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Never Make Someone a Priority When You’re Only An Option: The Truth

You have probably heard that saying, “you should never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” Here is all you need to know.

never make someone a priority

When you love someone dearly, it’s obvious that you’ll make them a priority in your life. But some people never make someone a priority.

So, how do you do when the feeling isn’t mutual?

Well, that’s where everything starts to go wrong in a relationship.

Misunderstandings in expectations from each other are almost always the biggest reason for bad relationships and friendships.

Making someone a priority in your life

Love is a funny thing. When you love someone, you can’t help but open the floodgates of your heart and welcome them in. But it feels good, doesn’t it, when you can truly love someone wholeheartedly?

When you’re in a close friendship or a budding romance, it feels good to care about someone. And it feels a lot better when you know the other person cares about you too.

But when the care and concern are one-sided, the relationship could start to turn bitter and take a worse turn. [Read: Reasons behind why love can hurt so much when it goes bad]

My experience with priorities and best friends

Until some time ago, I had a really great friend. We were BFFs and shared every moment together.

We knew each other since high school, we had even moved in together and were living just like two happy sisters. And everything in my life was just perfect.

Now I don’t mean to sound like a braggart here, but I’ve always found it easy to get the attention of the guys I liked while my friend found it harder to get a guy to stick around. [Read: How to get a guy’s attention in any circumstance]

But I never liked seeing my friend sad or alone, so I started tagging her along on most of my dates so she didn’t have to feel lonely at home. I didn’t care if I lost a guy. If a guy I dated couldn’t take both of us out often or be nice to her, he was out of my life. I was very protective of my friend, and I always wanted to see her happy. [Read: Being a third wheel – 32 perks, annoyances and how to survive being one]

I shared all my special occasions with her. I spent months saving up to buy her a perfect birthday gift, and I even dumped boyfriends if she was in a slump and wanted me to spend more time with her every day. It was truly unconditional love, and I didn’t have any expectations from her. In fact, I was extremely attached to her.

One day, she met a guy and started dating him. I was over the moon for her and gave her a lot of space to spend time with her steady boyfriend. At times, I even spent nights at another friend’s place just so my best friend could get some quality time alone with her boyfriend.

A few months into her relationship and I couldn’t recognize my best friend anymore. Well, she looked the same, but her behavior completely changed. She stopped calling me over the phone and would ignore me even if I was sitting in the same room with her.

She would snap at me for no reason at all, and she wanted a lot of space to herself. She was aloof and distant, and our relationship changed completely within a month or two. And I was devastated. [Read: The right priority in a relationship – how to find and focus on it]

Even when I tried talking to her about it, all she had to say was “Well, people change, don’t they? Why can’t you deal with the fact that I’ve changed?”

She still expected me to do all the pampering, the cooking, and then taking care of her, and she even wanted me to buy her things, but she wouldn’t do anything in return for me. In fact, she didn’t even have time for me anymore. And all I wanted from her was to spend half an hour talking to me every day. But she didn’t want to do that.

And in one conversation, she even went as far as accusing me of being jealous because she’s happier than me!

My best friend was a priority to me, but it took me a lot of painful tears, long sleepless drunk nights, and painful heartaches to realize the fact that I was not a priority to her.

And that’s when I realized that you should never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option. I felt betrayed and cheated. And I felt so used because I sacrificed my happiness for her for years, and all she had to say to me was “who told you to do that?!”

For the first time in my life, I actually realized how heartbreaking and miserable it feels to be insignificant in the eyes of someone you love so much. [Read: What is unrequited love and how to get over it?]

You should never make a wrong person a priority

Needless to say, I’m not in touch with that friend anymore. I still care about her and am filled with affectionate love when I bump into her. But I couldn’t stay friends with her anymore.

But now that I look back at all those years, I realize something. I can’t blame my friend for what happened. I made her my priority and I allowed her to use me. I didn’t care if I was a priority to her or not, because taking care of her needs made me feel good inside.

When you love someone as a partner or a friend, you’re taking a risk. Your love may be reciprocated mutually, or maybe it won’t. So if you want to have a happy life, take time to fall in love with someone. It’s the safest way to ensure that you’re giving your heart to the right person.

Sometimes, people are just selfish. And there’s nothing you can do about it. But from my own experience, all I can advise you is to avoid people who don’t make an effort to be nice to you. Love and affection should never be one-sided. The neglect you feel is worse than the pain you’d feel after a breakup. [Read: How to recognize and stop selfish people from hurting you]

A relationship is a barter system

It’s not about keeping count. It’s about unconditionally loving each other. In a perfect relationship, both the involved people give and take constantly. And that keeps the wheel of love spinning smoothly.

It may be a relationship between lovers, friends, siblings or with parents, a happy relationship is always a barter. But when the scale of give-and-take starts to tip over, one partner will start to feel drained and annoyed. [Read: 36 life lessons to instantly transform your life and draw in real happiness]

Do you know you’re only an option?

In many cases, you may not even realize you’re in an uneven relationship. You may be clouded by emotions, or worse, you may convince yourself that you need to give more to the relationship because your partner is more deserving of love and affection.

Relationships work best only when love and affection are exchanged in equal measures.

If you ever feel like you’re the one who’s doing all the giving while a friend or a lover is only taking you for granted or using you, back away from the relationship.

Walking away will hurt, but it’s still better than having to endure the neglect and the pain of experiencing a one-sided relationship every day of your life. [Read: How your self-respect affects you and your relationships]

The painful signs you’ve made someone a priority when you’re only an option to them

If you’re unhappy with any relationship in your life, there’s a big chance that you’re in a one-sided relationship. Use these signs to find out if you’re giving someone more priority than they deserve in your life.

1. They expect you to give, but they don’t give back

In a lot of relationships, there are “givers” and “takers.” If this person you are in a relationship with is always taking from you and never giving anything in return, then you are definitely not a priority.

In fact, they are incredibly selfish. Try not to take it too personally because they probably can’t prioritize anyone but themselves. They are always #1 in their own eyes, and everyone else is only in their lives because of what they can “get” from them. [Read: Are you a giver or a taker? 19 signs of a taker in a relationship]

2. They constantly let you down even when you have the smallest of expectations from them

These kinds of people are completely unreliable. They are flakey and will cancel plans, show up late, or completely ghost you sometimes. You get incredibly frustrated with them because the things they let you down about are just “normal” common-courtesy things to you.

Some other examples include things like never committing to plans with you until the last minute, not having consistent communication with you, or always putting plans with other people before you. These things are unacceptable, so don’t allow them to do it. [Read: Bad friends – 25 kinds of terrible people you need to kick out of your life]

3. You’re just a backup plan in their life when they have nothing better to do

If you feel almost invisible to them unless they are really bored, then you are not a priority. You might look at their social media pages and they are constantly posting photos with other people doing fun things.

Then, when you do get that call to hang out, you know it’s because everyone else in their life was busy. So, in order to entertain themselves, they resort to asking to see you – not because they want to, but because you’re better than nothing. You deserve better than that.

4. They don’t care about your feelings

Even when you emotionally pour your heart out, instead of understanding you or hearing you out, they just argue back or try to justify themselves. They have absolutely no empathy for you *or probably anyone else either*.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see a situation from their perspective. It’s feeling what they feel. But if they constantly dismiss your feelings, then you are definitely not a priority in their life. [Read: Emotionally detached? 15 signs they don’t care about your feelings]

5. You feel hurt all the time when you’re around this person

When you are in a loving, caring relationship of any kind, it should feel good. You should want to be with the person because you have a good time and feel happy and uplifted.

So, if you feel hurt all the time or like they just sucked the life right out of you, then that’s not a good sign. You should not have to be around people like that. And if they are that negative and don’t care about hurting you, then you are definitely not a priority to them.

6. They treat others in a special way and give them a lot of attention, but you are never given any preference no matter how hard you try to please them

You might put up with their disrespectful behavior for a while because you probably think “that’s just how they are, so I have to accept them.” On some level, that’s a good attitude to have. You can’t change people, and you do need to accept them – to a point. But only if they are respectful to you. [Read: How to stop being taken for granted – 15 strong ways]

So, if you see them treating other people much better than they treat you, that is unacceptable. You deserve to be treated just as well as anyone else in the world. But this means that the people they are treating with more respect are a higher priority in their life than you are.

7. You’re always taken for granted no matter how much you try to win their affection

If you’re trying to win their affection, then you need to stop doing that. It’s not worth it. If someone is making you do things for them just to earn their love, then that is ridiculous.

No one should be taken for granted. Everyone should be appreciated and loved. So, you shouldn’t allow anyone to treat you in a way that makes you feel disposable. 

8. They are completely selfish and care only about themselves

They always put their own needs before yours, and they try to manipulate you all the time. No one likes a selfish person. They are energy vampires and they leave you feeling resentful because they never care about your needs.

When you’re in a relationship, you need to have balance. They need to care about your needs and desires and you need to care about theirs. So, if that’s not happening, that is a bad sign. [Read: What is an energy vampire? 19 signs to spot them in your life ASAP]

9. They don’t tell you – or include you – in important decisions

If you’re in a significant relationship with this person, then you would expect to be clued in on important things that happen in their life. You should be informed about what happens to them or what decisions they are making.

And even worse, if this person is your significant other, then they should be including you in the decision-making process. So, if they are excluding you from these things, you are not a priority to them. [Read: How to know if a relationship is over – 33 signs it’s over for good]

10. You can’t count on them

They might say one thing but do another. Their words and actions don’t match. You don’t know if they are going to show up when they say or follow through with the actions they promised.

For example, if you got a flat tire and called them for help, they might take a lot longer to show up than they promised. Or, they might not even show up at all. When you know that they don’t have your back, then you are definitely low on their priority list.

Final thoughts

If you experience any of these signs in a relationship, you’re probably better off snapping all ties with them. But just remember that it’s not your fault that this person is selfish. Sometimes, some people just care too much about themselves to think from another person’s perspective.

[Read: The 10 types of love you’ll experience in your lifetime]

Never forget that meaningful line, you should never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option. It seems catchy, but understanding that line could mean the difference between happiness and pain for the rest of your life.

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Morgan Miller
Morgan Miller is a writer who lives in the Bay area, and suffers from an addiction to all things geeky and artsy. She loves wearing leggings as pants, and when ...
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