11 Signs You Are Just His Placeholder Until Someone 'Better' Comes Along


If your emotions towards the guy you're dating are intensifying, yet you're unable to gauge his feelings and intentions, it's possible that he may be using you as a temporary placeholder. This indicates that he's deriving relationship benefits from you without any desire for a long-term commitment. If a more appealing option presents itself, he'll likely end things with you abruptly. Keep an eye out for these signs that you're being used as a placeholder and consider leaving the relationship immediately.

1. He refuses to define the relationship

It can be difficult to wait patiently when you've been seeing a guy for a while and you're eager to define your relationship or make it official. However, if he doesn't seem in a rush to make things exclusive, it could be a sign that he's using you as a placeholder. One indication of this is if he refuses to give you a clear answer on the nature or future of your relationship. By avoiding definitions, he can keep you guessing for longer about his intentions.

2. He wants to keep your relationship a secret

If a guy refuses to acknowledge your relationship to anyone else, it's usually a red flag. If he's only seeing you, there's no reason for him to hide it from others. Even if you haven't defined the relationship yet, there's no harm in letting your friends know that you're seeing each other. If he insists on keeping things under wraps, it could be because he wants to seem available to other women. In this case, he's likely using you as a placeholder while he searches for someone else. It's best to end things with him - he's not worth your time.

3. He just got out of a serious relationship

If a guy recently got out of a long-term or serious relationship and appears emotionally fragile, he may not be ready to date anyone. In this situation, he may be using you as a rebound because you remind him of his ex. It's acceptable to engage in casual rebound dating as long as both parties are aware, agree with it, and establish boundaries. However, if he avoids discussing the nature of your relationship and only says that he likes you, you may just be his temporary placeholder, which is not acceptable.

4. It's all about what works for him and never for you

Men who use women as placeholders generally have a selfish and self-centered attitude towards the relationship. They take advantage of the fact that you have feelings for them to meet their own needs. If they only call or meet you when it's convenient for them and don't consider your preferences, it's a clear indication that they're using you as a placeholder. Moreover, this behavior signifies that they are not worth your time. So, it's best to let them go.

5. He doesn't care about your emotional state

If a guy is going through a difficult time, such as a recent breakup or personal issues, he may try to use you as a form of therapy or validation. He may discuss his problems with you and seek comfort and advice. While there's nothing wrong with seeking help from someone you trust, a healthy relationship, whether romantic or not, requires mutual support. If he only focuses on seeking help from you without asking about your feelings or checking in with you, the relationship is not genuine, and neither is he.

6. He doesn't introduce you to his friends or family

If a guy is using you as a temporary placeholder, he is unlikely to introduce you to the important people in his life. He will not bother letting you in because he plans to end things as soon as he finds someone else. If he is hesitant to involve you in the more personal aspects of his life, he is not worth your time.

7. He talks about other women around you

If a guy talks about other girls in your presence, whether it's making comments about their appearance, expressing interest in dating them, or discussing his exes, it is a clear and frustrating sign. If he were genuinely interested in a long-term, meaningful relationship with you, he would not risk jeopardizing it by talking about other women in front of you. It's best to end things with him before he has the nerve to end things with you.

8. He usually only wants to hang out at your place

Men who use their partners as placeholders tend to avoid going out in public and will make excuses to not go out for dinner or social events. They only want to spend time alone, usually at your place. Don't deceive yourself about this behavior. If he doesn't want to go on actual dates, even casual ones, then he's using you.

9. Physical intimacy seems like a condition

If he only wants to hook up and shows up late at night with a "u up?" text, he's likely using you as a placeholder while he searches for his next girlfriend. Don't settle for someone who only values you for one thing and makes you feel like you have to give in to see him. Stop responding to his texts or even better, block his number. You deserve better.

10. He gaslights you

If you confront him about his behavior and ask for clarity on your relationship, he may try to turn the situation around and make you feel like it's your fault. Watch out for phrases like, "I told you I wasn't looking for anything serious," or "I thought we were on the same page." These are signs of gaslighting and narcissistic behavior. Don't fall for it and get out of the situation immediately.

11. He doesn't take the time to know the real you

If he truly values you and desires a genuine relationship with you, he would be curious about your interests and what makes you unique. If he isn't interested, he's not worth your time. The right partner for you would never view you as a temporary option because you would be their only choice. Keep holding out for that special someone - they will be worth the wait.