13 Signs You're His Backup Plan (Aka His Second Choice)

Are you really his number one?

woman looking at unhappy man wondering if she's his second choice  NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock

In many ways, dating is a numbers game. The more people we reach out to, the more likely we’ll find someone to marry us. The more people we try to hedge our bets with, the more likely it is that we will be in a relationship sooner rather than later.

Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us have had a person we considered a “second choice” when we were dating people. In most cases, we’ve also been the backup plan as well.


We can’t judge people for settling when they can’t be with the one they love most. After all, chances are that you might do the same.

The problem is that nobody wants to be someone’s second choice or backup plan, especially when trying to have a truly serious, long-lasting relationship.

RELATED: 4 Deep Issues That Prevent Men From Committing To You


Not sure where you stand with the guy you’re into? If you notice these things, you’re his silver medal rather than his gold standard.

13 Signs you're his backup plan and only his second choice

1. When you two first started dating, his attention was spotty.

A guy can usually figure out when he wants to be with someone after the first or second date. If the beginning of the relationship was marked with you making more effort than him, then him suddenly becoming very interested in you later, this is a bad sign.

This often indicates that he was more into another girl, who then turned him down. Having been rejected by choice #1, he went with you.

2. You haven’t met his friends or family, and you've been seeing each other for a while.

This is never, ever a good sign. Typically, guys will only do this when they don’t want to commit to you long-term or use you as the side chick. Either way, this shows you’re a placeholder until someone better comes along.


RELATED: 7 Signs He's Stringing You Along & Doesn't Want A Relationship

3. Every commitment step you get him to make is your initiation, and it’s never easy.

Nobody wants to settle, and if a guy sees you as his second choice, he will devise any excuse to delay commitment. The reason is that he hopes to hold out for someone else, and if he’s committed to you, it may “ruin” his chances.

4. He cancels plans all the time.

Like other signs on this list, this is often an indicator that you might also be a side chick. If a guy really likes you, he’ll prioritize you. Even big shots with super-busy schedules like Jay Z still make time for Beyoncé. You know what I mean?

If A-list celebs can make time, so they don’t avoid canceling, there’s really no excuse for a typical dude.


5. He doesn’t spend money on you.

This rule may seem pretty petty and trashy, but it holds up. When a guy wants to pursue a girl, he’ll lavish her with gifts and do anything possible to show her he’d take care of her. If he’s too broke to buy you coffee or dinner once a week, you’re probably not his top choice.

RELATED: If He Exhibits 15 Behaviors, Congrats! He Genuinely Likes You

6. You constantly worry he’ll disappear if you stand up to his bad behavior.

More often than not, we tend to know subconsciously where we stand with people. If you feel like you have to compete for his love or if you feel like he could up and leave without a second thought, you’re probably right.

7. Things he’s doing with you are done at his convenience, not yours.

This is a sign that you’re his backup plan, and it’s painful to admit to yourself. If your relationship has him coming and going at his convenience, you’re his backup plan... or even lower than that on his totem pole.


8. Labels won’t happen with him.

A guy using you as a backup girl won’t say anything about labels. If you ask him for commitment or a label, he’ll usually reply with, “I’m not ready,” or, “Hey, let’s just see how this goes.” Let’s be real: if you were his top choice, he’d be labeling you.

9. He won’t share responsibilities or property.

You want him to move in, but he refuses. You both love animals and want to buy a dog with him, which he rejects. You want him to work with you on a hobby project, and he says no. If he’s drawing these clear boundaries, he’s giving you a subtle hint that you can’t count on the relationship progressing.

RELATED: 7 Warning Signs Of A Low Value Man

10. He’s all talk, no walk.

He says he loves you and always texts you, but he's almost bored when you’re in person until his clothes come off. If he’s acting this way, he’s just sweet talking his way into your pants.


11. He’s in a relationship but not with you.

Are you stuck in that sorta-relationship limbo while he’s out with his girlfriend? We have news for you, hun. You aren’t only the side chick here. You’re also the back burner girl. If you were his number one choice, he would have been in a relationship with you instead of her.

12. He suggested a marriage pact.

A person who tells you they’ll marry you if you’re both still single at a certain age is a person who is using you as a back burner. It’s just that simple and doesn’t get any more obvious.

13. Though he won’t commit to you or even take you out on a legit date, he gets unusually ticked if he finds out you’re seeing anyone.

When guys do this, it’s insanely aggravating. Like, what are we supposed to do? Just wait around until you’re married or something? If he gets pouty or protective, tell him to kick rocks. He had the chance; he didn’t care enough to pick up on it.


RELATED: 15 Signs He's Using You Because He Hates Being Alone

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey, who writes primarily about lifestyle, food, finance, and relationships.