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10 Signs You are Being Used as a Backup Boyfriend

by | Love

Feb 28, 2024

Women keep men as backups for many reasons. But most of the time, it is a means to make themselves feel good and wanted. I have seen this happen too many times to miss it. It has happened to me, even. So I know almost all the signs that she is keeping you as an option. The good thing about these signs is that they do not happen in isolation. They are easy to spot, and it is easy to walk away when you find them.

1. She has low self-esteem

One of the biggest signs that she is keeping you as an option is that she has low self-esteem. This is not to say that women who have low self-esteem are incapable of affection. That is quite far from what I mean. 

I mean that when a woman has low self-esteem, she is drawn to making herself feel better by making herself the object of desire. 

She goes into a mode that suggests: “If a lot of men like me, then I am hot.”

This drives her to gather options. And sadly, not many men see this. But you do now. So, you should not give in to being one of her backups. 

2. She has had traumatic relationships

Another sign that you’re only a backup boyfriend is that she has had a trail of unstable relationships that ended badly. 

Especially if she has been dumped many times, I will talk about this in detail in later paragraphs.

A woman who has been in many traumatic relationships may lose touch with what real and healthy relationships should look like. 

So, she is only going to keep gathering options. 

Anything that seems like a real relationship is immediately embraced. I have seen this happen too many times to overlook it n

So, you should not overlook the woman who has been in traumatic relationships. You are very likely one of her options.

Read: 5 Indicators That Her Love May Be Insincere

3. She is fine with exposing herself to male attention

There is something very interesting about women who make themselves the object of male attention.

They almost never stop there. They go on to become the puppet master of these men. 

A woman who considers male attention to be a drug is going to make you one of her options sooner or later. 

This is especially true if you are a cute guy. One she is going to be very happy to show off. 

Does she put pictures of herself half-unclad on her social media and flirt with cute men in the comments section? This is a red flag you must not overlook. 

4. There is no real attraction

There is sexual attraction in almost all sexual relationships. But the actual romantic attraction is often lacking if you are just an option to that woman. 

You can admit you know she feels the need to fuck you. But aside from that, what else really matters to her?

You can tell what a woman wants from you when you honestly answer the question: “Asides my dick, what really matters to this woman?”

5. She is still in touch with her ex

And I mean “touch,” both literally and figuratively. 

If she speaks to her ex often and sometimes even gets physical with him. Then you should know your place. 

You’re just an option. And you may never be more. 

Push your luck by doing this: confront her about her constant contact with her ex. 

What is her reaction? If she flares up and makes it such a big deal, then you should know that you are just the side guy. 

Chances are, she had never really broken up with her ex. You had been just another branch she clung to. 

Read: 8 Signs a Girl Might Be Playing Games with You

6. She has been cheated on before

Cheating is a very traumatic experience. If you have never been cheated on before, you may not know how painful it is. 

Like most traumatic experiences, cheating forces our bodies and minds to seek out means to cope should the cheating happen again. 

With men, the response is mostly staying away from committed relationships. 

However, for women, the response is often entering a relationship but keeping options intact. 

It drives them to say: “I will have a man. But I will have other men around me just in case he cheats.”

This is a trauma response. The best thing you can do at this point is find your way out of that relationship. It is never going to get better than that. 

7. Her friends and family don’t know you

One thing about options is that options always float. You are really attached nowhere. 

There is no room for you in the grand places of her life. 

There is no room for you amongst her friends and family. 

In fact, she is often going to make an effort to hide you. 

When you ask if she has got friends, she is going to laugh it off and may even ask you how that matters. 

Don’t overlook these things. 

8. She has cheated before

A woman who has cheated before does not even see you as worthy of respect. Cheating is the highest form of disrespect a man can receive, especially from his woman. 

Women only disrespect their options that way. 

If you meant anything to her, she would not disrespect you that way. 

If you confront her for cheating as an option, I can almost perfectly tell you how it will play out. She is going to blame you. 

9. She does not seem to care about you much

By care, I mean she is not that involved in your life. 

There are moments when she can go days and weeks without ever speaking to you. 

Read: 10 signs that your girlfriend may be too clingy

10. There are moments of spike in affection

These moments often coincide with when the main guy is ghosting her. 

She is, of course, coming to her favorite option: You. 

If you notice that after a period of ghosting you, she reappears with a heightened form of affection, you are only a backup boyfriend. 


Even women keep men around as options. 

By Ubee

Ubong Johnson (Ubee) is a relationship expert and writer. He writes articles that cover everything from relationships and nutrition to lifestyle. His works have appeared in several literary magazines, including The Shallow Tales Review, Ngiga Review, and the Kalahari Review. He is the founder and editor of Fiction Niche.

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