If He Treats You More Like An Option Than A Priority, This Is How You Should Treat Him

It doesn’t matter how strong and confident you are — when you’re single and dating, you meet all kinds of terrible guys who can’t see how amazing you are and how lucky they are to have a chance at being part of your life. You don’t have to put up with a guy who treats you like an option rather than his first and only choice. In fact, you shouldn’t. If he won’t treat you like a priority, here’s how you should treat him.

1. Stay resolute in demanding better.

The easiest thing to do with this kind of guy is to accept the status quo, keep hanging out with him, and date him on his terms. Don’t do that. You want to date him on terms that are agreeable to BOTH of you, and that means he should treat you like a priority. Stay strong in demanding better treatment and know that you’re doing the right thing in standing up for yourself (because you totally are).

2. Don’t second-guess yourself — trust your gut.

It can be tempting to think that you’re blowing things way out of proportion, being too sensitive, or expecting too much, but you’re not nuts for thinking that you deserve to be treated well. After all, if a guy likes you, making time for you and making you feel appreciated and important in his life shouldn’t be a sacrifice — it should come naturally. Getting him to treat you like a priority shouldn’t be difficult. It should come naturally.

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4. Put him on the back burner.

Stop thinking of this guy as your next boyfriend and start thinking of him as just this guy that you kind of dated but probably won’t see anymore. If you can start the process of forgetting him, you’re going to be much better off in the long run. It sure beats pining for him and waiting for him to text. If he won’t make you a priority, he shouldn’t be one for you.

5. Keep your options open.

It’s possible that this guy might realize that he’s been wrong all along and that he needs you in his life. Possible… but not particularly likely. The best thing you can do right now is start looking for love elsewhere. Go on a date with someone new. Explore your options. Do anything except wait around for this guy to change his mind.

6. Give him an ultimatum.

This may be awkward, but it’ll also be the best thing that you can do for yourself in this situation. Tell this guy that unless he starts acting like your boyfriend, you’re not interested. If you’re nervous about this, remember that standing up for yourself makes you a hero for women everywhere.

7. Be prepared for the worst.

When you explain to this guy that you’re not going to stick around if he keeps ignoring you and treating you like crap, he’s most likely going to do one of two things: he’s going to totally ignore you or say that he can’t commit. Be prepared for the worst and know that you can get through this. There’s more to life than a guy who won’t make you a priority.

8. Let go of the idea of getting closure.

The sad truth about being honest with a guy who doesn’t know how to treat a woman is that he might run away. He might be terrified to learn what you really think about him and his behavior and you might never hear from him again. Don’t expect closure because it just might not be happening — and frankly, you don’t really need it.

9. If all else fails, ghost.

Sometimes you have to fight immaturity with the exact same behavior. If you get nowhere with this guy and he really has no clue what you’re even talking about, then feel free to ghost. You don’t need to feel even an ounce of guilt. He doesn’t respect you enough to treat you well, so you don’t have to go out of your way to be nice to him either.

10. Learn from it.

What’s the point of going through something if you’re not going to learn from your past mistakes and carry those lessons with you? Remember how crappy you felt when this guy treated you like an option and you’ll never even be tempted to date sometime like that ever again.

11. Move on and don’t look back.

Staying strong and standing up for yourself will mean absolutely nothing if you overthink things and wonder if you should have acted differently. Don’t look back. If he’s going to treat you like anything less than the awesome girlfriend that you deserve to be, then who needs him?

A guy who won’t treat you like a priority is one that will never make a good partner. He’s not someone that you should spend time trying to change or putting up with his behavior. Instead, move on – you’re better off being on your own than with someone who doesn’t see your value and act accordingly.

Why wouldn’t a guy treat you like a priority?

You know the signs that a guy sees you more as an option than a priority in his life, but why does it happen? If he thinks you’re great and is going to the extent of dating you, why won’t he put in more effort to integrate you into his life and show you that you’re important to him? Here’s what could be going on to make his behavior so lackluster.

1. He’s not feeling it but doesn’t know how to tell you.

This is perhaps the most important and likely explanation for why he acts like he couldn’t care less whether you’re in his life or not. If you guys started out hot and heavy or he made some bold statements about having big feelings for you early on only to realize that he made a mistake, he might feel awkward and hope that putting you on the back burner will be enough for you to get the message and fade out of his life without confrontation. In other words, he’s a coward who doesn’t know how to use his words.

2. He has no experience with healthy relationships.

There is a chance that he legitimately doesn’t know that he needs to put in some effort and pull his weight in a relationship. If he’s always been with women who did all the work and who basically mothered him, it’s possible that he never learned the skills needed to be a good partner. He just keeps on living his life, expecting the perfect relationship to just exist without any input from him. This isn’t an excuse, of course – he’s a grown man and he need to get his act together.

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4. He expects you to do all the work.

It could be that this guy doesn’t treat you like a priority because he feels like the world revolves around him and that you should be making him the priority rather than vice versa. He wants you to put in all the work to foster and maintain your connection so that he can just sit back and be waited on hand and foot. Why should you be a priority in his life when you’re doing all the work to keep him in yours?

5. He’s not really looking for a relationship.

Again, another popular explanation for this kind of behavior. Maybe he does really like you but he also likes being single and sowing his wild oats, so making you a priority doesn’t really gel with that vibe. He wants to stay footloose and fancy-free, so putting you high up his list of priorities will never work. Why he doesn’t just say that upfront is a whole other issue, of course.

6. He has a lot going on in his life right now and shouldn’t be dating right now.

Life is intense in general, but maybe this guy has a lot of other stuff going on right now like a sick family member or work stress or any other number of things. If that’s the case, he needs to realize that now isn’t the time to be dating because he’s selling his dates short and that’s unfair. He needs to take some time away from looking for love and come back when things have settled down a bit. Anything else will never work.

Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.