Not Getting Enough Attention From Your Significant Other? 5 Things to Try

By Reniel


Last Updated: December 1, 2021

As a relationship grows and evolves, so also does the behavior of the people in it (bit by bit).

At the beginning of relationships, everything is usually great, because both parties are on their best behaviors, and mostly overlook the little quirks of the other.

However, as a relationship stretches across time, and the veil of passionate love begins to clear, the weight and size of every irritation begin to magnify and intensify – not just in the minds of parties involved, but in the exhibition. 

As a relationship matures, most people are inclined to relax the amount of effort and time they usually put into the relationship because they are now more than strangers (they might even be engaged or married at this point), and this makes them feel secure.

The problem is that relaxation can quickly veer into passivity. And one major way it would be felt is in the drastic reduction in the amount of care and attention given to a partner or each other. 


When We Get Comfortable, We May Start Taking Each Other for Granted

Conventional wisdom tells us that “it is not good to be needy”, “asking people for attention shows that you have low self-esteem”, “attention should be earned, not asked for” and the like. While this is true in many cases, it is not always true (especially in relationships where we’ve earned it).

There are people who go crazy when they are not the center of attention, and who can do almost anything within their power to get it from people (even if that attention is negative.)

This is toxic behavior, and not what partners should aspire to. There is no need to play up anything in order to win your partner's attention. It is manipulative, controlling, and may get you in trouble if your partner finds out it was an act all along. In extreme cases, it may even destroy the relationship. 

The truth is that we all crave attention and love to some extent, and desiring those is not bad nor something to be ashamed of either.

Yes, you can’t get, and shouldn’t demand your partner's attention at all times. But if you feel like they glaze over your conversation or invitation to spend time together to continue tapping and swiping their phones, something has gone wrong somewhere. 


We Deserve Care & Attention

Having said that, being ignored is not something you should tolerate because you are afraid of being seen as demanding or needy. You deserve care and attention. 

In fact, you can argue that it is because of the need to be validated and loved (emotionally, sexually, and otherwise), that you got into the relationship in the first place.

So, why not ensure that that warmth that lured you into the relationship continues? If it was there at the beginning (and was considered healthy) then why shouldn’t it still be there as the “healthy” relationship advances and grows?

That said, below are some very practical and honest ways you can get back the attention of your lover.


5 Ways to Get Your Partner’s Attention Back

1. Differentiate Needs From Wants

First, you must know what it is you desire.

Then you must differentiate those which are negotiable, from those which are not. You may not always get gifts and trips. But the kisses, hugs, and cuddles shouldn’t be missing (at least not for weeks, months, or years on end). Seeking physical affection (including sex) is all rightfully desired and deserved.

2. Have A Talk

People need varying degrees of attention as they grow and evolve. So they may also assume that your needs are changing as theirs (hence you may feel a lack of sufficient effort from their end whilst they honestly do not feel that way).

Tell them how you feel when you are not getting as much attention as you wish (there is no shame in this). Don’t play blame games, nor nag. Simply state how it’s affecting you, and see how they respond (you might be amazed how much little things like this can help).

3. Positive Reinforcement

When they do pay you more attention, appreciate them for it.

Thank them for (or at least, inform them that you enjoyed) the text, call, dinner, outing, gift, trip, sex, etc. It will make them feel good, and want to do more of that.

4. Rediscover Yourself

You were once happy without your partner.

How did that happen? It is most likely because you did things that you found fun, or considered important. Your partner may not enjoy all the things you enjoy. For example, they may be introverted and dread going out whilst you love going out. 

Rather than asking them to meet all your needs (at their expense), you might want to start doing more of the things that make you happy. You may find other people within your network who share similar interests and see how it goes.

When you feel fulfilled and happy in those aspects, you can then rely on your partner to keep making you happy in the aspects they enjoy as well. 

5. Move On

In extreme cases; if after speaking with them, encouraging them, and basically getting your life in order and you still feel you are the only one on the boat, maybe you really are the only one on the boat.

Maybe they are no longer interested in you. If you have done the work on being direct about how you feel, and your partner still doesn't meet in the middle to find a resolution, you may want to consider larger problems. Or you may find it's time to move on to a relationship where you feel you are both contributing emotionally. 


Final Word

It hurts to feel ignored. And this article is not saying it's your fault, or that you should give up if your initial conversations don't seem to pan out.

Relationships are hard, and take work. But you need to do the work together. Know when your expectations are too high, or when you need to more accommodating. But also know when you are not being emotionally supported by your partner as well. 


4 comments on “Not Getting Enough Attention From Your Significant Other? 5 Things to Try”

  1. I enjoyed your article, but I've got questions. So what if you tell your significant other how you feel and what your seeking and they take it the wrong way? Like your putting them down for not giving you what you need? For instance, I'm a very affectionate person, but when it comes to loving on my bf he makes it seem like he's not interested and it turns me off. So I tell him how I feel and that I want his affection back he gets angry and thinks I'm being him for us not being affectionate to eachother. Help.. please

    1. Hi Taz, it sounds like there is more conversation to be had. If you are both 'telling' each other things, are you actually listening to what the other person needs? If you are very affectionate and he is not, it sounds like you have different love languages as well. Everyone expresses their needs differently, and we all have our own ways of feeling valued. I encourage you to read this and that might help your next conversation. Perhaps affection is not as important to him for a reason you don't know yet? Try to understand where he is coming from so you are open with each other and see what comes of it.

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