Relationships 101

Are you a standby lover? 15 signs you are a backup boyfriend

Read this to know whether you really mean something to her, or are just a backup boyfriend to whom she is not emotionally connected
Standby lover is a person anticipated as a potential future romantic partner in the event of the failure or unforeseen end of a current relationship.

A new kind of relationship that is doing the rounds in the dating world is the backburner relationship. According to a study, this is a relationship which one has with another person, who is actually just a backup option. When one has a backburner relationship, he/she keeps stringing along the other person and does not get romantically involved or committed to that person. This kind of relationship is really heart-breaking and gives birth to a backup girlfriend or a backup boyfriend and even a standby lover.

The behaviour of keeping different options open and hoping to get a new prospective partner, instead of the backup person, is considered to be normal behaviour among human beings, according to the same study. Most of the people who are in such a relationship fail to realise that they are a standby lover for their partners. Even if they do realise, they are unable to do anything about it, since they are genuinely in love with their partners.

What is a backup boyfriend?

Now, let us get to know the meaning of a backup boyfriend who is the main topic of interest in this feature. A backup boyfriend is a person who thinks he is an actual boyfriend. So, he fulfils the duties of a boyfriend, without really getting any assurances from the girl he is involved with. He is basically a person on standby, more precisely a standby lover, to whom the girl will turn to, in case her current relationship does not work out or she does not get a better option than the backup boyfriend.

A typical backup boyfriend is someone who is liked by the girl’s parents. He does not have great looks or is not very intelligent. The girl might find him boring, but still stays in touch with him. Therefore, he is obviously the second choice for the girl. A standby lover seems desperate and thus, a woman thinks she can use him in anyway.

The main purpose of maintaining a standby lover is to avoid ending up alone and heartbroken after breaking up with another lover.
Image source

Facts related to standby partners and relationships

After understanding what backburner relationships are, it is important to go through certain facts related to such relationships. These facts are taken from a survey undertaken in UK in the year 2014.

  • The survey shows that commonly women have more backup partners than men
  • Married women tend to have more backburner relationships than those women who just have a relationship
  • A backup partner for a woman is generally an old acquaintance or friend who has always had lingering feelings for the woman
  • Other people who might be the backup partners for the women are: a colleague, ex-husband, ex-boyfriend, someone known to them for around 7 years and so on
  • 12% of women in the survey said their feelings for the backup partner were stronger

A typical backup boyfriend is someone who is liked by the girl’s parents. He does not have great looks or is not very intelligent. The girl might find him boring, but still stays in touch with him. He is a great standby lover for her.

Why do women have spare-tyre partners?

It is usually seen that women who are in a serious relationship are always doubtful about their future, and so they end up having backup boyfriends. The reasons behind this could be one of the following:

  • They do not want to be alone, if their current relationship fails
  • Having a backup boyfriend means the women can come out of the depression of the breakup as soon as possible
  • After the breakup, the standby lover can fulfill their wishes, until they get hold of the next lover

15 signs you are just a backup boyfriend

Backup plans are good, but not in the case of relationships. It can really be miserable for you, if you find out that you are a backup lover for your girl. You have to first evaluate the situation well and take a decision whether you want to continue with the spare-tyre relationship or not. To help you understand the situation, here are 15 signs you are a standby lover.

1. The girl continues the relationship with you on her terms

She does not commit herself to you and makes certain boundaries which you have to follow without any protests. She does this basically to remind you of the fact that you are not her main flame but just a backup lover.

2. The relationship with the girl practically seems like a normal relationship

Both of you hang out with each other, watch movies together, go out for luncheons and dinners etc. This means you both practically spend time with each other like any couple would.

You feel you have a connection with her and even she feels it. But you are still a backup.

3. She avoids getting physical with you

Obviously, since you are just an option for her, she will not get physically intimate with you. She will neither let you visit her home nor will she visit your home. She will even avoid going on any vacations with you, as you might make advances on her.

Girls avoid getting physical with standby lover
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4. She remains distracted when she is with you

Do you notice your girl being distracted around you? If yes, then probably she is just tolerating your company because you are her backup option.

She will barely listen to what you have to say and keep using her phone when she is with you.

5. Her schedule is not free on weekends because you are the standby lover

If she fails to meet you on the weekdays, then you can understand because she is probably busy with her professional life. However, if she is busy even on weekends, then there is something wrong. Instead of taking out time to meet you on the weekends, if she makes plans with others, then my friend, you are in a backburner relationship.

Standby lover understands you better than your boyfriend.

6. The girl’s social media is filled with photos and posts of some other guy

Stop being naïve and foolish. Do not ignore the photos and posts of some other guy that your girl posts on her social media profiles on a continuous basis.

If she was serious about you, then she would have photos with you and posts about you instead of the other guy.

7. You have never met her close friends

She does all in her power to make sure that you do not meet her close friends, because this would make you think that she is serious about you. But she is not and she does not want you to get wrong hints.

A backup boyfriend seems desperate and thus, a woman thinks she can use him in anyway.

8. She does not share everything with you

Her achievements, joys or things that make her worried – she does not share these things with you. You always feel that she is not sharing everything with you and she feels distant from you.

9. The girl is not emotionally stimulated by what you do or say

She is not concerned with what you do or say. She does not get emotionally triggered by you. This means that she is not fully emotionally invested in the relationship and is simply putting up with you because you are her second choice.

10. She does not like the idea of you dating another person

Even if you happen to realise that you are a backup and try to move out by dating another person, then the girl will not like it at all. She will become overprotective and annoyed at the same time. She wants you to be available only for her, all the time.

11. Confrontations with her would end up being dramatic

Whenever you try to confront her, does she end up crying and becoming all dramatic? If yes, then obviously, she wants to string you along as much as possible.

Even if you try to break up with her, she will blackmail you into continuing the so-called relationship with her.

The main purpose of maintaining a standby lover is to avoid ending up alone and heartbroken after breaking up with another lover.
Image Source

12. She will keep bailing out on plans at last minute

She will cancel the plans that you make, at last minute. You are not her priority in her life. The sooner you realise that, the better it will be for you.

13. Dating her is turning out to be expensive for you

You will notice that she will turn towards you for any financial help she needs. So, instead of having a good physical and emotional connection with you, she will just be interested in how you benefit her financially.

Standby lover is common nowadays.

14. She compares you to the other guys in her life

The girl, who is stringing you along, will probably keep comparing you with the other guys in her life. She will keep finding faults in you and behave as if she can’t accept those faults in you.

15. Your gut tells you that something is amiss

The experiences you are having with her will give you the idea that things are not as they seem in this relationship. In case\ you have a gut feeling that you are just a backup option for the girl, then you better watch out and get out of such a relationship.

Those of you who are not in search of true love and are just interested in casual relationships can think about continuing as standby lovers. But others who want a serious relationship should get out of backburner relationships. Why not look for the love of your life, instead of wasting your time, energy and resource on a relationship which is not fruitful and respectful?


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