A healthy, fulfilling relationship is based on trust, mutual respect, and appreciation for what partners do for each other. For a romance to thrive, it’s crucial that partners acknowledge the efforts made by each other. Taking a relationship for granted, not reciprocating the effort put in by one partner, or making them feel unimportant could spell doom for the partnership.
Taking someone for granted in a relationship can be damaging to their self-esteem and may even make them feel resentful and angry toward their partner. We spoke to dating coach Geetarsh Kaur, founder of The Skill School which specializes in building stronger relationships, about what being taken for granted means, why someone takes you for granted, and what to do when your partner is taking you for granted in the relationship.
What Does It Mean To Take Someone For Granted In A Relationship?
Looking for being taken for granted meaning? Well, according to Merriam-Webster, being taken for granted means “to value (something or someone) too lightly or to fail to properly notice or appreciate (someone or something that should be valued)”. Geetarsh explains, “When a relationship starts, people feel very warm and fuzzy. There is appreciation for the little things partners do for each other. But, as it progresses, either partner stops valuing or acknowledging the small gestures made by the other partner.
“This happens because the efforts start to feel like routine. They feel like it’s their partner’s duty to do those things for them. They feel entitled to all the efforts and sacrifices their partner is making. This is what taking someone for granted in a relationship means. When your partner stops appreciating the heartfelt efforts that you make to make them feel loved or cared for, it means that they are taking things for granted in a relationship,” she says.
Being taken for granted, meaning, being taken advantage of, can ruin your dynamic with anyone. A relationship is about give and take. A partner might feel neglected, ignored and undervalued after the love and care they give to the other. Or they do not feel appreciated enough for the effort they put into the partnership. Or their partner isn’t giving them the respect they deserve. Or their gestures are not reciprocated. Know that all of these are signs of taking things for granted in a relationship.
At times, the feeling of being taken for granted could be the result of a miscommunication. In that case, you and your partner can talk about the issue and come to a resolution. Your partner might be grateful for all that you do for them, but have been unable to express it the way you would like them to. However, other times, it could feel like you are being humiliated or not appreciated for your endeavors. Let’s discuss the signs of taking a relationship for granted for better clarity.
Related Reading: How To Deal With Being Ignored By Someone You Love?
11 Painful Signs Your Partner Is Taking Your Relationship For Granted
Are you constantly having to deal with a girlfriend who takes you for granted? Or looking for signs he takes you for granted after just a few months of dating? Well, the signs of taking a relationship for granted are usually subtle, making it hard for the partner at the receiving end of it to understand or recognize them. At times, you’re so madly in love with your partner that you tend to ignore the bad and focus on the good instead.
But if you know there’s something wrong with how you’re being treated by your special one, then you’ve probably thought about why someone takes you for granted after they’ve said they love you. And how such behavior is affecting you and your relationship. According to Geetarsh, “They take you for granted because they think their partner is always understanding, mature, and accommodating, and that they have a habit of letting go. Such a behavioral pattern builds mistrust, creates a distance between partners, and gives rise to miscommunication.”
To figure out what to do when your partner is taking you for granted, you need to be aware of the signs that you’re being taken undue advantage of. Recognizing the symptoms will help you treat the problem. Here are 11 signs to help you understand if your partner is taking a relationship for granted.
1. They never say “thank you”
Geetarsh says, “Such people are thankless. If your partner is not acknowledging the work or effort that you are putting into the relationship, whether it’s basic household chores or cute things you do to make them feel special, then they are taking you for granted. If they never express gratitude in any way, for the little or big things that you do for them, take note of such behavior.”
Another sign of taking someone for granted in a relationship is that they will cease to notice the initiatives you take to maintain the partnership. They will never appreciate your endeavors or even acknowledge the compromises or sacrifices you make for them. They will not realize your worth in their life. You may dismiss it as a trivial issue but it’s a major red flag if your partner does not express gratitude for all that you do for them.
2. They never seek your advice on important matters
A relationship should be a partnership of equals. Decisions on trivial or important matters affect both parties, which is why both partners should come together and decide what they want to do. If that’s not happening, then it’s a relationship red flag. If your partner doesn’t ask for your opinion or advice or doesn’t bother consulting with you before making a major life decision, then it’s a sign that they are taking things for granted in a relationship.
Geetarsh says, “If your partner does not involve you or seek your opinion in any decision-making process, if they do not discuss new happenings or beginnings in their life, it means that they do not think you’re important enough. They feel that it’s okay to make major decisions without discussing or even informing you about the same.”
They’re clearly overlooking your presence and contribution to the relationship. It’s a sign that your thoughts don’t hold value. In extreme cases, they probably see you as a trophy partner or an accessory, which is why they’re dismissing your perspective, qualifications, and experience – this is precisely what being taken for granted means.
3. They are quite demanding and expect too much from you
To reiterate, a relationship is an equal partnership where responsibilities, expectations, and labor are divided. But if you find yourself taking all the initiative, doing all the labor and heavy lifting, making all the small and big sacrifices, and not even getting a simple “thank you” in return, know that your partner is taking a relationship for granted.
For example, if your husband demands a lot from you and expects you to manage everything – household chores, take care of the kids, plan date nights, work overtime for a few extra bucks, not socialize with certain people because he doesn’t like it – then these are signs that he takes you for granted. Similarly, if you’re in a relationship with a woman and find yourself going out of the way to make the relationship work while she hardly pays attention to you, know that it’s unfair that you have to deal with a girlfriend who takes you for granted.
4. They prioritize their work and friends over you
If either partner is always prioritizing their work or friends over you, that’s a sign of taking someone for granted in a relationship. We’re not saying you have to give them hell for going for a night-out with their friends or coming home late from work once in a while. But if it becomes a matter of routine to the extent that spending time with you feels more like an obligation or a side hustle or a ‘sun has risen from the west’ kind of situation, then your partner is taking a relationship for granted.
According to Geetarsh, “You have to be responsible toward your partner. There could be busy days but you have to make time for your loved one. If they always cancel plans or keep postponing them because they are too busy at work or have to catch up with friends, then it’s a sign that your partner is taking you for granted.”
Related Reading: 13 Relationship Milestones That Call For A Celebration
5. They cut conversations short
Is your partner always in a hurry to finish a conversation? Does he have a habit of cutting every conversation short? Then, be careful because these are signs he takes you for granted. Does your girlfriend walk away while you’re talking to her or makes an excuse to get off the phone in haste every time you call her, and doesn’t call you back to finish the conversation? Well, then you’re probably having to deal with a girlfriend who takes you for granted.
Geetarsh explains, “One of the signs of taking things for granted in a relationship is that people exhibiting such behavior are always in a hurry to end conversations with their partners, whether it’s face-to-face or on call. This is because they probably find your thoughts or stories unimportant, thereby making you feel unwanted, unheard, undervalued, and insulted.” If your partner values you and your feelings, they shouldn’t invalidate you. If you notice a pattern, know that your partner is taking a relationship for granted.
6. They don’t listen to what you have to say
A healthy relationship involves both partners listening and paying attention to each other’s needs. Listening to one another not only helps partners understand each other’s needs, desires, and expectations from the relationship but also shows care and concern. If one partner is no longer listening to the other or is not as attentive as they were before, it’s a sign of taking someone for granted in a relationship.
Geetarsh elaborates, “Suppose you’ve had an exciting day at work or with your friends or during your travels. You would obviously want to tell your partner about the same. But you find that they aren’t interested in listening to you or are giving half-hearted responses. If this happens all the time, they are taking you for granted.”
7. They avoid romance and intimacy
This is one of the major signs of taking a relationship for granted. All relationships go through phases where there is less romance or reduced intimacy but if you have to beg for it from your partner, that’s a red flag. If you feel like they aren’t interested in wooing you or making you feel special, or if any gesture feels as if they are forcing themselves to do it, then it’s a sign you’re being taken for granted.
In a relationship, it is possible that one partner is not romantic or big on lovey-dovey gestures and public displays of affection. But if there’s no expression of love at all or even an occasional flirty exchange between partners, then there might be a problem. It’s possible that they know that you’ll never leave or cheat on them, which is why ignoring your needs is not a big deal for them. If you’ve communicated your concerns and there’s still no amends from their side, it’s a clear sign of taking things for granted in a relationship.
8. They dismiss your concerns and feelings
Another red flag of taking a relationship for granted is when your partner dismisses your concerns or if they gaslight you every time you express your needs or worries to them. If they make you feel terrible about yourself or disrespect you, know that you are being taken for granted.
Says Geetarsh, “Do arguments with your partner often turn into a winning battle? Do they not validate your feelings? It’s a bad sign. You need to find common ground during an argument. But if your partner is only interested in winning, then they will continue to dismiss your concerns and emotions, making you feel like they don’t value you enough to care about what you think.”
In a relationship, partners are supposed to have each other’s back and look out for each other. They should be contributing to your happiness, not finding ways to make you feel unloved or disrespected. If they aren’t prioritizing your feelings or being dismissive, know that they’re taking you for granted and that it’s time for you to stand up for yourself and your well-being.
9. They make plans without asking you
Does your partner have a habit of making plans without asking you? Do they just go ahead and book your time or calendar without asking for your permission and without checking if you would be free to hang out? Do they attach any importance to your availability before committing to plans? Well, if they have no respect for your consent or other commitments, it’s a clear sign that you’re being taken for granted.
If your partner does what they want, comes and goes as and when they please, or routinely books all their appointments during your free time, it’s a sign that they are taking things for granted in a relationship. If they expect or demand you to drop your commitments to cater to their schedule and needs, but refuse to do the same when you need them, then you’re not being treated fairly in this relationship.
10. They get more than they give
A relationship is a two-way street. It takes two to tango. Your love language can be different. You may have different ways of showing affection or gratitude but it’s important that both partners contribute equally. Otherwise, it’s one of the signs of an unhealthy relationship and a red flag that your partner is taking you for granted.
Geetarsh explains, “If only one partner takes all the initiative and puts in all the effort to make the relationship work – planning a date night, eating a meal together, going on a holiday, saying “I love you”, giving a compliment, planning a surprise – while the other doesn’t reciprocate or acknowledge any of this, then it’s a sign of taking a relationship for granted.”
Do you always take the initiative to get closer to your partner? Are you always the one planning birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions? Are you the only one doing all the chores and micro-managing everything while your partner sits back without a care in the world? If the answer to all of these questions is a ‘yes’, we’re sorry to say but you’re being taken for granted in the relationship. Your partner probably thinks that you’ll never leave no matter how they treat you.
Related Reading: 5 Tips To Keep The Spark Alive In Long-Term Relationships
11. They only text or talk when they want something
When either partner initiates a conversation only when they need something, it’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If they call, text, or speak to you only to fulfill a need and show no regard for your time, know that they’re taking a relationship for granted. Partners should be able to have meaningful conversations in a relationship. But if your conversations have become limited to only routine work, then there’s a problem.
According to Geetarsh, “In the age of social media, it is possible that partners express their feelings through a forward on Instagram or Facebook. You could also send them cute DMs. But if they do not acknowledge or care to reply to those messages as well, they are taking your feelings for granted.”
Being taken for granted is toxic for your mental and emotional well-being. It also negatively impacts your relationship. Geetarsh says, “Such behavior could make you lose trust in your partner. You feel like no matter what you do, there’s never going to be any reciprocation. So, why do it? It builds a gap between partners where they stop talking or doing things together.”
At times, being taken for granted means that there’s an immense amount of trust, stability, and comfort between partners, so much so that no other investment is required in the relationship. While that is a good thing, partners must never forget to show appreciation. Even a simple “thank you” goes a long way. Mutual respect, trust, and understanding are the hallmarks of a healthy relationship. If your partner has begun to feel entitled and shows no gratitude, know that they are taking a relationship for granted.
Now that you’re aware of why someone takes you for granted and the signs that your significant other might be doing the same, you may be wondering what to do. Geetarsh suggests, “Partners need to understand that there is not just love but also respect and responsibility attached to the relationship. If you feel your partner is taking things for granted in a relationship, the only way to sort things out is to communicate your feelings and ask them the reason behind this kind of behavior.”
When your partner is taking you for granted, and if their behavior has become too toxic for you to handle, consider breaking up with them. There’s no point in staying in a relationship where your time, efforts, thoughts, and opinions are not valued. Nobody deserves to be ignored, undervalued, or disrespected in a relationship. If you have had enough of your partner not being appreciative of all that you do for them, call it quits.