7 Things Your Partner Might Not Say If They're Taking You For Granted
Although it shouldn't always be expected, it's nice to be recognized by your partner for the things you do for them. In a healthy and balanced partnership, both you and your partner should feel like you're getting just as much as you give. If not, it can leave you feeling like you're being taken for granted.
"Taking a partner for granted means that one feels they are under-appreciated, undervalued, or that they are working harder in the relationship than their significant other," clinical psychologist, Shelley Sommerfeldt, Psy.D., tells Bustle. They may feel like they do things for their partner, but are never thanked or truly appreciated for the actions. Because of that, the partnership tends to feel more one-sided than equal.
The longer you're together, the easier it is for you to take each other for granted. According to Sommerfeldt, it's common for people to feel so comfortable in their relationship that they stop putting in as much effort as they used to in the beginning. "This usually happens when we feel comfortable and secure in a relationship and we forget continued courtship, time, effort and attention are still very important for feelings of attachment, connection and intimacy," she says.
So if your partner doesn't say the following things to you or has stopped, experts say they may be taking you for granted.
1. "Thank You"
It's two simple words that can mean a lot when said often. "People find that they may enjoy doing small tasks for their partner regularly, but if their partner never says thank you or expresses gratitude or appreciation for these tasks, they can feel taken for granted," Sommerfeldt says.
2. "How Was Your Day?"
Someone who appreciates you and what you bring to their life will always make you feel seen and heard. "Sometimes the most mundane things we do can be important," Yue Xu, host and creator of the Dateable Podcast, tells Bustle. "No matter how mundane, a respectful partner will still want to learn about your day."
3. "Can We Reschedule For Next Week?"
Someone who doesn't take you for granted will make plans with you in advance and will actually follow through on those plans. If something comes up, they will do their best to let you know as soon as they can and will try to reschedule. But if they make decisions without consulting you and those decisions affect you, Xu says they may be taking you for granted. "For instance, if your partner plans a weekend with their friends without telling you or discussing with you ahead of time, the n[they have] not integrated you into their life the way a partner should be." While it's perfectly OK for a partner to spend time with friends, if these plans overlap with plans they had with you, they should tell you first. A partner who doesn't take you for granted will think about their decisions and how it affects you.
4. "What Would You Like Me To Do For You?"
"Couples often describe feeling taken for granted by their partner when they are working hard toward the relationship, but do not feel their partner is putting forth the same amount of effort or work," Sommerfeldt says. The relationship will be more about what you can do for them, and rarely ever about what they can do for you. If this is the case, be sure to talk to them about how you feel, to try and change that dynamic.
5. "I'm Sorry"
A partner who is sincerely apologetic for missing your calls and texts or having to cancel a date at the very last minute will apologize. As Dr. Paulette Sherman, psychologist and author of Dating from the Inside Out, tells Bustle, you'll never feel like you're being taken for granted because you will always feel like a priority to them. When you're a priority to someone, they will do their best to show you they care. If they do something wrong, they'll apologize and will make it up to you in some way. They won't try to sweep their mistakes under the rug.
If your partner neglects to say something as simple as "please" after a request, relationship expert and writer Jaala Thomas, tells Bustle, they may be taking you for granted. Your partner should never expect you to do things for them, and you shouldn't either. Besides, saying "please" is just polite and shows respect.
7. "I'd Like Your Opinion On This"
Many times, it's the little things that can say a lot. "Sometimes just expressing appreciation, doing something small, yet helpful for your partner, can really make all the difference," Sommerfeldt says. Your partner asking you for your opinion may not seem like a big deal, especially if it's for something small. But doing so shows that they value your opinion and believe that you are on the same team.
If your partner is taking you for granted, it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't care. Whether you've been together forever or just started dating, it's very easy to sometimes take each other for granted. They may not even be aware that it's happening.
So the best thing you can do is to let them know they're doing it. "Let them know that you are feeling taken for granted and give specific examples," Xu says. "Also offer up the opportunity for them to call you out when they feel taken for granted too."
Just remember, your partner is not a mind reader. Nothing will ever change if you keep it to yourself. So speak up. Your partner will probably appreciate it when you do.