This is a great question to answer. I often get asked about “how to know if you have a backburner relationship/s”.
To know if you have a backburner friendship/s or acquaintance you look at why you’re still connected with the person. Really be honest with yourself. Totally honest with why you are staying connected, what actions you have towards the person, and what thoughts/intent. This can be challenging as often we are covering up our true intent with the excuse “we are just friends”.
I used to be the backburner person years ago to many men. I didn’t realize that they were a bit too friendly or our conversations were a bit too oriented towards wanting to know about relationship issues and slowly and gently leading the conversations towards sex or intimacy, what their wife doesn’t like, and what they feel deprived of. It was so clever how it was done that it was seen as me being the one that was coming on to them. Since then, I have had stronger boundaries and made it clear.
Nothing wrong with conversations. It’s the intent behind them.
It’s the undertone of the conversations. Do you find yourself liking their posts often? Checking in with them.
Also, consider that you might contact them when you have a disagreement with your partner. Need someone to talk to. Feeling lonely? Want advice? Are you using the person as a therapist? Are you speaking to that person instead of your partner? Are you looking for empathy?
Do you have social media connections that boost your ego? Do you hide texts, calls, or direct messages from your partner? Is it someone to share your troubles with?
If you have people in your life that are the gender of your desire and you find them attractive and want to hide it, chances are you are having a backburner relationship.
Backburner relationships are to keep you having one foot outside the commitment
Backburner relationships are connections that a person has to keep them feeling safe, in case something goes wrong in the committed relationship. It’s having options. It’s that fine line between true platonic friendship and slightly covertly flirting or confiding in someone. Certainly, it’s not putting both feet in, taking a chance, and having conversations with your partner that you are having with these backburner friends. Use that energy for the one you love!
If you are bothered by Backburner relationships, and not sure you have one, contact me for a Get to Know Me Session.
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