6 Steps to Stop Being a Relationship Backup Plan
Do you ever wonder if your partner is truly committed to you? Do you question whether they are stringing you along, leaving you feeling like a backup plan rather than a significant other? A fully committed partner does not ignore you or dodge your questions; they consistently strive to be a supportive partner, valuing your thoughts and feelings. You should be their top priority, not just a warm body.
Therapists often identify signs indicating that someone is being strung along or used as a backup plan. I have compiled a list of common indicators. If you recognize yourself in these signs, I urge you to be honest with yourself and break free from the illusion of a future with such a partner.
Assess the Relationship: In love, there are no guarantees. Enjoying occasional moments with your partner is insufficient reason to stay with someone who is using you as a temporary placeholder until someone better comes along. Take note of the habits that make you doubt their true care for you and the relationship. Write them down and pay attention when they manifest.
Evaluate Their Love: Does your partner freely express their love for you, or do they evade the topic? Are they consistently there for you, or only when it suits them? Do they make an effort to plan special dates? These actions reveal their genuine commitment and interest in you.
Reflect on Your Self-Worth: Individuals often used as placeholders tend to feel a diminished sense of self-worth. If you suspect your partner is using you and not prioritizing you, it's time to engage in a conversation with yourself. Remind yourself that you won't settle for this treatment. Say it to yourself quietly and aloud. The more you affirm it, the more confident and aware you will become regarding your relationship's dynamics.
Confront Them Directly: When confronting your partner about their use of you as a placeholder, expect evasions, excuses, or feigned innocence. Make it clear that you see the truth and are unwilling to subject yourself to it any longer. Assert your right to love and respect, then discontinue the conversation.
Take Your Leave Without Regret: Many people stay in unhealthy relationships because they believe it's the best they can do. This negative, unfounded belief convinces you that it's a fact. Remember, you don't have to be perfect to be a priority. We are all flawed, and your imperfections are no worse than anyone else's. Tell yourself that you deserve genuine love without conditions.
Seek Counsel: Often, we fail to recognize our self-worth until we distance ourselves from those who have used us as backup plans. Therapy can help you understand how you were drawn into such a relationship and why you allowed it. Once you identify the areas of yourself that require reinforcement, you can work on developing those skills to avoid future users. With newfound freedom, you can rediscover your identity, preferences, and values, making you less susceptible to becoming someone's placeholder.
Being stuck in a relationship where you aren't a priority can lead to loneliness and conflict. If you are currently involved with someone who uses you as their backup plan, take a moment to reflect on what this says about your self-worth. - Mary Jo Rapini