We all want to feel loved, and so it can be extremely difficult to comes to terms with the fact that your partner may not care about you or your relationship enough — especially if you are invested and striving to make things work.
But the thing is, coming to this realization — if it's what's really going on — is incredibly important. In an email exchange with Bustle, Professional Matchmaker and Dating & Relationship Coach Rachel Russo says, "Feeling routinely undervalued in any relationship can take a toll on your self-esteem. You run the risk of putting up with more and more bad behavior and staying stuck in an unhealthy relationship, because you invested a lot and don't believe you could find better."
She also notes that this not only can lead to feelings of depression, but that, "You could also become very angry when you realize that you do deserve better. This could lead to you having an affair or harboring a strong resentment that could ultimately destroy the relationship."
If you're starting to feel undervalued in your relationship, here are five signs that can mean your partner doesn't care enough about you.
1. They Disregard Your Feelings
This is Russo's number one sign that a partner is undervaluing you. "If you are in a relationship with someone who is unable to tolerate your emotions or have discussions about things that you think are important, you are with someone who doesn't care about making you comfortable within the relationship." From my personal experience, I've found that this can sometimes boil down to feeling like there are certain topics you avoid broaching because you just know, "it won't go over well." If this is something you find yourself doing or thinking a lot, there could be a problem.
2. They're Self-Absorbed
"It may seem innocent enough — like [they talk] more about [their] life than yours on your dates and in your phone conversations," says Russo. "You might just think [they're] nervous in the early stages of dating or just someone with a lot to share, but it could indicate a selfish personality."
3. They Take Forever To Respond To Your Texts
Russo also says that, "Another sign is a person who consistently fails to respond to your text messages or always takes an unreasonably long time to reply." She goes on to note, "Again you may make excuses for him or her —attributing it to a busy lifestyle. Unfortunately, it can also be a sign that your partner does not care about how their behavior affects you."
4. They Don't Make Room For What's Important To You
This is a personal tip that I've discovered through years of dating. If someone is only willing to do the things that they're interested — whether it be going to their favorite restaurants, the movies they want to see, the TV shows they want to watch — yet are never willing to make compromises when it comes to things that interest you, it's a huge red flag. Someone who really cares about you will make your happiness and enjoyment a priority.
5. You Often Find Yourself Making Excuses For Them
Russo makes reference to this one several times, noting that we may find ourselves rationalizing or explaining away the behaviors of a selfish partner in an attempt to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, there is only so long this should go on, and it's important to recognize when certain behavior isn't just an isolated incident ("they were really busy," "they were really tired," etc, etc.) and accept when it is actually a pattern of behavior.
Feeling loved and valued in a relationship is incredibly important for our sense of well-being — and conversely, feeling like our partners don't care about us can wreak some serious damage on our emotional lives. Always keep the above signs in mind when trying to gauge how much your partner is invested in you and your partnership. And remember, don't settle for anything less than you think you deserve!