Significant Other or Insignificant Other? How Do You Know?

Ever wonder where you stand with someone? Is defining a relationship necessary? Well, I think at some point you do need to know.  Often times we end up in relationship limbo because we don’t want rock the boat or we end up in a “relationship lite” situation where we kinda sorta are in a relationship, but not really … wait isn’t that friends with benefits? Ya, I thought so. Significant other or insignificant other? What is that really? Well, a significant other is “a person with whom someone has an established romantic or sexual relationship”. So the actual word significant means that whatever it is that’s significant is important, it has meaning. It means you’re an important part of their life. Insignificant other? Well, you guessed it, it means unimportant and inconsequential. So what happens when you’re not sure if you’re significant or insignificant? Well, you find out that’s what!

significant-otherSignificant Other or Insignificant Other? How Do You Know?

So how DO you know? Well there are some tell-tale signs.

  • First and foremost is if you’re exclusive or not. I mean BOTH of you are exclusive … if you haven’t had the exclusivity talk then you’re not exclusive. Never EVER EVER assume that you’re exclusive unless it’s been specified. So if you’re exclusive, then check mark in the “significant other” column.
  • Secondly, are you an important part of their day to day life? Not just a text here and there, not just seeing each other once a week. What I’m speaking about here is if they bring you to events with them, social situations, have you met their friends and/or family, are you in a public relationship? Did you say “yes” to all these things? Then check mark in the “significant other” column.
  • Thirdly, do they ask your opinion about important decisions in their life? Do they value your opinion? Do they actually take your viewpoints seriously? If you said yes, well, you guessed it, we’ve got another check mark in the “significant other” column.
  • Fourthly, does your relationship extend BEYOND the bedroom or is it all about the sex? Do all your encounters begin or end with sex? Do you ever have “non sex” dates that don’t begin or end in sex? If you can honestly say that yes, you’ve had real dates with this person and it’s not all about the sex, then check mark in the “significant other” column.
  • Ok last but not least, and fifth, is ask yourself if you have genuine feelings for this person. Do you care about them and what happens to them? Do you care about what they care about? Do you trust them? Do they feel the same? Have you expressed it? Then check mark in the “significant other” column.

Significant Other or Insignificant Other? Using Your Gut …

If you have to ask, then, really, you know. I know personally, I just know in my gut if something has potential or not. Sometimes I ignore it and try anyway and my gut was always right. It took me a while to figure out how significant I am or not in someone’s life, but you do get to know pretty quickly. If someone likes you then you will know, it’s not that hard. If they are interested they will make a real effort to talk to you and spend time with you. If that changes, then, typically, it means that their intentions have changed.

I find there are a lot of whirlwind romances going on today where people are super excited about you for a short while and then all of a sudden they lose interest. In my opinion, it’s because we are dating in the age of instant gratification. People want that high of meeting someone new, the fireworks, the spark and then, just like a fire that burns fast and hot, it dies quickly. Same with the hookup culture and casual sex. People SAY they want a significant other, but, in reality, all they want are a bunch of insignificant others.

Is there a solution? Well, you are only responsible for your own actions. You should always be clear about your intentions and your expectations. If you want to know where you stand with someone then ask. It’s that simple. If your gut tells you that something is off then it probably is, but never assume anything. Be clear about what you are looking for and discuss next steps with them. Even if you don’t hear what you want to hear from them and you don’t get the answer you’re really hoping for you’ll still know the truth and decide what you want to do.  Significant other or insignificant other? Well, it’s really up to you, it really is.

Readers, have you ever been left wondering if you’re a significant other or insignificant other? What were the tell-tale signs for you? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


  1. Ah Suzie, if only everyone thought like you, dating would be a haven of happiness and harmony.

    If there’s one thing I agree with more than anything else, it’s your first point: never ever assume you’re exclusive until someone says you are.

    People tend to assume too much and say too little, and inevitably someone ends up hurt. I like being honest as soon as possible.


    • Thanks Rami! People make too many assumptions in new dating situations because they want to believe it’s true, but we live in a different world where people hop from one liaison to the other looking for their next “high” and leave victims in their wake … ok a bit dramatic but you know it’s true. Your honesty is refreshing … now go forth and inspire others to do the same!!


  2. To me it was always pretty obvious. If they never were interested in telling me good news from their day or included me in important moments of their life or even decision, I knew that there was a good chance they weren’t feeling me as I was feeling them. The old saying is true, actions speak louder than words.

    When I am with someone I care about, I get excited when they come home/over. I get excited to talk about my day and hear theirs, etc. When this isn’t reciprocated, then I know the relationship isn’t going to be long term.


  3. Great points here! I especially liked the one about having the exclusivity talk. Too many people think they’re in a relationship when the other person doesn’t really think so. It leads to a lot of heartache and anguish. If you feel uncomfortable having the exclusivity talk, there’s probably a reason for that. Take the plunge and have “the talk”.


  4. Definitely agree…don’t assume anything! It always seems clear to me when someone is really open and honest and looks at text messages in front of me, or answers the phone when it rings. In the beginning it is hard to know when to have “the talk.” It seems like it should naturally progress that way, but it has to for both people! Great post!


  5. I generally ask (or get asked) at a certain point, so that’s the best way for me. However, actions speak louder than words. If I’m the center of the person’s schedule at all times, then I feel that’s the indicator. If weekends are always being planned with me in mind, if I get “good morning” texts and “good night” phone calls, or if her body language shows a deep appreciation, then I’m in there like swimwear!


  6. I couldn’t agree more, one should NEVER assume you’re the chosen one in a relationship unless you have indeed been “chosen” and this has been made clear. Those signs aren’t always the answer, sure they SEEM to really like you but that doesn’t mean anything these days! Nice post!


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