My Boyfriend Will Never Be My Number One Priority

I have a strong relationship with my amazing boyfriend and I feel lucky to have him in my life. However, no matter how important he is to me, he’ll never be my number one priority—that spot is reserved for me.

  1. I’ve been let down too many times before. By making someone else your top priority, you’re leaving yourself open to being used and let down. I don’t think for one second my boyfriend will ever treat me in this way, but I also won’t ever let myself be vulnerable enough to risk it happening again. I have to protect myself. If I don’t, who else will?
  2. I’m done being a yes girl. For years, I was a total people pleaser who went along with what my S.O. wanted even at the cost of my own happiness. It was as if I didn’t have an opinion of my own and would constantly just agree with whatever my partner at the time wanted to do. It all came from an anxiety of my wants and opinions not being valid. I’m through with that. I know my thoughts, feelings, and opinions matter and I won’t ever be made to feel differently again.
  3. I know my own worth. I no longer feel like the things I desire are any less important than what my partner wants. In fact, I know that’s not true. My feelings are just as valid as the next person’s. It’s taken me a long time to realize just how important I am, but now that I’ve finally learned to value my own worth, I’ll never let anyone take that from me again.
  4. I’ve learned to say what I really feel. As part of learning my own worth, I’ve finally learned to be open about how I truly feel. Whether that’s from the simple things (like what we’re having for dinner that night) or more complex feelings, I’m empowering myself by validating myself. How can I continue to do that if I’m putting my partner first?
  5. It doesn’t make me selfish. This is what took a long time to learn. I’m totally allowed to have a say in things without being made to feel selfish. My opinion matters as much as anyone else’s. It doesn’t make me a bitch to happen to have a difference of opinion with my boyfriend, but we also make sure we value each other’s views too. We both feel respected and valued in our relationship, which is the whole point. It’s all about balance, and we’d never have been able to achieve that I didn’t make myself a priority.
  6. People don’t mind as much as I’d thought. For years I’ve always put my own wants and needs on the backburner, putting everyone else’s ahead of my own. I always thought people would be offended or think me selfish if I dared put my own needs first, but it was all in my head. Funnily enough, my boyfriend really doesn’t mind if I actually have an opinion on what we watch or where we eat, nor on the bigger decisions in life. He totally values my input and makes me feel appreciated and validated.
  7. My mental health has to come first. I’ve been in some dark places over the years, largely from a lack of belief in myself. That took a huge toll on my mental health and made me suffer from depressive and anxious feelings from time to time, which was not fun to experience. I won’t ever let myself go there again.
  8. Taking care of myself first allows me to contribute better to our relationship. By making sure I’m taking care of myself well, it puts me in a better position to be positive in our relationship. My head is in a better place, I’m happier and healthier in myself, and this projects onto our relationship too. I’m not bringing negative energy into things or feeling frustrated or confined.
  9. He should be his own priority too. It works both ways. I don’t expect to be my partner’s number one priority. He should put his own needs first as well and he does, which is why our relationship works so well. Yes, we take care of each other as much as possible, but we also both know to take responsibility for our own lives first and foremost.
  10. I feel so much better for it. I used to feel so caged, and it was as much my own doing as it was the people I’ve dated. I was constantly worried about what others thought of me. Since I’ve let that go, I feel amazing and I’m able to enjoy my current relationship so much more because of it.
Lifestyle and relationship writer from the tiny island of Jersey, CI. Survives on a steady diet of wine, sunshine and fairytales. Fluent in sarcasm and Disney quotes.