When we love someone, be it a friend, family member, or romantic partner, we carve out a special place in our lives just for them. We take care of them and look after their happiness as much as we do our own. We make them feel important because we want to keep them in our lives and show them just how much they mean to us. And even though there are times when we will need to focus on our school, work, or personal well-being first, they are never far behind on our list of priorities.
But what if the person you put first always puts you last? What if someone important to you takes you for granted and doesn’t treat you like a priority? Is it really too much to ask that they put in a little effort from time to time to make you feel loved and wanted? The answer is no, you should never feel guilty or ashamed about asking someone to put in as much effort as you do into making a relationship work. And while yes, there may be times when you’ll just have to understand if they’re too busy or overwhelmed with all the things going on in their lives to spare you much of a thought, there’s a difference being someone’s priority sometimes and not being their priority at all.
So how do you know when the person you love doesn’t care about you as much as you do about them? Here are 8 tell-tale signs that you are not their priority:
1. They always show up late.
From our parents to our teachers, we’re all taught the importance of being punctual even at a very young age — and for good reason, too! Punctuality conveys good manners, courtesy, and discipline. So when your friend or partner doesn’t even have the decency to show up on time for you, it means that you are definitely not a priority for them. They show up hours late to every get-together because they don’t respect your time and they don’t really care about making you wait for them.
2. They cancel on you at the last minute.
The only thing worse than being hours late to something is never even bothering to show up at all. Does your friend frequently cancel on you at the last minute? Is your partner always standing you up, only to later text you their excuses for why they couldn’t make it? Yikes! This kind of flaky, unreliable behavior shows that this person cannot be trusted. They’re so willing to ditch you the moment something better comes along that they don’t even stop to think about how excited you are or how long you’ve been planning this. Because at the end of the day, they care more about having fun than they do about you.
3. They exclude you from things.
You never fail to invite your friend to every party or gathering you plan, and what do you get in return? Nothing! Because your so-called “friend” is always leaving you out of things! They don’t invite you to hang out with them or join group activities even with your mutual friends. And they plan parties and weekend getaways but you’re never in the picture. Being excluded hurts, especially when it’s done by someone you once considered a good friend, but it’s a clear sign that your feelings aren’t mutual and that they don’t prioritize you as much as you prioritize them.
4. They don’t remember special occasions.
What makes every celebration feel special isn’t the expensive gifts or the fancy food or the party — it’s being around all the people you love. So if you notice a certain someone who’s always absent during special occasions, then that’s a definite red flag. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation, or a promotion, this person never puts in any effort for you. They don’t buy you a present, they don’t celebrate with you, and they don’t even bother to greet you or congratulate you. Sometimes it may even slip their mind entirely. Because when you’re with someone who doesn’t really prioritize you, special occasions stop feeling so special.
5. They don’t make things up to you.
When you do something to hurt or disappoint a loved one, a lot of us feel like it’s the least we can do to try and make it up to them. Whether it’s through a thoughtful message or a simple favor, we do our best to show them that we’re sorry and that we don’t take their pain and anger lightly. But if your friend or significant other thinks that saying sorry is all it takes to fix everything, then that’s a clear sign that they’re not afraid to hurt you. And the fact that it’s so easy for them to shrug you off when you’re upset with them shows that you are not a priority in their life.
6. They never take initiative.
Communication is key to making any relationship work, be it platonic or romantic. So if you have someone in your life who never takes the initiative to reach out and talk to you, even just every once in a while, then it means they are not willing to put in the effort to maintain your relationship. They don’t text first, they don’t return your calls, and they never make plans with you, all of which are definite signs of apathy and disinterest.
7. They don’t make time for you.
While it’s certainly true that you are not entitled to anyone else’s time, the effort that someone else puts in making time for you is a reflection of their interest in you. After all, even the busiest person can make a little time for the ones who matter most to them. So if your invitations to hang out or chat and catch up are always getting shot down because they’re too busy spending time with other people, then it means that they don’t value you as much as they value their other relationships.
8. They make you feel alone, even when you’re together.
FInally, but perhaps most importantly, when this person makes you feel lonely even while you’re still together, it’s a sign that something is seriously wrong in your relationship. Are they always on their phone when you spend time with them? Or seem distant and indifferent whenever you talk to them? Do you ever get the sense that you’re the only one who actually wants to be there and spend time with them, while they would rather be somewhere else? All of these things are very telling about where you are on this person’s list of priorities. And if they make you feel alone even though you’re not, it’s safe to say you are probably not high on their list.
So, do you relate to any of the signs we’ve mentioned here? Is there someone in particular who came to mind while you were reading this?
In the end, if there is someone in your life who isn’t treating you like the priority you should be, you need to talk to them about it and let them know that you deserve better. You deserve to feel like you’re important; you deserve to feel valued and appreciated; and you deserve to be treated like an equal. Know your worth and don’t settle for less than what you deserve because, as Maya Angelou once said, “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”