9 Subtle Signs Your Partner's Not A Great Team Player & How To Address The Problem
Being in a relationship usually means you and your partner are a team. While you both may argue every now and then, you probably know how to kiss and make up, too. However, your partner may show subtle signs of not being a team player without you realizing it. For instance, your SO may complain about doing the dishes or choose to not give their undivided attention when you tell a story. However, even if these two scenarios sound familiar, that doesn't mean your SO is a bad person. Maybe they've had a bad day at work or woken up on the wrong side of the bed. But if you feel like these situations are happening more often than you would like, then you might want to have a little chat with your partner.
"Relationships are the ultimate team sport. You each bring your unique gifts and talents and use them to create something better than either of you can do alone. It’s also a coming together of equals. You each may have your strengths and challenges but no one is in charge," says couples consultant and coach Lesli Doares in an interview with Bustle over email.
At the end of the day, relationships are never perfect. You and your partner should work together to help resolve issues. But if you're not 100 percent sure if your SO is considering you as their equal, here are nine signs to indicate that they might not.
1. They Show You Signs Of Dismissal Or Disdain
While your partner may not show signs of contempt toward you, they might roll their eyes and look at their phone while you talk. And even though it's OK to get distracted every once in a while during a conversation, this doesn't mean you should let these things continue to happen on a daily basis. "[They're] rolling [their] eyes, [doing] heavy duty sighs, tuning you out, [and] 'joking' about things that are important to you," says Doares about partners who show signs of dismissal or disdain to their SOs.
2. They Don't Consider Your Point Of View
Being in a relationship means you should listen and consider each other's point of view. Even if your partner doesn't agree with your reasoning doesn't mean they should completely ignore your feelings. You're having these emotions for a reason and if you're bothered by something, your partner should at least try to listen and be there for you. "[They] interrupt you to tell you why you’re wrong, agrees to things but doesn’t follow through," says Doares about partners who don't consider their SO's point of view.
3. They Don't Include You In Important Situations
Like any good team, each person should know or participate in any important decisions that need to be made. Your partner shouldn't intentionally not tell you something because they're either afraid of what you're going to say or don't want you to get involved. If this happens, your partner may make you feel excluded from your own relationship and give you a reason to not trust them. "[They don't] include you in their important life events or talk/act like you are a couple," says Doares.
4. They Don't Do Things You're Interested In
Being in a good relationship means you let your partner pick the movie (no matter how awful it may be), while you pick the destination for the next road trip. It's all about compromise. However, your partner isn't a team player if they're always complaining about doing things you're interested in. You want someone to want to willingly experience the things you like. "[They] always want you to do what they want but [aren't] available or interested in doing the things you want to do," says Doares.
5. They Always Say Yes
While you probably would love for your partner to do everything you want, it's not exactly healthy for you to date a robot. "Always saying ‘yes’ even when it’s not okay. This sounds good in theory but will eventually lead to resentment and the end of the relationship," say Doares of people who aren't real team players.
6. They Don't Fix Issues
Being in a LTR means issues are going to come up — it's natural. But how your partner decides to address those issues can seriously impact the relationship. Someone who doesn't want to deal with the problems by ignoring them, or minimizing your worries, shouldn't be someone you want to have on your team. "[They don't address] real challenges to the relationship, even if only you think things aren’t okay — talking you out of your perceptions by minimizing them — cheering you up, trying to fix things," says Doares about partners who choose not to fix issues with their SOs.
7. They Avoid Discussing The Hard Topics
During your relationship, you're going to have moments where you need to talk about emotionally draining topics. You want someone who can try to manage their feelings so they can step up to the plate and be honest with you. "[They're not] talking about challenges because things are 'going so well right now, why bring up anything upsetting.' Or they're not being gently honest about something important so they don’t hurt your feelings," says Doares about partners who avoid discussing hard topics with their SOs.
8. They Always Give You The Silent Treatment
It's natural — and even considered healthy — to argue with your partner every once in a while. But want to know what's not healthy? Receiving the silent treatment from them. Giving the silent treatment doesn't benefit the relationship. If your partner needs space, they should communicate that to you so you don't feel left in the dark. "[They give] you the silent treatment when they are upset — not returning calls, texts, etc.," says Doares.
9. They Don't Actively Step It Up When They Need To
In emergency-type situations, a partner should never abandon their SO when they need it most. Making excuses or complaining about their new extra responsibility should signal a red flag for you to reconsider the relationship. "[They're not] being aware when you need help; not actively stepping out of what they think their role is regardless of what you might need at that moment," says Doares about partners who don't actively step it up when they need to for their SOs.
When you decide to be in a relationship with another person, you want to make sure that they have your back. Whether you're feeling ill and you need help cleaning the house, or you just need someone to vent to, your partner should be willing to help out when you need it most. Of course, this should go both ways — because being in a good relationship means both of you are great team players.