It totally sucks to feel like you don’t have someone’s full attention. They may say all the right things when they’re with you, but their actions just don’t add up. You might go days without hearing from them or dates are few and far between. When you’ve got your heart set on being important to a special someone, here are 9 ways to not get put on the backburner when pursuing them and a little advice for what to do if you are.
- Set boundaries. While it may not be fun or feel natural to say no, limits create a safe place for everyone. If you go out of your way to please him, tiptoe around him, and only do what he wants, you may be enabling a one-sided relationship and allowing him to get comfortable taking advantage of you. If you want to be valued as an equal partner, it doesn’t hurt to make him work a little. If he knows he doesn’t have easy access to trample on you like a doormat he’ll be forced to either step up or step out instead.
- Don’t accept calls and texts at night. Once again, he doesn’t need unlimited access to you. Late-night convos almost always exist just to lead to pillow talk. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to have a real conversation where you discuss topics and take time to get to know one another. You don’t need the distraction of just being a booty-call take away from quality moments where you could be meaningfully bonding.
- Make him take you on a date in public. The goal here is to set your relationship up to be genuine. Just coming over to hang out instead of investing in going on dates is lazy and thoughtless. It also allows him to just pop in and out when it’s convenient. Make it known that you value your time and if he wants to be in your presence, he needs to be intentional.
- Don’t respond to texts right away. This one is hard for me. I literally always have my phone on me, so most of the time I see people’s messages immediately and can respond. But doing this can make you seem overeager and can affect power between you two. If you’re always quick but he takes his time or has moments when he goes off the grid, then you place yourself on his time for communication. Make him wait sometimes so he appreciates hearing from you.
- Don’t be too available. Be OK with turning down a date or not answering a phone call. You need him to realize he could just be your option. A spot in your life needs to be earned and valued. You don’t freely give your time away with no expectation of reciprocity and you’re not just going to go out of your way to rearrange your schedule to fit him in as he wishes whenever he asks you to. If you’re doing these things, it’s only because you’re both committed to one another and equally accommodating. You want to convey that you’re not desperate.
- Don’t tell him everything right away. Keep some things to yourself. Have him wondering some things about you. Make him be perceptive about you and attentive to what you say. If you give him too many spoilers, he may feel like he’s already seen the whole movie and lose interest during what should’ve been the previews.
- Don’t expect him to save you or pick up your slack. Be responsible for yourself. Pay your own bills. Be self-sufficient. Contribute to an equal partnership. Don’t be a user. Act like you want to be in a relationship and not be an adult adoptee. It’s good to support one another, but realistically, there are some things you should take care of on your own or have family do for you. Unless you’re married or in a long-term committed relationship, you shouldn’t be putting that much pressure on him. Getting to know one another is the time you should be having fun.
- Have some interesting things to talk about. Be funny. Have specific interests. Be passionate about something. If you don’t have a life going for yourself, you’re just going to end up latching onto him and sucking his life out of him. You’re still your own person when you’re in a relationship.
- Keep working on your goals. Complacency is not attractive and it’s quicksand to losing someone’s respect. Getting into a relationship shouldn’t be your end all be all in life. Keep growing as an individual, even while with someone else.
All this being said, no matter what you do, just know you will be a priority to someone who’s genuinely interested. If they’re not trying to prioritize you, move on because the match is not right and you’re wasting your time. You can’t make someone who doesn’t want it change their mind. They should see and value your worth right away, not have it proven to them. You’re better than that and deserve more.