Am I Taking Him For Granted? 31 Red Flag Signs Your Man Feels Hurt By You

When relationships get comfortable, we may unintentionally overlook our partner’s efforts. Are you taking your man for granted? Here’s how to find out.

am i taking him for granted

So, you’re dating a really nice guy. The way you see it, everything seems just right and perfect. He’s always around whenever you need him, and he loves lavishing his attention on you. But somewhere along the way, you might hear a little voice inside that tells you he’s the one doing all the giving, and you’re only taking him for granted.

Of course, it’s never easy to tell if the little voice is being truthful because everyone loves a bit of attention. And you’ll never know just how balanced your relationship is until one of you starts holding back on the giving and taking.

Has your boyfriend confessed that he feels like the mule in the relationship, where he’s doing all the hard work and you just respond with wide grins?

It may all be well and good in the infatuation stage of a relationship, but if you genuinely care about your man, remember a relationship is a two-way street.

And the only way it can succeed and grow is if both of you play an equal part in nurturing the romance. [Read: 87 secrets to be a really good girlfriend & leave him happily addicted to you!]

What does it mean to take someone for granted?

Taking someone for granted is like having a goldfish and forgetting to feed it. You love having it around, but you stop noticing it’s there.

In human terms, it means expecting love and attention without reciprocating or acknowledging the effort. It’s a love trap that turns fiery romance into a flickering candle.

According to relationship guru John Gottman, healthy relationships thrive on ‘turning towards’ each other. It’s like playing catch, if you throw the ball and your partner turns away, it’s a failure. But if they catch it and toss it back *even with a funny face*, you’ve got a game!

Gottman’s principle emphasizes the small moments where we either turn towards or away from our partner’s attempts to connect. Ignore them too often, and you’re playing solo in the love arena.

So, are you in a loving duet or a solo act of taking a good guy for granted? Brace yourself, it’s time for some love science and the honest truth!

The warning signs to know if you’re taking your man for granted

If you want to get an honest answer, ask a sincere question. Here are a few telltale signs you aren’t giving your guy the time and attention he deserves.

If you think you are doing one or all of these things, don’t sweat it! If you care enough to worry about it, you care enough to fix it. So, without further ado, let’s count down the ways you might have wronged him. [Read: 16 ways to show your appreciation for someone you love]

1. You ignore his messages

It might not seem like a big deal, but it could be a sign of something bigger. How long did it take you to respond to his messages when you first started dating?

Of course, things change, but it’s important to try to keep some things consistent.

Nobody likes to be left hanging. It’s a crappy feeling to send a message, and then find yourself with an empty screen for hours. [Read: Being left on read – what it really means when they don’t text back]

If you are legitimately busy, just say so. “Crazy day at work, talk soon” *kissy face, kissy face* messages can really go a long way and take literally seconds of your time. Don’t overuse these sorts of messages but do remember that, in these situations, almost anything is better than nothing.

2. Lack of verbal appreciation

A “thank you” can light up your whole day, right? Well, imagine your boyfriend’s face when he holds the door for you, and you walk right past without a word.

Emmons and McCullough’s research on gratitude shows that consistently expressing thanks nourishes relationships like water to a flower. If those words of gratitude are drying up, you might find the blossoming love wilting. So, sprinkle a little “thank you” around, and watch love bloom!

3. You can’t apologize

What’s more important: your ego or your relationship? It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of “winning” fights and forget about what is really important.

If you know you are wrong, fess up. Try to get out of the habit of living in the moment and start thinking about the future.

Nobody likes to swallow their pride but stay focused on the path ahead. If you want to maintain a healthy relationship, be open, honest, and ready to admit your mistakes. Put down the boxing gloves and start listening.

4. Ignoring his emotional needs

Remember those days when you could feel his emotions as clearly as your own? The Bowlby-Ainsworth Attachment Theory talks about how vital these emotional connections are. Ignoring his needs might make him feel like a ship without a compass, lost and drifting.

Start tuning into his subtle cues again. That sigh? That lingering hug? They’re his way of reaching out. Rekindle that connection, and make him feel anchored in your love again. [Read: 33 emotional needs in a relationship, signs it’s unmet & how to meet them]

5. Failing to say “I love you” 

When expressions of love become rare, it might create doubts or concerns about the depth of your feelings for him.

Think about it like this: those words are like the gentle touch that reassures him of your presence and commitment. Without them, he might begin to feel distant or unsure of where he stands in your heart.

To keep the relationship vibrant and emotionally connected, those three words should be more than a ritual, they should be a sincere reflection of your feelings.

Don’t let them become a forgotten echo in the vast canyons of daily life. If they are, it’s definitely a sign you’re taking him for granted.

6. Your comfort turns careless

Being comfortable around him is great, but if you completely neglect how you look, it might send a signal of indifference. Find that sweet spot between sweatpants and sparkle, and let love glow in every shade of you. [Read: Signs you’re getting too comfortable with each other]

7. Showing disrespect towards him

Disrespect can manifest in various ways, including belittling his opinions, mocking his efforts, or openly criticizing him in front of others.

It’s like putting a small crack in the beautiful glass vase that is your relationship. It may seem minor, but over time, it can lead to complete breakage.

Think about how it must feel for him. Respect is the foundation of any strong relationship, and when it’s eroded, trust and love can quickly follow suit. 

8. Using him only for needs

Using your partner solely for needs, whether they are financial, emotional, or practical, is a sign that you may be taking him for granted. This behavior echoes the psychological principle of social exchange theory, where relationships are weighed in terms of costs and benefits.

When a partner feels he’s only valuable for what he can provide, rather than who he is, it signals a relationship imbalance that can foster feelings of objectification and dehumanization. Such an imbalance may lead to resentment, dissatisfaction, and emotional detachment.

Authentic relationships thrive on mutual respect, understanding, and empathy, not a ledger of gains and losses. If the relationship feels more like a business transaction, it’s a sign to reassess your relationship and work toward a more balanced and loving partnership.

9. His goals are off your radar

Where do you see yourself in a year? How about five years? Most of us have endless lists of goals and aspirations.

Do you know his? When you imagine your future, what is he doing? If you really are going to have a future together, you’ve got to be thinking about him and his needs.

If your goals aren’t compatible, it’s time to take a big step back and decide how realistic your future plans are. No matter what, keep the lines of communication open. Keep getting to know him better and learn about his dreams. [Read: 15 rules to be a good partner in the relationship]

10. He’s not the first person you tell

Think about the funniest thing you saw this week. Remember back to the best news you heard all month. Who was the first person you wanted to tell about it?

If you aren’t dying to call him to share every little bit of exciting, terrifying, or hilarious news, something is up.

It’s important to be independent and have friendships, but it’s equally important to maintain a strong connection with him. Ultimately, that connection is built on all those little, everyday shared experiences. If he’s not at the forefront of your mind, it might be a sign you’re taking him for granted.

11. Reduced communication

Ever felt like you’re talking to a wall? That’s what Stonewalling feels like, one of Gottman’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If you find your conversations turning into monologues, you might be dancing with this particular horseman.

Break down that wall with some good old-fashioned chit-chat. Ask about his day, share your dreams, and make him laugh like you used to.

Remember, every “Hello” can brighten a day, but a deep conversation can light up a life. [Read: Stonewalling in a relationship – 15 signs & best ways to fix it ASAP]

12. Forgetting his preferences

He likes vanilla ice cream, but you keep buying chocolate. These little preferences are like love notes, reminders of what makes him unique.

Start listening to these notes again, and soon enough, you’ll be making sweet music together!

13. Taking his efforts for granted

Taking his efforts for granted is a clear sign you’re taking your man for granted. Whether he’s putting in the time to cook a favorite meal, taking care of errands, or simply being there to listen when you’ve had a tough day, acknowledging and appreciating these efforts is vital for a healthy relationship.

When you overlook or minimize these gestures, it can lead to a sense of undervaluation and invisibility. After all, the consistent investment of time, care, and effort should be recognized, not just expected as a given. [Read: Taking someone for granted – why we do it, bad effects & 27 ways to stop it]

14. Assuming he’ll always be there

Just because he’s always been there doesn’t mean he always will be. Taking him for granted in this way is like walking into quicksand on love’s journey.

Appreciate his presence, hold his hand, and you’ll walk on solid ground. Assuming instead of appreciating his presence is a sign you are taking him for granted.

15. Comparing him to others

Comparing him to your friend’s partner is like comparing apples and oranges—fruitless and slippery. Celebrate what makes him special, and you won’t need comparisons.

You’ll be too busy enjoying the love fruit salad you’ve made together! [Read: Easy ways to stop comparing your new guy to your ex]

16. One-sided decisions

One-sided decisions in a relationship are like playing a duet with only one instrument. It sounds incomplete and leaves the other person feeling excluded.

When you make major choices without involving your partner, it subtly communicates that their opinions and feelings are irrelevant or less valuable.

This behavior undermines the fundamental principles of Equity Theory in relationships, where each partner expects to have an equal say and share in shaping their shared life.

Taking a man for granted in this way means overlooking his essential role as a co-pilot in the relationship’s journey, diminishing his significance, and eroding the trust that serves as the relationship’s backbone.

17. You’re not pulling your weight

Everyone loves to be treated like a princess but, believe it or not, none of us are actual princesses. We are something better: independent, capable women. In a balanced relationship, we take turns helping each other out.

He’s not your servant, handyman, or sugar daddy. If you want someone to boss around, hire an assistant. Remember your guy is a friend and a lover, not hired help. Remember to say please and thank you, and then return the favor.

18. You don’t make time for his friends and family

Like it or not, none of us live in a bubble. We’ve all got obnoxious uncles, racist grandparents, and old college friends who drink too much. If you want to keep the guy, accept his circle.

Go to kids’ birthday parties, company picnics, and holiday dinners. It’s not a chore, it’s a given. If you are going to be in a real relationship, you need to live your lives together. This very probably includes doing a few things that you don’t want to do. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]

19. Dismissing his love language

Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages teach us that we all express love differently. If you’re not connecting, maybe you’re missing his love dialect. Tune into his words of affirmation, acts of service, or those quality moments, and let love be the universal language again.

20. Love’s mixed signals

Inconsistent reinforcement is a psychological term describing how unpredictable rewards can create strong behaviors. But in love, mixed signals can lead to confusion and frustration.

It can be a sign you’re taking him for granted if you aren’t purposeful with your words and actions. So, be clear and consistent with your love, and watch trust grow, not confuse.

21. Putting your friends first

Friends are the family we choose, but if they always come before him, love’s seesaw might tilt out of balance. Create time for both, and you’ll find harmony in love’s playground. Plus, he might just become your BFF in love’s game of tag! [Read: A guide for when your boyfriend and friends don’t get along]

22. You’re clueless about romance

You might get on his back about not being romantic enough, but are you romantic? Romance isn’t all about roses and chocolate and carriage rides through the park.

The point of romantic gestures is to make the other person feel important and loved. You can do that for your guy.

Far too many women think of romance as a one-way street, which is why they are taking their man for granted. There are an infinite number of things that you could be doing to make your guy feel lucky in love.

Surprise him with tickets to see his favorite local band. Dust off your recipe bookmarks and whip up an amazing dessert for him.

Grab him something nice when you’re out shopping “just because.” It’s these little gestures that go a long way in making your relationship feel fresh. [Read: The 25 sweetest romantic gestures for everyday life]

23. You love a good monologue

Do you have conversations regularly or are you just talking at him? When he talks, are you actively listening or just waiting for your turn to speak? Next time you two are together, perk up your ears and pay attention to who dominates the conversation.

Even if he is a quiet guy, you should be giving him an opportunity to share. Ask him open-ended questions.

Get him talking and learn the art of listening. Make it a habit to do regular check-ins to make sure you aren’t dominating all the conversations.

24. You don’t know how he spends his time

When was the last time you asked your man about his day? Do you follow up on things or ask him about his hobbies?

If you don’t, it might be a sign you’re taking him for granted. You don’t have to have everything in common, but it’s important to stay connected. [Read: 25 ways to make your guy feel appreciated and cared for]

If you haven’t already, make a real effort to learn about his interests. Let him pick out a movie. Go on an adventure with him. Even little things, like asking him how a work project is going, make a difference. Show him you listen to him and are honestly interested in what he does with his time.

25. Forgetting special moments

Did his birthday slip your mind? Anniversary not ringing any bells? Forgetting special moments can be a signal that you’re not as invested as you once were.

That date that slipped your mind wasn’t just any date… it was THE date. If anniversaries and special memories are becoming hazy, love’s calendar needs a refresh.

Mark those dates and celebrate them like they’re love’s national holidays. If you purposefully ignore the important dates, it’s a sign you’re taking him for granted.

26. Absence of physical affection

Physical affection is like the sugar in a cake—it sweetens the whole thing! If hugs, kisses, and cuddles are disappearing faster than ice cream on a hot day, you might be missing that sweet connection. [Read: 28 cute ways to show affection in a relationship even if it feels awkward]

27. Eye-rolling – the unofficial love language

Every time you roll your eyes at his jokes or dismiss his opinions, you’re playing a risky game with his feelings.

Sure, it might seem like nothing more than a playful gesture, but repeated eye-rolling can chip away at trust. Instead of eye-rolling, try soul-staring, because those eyes were meant to make him swoon, not swoop away!

28. You’re in a love triangle with your phone

You, him, and… your phone? If your screen time during date nights outnumbers your eye contact, you might be in a modern love triangle. It’s also a sign you’re taking him for granted.

Phones are great, but they don’t whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Put it away and reconnect with the one who does. [Read: 15 cell phone rules every couple has to follow to build real trust]

29. Dismissing his opinions or feelings

When a woman habitually brushes off her partner’s thoughts or emotions, it doesn’t just bruise his ego but strikes at the heart of his role in the relationship.

Think of it as a dance where only one partner gets to lead, and the other is expected to follow without question.

This dismissal sends a clear message that his perspective is secondary or irrelevant, which can lead to feelings of disconnection and resentment.

Such behavior is essentially flipping the bird to Attachment Theory, where understanding and responsiveness to a partner’s needs are paramount. 

30. Choosing family before him

Always siding with your family over your partner can create a noticeable rift in the relationship. It might seem like a small issue to you, but to him, it sends a message that his thoughts and feelings are less valuable than those of your family members.

This consistent pattern of choosing family over him can lead to feelings of marginalization and resentment.

The key here is to strive for a balance and understand that loyalty to your family doesn’t have to come at the expense of your partner’s feelings.

31. You don’t know why you’re together

Ouch. Honestly ask yourself what you love about him. What attracted you to him? Why is he the greatest guy that you have ever met? If you sincerely can’t answer these questions, you’ve got a real problem on your hands. [Read: Clear signs you’re the selfish one in the relationship]

Sometimes people just end up together. Sometimes we simply *shudder!* settle. Don’t. Even Mr. Right will have some annoying habits and make you feel completely fed up at times. But the good should definitely outweigh the bad.

If you can’t truly sit back and reflect on how lucky you are, you need to seriously reconsider the future of your relationship. This is a very big sign you are taking him and your relationship for granted.

[Read: How to be the best girlfriend – 25 ways to leave him addicted]

If you’ve checked a few signs off of this list, you’re likely taking him for granted. But fear not, it’s never too late to take action. Sometimes all you need is a change in routine and you can reignite the spark in your relationship!

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...