“It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for your life and the people you allow in it.”
~ Mandy Hale
If you have noticed that things in your relationship with your significant other have changed in a less than desirable way, it does not necessarily mean that the relationship have taken a turn in a negative direction.
If you noticed that he’s less romantic than he was at the beginning of the relationship, it may mean that he feels romance is no longer necessary because you both have built a strong bond and he knows he has won your heart. Some men are only romantic at the beginning stages because they view romance as a way to win the woman’s heart.
If romance is something that you crave, then let him know this.
Saying something to the effect of “I remember when we used to take strolls on the beach after a romantic candlelit dinner. Wouldn’t that be nice to do again sometime soon?” This is a healthy and effective way to communicate your wants and needs in a relationship.
Do not use the word YOU such as in “why don’t you buy me flowers anymore?” Or “why don’t you take me out to romantic dinners anymore?” This way of communicating is only going to create conflict and tension between you two.
If he is less attentive or more forgetful towards you, ask him what’s going on?
Maybe he has been distracted at work lately and has been stressed out and therefore, unable to divide his attention equally towards everything and everyone who is important in his life.
If he is under a lot of stress and anxiety, then it would be understandable why he has been forgetful because when the human brain is anxious, it can suffer from temporary mild memory problems.
If there are any other ways in which your man has been acting differently towards you, it is so crucial to communicate that to him.
Let him know how you feel about the changes that you have noticed in your relationship with him.
Communication is key to a healthy relationship.
You have needs and wants in a relationship and it is important that your partner know what they are. He cannot read your mind, that is why you need to communicate them to him.
If in fact, he has been losing interest then that is also something that needs to be communicated.
If you bring up the conversation that you have noticed your relationship has not been the same lately and you’re wondering what he has been feeling and thinking, then hopefully he will let you know what’s going on for him.
If after you talk to him, he tells you everything is great and he still cares for you but nothing changes after that talk, then it would be time to consider moving on if your needs are not being met.
Jackie Krol, LCSW – www.psychotherapistjackie.com
Both men and women often approach a new relationship on their best behavior
During the courtship, a man will work to earn your trust and love hoping that you will see him as worthy of a being in a relationship with you. He puts his best out there to show you that he is a “good catch.” He will shower you with attention and dote on you during his courtship of you.
Then the relationship moves to the next phase and the honeymoon is over so to speak. He stops doing the things he did when you were dating and slowly changes the way he engages with you. You are worried he is losing interest and want to know how he feels about you. You wonder if his behavior reflects a loss of interest or that he is getting comfortable with you.
It is easy to fall into a pattern of taking a partner for granted.
Some of the men I have worked with in couple’s therapy feel like once they are in the relationship, the work is done. Once the courtship is over, men feel like they don’t have to work as hard as they did when you first started dating. Some men think that once you are in the relationship, it will be harder for you to leave once you have fallen in love and are “committed” to him.
A relationship is a living, breathing thing and you need to feed it and nurture it
In couple’s therapy, I often remind men and women that a relationship is a living, breathing thing. You need to feed it and nurture it. Give your relationship time and attention so that it grows stronger and richer over time. Your relationship needs to have a place in your routine. You can fall into a routine without forgetting about the things that strengthen the bond between you.
Take the initiative and tell him that you want to make sure that you do not grow apart.
Tell him how you feel and that you want both of you to make time for your relationship. Let him know that you are not feeling as connected as you did when you started dating and that you want to make strengthening your relationship a priority. Take the time to really listen to him. Don’t assume you know what he is thinking or what he needs. Care about his needs as much as you want him to care about yours.
Make time for a date night
Make time for a date night every week or bi-weekly. Make it happen no matter how tired you are. When your partner engages with you, pay attention. You don’t want him to give up trying to talk to you because you blow him off or ignore him because you are too busy on your phone. Give him some time at the end of the day and ask him how he is doing.
Let him know you are listening by responding thoughtfully and compassionately.
Don’t act like he is wasting your time. Eat at least one meal a day together and check in during that time. Make it a point to hug or kiss him when either of you leaves or gets home. Say goodnight to each other. Hold hands when you are walking together or sitting in a restaurant waiting for your food.
If he is losing interest, be mindful that you are not pushing him away because your relationship is all about you and what you need.
A man can only give so much before he loses interest because his needs are not met. As women, we can be demanding, and a good man will do his best to meet those demands. At the same time, it is important that his needs, both physical and emotional are also being met.
You will know he is losing interest because he has “checked out.”
He has lost the excitement of being with you and responds to requests to do something together with very little enthusiasm. He will spend less and less time with you and may make excuses to avoid doing things with you. He can become indifferent to your emotions and reactions to his behavior.
Invest in your relationship by engaging with him on a daily basis.
To prevent him losing interest or taking you for granted, invest in your relationship by engaging with him on a daily basis.
Don’t take him for granted if you don’t want him to take you for granted. Don’t push him away by ignoring his needs in the relationship. You cannot put your relationship in “park” and expect it to remain the same if you do not feed and nurture it.
A plant will wither without water. The enthusiasm in your relationship will fade without love and attention.
Either way you get back what you give your relationship. There are no guarantees because life is unpredictable and uncertain. At the very least even if the relationship fails, you can say with integrity that you tried and gave it your best.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
The honeymoon phase is full of hormones, laughs, fun and flirts.
After the honeymoon phase of a relationship ends and two people have feet firmly planted in reality, getting to know the real person is paramount. The relationship pace slows down. Conversations may be less frequent or consume fewer hours in the day. Planned dates may decrease, as both people attempt to find a healthy, relational balance and a sense of comfort.
Key Point: Do not mistake normal relationship progression as a sign that the relationship is stale or over. However, there are signs a man is losing interest and moving on.
1. His communication is infrequent and lacks genuine interest in you.
The conversations decreased. It’s been nearly a week since he called. The texting is intermittent and inconsistent. He’s stopped asking questions and sending “good morning” texts. The conversation feels forced and lacks the flow it once had. Lack of communication alone does not signal the end of the relationship; but coupled with the signs below could point to a dead end.
2. Spontaneous is his middle name.
Your time together becomes increasingly spontaneous and more directed by him. You begin to feel off-balance. You’re unable to make plans with him because he simply is unavailable and unable to pin down. He pops in and out of your life randomly. When you ask for more time, he deflects. While spontaneity can be exciting temporarily, it is not a method for effective relationship longevity.
3. Lack of future orientation.
Couples that are genuinely invested in the relationship make some plans for the future. He may be moving on if your talk of the future of the relationship irritates him or prompts him to change the subject. Moreover, his talk of the future does not include you. He may not be ready to move forward, or he might be searching for the exit without wanting to hurt your feelings.
4. He places you in the friend zone… without a discussion.
His conversation transitions toward asking you for relationship advice and talking about other women and/or past relationships. The dates become hanging out. He brings other friends along for your outings and neglects to introduce you as a significant other. You feel alone in your romantic affections.
5. He unfollows you on social media.
If you were engaging on social media together and he has unfollowed or unfriended you, he is proclaiming the benediction on the relationship. Unfollowing on social media signals a significant move-on.
While the signs are not a comprehensive list, they are important to acknowledge while assessing your relationship status.
Let’s refer to the original point: Normal relationship progression does not signal the end of a relationship.
When a level of comfort exists, the dynamics of the relationship change. However, if he is moving on, do not make denial your default. Pay attention to the signs and seek clarity from your partner.
Joy McNeil, PhD, LPC, TFCBT – www.thewellingplace.com
Maybe you had a relationship in the past where you thought things were going really well and were hopeful that you had a future together and you were blindsided by their decision to end the relationship.
Maybe you fear that you are with someone that is “too good for you” and are worried that they will leave you for someone else.
Maybe you feel you are not worthy of having a satisfying relationship with another person.
Whatever the cause, it can be normal to worry that something unforeseen may happen to your relationship, after all, we only worry when we have something worth losing.
That said, it is not their job to shore up your self- esteem, help you to feel secure when you are insecure, or heal your past wounds.
Anxiety is akin to listening to your worst fears terrify you. While it makes sense to worry occasionally, it does not make sense to terrify ourselves. Ask yourself if your fears and anxieties are grounded in reality or if you are taking a normal fear and turning it into a monster. This can be helpful for most of the normal and typical relationship worries.
While it is normal to worry about losing the people we love, it is not normal to worry about it to the degree where we spend sleepless nights thinking about all the ways in which it will fail.
When our behavior is affected by our fears, then we are typically acting out of place of anxiety.
If you find yourself constantly seeking reassurance, not accepting said reassurance when it is forthcoming, or pandering for increasing amounts of verification that your partner still cares about you, it may be time for some self- reflection.
We cannot find happiness with another person until we have achieved it within ourselves.
Seeking to fill this need through another will likely end poorly and is unlikely to be fulfilling to either of you.
That said, let’s entertain the fact that they might be losing interest in the relationship or just becoming comfortable.
The former may be a fear of yours that justified or not is worthy of addressing just make sure you communicate that you realize this may come from a place of irrational fear or past failures.
Communicating these things expresses emotionally vulnerability, allows you to open up about what didn’t work for you in the past, and can strengthen your bond with each other.
Communication is essential for any successful relationship and this is a good opportunity to express some emotional vulnerability and grow closer with each other.
While you may not hear what you are hoping to hear it is always better to know what is working in our relationships and what is not. What you learn will help you to understand each other better and determine what direction your relationship is headed in, if any.
If their comfort in the relationship makes you feel uncomfortable then ask yourself why this is- chances are, it has nothing to do with them.
If them losing interest is the cause then you will know and will be able to determine if you have a desire to address the problem or need to move on. Either way it’s a win!
Kate Kelly, MSW, LCSW – www.willowcreekwellness.com
Some times, when a couple settles into their relationship, things become complacent.
You fall into a routine, become comfortable and forget to put the effort to keep the fire alive and sparkling.
Is it too much to ask, though, that your relationship remain exciting and to expect your partner to want the same thing?
Of course not. So, if something is missing and you feel things could use some improving, then it’s time to talk about your expectations of each other and see if those expectations could be met.
A man who is not willing to make adjustments in his behavior, who is not able to understand your desires and can’t put the extra effort into making the relationship a good, safe, fulfilling and satisfactory one, is not worth your energy – and may be losing interest.
So, how do you know if he is losing interest or just comfortable with the way things are?
- Examine how he responds to discussing the relationship and where it’s going.
- Examine if he remembers details about past events with you and if he cherishes them, like you do.
- Examine if you’re seeing him less and less because other projects come in the way.
- Examine if the romance has left the relationship and your intimacy is lessened.
- Examine if you are enjoying the relationship like you used to.
Don’t worry about feeling awkward when you discuss things. Worry about being in a relationship that needs a lot of work with little reward.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
It can be hard sometimes to distinguish between comfort and disinterest.
Of course the best way to tell is to share your perceptions and see what he says. Sometimes your perception of disinterest could be a projection of what you’re feeling. It can be scary to feel less connected, even bored and it’s easier to attribute the problem to your partner.
Relationships can settle into a rut.
In the beginning there is a lot of energy around finding out about each other, learning about likes and dislikes, talking about goals, and just generally finding fun things to do. After a while, we feel that we know each other and the everyday stresses of life sap some of the energy it takes to keep things interesting.
There is also the issue of sex.
In the beginning most couples are very sexually active. Initial attraction is a powerful aphrodisiac, which, alas, tends to decrease over time. Couples have to work harder to keep an active sex life.
I personally think sex is good for the relationship; it tends to keep partners connected but it doesn’t usually happen as spontaneously at it did in the beginning.
Relationships change over time and they do tend to get more comfortable.
This can be a good thing, or it can be a sign that the relationship is stale. It takes a certain amount of work to maintain a connection and to keep things interesting.
I think it’s a good idea to talk to each other about your lives, even the mundane stuff. Remember to schedule time for yourselves, without your kids (if you have them). Turn off the electronics. They tend to be addicting and create a lot of distance between partners.
Your phone or TV is never going to take the place of a real, live person who cares about you. Be proactive about scheduling activities that you both enjoy. Have a good circle of friends who can also bring energy to the relationship.
While they take work, an intimate committed relationship is like no other.
You have in your life someone who knows you, cares about you and supports you through thick and thin. That’s worth working for.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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