Appreciation is one of the most undervalued aspects of any healthy relationship. We usually put so much emphasis on how to know you're in love with someone who is loyal, honest, or a good communicator, that somehow, the importance of being appreciated by your partner — which is just as vital as those other qualities — gets lost in the shuffle. But let me tell you, as someone who has experienced both relationships where I was appreciated and ones where I wasn't, there is no comparison. You will never feel fully connected to someone unless you feel like they appreciate you.
How do you know if you're falling for someone who takes you for granted? Well, it usually starts with a feeling in your gut that something in the dynamic of the relationship is off, like there's an emotional inequality between you and your partner. Sometimes, that imbalance is really obvious; sometimes, however, it can be much more subtle. This is especially true if your partner puts on a good show of being verbally expressive about their feelings for you while simultaneously undermining that message with their behavior. If all this sounds confusing, well... that's because it is. But to help you better understand if your partner doesn't appreciate you enough, here are some subtle things to look out for.
1. Your Feelings Are Not Treated As A Priority
I don't know about you, but I have a terrible habit of sublimating my feelings and needs for others, especially when I think that expressing them will upset someone I care about. We all do this to some extent, but if this has become the norm in your relationship, Rachel Russo, a professional matchmaker and Dating & relationship coach, told Bustle it’s a sign that your partner is taking you for granted. "If you are in a relationship with someone who is unable to tolerate your emotions or have discussions about things that you think are important, you are with someone who doesn't care about making you comfortable within the relationship," she said. In other words, a partner who appreciates you will make sure it's safe for you and them to share what you’re both feeling, even if it means some temporary discomfort.
2. They Don't Take An Active Interest In Your Life
When was the last time your partner asked how your day was? If you can’t remember, that's not good. A loving partner who doesn't take you for granted takes an active interest in your life. They want to check in and see how you are doing, and they care about the things you care about. Something to keep an eye out for right from the beginning of a relationship, according to Russo, is if they "talk more about [their] life than yours on your dates and in your phone conversations." She continued, "You might just think [they're] nervous in the early stages of dating or just someone with a lot to share, but it could indicate a selfish personality." Consider yourself warned.
3. They Don't Value Your Opinion
When your partner has a big decision to make, are you one of the first people they turn to? When you offer advice, do they take it? If not, it’s a pretty clear sign they don’t appreciate you and your thoughts. In any true partnership, you lean on one another and work through the problems life sends your way together. If your partner doesn’t want to give you a space to voice your opinion or, if when you do, you don't feel validated, well... I think you know what I’m getting at here. That's not a good look for a relationship.
4. They Leave You Hanging
On average, how quickly does your partner reply when you text them? I’m not talking about when they are stuck at work one day, and you don't hear from them for eight hours; consider their usual texting style. If they're pretty good about getting back to people quickly, can you count on a quick reply for yourself, or do you give them a 50/50 shot at getting back to you at all? If it’s the latter, Russo said your partner may be disregarding "how their behavior affects you."
5. They Don't Show You Any Form Of Gratitude
This one is pretty straightforward. When you go out of your way to do something nice for them, do they say thank you, or do they just accept the gesture as something they are owed? And lastly, do they reciprocate what you do for them? If it’s always you putting in the work and doing things for them, then, girl, you're being taken for granted.
Remember, you are a beautiful, magical unicorn who deserves to be appreciated. Don't ever let anyone treat you differently, even if you love them.
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