You are sitting next to the person you are dating in silence. While most people would be content in 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.

You are in a placeholder relationship.

As the placeholder, you are filling a void while this person is still waiting for the love of their life to arrive. Simply put, you are not “the one.”

There is never a definite answer as to why you aren’t. It could be as simple as timing or as obvious as you having two different views or paths. Whatever the case may be, there is a great chance you were shown this in some way, shape, or form.

Here are a couple of signs that you are in a placeholder relationship:

1. You like/care/love them more. You’ve heard the phrase: “The person who cares less always has the power in the relationship.” This definitely holds true in a placeholder relationship. You are probably the one to initiate everything from conversations to choosing places to go.

You automatically assume that they have a wall built up for you to tear down, so you open yourself up assuming they will eventually return the favor. But they don’t.

2. No family or friend time. This can be a tricky one. There are plenty of people who bring everyone around their family and friends. You may have gone to a barbecue or even a cousin’s wedding, but that does not signify anything. If you are dating someone who is family-oriented and speaks highly of their family and friends, but you have yet to meet them – RED FLAG!

This is a dead giveaway that you are a placeholder. Besides sharing their hopes, dreams, and fears, meeting their family and close friends is the ultimate sign that you are in there.

3. There is future talk. But you’re not in it. Your partner has definitely discussed their future, but they only use first person pronouns. Clearly, this implies that they haven’t considered you in it. This may not have always been the case, but know that if there are no future plans mentioned with the words “we”, the future is not bright for the relationship.

4. Playing house with no plans. You are usually the one making strides toward the goal of something more solid. Perhaps you are living together…many would view this as a sign that the relationship has gotten serious, but that is not always the case.

Have you set goals together to better the relationship? Do you have a shared account? Where do you see yourselves within the next year? If there has been talk about marriage, what steps are you taking to make this happen? In this situation, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

5. They won’t commit. Most likely they were straightforward with their thoughts and feelings about being in an exclusive relationship, but you chose to believe otherwise. When introducing you, they refer to you by your name, never adding a title.

If you have had to ask, “What are we?”, chances are, you are a placeholder.

Most of us have been in a placeholder relationship at least once. Whether you were the placeholder or the one holding a place 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 view or treat you as only a placeholder, you will never know what it is like to be someone’s prized jewel.

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