Having a boyfriend can be a tricky, yet fulfilling pursuit. After all, human beings are naturally inclined to pair up with partners for sex and companionship. However, being in a relationship with someone can be an emotionally charged experience ridden with insecurities and irresponsibility. Many times, women feel like they are not given first priority, and this drives them crazy.
Why Do You Feel The Way That You Do?
It is without a doubt that you should be a priority to your boyfriend. However, in some cases women feel like they aren’t given priority by their boyfriends because their boyfriends have other priorities. However, it is perfectly natural for a man to have priorities outside of a significant other. In fact, it perfectly natural for any human being to have priorities outside of a significant other.
Just because your man is currently with you, that doesn’t mean that he has to drop everything else in his life to constantly talk to you, interact with you and be in your presence. He may love and adore you, but he still has other responsibilities in his life that he has to tend to.
You may feel that the activities that he takes part in are given more priority that you. For example, you might think that the fact that he spends time playing video games or hanging out with his buddies means that he doesn’t care about you. However, these are activities that are important to him. They keep him sane and well-rounded, and they give depth to his life.
Partaking in leisurely activities and hanging out with friends outside of a relationship with a significant other are important for self care. This is because of the fact there are different facets of health that make up one’s well-being. For example, you have physical health, mental heath, social health, spiritual health and other types of health. If one type of health is lacking, then the other types of health will suffer, and a person’s overall well-being will become worse.
Something really important to consider is that fact that it is actually healthy for people to spend some time away from each other and to not communicate so much. Sometimes, when people spend too much time around each other they end up annoying each other and becoming sick of each other. The phrase, “familiarity breeds contempt,” has a substantial amount of truth to it. It is just a fact a life when it comes to human relationships and interactions.
You have to realize that men focus on one thing at a time. Even if they have a bunch of important priorities in life, they will only put emphasis on the priority that they are taking part in, in the moment. This is just another fact of life. That doesn’t mean that you are any less important to your man—him putting all of his attention on one thing at a time is a way that he mentally regulates his life.
Look At Yourself
If you think that a man is wrongfully prioritizing things over you, you may just feel insecure. Think about this: how would you feel if you were in his shoes? How do you feel in your shoes, as yourself? Do you think that you have the right to partake in leisure activities, spend time with friends, spend time with family, have hobbies and have alone time? Well, if you have the right to do those things, then your boyfriend has the right to do those things, as well.
If you feel insecure that your man is prioritizing things over you, then you have some sort of void that needs to be filled. Perhaps you should take up a hobby so that you can preoccupy your mind and boost your confidence. Maybe your issue is the fact that you do not put yourself out in social or pubic situations enough. It is easy to ruminate on irrelevant ideas, make mountains out of molehills and make up problems in your head if you spend too much time by yourself and/or at home.
Sometimes, it is difficult to find opportunities to put oneself around people and to find the right social situation. To get your mind off of petty insecurities, try to find various activities where you are around other people. Taking in-person classes and volunteering are great ways to get your mind off of petty, insecurity-laden thoughts about your relationship.
You May Be Fooled By Relationship Advice
There are so many images in the media about what a relationship is “supposed to” be like, as well as what people are “supposed to” do. These images can give false impressions about the true nature of relationships. The fact is that there is no one way for a relationship to look, and there is no one way for people to act.
A lot of publications give advice about relationships. In these publications, self-proclaimed experts talk about the “rules” of relationships—the “rules” of when a man should text you, the “rules” of when it’s okay to look at someone’s social media, the “rules” of what gestures a man should do for you, the “rules” of lovers and whatever else. In reality, each relationship situation is different, and many times these “rules” do not apply to many real-life situations.
If anything, many of these advice articles justify and/or foster neediness among women. The types of advice that are commonly given do not coincide with the reality and needs that men and women face in their daily lives. It is rather unfair to judge someone entirely upon ideas that you get from articles about relationships.
You have to understand, too, that advice articles are written by human beings, and every human being has a skewed, one-sided point of view. A lot of people who write relationship articles may have an entirely different perspective than you and the type of person who your boyfriend is.
Maybe He Really Isn’t Making You His Priority
Of course, there are some situations in which you may be in the right for accusing a man of not giving you priority. It can be hard to point out the reality of these situations because when people are in relationships their brains can get into a fog where it is hard to see the flaws of the significant other.
One major sign that you aren’t his priority is when he has control issues. Controlling what you wear, eat, think and do is a huge red flag. The person may need to have his way all of the time, or may not consider your feelings. At this point, you aren’t his priority—his ego or sustaining whatever emotional complex he has is his priority.
Not listening to you is another sign that you are not really his priority. If you have legitimate concerns that he just shrugs off and refuses to listen to, then there is a problem. For example, let’s say that he treats you a certain way that upsets you. If he refuses to listen to you or acknowledge what you have to say about his behavior, then perhaps something else is his priority—perhaps his ego or some other plan or person—and not you. If you feel like you are being downright ignored, you might want to read this article.
Not celebrating special occasions is also another red flag that you are not really priority. If you are a not a part of his special occasions, celebrations, anniversaries and holiday pans, then that most likely means that they are intentionally leaving you out of important parts of his life. It means that you are not really a priority to him, and that he doesn’t really care about you to the extent that you would like.
Not saying much to you may also be a sign that you are not a priority to him. You may find yourself talking in depth about yourself and random other subjects. Meanwhile, he may just sit there, not saying much about himself or anything else. There may come a point where you’ve realized that you’ve told him a lot more about yourself, and you’ve talked about a lot more stuff to him, then he has to you. He may seem rather tight-lipped. There could be a number of reasons why a man appears tight-lipped that have nothing to do with you being a priority or not being a priority. However, this is something to look out for.
How Do I Make Him Realize My Worth?
First off, if you feel that you’re not his first priority because of your own securities, you should back off and let your boyfriend live his life. You may already have value in his eyes and be first priority, despite what your insecure and under-stimulated mind is telling you. If you push yourself on him and insert yourself into other parts of his life, your worth may be seen as less—for good reason. Respect the fact that he has other parts of his life that don’t center around you. Once you treat him respectfully with these things in mind, he will return the favor by being loving, committed and treating you like a worthwhile person. When you give respect and boundaries, you will be rewarded with love, respect and value. So, how do you become a priority?
OK, So How Do I Get Him to Treat Me Like a Priority?
If your man really isn’t making you a priority, one of the first things that you can do is talk to him. Tell him about how you feel that he is not treating you according to your worth. Be prepared to fully explain your point of view. Do not yell at him or act argumentative or naggy. Just tell it to him calmly and respectfully. Just because you feel that he is disrespecting you on some level, that doesn’t mean that you should yell at him or act completely obnoxious.
If he doesn’t listen to you, think about ways that you are being a pushover. Grow a backbone and be more vocal whenever he says or does things that aren’t quite right. If he is imposing on you or making you do things that make you feel uncomfortable, you have to say “no” and/or walk away. Once he realizes that you won’t take garbage from him, he will see you with more respect and value.
How Do I Tell My Boyfriend He’s Not Treating Me Right?
Basically, follow the advice mentioned in the previous section. If you’re wondering “how do I tell my boyfriend he’s not treating me right”, start by verbally telling him, outright, about his concerns about not treating you properly. Have a conversation with him to see what his perspective is on the situation. There is a chance that, depending on the situation, you might just be overreacting and insecure. Hear him out on what he has to say. If he really isn’t treating you well, you have to tell him your concerns.
Sometimes, people do not acknowledge the verbal concerns of others. If your boyfriend is like this, it is time to change your behavior so that he gets a hint. Perhaps you are letting yourself being taken advantage of too much, or you are letting things slide too often. It might be time to change that.
How Should Boyfriends Treat Their Girlfriends?
How can I make my boyfriend appreciate me more? In general, boyfriends should be respectful of their girlfriends by being honest and refraining from causing unnecessary drama or trouble. They should keep their hands to themselves, and think critically about what they say. After all, physical abuse is not the only kind of abuse. Verbal methods of manipulation—both passive and overt—are disrespectful and abusive.
Boyfriends should not gaslight girlfriends. Gaslighting is when you accuse someone of being crazy in order to discredit them so that you can manipulate them, control them and/or steal from them. The reasons why a gas lighter would manipulate vary.
Boyfriends should critically think about the implications of everything that they say and do, because thinking critically about these things reflects on how they treat women.
A man should not be verbally or physically abusive to his girlfriend, and then blame her and others for his behavior. It is a problem when a man acts verbally or physically aggressive and say, “Look what you made me do,” or, “This is all your fault.”
Also, boyfriends should be considerate about the views and beliefs of their girlfriends. For example, if you have very strong spiritual views that are different from him, he should respect your views and not try to eliminate them or make you believe otherwise.
A boyfriend should not financially abuse his girlfriend. Financial abuse is when you coerce someone into doing things that they are uncomfortable with by holding money and resources over that person’s head.
Boyfriends should be totally transparent about what they expect from a relationship and what sexual the situation should be. For example, if a man wants to have an open relationship, he has to be vocal about this and make sure that his girlfriend is okay with this. This is critical for health reasons, if not for ethical and/or religious reasons.
In conclusion, when you feel like “I am not a priority to my boyfriend”, you are either incorrect, correct or a little of bit of both. When you are incorrect in your thinking, it usually has to do with your own insecurities and a one-sided lack of understanding. However, when a man really doesn’t see you as a priority, it shows through the way that he directly treats you and how much he involves you in his life. If you are the one who is in the wrong, it is time to see things through your man’s perspective, understand his needs and get involved in more activities on your own time. If you are in the right, you should definitely make your concerns known to your boyfriend, both verbally and through your behavior. Whether you are right or wrong, you should definitely talk to your boyfriend about this situation and see what his perspective is.
Jason Fladien is an author and relationship coach living in Toronto.
He used to struggle so much in his own love life that he decided to learn everything there is to achieve such level of understanding at which he’d not only be able to completely change his life but also help others to change theirs.
Now he’s on a mission to help others achieve effortless and happy relationships as he believes that relationships are the most important thing in life.