You are sitting next to the person you are dating in silence. While most people would be content in just the presence of each other, this bothers you. “What is on their mind?” Their silence is a constant reminder of the emptiness that is apparent within the relationship. Because even with the vast amount of time you have spent together, they still have not fully let you in. There is something that just hasn’t clicked. It never did. While you feel they can fulfill your needs and wants, there has been no hard evidence to prove so. It’s not like you haven’t tried to make it work, but it just isn’t working. Want to know why? It’s because you are in a placeholder relationship.
As the placeholder, you are filling the void while this person is still waiting and searching for the love of their life. Simply put, you are not “the one.” There is never a definite answer as to why you are not “the one;” however throughout history, dating has foretold it could be as simple as timing or as obvious as you two having different views/paths. Whatever the case may be, there is a great chance they showed you this in some way, shape, or form.
Here are a couple of signs that you are in a placeholder relationship:
You like/care/love them more.
You’ve heard the phrase “The person who cares less always has the power in the relationship.” This fact definitely holds true within a placeholder relationship. You probably are the first one to always initiate everything from conversations to choosing places to go. You automatically assume that they have this wall built up for you to tear down. So you open yourself up assuming they will eventually return the favor, but they won’t.
This can be a tricky one. There are plenty of people who bring anyone around their family and friends. You may have gone to a barbecue or even a cousin’s wedding, but that does not signify anything to this type of person. However if you are dating someone who is family oriented and speaks highly of their family and friends and you have yet to meet them, RED FLAG! This is a dead giveaway you are a placeholder. Besides sharing their hopes, dreams and fears, letting you meet their family and close friends is the ultimate sign you are in there.
There is future talk. But you’re not in it.
Your partner has definitely expressed their future and within this conversation they only use first person pronouns (I, my, etc.) That is because they haven’t considered you in it. This may not have always been the case, but know that if there is no future plans mentioned with the words “we” or “we should,” the future is not looking so bright for the relationship.
Playing house with no plans.
You are usually the one making strides toward the goal of something more solid. You guys are living together with no indication of a real future. Many would view this as a sign that the relationship has gotten serious, but that is not always the case. Have you guys set goals together to better the relationship? Do you guys have a shared account? Where do you guys see yourself within the next year? If there has been talk about marriage, what steps are you guys taking to make this happen? Know that in this situation, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!
They won’t commit.
Most likely they were straightforward with their thoughts and feelings on being in an exclusive relationship, but you chose to think otherwise. When introducing you, they refer to you by your name because that is who you are, but to add a title to the introduction has never happened. If you have had to ask, “What are we?” chances are, you are nothing but a placeholder.
The fact of the matter is, most people have been in a placeholder relationship. Whether you were the placeholder or not really doesn’t make a difference. What is important is for you to know your worth and stop wasting time on someone who doesn’t foresee a future with you. There is nothing worse than being with someone because you don’t like to be alone. If you keep falling for people who see you as only a placeholder, you will never know what it is like to be someone’s prized jewel.