7 Ways To Help Your Partner Prioritize Your Relationship
It's never great to feel like your partner just doesn't seem to notice you anymore. It can leave you questioning if they're just not interested anymore. But according to experts, you may not have to worry — chances are, there's a number of reasons why your partner may be acting that way and it has nothing to do with you.
"There are infinite reasons your partner may not be paying as much attention to you [or the relationship]," Nicole Richardson, LPC-S, LMFT, tells Bustle. "Typically, in the absence of information, we make assumptions and the assumptions we are prone to make tend to make it about us when there is often a good chance it has nothing to do with us."
In some cases, it just means that your relationship has fallen into a routine where your partner prioritizes other things in their life. This could be work, hobbies, or relaxation. It could even be a sign of depression in which they are neglecting other aspects of their life.
When you're frustrated by your partner's lack of attention, it's easy to to become panicked. But try to approach it from a more fun and playful place. So if your partner has been less than attentive lately, here are some ways to help them prioritize the relationship again, according to experts.
1. Hold Their Hand
"Our brain sends a huge amount of information to our hands in comparison to the rest of the body," Amica Graber, relationship expert with TruthFinder, tells Bustle. "So as a result, we communicate a lot of information through hand signals." For instance, holding hands on a first date is a pretty good indicator that someone wants to get closer to you. "These small gestures signal intimacy and protectiveness," Graber says. If your partner needs a little reminder that you still love and care for them, holding their hand can be just the thing they need.
2. Find Ways To Be Physically Closer To Them
If you feel like your partner doesn't notice you anymore, there's likely some kind of distance in your relationship. So look for any opportunity to be physically close to your partner again, Graber says. For instance, when you're having dinner together, try sitting next to them in a way so your thighs touch. When you're about to go to bed, try cuddling up to them in a playful way. Find ways to incorporate more affectionate touches into your daily interactions with them, with their consent of course. Closing the physical gap between the two of you can help to bring back the spark in your relationship.
3. Do Something New Together
It can sometimes feel like your partner is no longer interested in you or the relationship if you're stuck doing the same things over and over again. So in order to overcome that, find something new to do together. "As you become accustomed to routine, your brain (and passion) goes into auto-pilot as you come to expect the same behaviors, scenarios and outcomes," Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast tells Bustle. "Small changes awaken the passion, as the positive anxiety associated with anticipation of the unexpected kicks in."
4. Change Up Your Conversations By Asking Different Types Of Questions
"Stop talking about the mundane and start digging a little deeper," Dr. Jess says. There's always something new you can learn about your partner. All you need to do is ask the right questions. For instance, you can ask about their fears, passions, embarrassing moments, and dreams. You can even get their take on current events, and if their opinion doesn't match yours, you can have a friendly debate over it. According to Dr. Jess, passionate conversations will encourage you to continue learning about one another, which can then "reinvigorate passion and intimate interest."
5. Recreate The Early Days And Go On Your First Date Again
At some point, your relationship might fall into a rut. As New York–based relationship expert and author, April Masini, tells Bustle, "People get comfortable, complacent, and they take the other person for granted." If this has left you feeling a little neglected by your partner, think about the early days of your relationship. How did it make you feel to go out with them for the first time? What extra steps did you do to get ready for your dates? If you want to help make your relationship top of mind for your partner, try recreating those early days when you were dating. "Go all out and get back to the way you used to get ready for a first date with someone you were really excited about seeing," Masini says.
6. Do Something Nice And Unexpected For Them
"A great way to get noticed is to take the 'kill them with kindness' approach," David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. Do something sweet for them like leaving little love notes around for them to find. You can do anything that you think your partner would appreciate. As long as it's a nice, thoughtful surprise, your partner is sure to take notice.
7. Notice Them
If you're not getting enough attention, it's easy to make things about you. What are you doing wrong? What can you do to make them prioritize the relationship again? But if you really want your partner to notice you, start by noticing them. As Richardson says, "Notice when your partner gets a new haircut, when they seem distracted or are having a bad day and be considerate about their feelings." Giving them your attention can help you get theirs.
If your partner isn't picking up on any of your hints, the best way to get them to really pay attention is to talk to them. At the end of the day, they'll never know something is up if you don't communicate.