If Your Partner Lets You Down In These 9 Small Ways, They May Not Love You The Way You Deserve
At one point or another, you and your partner are going to let each other down. And it's not going to be the end of the world. You can't expect to be perfect 24/7, so don't panic if you forget to answer a text, occasionally tune the other out, or fail to be supportive. Do, however, think twice about the health of your relationship if your partner consistently lets you down — even if it's just in a myriad of small ways — as it may be a sign they're not giving you what you deserve.
A healthy relationship is built upon respect, trust, stability, and support. If you notice that your partner lets you down in one of these areas, time and time again, you definitely need to have a heart-to-heart. "If you have a few red flags in your relationship [...] share your thoughts and feelings in an effort to try to make your relationship healthier," Davida Rappaport, a psychic and spiritual counselor, tells Bustle. "If your partner does not want to [listen or change], the red flags you saw can indicate that your partner may not love you the way you need to be loved, or respect your wishes and support you in a manner that helps your relationship grow."
It's OK to mess up. What matters is you try to listen to each other, fix the mistakes, and do better the next time around. So if your partner keeps making mistakes, and always lets you down, it may be a sign they aren't giving you all that you need and deserve, according to experts.
1. They Don't Mention Your Relationship On Social Media
Some people are more private when it comes to how much of their lives they'd like to share online — especially when it comes to relationships. But if your partner is incredibly active on social media, and yet never posts couples photos or mentions your relationship — you might want to ask them what's up.
"For most people, social media is a reflection of their priorities," Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "If you are invisible on your partner’s social media, where do you stand as a priority? Social media is the image your partner projects to the world and you have a right to wonder why you’re not a part of that."
2. They Exclude You From Their Friend Group
Similarly, consider the presence you have in your partner's friend group. Do they make an effort to include you and invite you to certain events? Or do they seem to go out of their way to leave you behind?
"While couples don’t need to have the exact same friends, if you’re constantly excluded from spending time with your partner’s friends, it’s a red flag," Bennett says. "You have to ask why your partner doesn’t want you around."
There are so many possible explanations here — many of which are perfectly benign — so don't jump to conclusions or assume the worst. But one message it can send is that your partner isn't willing to welcome you into their life, and that's not going to make for a very healthy relationship going forward.
3. They Don't Give You Their Full Attention
If your partner doesn't make an effort to be present when you're together — maybe they stare at their phone, or text the entire time — it can sting a little. And for good reason.
"When you put your phone in front of your face, it says to your partner, 'I’m sorry, I have better things going on right now,'" Julia McCurley, an Austin-based professional matchmaker, tells Bustle.
Of course, you can't expect each other to fully ignore your phones whenever you're together, but you can make it a rule that you'll put them away when you're on a date. If your partner can't respect that, they may not be respecting your needs overall.
4. They Don't Support You During Big Events
People get busy, so don't hold it against your partner is they miss your aunt's birthday or have to skip your office's holiday party. Do, however, consider the health of your relationship if your partner consistently fails to show up for you.
"In healthy relationships, partners will be there for each other in key moments," Bennett says. "These can be during times of sickness, trouble, and even celebration (like birthdays and job promotions). If your partner isn’t there for you at these important moments, it’s a sign you’re not getting the love you deserve."
5. They Embarrass You In Public
Many couples are cool with making jokes at each other's expense in public. But if you're not, and your partner knows it, it may be a red flag if they go ahead and do it anyway.
"Partners who love and respect their significant other will not feel right demeaning or minimizing them in front of others," Rosalind Sedacca, CLC, a dating and relationship coach, tells Bustle. "They have empathy and put themselves in your shoes before making jokes or frivolous comments. Consequently, you feel safe, supported and secure around your partner, confident they have your 'back' and will never disrespect you, especially in public."
6. They Don't Make An Effort To Hang Out
When you're the only one who ever makes an effort to hang out, plan dates, and so on, it can quickly become tiring. But it can also be a sign that your partner isn't as invested as you might want them to be.
"If you and your partner are very busy with your careers, side hustles, family obligations, etc., that is understandable," Rappaport says. "Nowadays everyone is very busy and schedules can get a bit of out of control from time to time. However, if your partner is unable or unwilling to make time for you — quality time — this is an indication that they do not value your relationship over their obligations and responsibilities."
7. They Only Look Out For Themselves
While neither you nor your partner should rely too heavily on each other, part of being in a relationship means having someone there to support you and help you out. So if your partner consistently lets you down, the relationship might not be as good as it could be.
As Rappaport says, "While it is perfectly fine for you or your partner to put your needs first from time to time, it is not healthy if your partner always puts their needs over yours and the combined needs of your partnership. If you find that your partner takes care of themselves and rarely considers you, this is a huge red flag that you are not valued."
8. They Keep Secrets
While they don't have to share everything, if your partner doesn't want to open up and reveal the occasional private thought, it will prevent your relationship from going beyond the surface level, Rappaport says. And that that's just not fair to you.
9. They Are Critical Of You
While it might not feel like a big deal at first, don't ignore ongoing criticism from your partner. There are many reasons why they might be rude or disrespectful. And none of them are healthy.
"If your partner is being critical of you but also exudes the attitude that they are better than you, this is a major red flag and absolutely worth talking about if you notice this behavior on a regular basis," licensed psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee, tells Bustle. "This is a sign that your partner does not respect you or the relationship. This is [also] a time to have a serious talk with your partner about what you’re noticing is going on, and how destructive it is to you and the relationship. Having a discussion about what the real problems is essential and, if you both can’t figure it out together, seeking professional help as a couple may be beneficial."
Small, ongoing problems can result in bigger problems down the road. But even little letdowns can start to erode the health of your relationship by making you feel unloved and unsupported. And that's definitely not what you deserve.