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Is Your Boyfriend Also Your Partner?

Updated on February 9, 2015

You have been in a relationship for quite a while; certainly long enough for your boyfriend to have become your partner. So has he and how would you know? See the following scenarios to find out where you stand in your relationship.

Your daughter from another relationship whom your man has never met because she lives interstate is getting married. Your man declines to attend the wedding claiming he has no money for the trip. What does this say about your relationship?


This is not a financial decision. He is saying that your family events are of no importance to him because he does not plan on becoming part of it so why bother getting to know your family members.


A partner would find a way to finance the trip on his own and would look forward to meeting your daughter and other close family members. A partner would know he is being included as Your Significant Other at this important family event.

You have recently lost your job and are in financial distress. Your man listens sympathetically to your concerns but offers very little practical support. What does this say about your relationship?


This is your problem and he will not get sucked in into providing financial support. He feels your relationship is not on that level and will not take this opportunity to advance it to the next level of commitment. He has no intention of giving you money even though he is in a position to help. He will give you nothing but advice on how to apply to your relatives for help.


A partner would take this opportunity to financially help you out as this would solidify his commitment to you and signify where he sees this relationship going. It would be a declaration of serious intention toward you and your family.

Your child has had an operation and you need to devote some considerable time to their recovery so your regular get-togethers with your man are cancelled for a couple of weeks. Three days into it your man starts to complain and argue with you on the phone, questioning your affection for him. What does this say about your relationship?


He is feeling the loss of your attention and the reasons behind it do not interest him and are of no importance to him. His world as he sees it has been disrupted and he will not stand for it because there isn’t a more important person in your life than him. The complaints are his way of letting you know that he feels you need to choose between him and your child.


A partner would be helping you in all ways, practically and emotionally, in any way possible, putting his own needs on hold because he knows your children are your priority.

You find yourself hosting your man most of the time. Typically, every Friday night he turns up on your doorstep with a six-pack under his arm and leaves when the weekend is over. What does this say about your relationship?


He’s found his place in your life. It suits him and that’s that.


A weekend stay with you is not enough for a true partnership, especially as time goes on and you get to know each other and your needs very well. A partner relationship moves towards building a life together.

You’re busy balancing work, family life ie. bringing up your children from a previous relationship, and finding time to spend with your man. Periodically, he organizes a weekend away for the two of you only. What does this say about your relationship?


He wants to have adult fun with you without the irritating presence of your pesky children. This is all about his needs, not yours no matter how flattered you might feel that he’s giving you such a treat (yet again).


In between romantic weekends away, a partner would also organize family trips in which your children would be included.

You have met his mother on several occasions when she popped in unexpectedly to visit her son and you happened to be there but you have yet to be invited over for a family lunch to his parents’ house. What does this say about your relationship?


He has given his mother the impression that a family get-together would be inappropriate for the type of casual relationship he and you have. To you he might give excuses along the lines of fictitious diseases/mental illnesses his mother/other family members suffer which may prevent you meeting his family in any foreseeable future.


A partner would be very proud to present you and yours to his family.

You have been seeing each other for several years but you haven’t spent significant holiday occasions (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) together with your/his family members. What does this say about your relationship?


He is happy with the present arrangement of seeing you on his terms only. Why fix what ain’t broke— especially if he likes his relationship as is— uncomplicated and convenient for him. How you feel about it is not really something he thinks about but as a concession to your feelings, he will give you excuses (that he has prepared earlier) to calm you down if/when the topic is brought up by you.


It goes without saying you and your partner celebrate these occasions together with your families.

Your teenage child is learning how to drive. You are a nervous driver so you ask your man to help out and be the designated supervising driver for your child at times convenient for him. Your man goes for a drive with your child once, then makes himself unavailable. What does this tell you about your relationship?


He couldn’t care less if your child learns to drive. It is your child and this situation has nothing to do with the time he has allocated to spending with you. He’d rather you asked somebody else, obviously, so by not showing up, he’s making sure you’ve grasped it.


A partner understands how important this is to you and so will make himself available for all the help your child needs. Additionally, this far down the track in your relationship, he has become very fond of your children and is pleased to be helping them out as he considers them members of his own family.

You’re having a hard time communicating with your young adult child still living at home. Your man is urging you to let your child move out even though your child cannot afford such expense and will end up ‘couch-surfing’ with friends. What does this say about your relationship?


He wants peace and quiet when he comes over to amuse himself with you. Your child’s needs are not his priority as he views all your children as baggage to be put up with. When he senses an opportunity to rid himself of unwelcome distractions to his leisure, he will take it.


A partner would respect whatever decision you make about this situation, and, with your support, try to help calm the family tension without having to take drastic action which is not in the best interest of the family. A partner understands that children’s needs must be taken into account over his own position in your life and that he needs to support you to create harmony in your family life.

Two years into what you call ‘an exclusive and committed relationship’ you find out that your man has been renting one of his investment properties to a female friend for a considerable discount and way below current market rentals. All this time you have been struggling to pay rent on a similar property not very far from his investment home. What does this say about your relationship?


Clearly, he has been keeping his options open. Sadly, you have been too trusting. This guy will never become your partner.


A partner would rent the house to you. Better still, he’d be living there with you and your children, footing the bill.

If your experiences reflect/resemble the above mentioned BOYFRIEND scenarios, your man is not committed to your relationship on the same level that you are at the present time and there isn’t much hope that he will become more invested as time goes on. Chances are your boyfriend has established your relationship exactly at the level he wants it kept and sees you only as a convenient ‘friend with benefits’. If you put pressure on him to commit himself either by living with you and supporting your combined household equally, or even ask for a formal commitment such as marriage, you will find that your relationship will end.


And now for something less grim…

Supposing none of the above mentioned scenarios apply to your relationship but you still have some niggling doubts about how committed you and your man are to it. The following poll has been designed to help ease your mind. If you're experiencing any slash combination of some or all of what is outlined below, you're well on your way to be home and dry!

Unmistakable Signs of Relationship Commitment

See results

And just before you go...

Consider how you could improve your relationship or indeed start a new one, on a new and better footing than your previous attempts which, if you are single, is safe to assume, didn't go too well. The following 10 question quiz has something in it for everyone, though what good this might do you is entirely up to you. Anyway...

Take the following quiz to see if you're on the right track with your love life

view quiz statistics

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