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Back-burners are today’s LBB | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

With the advent of technology, the Little Black Book has been relegated to pages of romantic lore. It was once a discreet guide which detailed the contacts of all the crushes one had. However, that’s the past; the present is a different story. With technology, it has become easier to save contacts of these potential partners or back-burners.  

Keeping tabs on relationship alternatives

Researchers have long known that people keep tabs on the availability of a certain crush in the event that things go south in their current romance. Thanks to the digital era, all it takes is a swipe or a video call to connect with potential partners. In fact, according to relationship experts this is a common trend among youth.

A friend and a potential partner

Psychiatrist Dr Hemant Mittal shares that having a back-burner is a relatively new and more acceptable behaviour pattern in modern day relationships. However, the fallout of that is a decrease in long-term commitment. He warns, “Having a potential partner on the sidelines isn’t healthy for any relationship as one is always looking for a way out, comfortable knowing that they have a back-up in case things don’t work out according to their plans.” 

For those wondering, if there is a way to tell if you have been tagged as a relationship alternative on someone’s elusive list, Hemant says, “The level of commitment one expresses in a relationship is a good indicator of where you stand in it.”

Signs to watch out for...

Clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany says having a back-burner as a separate relationship these days is common. In fact, in most cases, it’s a close friend. She adds, “No one wants to be relegated to the second spot much less be a relationship alternative. While in some cases the person is in the dark about being on this list, there are times when people stick around despite being in the know. In both cases, it can cause a lot of anxiety and lead to depression.” 

How to identify if you are someone’s back-burner

Seema says there are tell-tale signs that indicate that you are not a priority at the moment and are being held onto as a back-up. Listed below are situations, one should watch out for:

If your so-called friend gives you little or no time, and only spends time with you when they have free time.

If your calls and messages go unanswered even when you need a shoulder to cry on.

If you are always jokingly told you are their stand-by, chances are it’s their way of toying with the idea to see how you react.

What can you do about it?

Well, taking inspiration from the movie Holiday, knowingly don’t choose to play the supporting cast or the best friend, be the leading lady or man of your script that’s life. Why be a back-burner when you deserve better? Make sure you are a priority and not an after-thought in someone’s now RIP Little Black Book.



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