4 Signs You’re Letting Your Partner Walk Over You

Kate Feathers


I’m a sucker for love.

I love the idea of sacrificing yourself for love, of going through hell just to save the person you love or of basking in someone’s gentle affection to the end of my days.

Yes, I am definitely influenced by literature and yes, my imagination is sometimes way too weird (the possibility of becoming a witch and saving the whole world just to be with my imaginary husband and child is 0,000001% — 1 because you never really know).

There are limits to love, though. Take my mum, for example — when my dad cheated on her for the first time (that she knew of), she went to her own mother for advice.

“Do what your heart tells you,” said my grandmother, which led to my mum having her heart broken over and over again for the next 22 years. Sometimes not even love is enough — sometimes, in order to save yourself, you need to let go of loving somebody else.

My first few relationships taught me exactly this lesson. I let my partners walk over me, my love wasn’t appreciated, and I blindly followed them like a dog while my self-worth diminished day by day, month by month.

After my last heartbreak, I said NO. I promised myself I would never let anyone treat me with disrespect ever again — I would accept the best love I can get because that’s the love that I deserve.

Here are the signs that you might be letting your partner walk over you too. If you relate to them, you might re-evaluate your standards for how you want to be treated. We all deserve relationships that bring us more joy than pain.

You focus all your energy on them — and don’t receive it back

Even when your best friend is having a crisis, you prefer to come over to your partner’s house because they’re in the mood for making out. You just can’t seem to grasp the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around them.

This can happen to everybody in the initial stages of a romantic relationship — you’re just head over heels in love. However, if this obsession lasts for months or years and your partner has long moved on, you might have a problem.

When my then-boyfriend fell out of love with me, I felt it. And I held onto him even tighter, thinking about him even when I was hanging out with other people, feeling disappointed that he didn’t text me. I was constantly glued to my phone, waiting for his message. Even a slight sign of affection made me feel like I was on top of the world.

He, on the other hand, didn’t really want to spend time with me anymore. He was scared to break up with me because he didn’t want to hurt me, yet by throwing me crumbs of inconsistent attention, I couldn’t help but focus all my energy on him in hopes that he would love me again. It was one big rollercoaster of a year.

When your partner doesn’t give you enough attention, when they don’t put any effort into the relationship, when they never reassure you of their love and when they make you feel unwanted… it’s time to have a serious talk.

I let myself suffer in silence for a year instead of asking him what was up, which made me lose so much respect for myself — which in turn made him respect me less as well. I felt like a dog he didn’t ask for, yet I kept following him around.

If somebody doesn’t appreciate your love and affection, they’re not worth it. You will find someone better. I know because I have.

You choose to ignore that they’re hurting you

One of my ex-partners always said horrible things to me. He was very insecure, and he took it out on me, telling me that “my hips were too wide” or “my friends were lame” or “I didn’t shave one bit of my girl-moustache well”.


I still stuck with him for months because I loved him and because when he did give me loving affection, it felt wonderful. But here’s the thing — inconsistent love isn’t love. Especially if it takes turns with mean and painful remarks depending on your partner’s mood.

Anyone who hurts you with their actions or words, even after you tell them and explain why it’s painful, doesn’t deserve you one bit.

You’re nobody’s punching bag.

You’re constantly walking on eggshells

Telling my ex-boyfriend that there was something wrong meant that we’d have a 2-hour argument which would end with me apologizing to him for being so insensitive and for completely misunderstanding his personality.

That’s some good emotional manipulation right there.

I was always worried that if I brought something up, he’d decide he wanted to break up with me. It was a very unstable bond that felt like it could break any minute if I just made one step in an undesirable direction.

A good partner will always make you feel like you can talk things out. They won’t get offended, they won’t turn things against you, they won’t refuse to apologize for hurting you. They will respect your opinion and they will try to find some sort of compromise that’ll make both of you happy.

If you feel like your partner could explode at you, have a meltdown, give you the cold shoulder or even break up with you over something that’s causing you pain in the relationship, and you always take care not to let that happen, you’re letting them manipulate you. They have the upper hand because you’re suppressing your emotions for the sake of theirs.

You should always feel comfortable being completely honest and open with your loved one.

You always hope that things will get better — and they never do

Here’s the thing about humans — we always have hope.

This can be a great thing when you’re in a dark place because it pushes you to climb out of there and find happiness again, but it’s also a big trap in unhealthy relationships. It means you always hope your partner will change despite having been proved otherwise a thousand times before.

I hoped and I hoped and I hoped — and after each moment of hope, a feeling of great disappointment followed.

“Maybe this time, he’d text me to come over,” I thought as I lied on the ground, glued to my phone and waiting for the beep. After two hours, I got up and started doing things — with my phone at my side — and as the day progressed, the pit in my stomach felt heavier and heavier.

And yet the next day, I repeated the same mistake.

By giving my partners an infinite amount of chances, I gradually lost my self-worth. No matter how much they screwed up, it would all be fine as long as they changed for the better. But they never did. And the wheel of hope and disappointment kept spinning.

If your partner disappoints you more often than they make you feel appreciated, it’s time to take a second and think about what you’re allowing them to do.

By unconditionally loving the person who never gives you what you need, you’re sentencing yourself to being their doormat.

Final Thoughts

Relationships can be complex, twisted and painted in all shades of love — but there should always be limits that you won’t let others cross no matter what.

The day that you lose yourself for love is the day that you lose love itself. Because love isn’t about letting others walk over you. Love is about people who respect each other as well as themselves — only then can they form a strong and lasting bond that rewards them with happiness.

Love respects, love nourishes, love shows itself consistently, love apologizes, love gives you space to be yourself. Love is kind.

Don’t let anyone prove you otherwise.

Photo Credit: Ryanniel Masucol on Pexels

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I'm a student of Languages & Comparative Literature who writes about relationships, feminism and personal growth. Discover more of my work: https://linktr.ee/clumsylinguist


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