as a Certified Planned Parenthood Responsible Sexuality Educator and advocate for domestic abuse victims. If you have a nagging feeling your partner is taking you for granted, but you're not sure or not ready to face it yet, check out these signs. Then open the lines of communication with your partner, and nip it in the bud before it poisons the waters.
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1. Your Partner Never Says Thank You
You do all kinds of stuff to make your partner happy, from cooking a meal, to being sweet, to doing big, complicated favors. And your partner never says "thank you." This could mean that your partner has come to expect this kind of treatment. That it's their normal, and they don't see it as you doing anything you shouldn't already be doing. They often don't realize all you do until you stop doing it. This is a classic example of your partner taking you for granted.
2. Your Partner Never Asks Your Advice
If your partner never asks your advice, it could be that they don't want your advice. They may be taking your education, instincts, and how well you know them for granted. Instead of being the kind of partner you make decisions with, you're the partner who will just go with the flow — or at least that's how your partner feels. Let your partner know that you're a part of the decision making process, too, and that you're not just an accessory in their lives.
3. Your Partner Never Asks Your Opinion
If your partner never asks your opinion, it could be that they don't value your opinion. Or that they're taking for granted the fact that you're a complex person who is always growing and changing. They might think they know you so they don't need to ask you. Whether they don't want your opinion or they think they know it, they're taking your right to have an opinion for granted. You're voice matters.
4. Your Partner Makes Plans Without Asking You
Does your partner get home from work and say, "By the way, we are going to dinner with the neighbors tonight." OK. You could have asked me if I wanted to go. When one partner makes plans without consulting the other on a regular basis, they're taking their partner's time for granted. They're also making a big assumption that their partners are interested and available for whatever, whenever. It's healthier to discuss these things together before committing.
5. Your Partner Doesn't Do Their Fare Share
Is your partner lazy? Do you do more than your fair share of the housework without your partner noticing or feeling bad about it? That's probably because your partner is taking for granted the fact that you'll just do it. Maybe they think it's your job or role. Maybe they just get away with it. Not doing an equal amount of work can very much be a sign you're being taken for granted. Mutual effort is an important part of a healthy relationship, according to counselor Kimberly Key in an article for Psychology Today.
6. Your Partner Doesn't Do Special Occasions
If special occasions are important to you, and your partner doesn't care, that's a definite form of taking you for granted. Your partner may be under the assumption that it doesn't matter how they treat you because you'll always be around. It could also be that your partner doesn't understand the importance of special occasions. Some clear communication from you both, and a little effort on your partner's part can solve this pretty quickly.
7. Your Partner Doesn't Make Much Of An Effort To Be Romantic
Not all people are naturally romantic, and not all people are comfortable performing romantic gestures. But there is no reason your partner can't do small romantic gestures to make you happy, if that's what you want or need. If you've expressed this time and time again and your partner hasn't budges, there's a very real chance you're being taken for granted. One partner should not ever chose to willfully ignore the needs of the person they love (within reason of course).
8. Your Partner Is Unfaithful
If your partner cheats on you, they're totally taking you for granted. They're risking losing what they have, because they think they'll get away with it. They're taking your intelligence for granted in thinking you won't find out. And their taking the life you built together for granted. Cheating is one of the ultimate acts of taking someone for granted. It's a dangerous roll of the dice.
9. Your Partner Doesn't Ask About Your Day
Maybe they don't ask because they don't think to. Maybe they don't care. Maybe they don't ask because they assume they know how your day went. Or maybe they don't ask because they just take for granted that you're partners in crime who need to keep sharing in order to maintain a close connection. Either way, not checking in with you or asking you about your life is a subtle way to show that they lack concern for your total happiness.
10. You Partner Doesn't Consider Your Feelings
Does your partner pick their friends over you, make decisions they know will upset you, do things you've agreed they wouldn't do, or just act like a jerk a lot? This is a problem. Your happiness and your feelings are not something your partner should ever take for granted, especially not on a regular basis. This is behavior that screams "unhealthy relationship" and if you feel in your gut that you deserve better, you probably do.
11. Your Partner Comes & Goes As They Please
This is a sure sign of a one-sided relationship. Your partner doesn't talk to you about where they're going, if you had plans in mind, or if you wanted to spend time together. They just leave whenever they want, to go wherever they want. But you don't (or can't) do that. You think its inconsiderate, and you don't take the time you have to spend together for granted. You need to let your partner know that they can't take for granted the fact that you're always cool with being excluded from decisions about how you guys spend your time.
Once you address these issues, your partner will either realize they've been taking you for granted and try to change, or continue on like it's just your problem. Then you'll have your answer about whether or not you're equally devoted to the relationship.
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