It would be pretty great if our romantic partners always thought we were better than sliced bread.
Total adoration bordering on worship might not be a reasonable expectation, but what we should be able to ask for is a base level of appreciation in a relationship.
We all deserve to be loved and respected – but sometimes that isn’t the case.
Or it doesn’t feel like the case, whether because someone is slacking in the romance department or they’re rubbish at expressing you how much they adore you.
How can you tell when someone is taking you for granted? And what can you do if they aren’t giving you the appreciation you need?
15 Signs your partner is taking you for granted
There are some easy-to-spot bits of evidence that your loved one has lost sight of how lucky they are to have you.
Have you noticed any of these?
Their wishes are always more important than yours
You feel like your feelings are never considered
You have to initiate every interaction
They don’t seem interested in what you have to say
They don’t compliment you
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They don’t listen to you when you talk
You’re expected to make sacrifices or work around them and their plans – but it’s never the other way around
You make all the effort around going on dates
You’re picking up all the household errands, like tidying up or washing the dishes
They never say ‘thank you’ for what you do
They make no effort when it comes to grooming
You can’t remember the last time they made a romantic gesture
They’re never on time
They hardly show you any affection
Paying attention is a useful way of characterising what love is. We pay attention to things or people we love. You know you’re being taken for granted in a myriad of subtle and not so subtle ways as attention shifts and changes away from you.
The tricky thing about a lack of appreciation is that it can happen slowly and subtly.
Tune into your own emotions – don’t dismiss your feelings if your intuition is telling you that you’re not being valued.
Your subconscious mind might well pick up on feeling unappreciated before it impacts on your conscious reality. You can feel uncomfortable, unsettled and not sure why for a long time before it fully dawns on you that you’re no longer held in the same high esteem as before.
Your intuition will know first that something is out of kilter. Your conscious mind may resist acknowledging this uncomfortable truth until the feelings of being taken for granted build and build until they can no longer be ignored.
The impact of being taken for granted in a relationship
Realising that you’re being taken for granted by your partner is, to put it bluntly, a seriously sh*t feeling.
It can have a toxic impact on your relationship, and on you as an individual.
If someone doesn’t feel appreciated in their relationship – the biggest impact will be on the relationship itself (as well as that person’s feelings, of course).
You might start arguing over little things, you might become less emotional, more distant, less enthusiastic, etc. – all of this has a direct effect on the relationship.
Appreciating someone makes them feel good about what they do and the effort they’re making in the relationship.
That makes a difference to them, and in turn, makes a difference to your relationship.
Put up with a lack of appreciation for long enough, and resentment can build.
You might also internalise the way your partner is treating you, starting to believe that you’re not wonderful enough to be showered with love and affection.
What can you do if you’re being taken for granted in a relationship?
The important thing is to be able to recognise any signs of unappreciation, from either side of the relationship, and to talk about it, so you can work together to turn things around. Honesty is vital to make any relationship work, so it’s always a good idea to talk it through.
It might be the case that the dip in attention is due to external factors.
A partner can withdraw into themselves because of health concerns or money worries. You might think it’s about you when in reality it’s about them, so you need to find out what’s happening for them.
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Ask open questions in a non judgmental tone. Be honest about how you’re feeling and then listen, really listen to their response.
There’s a part of them that will most likely want to tell you their truth and it’s important to listen and realistically appraise what they say.
Other times, a decline in expressed appreciation is down to falling into a rut.
When you’ve been together for a while, it’s easy to forget that your partner needs signs that you love them.
Relationships take work, and it’s easy to get into a routine, especially a few years down the line.
The most important thing is to not put pressure on the relationship or on your partner, simply tell them how you’re feeling and how you think you’re being taken for granted – chances are they had no idea they were behaving this way, and will start to make the conscious effort to stop.
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The crux of the matter, whatever the specifics of your situation, is to express how you’re feeling.
How to proceed will depend on your partner’s reaction. If they’re defensive and show no intention of behaving any differently, it might be time to call it quits.
How to show your partner you appreciate them
Let’s say you’re the one who’s guilty of taking your other half for granted. What can you do to make things better?
No one is psychic so it’s important to verbally and physically show your partner you appreciate them. It’s the subconscious micro indicators that are the most powerful and they happen naturally in a relationship where you want to display your care and affection for someone.
The key thing to remember is that a relationship takes effort, and the effort has to come from both parties in order to make it work.
Make it a priority and it’ll become part of your everyday routine – pay full attention when they speak to you, thank them for the little things, talk about the things that add value to your relationship, let them know you appreciate the regular efforts they make, compliment them, acknowledge and express your love.
As for actions, it’s the little things! From making your partner a coffee in the morning without them asking, to taking the lead for date night – small considerations and expressions of love and gratitude towards your partner go a long way.
Think about how you would feel appreciated and reassured by your partner – and show them the same reassurance in return.
Feel the love and show it, basically. Easy.
Photo Credit: Getty