Relationships work when each person in the couple puts the other one first. That means putting your partner before your social life or career or personal ambitions. It doesn’t mean neglecting your social life, career, or personal ambitions but it does mean always considering how your actions in any of those areas of life will affect your partner. If anything you want to do with your friends, job, or any other part of your life would leave your partner hurt or neglected, that’s something you seriously consider. And you do what you can to prevent other parts of your life from negatively affecting your relationship. When you’re not in a relationship like this, you can feel it around every corner. You wake up feeling anxious because you just know that somehow, your partner will let you down that day. Here are signs you aren’t your partner’s first priority.
He won’t put anything in his calendar
He will never physically open his calendar and write down an event you’d like him to make time for. That’s because he doesn’t want to be held accountable if he “forgets” and makes other plans. And that’s because he absolutely wants the freedom to “forget” and make other plans. He really only plans on going to your thing if, when that day roles around, he has nothing better to do (and he feels like it).
He cancels for illegitimate reasons
He has canceled on you because he was hung over, tired, or lost track of time. Those aren’t real hindrances to hanging out. He could have controlled those things. He could have not drank too much the night before he was supposed to see you. He could have not stayed up all night the night before. He could have set an alarm clock.
You always get last minute notice
He has never given you more than 24 hours notice about an event (48 hours if you were really lucky). He’s certainly never called you and asked you to reserve a day that’s two weeks in the future, for him. And that’s because he only calls you when he notices that, by chance, he has some free time and nobody else to hang out with.
He doesn’t celebrate with you
The man you call your boyfriend has planned himself a birthday party with his friends and invited you. He didn’t plan it with you. He didn’t wait to see if you wanted to throw something for him. He believed his two friends were better suited to be the co-hosts of his celebration than his romantic partner.
He’s never on time
If your partner is never on time, that’s because he’s always trying to squeeze the last bit of time out of his other obligations, before seeing you. He’d rather shorten his time with you than shorten his time anywhere else. If you were a priority, he’d leave other people a little earlier to make sure he got to date night on time.
He’s always in a rush
Your boyfriend seems to squeeze you in between things. When you meet up for the afternoon, he somehow always has plans at 5pm he needs to get to. There is always a strict expiration on your hangout time. He’s never just put aside a whole afternoon for you. It’s almost like he’s just checking an obligation off his list by seeing you.
He socially multitasks
He always tries to invite other people to what was supposed to be a one-on-one occasion. He basically wants to receive credit for hanging out with you, but doesn’t want doing so to take away from his time with other people.
He phones it in on your celebrations
He’s never been the one to plan your birthday party or your promotion celebratory dinner. Your friends plan the dinner, and your boyfriend shows up a little late, with a gift much smaller than anyone else’s. He might even leave early to make it to another party.
He spends all his money elsewhere
Your partner only has X amount of money to spend on fun and he doesn’t save any of it for you. You two always have to make dinner at home for date night because he blew all of his entertainment budget at the bars with his friends.
He only comes over if he’d be in the area anyways
When you ask him when he can come over, he looks at his calendar to see which day he’ll already be in the area anyways. A totally free, empty day isn’t good enough reason to see you—he will only come over if he can double up on social obligations in your neighborhood.
He’d never set an alarm for you
He often tells you he can’t do something because he doesn’t know if he’ll be awake yet. God forbid he just set an alarm to make sure he’s awake on time.
He always asks who else will be there
When you invite your boyfriend to a party or dinner, he asks who else will be there. It isn’t enough that you’ll be there. He doesn’t think the party is worth his time unless there will be several other of his friends there.
You feel guilty when you see him
If you see your partner, when you could’ve seen friends, you find yourself feeling guilty. That’s probably because you know that you missed out on time with the people who care the most about you, to be with someone who really doesn’t give you enough love.
He fills up his schedule without consulting you
Your boyfriend tells you what he’s doing this weekend, and his weekend is already pretty full. He never calls you to ask if you wanted to do anything with him that weekend before filling it with plans with other people. Instead, he tells you what few pockets of time he has open and tries to squeeze you into them.
He has to have things his way
Your partner is very pushy about having things his way. He always pushes for the restaurant he wants to eat at, the movie he wants to see, or the vacation he wants to take. It seems like time with him is more about the activity than being together.