You love your boyfriend and you are likely certain he loves you, but you have also noticed that he has stopped making an effort in the relationship. This can make you question whether his feelings for you are real or waning. You may even be concerned he has stopped loving you. You may ask the question many others have before you, does he still care and if so, why is he no longer trying? One of the best things you can do when confused about such matters is to be objective. Try putting yourself in your boyfriend’s place and figuring out if he is stressed at work, has health issues, or just needs some space. If you can think of no reason for the change in his behavior, then you need to have an open and honest discussion with him.
As you discuss or even before, be objective about how well you know your boyfriend. How much is known about his life, dreams, family, and friends? Are you newly dating, only a few months, or been dating over a year but still have some surprises pop up? Knowing someone well before snapping to the judgment they are no longer showing an effort is imperative. If you know the other person well, a temporary lull in attention can be withstood, but if he has lost interest forever, then you may need to realize it is best to walk away. You may have to loosen your hold to him and give him time to decide whether he wants to be close or withdraw completely. The worst solution is to become desperate and suffocating because this will push him away faster. Read on for a deeper understanding.
Accept That You Cannot Change Him
No matter how hard you wish for your boyfriend to change and put in more of an effort, you cannot change him. You want him to want you, but cannot force the matter. You may wish he was as attentive as when you first started dating, when things were new and exciting. To you, his effort shows how much he cares. Still, our wishes cannot control our thoughts and feelings. If you find yourself succumbing only to what you wish, you will become manipulative toward your boyfriend. Instead, practice accepting him for who he is today and work together toward something better in the future.
Remember Who Can Change
If the first suggestion is a bit depressing, to simply accept what is and wait, then there is good news. We have the power to change ourselves and how we respond to the lack of effort on his part. If we adjust our expectations and reactions, then things may get better. We may not be able to control our emotions, but we can control what we say and do in response to them. We may be expecting more from our boyfriend than he can give or expecting him to provide our identity which cannot come from someone else. Try writing down the three strongest emotions you feel about the lack of effort on his part. Write them down and then write out your expectations. Simply clarifying them in writing may provide insight and help you see if your expectations are unreasonable.
As you read your expectations, ask if they are realistic. If not, then his lack of effort may just be your unrealistic expectations. On the other side of things, if he makes very little effort, only texting once a month or calling once in a blue moon, then you are low on his priority list and need to walk away. You deserve more than an occasional boyfriend. Find someone worth your time and theirs. Also, take time to figure out why you were with someone who paid so little attention in the first place.
Take His Perspective
Taking on the viewpoint of another person can open your eyes to what they may be thinking and feeling. If your boyfriend’s life affects how he relates to you and others or he may simply be emotionally unavailable. If he ahs recently stopped making an effort, then it could be you do not know him well enough to determine why. He may have issues you do not know about that are financial, addiction related, or even related to personal loss. He may not have the energy to make an effort at the moment.
Talk to Him
This is not an in-depth relationship talk, but an open, calm talk about his lack of effort. This is not a time to blame, but one to share your feelings and needs. Find a laid back, non-threatening way to approach him. Try not to be emotional or get upset and ask open-ended questions about his thoughts on the relationship. Ask if there is anything that will bring you two closer. What you choose to discuss depends on your specific circumstances. If he has never made an effort, this will do little good because he may simply be lazy or have a poor view of how much effort is needed. Above all, truly get to know someone before assuming they are making less effort.