Often it is a common statement to hear, “he seems to have lost interest in me what do I do now?”
This is an interesting question with a few different answers that could work. You must first determine what other factors are at play that have resulted in this loss of interest.
Often relationships ebb and flow.
There are hot and heavy periods where you are the focus of desire and attention and times when life is the focus and you are a nice extra. First of all, remember that all relationships have them and that they are not permanent. Healthy relationships have an open-door policy to not only accept these lulls but to talk about them and start the upward swing again.
If it is simply a lull because you have reached the comfort level of your relationship where people have stopped putting the best foot forward show, then talk about it and take it for what it is.
It is just a temporary drop and can easily be fixed and brought back to the point of feeling loved and receiving attention again.
If it is newer in your relationship and the interest has started to drop look at the possibility that in the brand-new days everyone is interesting and exciting but as we morph into a relationship sometimes we discover that we really like this person as a person but either do not share enough in common or simply just don’t feel it.
Often, we hope it will come back and do not want to hurt this person’s feelings by telling them we don’t feel it so we drop back and slowly edge out.
Is that what he is doing in hopes that he won’t hurt your feelings or because you two really do not have that much in common. If you truly are not a great match why are you still showing full interest and is that what you want to do?
In most situations we need to look at all the details and facts about the situation and decide how to proceed from there. So, ask questions, open up conversations even if they are uncomfortable and deal with what the situation really is.
Neesha Lenzini, MS – www.relationshipsinneed.com
Although waning attraction happens most often in new relationships, it is an issue in long-term relationships as well.
Attraction and intrigue can be more or less present at any time in all relationships, no matter how long the partners have been together. Knowing when those lapses of affection are temporary or harbingers of eventual endings are a concern for any person who has ever been in love.
Great relationships understand those natural ups and downs and have a clear idea of when or whether they the partners in them should be concerned.
They can separate out whether one or both are drifting apart from what is stressing their closeness independent of their commitment to each other. Their communication is solid, their understanding of what is really important in a relationship, and their absolute unwillingness to let each go, drives their goal to reconnect when they sense their relationship may be faltering.
Unfortunately, many new relationship partners are wary of expressing anything to each other that might suggest a diminishing interest, even if it is temporary.
New lovers are often insecure; concerned that their partners might prematurely disconnect it they think they are falling short. As a result, they hold back on talking about disappointments or dissatisfactions that might be resolvable were they to be caringly aired.
Whether it is the normal lapse of sexual passion that accompanies all new relationships as the partners spend more time together, or the familiarity that exists in all long term relationships, some diminishment of attachment and intrigue is normal for all relationships. In the early stages of new relationships, there are often astonishing experiences of romantic magic that can drum out all red flags that could be omens of trouble later on.
New couples are remarkably capable of pushing away any awareness of potential diminishing interest and focusing on the genuine joy they are experiencing.
Those who have been together for a while often don’t pay attention to whether or not they are drifting beyond what they should be concerned about because of so many other dimensions the relationship has accrued.
In both cases, though, there are similarities. Because of distractions, fears of loss, or a lack of focus on the long-term consequences, many couples either do not see, or do not understand, the warning signs of one partner or the other losing interest in the relationship. And, sadly, when they do, it may be too late.
There is one caveat.
If intimate partners have had many failed relationship in the past, feels as if they are less marketable than a current partner, or are basically insecure about deserving love, they may experience any behaviors that look as if they are omens of a waning interest as threatening even when they may not be. Their exaggerated response can make the failure of a relationship a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Are there any dependable signs that a new, or ongoing, partner is actually pulling away? Is there any way to see those omens early enough to turn a relationship around before it’s too late? The answer to both is yes.
These are some of the signs that you can watch for to see if your current partner is losing interest or still in the game.
1. Ongoing and significant research in the field of intimate relationships tells us that caring partners most always respond to a bid for connection.
Whether a question, an observation, a plea for help, a need to be heard, a desire to share, feelings of insecurity, or just a desire for attention, a partner who reaches out has to feel that he or she matters. If it is true that the opposite of love is apathy, it is often most obvious in watching one partner evidently put out by the need to respond to another.
2. Lack of energy.
When people are interested, intrigued, or excited by another, the pupils of their eyes expand, their focus is more intense, and they seem as if they are leaning into the emotional and physical field of the other. The opposite is very clear. One person attempts to arouse the interest, excitement, or attention of the other and his or her efforts are met with short, lifeless responses intended to get the connection over as soon as possible.
3. Lowered priority.
When people are interested in their partners, they put them on the top of their lists. That doesn’t mean that every moment is reserved for that partner, but prime-time energy is. A partner who still cares and is invested in the relationship misses his or her other half when too much time has elapsed between encounters. If too many other people, other situations, or other desires begin to come before a partner more and more over time, the chances are that there is danger ahead.
Whether physical desire, emotional closeness, mental stimulation, voice intonation, body language, facial expressions, or just touch are positive, consistent, and often, you can be pretty sure that the relationship is still vital.
5. Future talk.
People who are still in love automatically dream together about the individual and mutual futures they have together. They invest in each other’s dreams and support each other’s goals. The sharing of current and future resources are assumed as if one would not want to go ahead without the other at his or her side.
Human beings are natural deal makers in every area of life. Even if people want desperately to continue loving and caring for another, they cannot continue forever if the deal goes sour more often than it pays off. Whatever is important or sacred to either partner must be honored and supported. If a partner is on his or her way out of a relationship, you can be sure that the original deal isn’t paying off anymore and the goal is to cut the losses and move on.
7. Shared vulnerabilities.
When people are still invested in a relationship, they begin to take chances, open up deeper needs and desires, communicate more authentically, and share what is sacred. At the beginning of relationships or in those that are waning, those deeper, more vulnerable experiences become harder to share. It is as if one doesn’t want the other to have those internal pieces anymore. The withholding of love is often correlated with the withholding of anything that could be used for negotiation were the relationship to end.
When relationships are alive and vital, each partner’s presentations are usually met with a matching level of enthusiasm. Boredom comes from a relationship that has lost its potential for discovery. The partners with it know each other too well and can predict virtually every word and action in advance. They may have attained a level of comfort and safety by never rocking the boat, but they now can run the relationship without much thought. Because human beings need challenge and novelty, they are likely to drift away from something that provides neither.
9. Empathy and compassion.
Close lovers are in each other’s hearts. If one is hurting, the other is, too. If one is facing a painful challenge, the other is right beside him or her. Even if there is disagreement in how or why the other is experiencing what is happening, the automatic reaction is concern and support. And, if there is a true crisis, all other priorities are immediately put aside.
These are not the only signals, but they are the most common. You can turn each of these nine examples into a question and rate it from 1-5. One is “rarely,” two is “sometimes,” three is “often,” four is “most of the time,” and five is “always.” For instance, example one would be “Does your partner respond when you make a bid for connection?”
The answers will help you determine whether or not your partner is just temporarily preoccupied but still in the game, or starting to drift in a potentially negative direction.
Of course, honest and authentic communication at the beginning of any drift is crucial to save a relationship.
If either partner does not feel comfortable to inquire when these drifts begin, that, alone, can be the deeper problem.
Here are some related articles I’ve written for Psychology Today Internet Blogs that may help:
Why Relationships Go Stale
Should You Rush Into a Relationship?
Are you Withholding Love?
Touch and Go Relationships – Do They Have to be Superficial?
Couple’s Alert – Is Your Love Dying?
Why Can’t I Let Love in?
How Can Romantic Love Transform Into Long-Term Intimacy?
What Causes Boredom in Intimate Relationships?
Dr. Randi Gunther – www.randigunther.com
He Says “I Love You”… But does he really mean it?
This 7 question quiz tells you if your man truly loves you or if he is just using you…
All relationships have their ups and downs.
We are busy people with busy lives, and it’s easy to let a relationship cool when we have so many other things we are juggling. If you find yourself on the receiving end of this, however, you know it doesn’t feel great. What do you do when your guy suddenly cools or disappears altogether?
Start off by not assuming the worst.
It’s possible there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation that you simply haven’t heard yet. Unexpected things happen all the time in a person’s family, at work, or with friends, and suddenly you find yourself wrapped up in a situation you weren’t counting on but definitely have to address. Give him the benefit of the doubt and ask first what is going on.
Depending on where you are in your relationship and what kind of a situation arose, you may not have been first on his mind. Once you have more information, you can make a good decision about what to even think about that.
It’s also possible that things got too heavy too quickly and he didn’t know how to slow them down.
Not communicating this is not the best way to handle it, but sometimes it’s the only way he can think of in the moment. Maybe he thinks you’ll get the hint when he doesn’t return your calls and texts and back off, but it’s always a good idea to find out his intentions so you can decide how to respond.
There never is a great time to ask difficult questions, but now would be a good time to start.
Find out why he’s gone silent or isn’t responding. It could be temporary – big new project at work, illness in the family, or a friend getting into a car accident and needing help getting to appointments. It could also be more permanent – another woman coming back into his life that he wants to date, thinking you just aren’t right for him, or being overcommitted to too many things and no real time for you or a relationship.
Work through it if you can and it makes sense, but figure out what you’re willing to fight for. If the relationship suddenly becomes a chore and much more difficult than it’s worth, it may be time for you to move on. If he really isn’t that in to you, cut him loose. You don’t need that kind of drama in your life.
Becky Bringewatt, MA, LPC, NCC – www.mantiscounselingandcoaching.org
In asking the question “What should I do if he’s losing interest in me?”, there is an implicit message that you are responsible for keeping your partner engaged or entertained.
Why should that be your responsibility? I like to think of relationships as somewhat organic; they are a process that is fed by the input and energy of both partners.
If I felt that my partner was losing interest in me, or just wasn’t really present, I’d ask him about it. There could be any number of things happening in his life that could be distracting. While ideally he would just tell me what is going on, it’s possible that he doesn’t even realize that he seems more distant. If you ask him directly, it gives him the opportunity to become more consciously aware of himself and his impact on you. What’s going on in his life is in no way your responsibility, but it’s helpful to know what’s up with him.
Culturally women tend to take on the majority of responsibility for the quality of a relationship.
This greater sense of responsibility often leads them to overfunction. Overfunctioning inevitably leads to underfunctioning on the part of your partner. You can’t make him be happy or committed or anything. He’s responsible for himself; you’re responsible for yourself and you’re both equally responsibility for the quality of your relationship.
Some relationships peter out because they just weren’t meant to be.
It could be a question of compatibility, or timing, but you will not be able to fix it on your own. Talk openly about your perceptions and see what he has to say. If there’s a fixable problem then you can both work on it. If not, let this relationship go so you will be available for one that is right for you.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
Learn Why Men Pull Away
There is a deep-seated “Gap” in communication that very few women (or men) understand.
It’s the #1 reason why men pull away.
To be truly irresistible to a man, you MUST understand this gap, and the way feelings of love get confused and entangled in a man’s mind…
Remember: It’s Not About You
When you feel your partner losing interest in you, it feels like the world is coming to an end. This crushing experience triggers thoughts like, I must not be good enough, attractive enough, etc. It’s my fault. I don’t deserve love.
But if we analyze those reactions, we find their roots in early childhood experiences of loss, usually in one of these forms.
1. A parent leaving or simply being absent from the start.
2. Parents getting divorced or fighting a lot; one abusing the other.
3. One parent’s overwhelming grief or distraction (lack of attunement to us).
As adults, when we inevitably face rejection, these old feelings surface and make us feel depressed and worthless.
Analyzing the current situation also helps us get perspective. If your partner starts to seem bored, consider these possible explanations.
1. He is terrified (scared of intimacy, of losing you, etc.), but masking it with apathy.
2. He has lost interest in you – and the two of you aren’t meant to be together.
3. He is going through some difficult emotional process of his own – but not talking about it.
4. He is preoccupied with some issue that distracts him from the present moment.
Any of these scenarios makes it seem like you’re chopped liver to him, which feels awful.
When this happens, you need all the support and self-care you can get.
Try these steps for nurturing your adult and child selves through the dark tunnel of your partner’s blasé mood.
1. See if you can identify the emotion triggered in you. Anger? Sadness? Fear? What’s the negative belief about you? I’m worthless? I’m not lovable? Trace that feeling back as far as it will go on the timeline of your life. What do you find there?
2. Write about the whole experience: when you first sensed his boredom, how you first reacted to it, what you want, etc.
3. Take a brisk walk and think about the issue. Focus on how it feels. Notice any difference after your walk.
4. Take five deep breaths. As you inhale, make your whole belly and midsection expand before your chest rises. Remember a moment when you felt very loved.
5. Ask your best friend to tell you something good about you.
6. Call your grandmother or another relative who consistently shows you how interesting you are.
7. Think of how you’d prefer to feel about yourself: e.g., I am worthy of love.
If the timing’s right, ask your partner if he’s feeling bored in the relationship. Sometimes this question opens an important conversation. Let him know you can handle the truth; you know you’re worthwhile, whether he’s into you or not.
Dr. Deborah Cox – www.deborahlcox.com