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Does your boyfriend sometimes make you feel like one of the guys, instead of his girlfriend?
Do you sometimes think that if not for the physical benefits of your relationship, he wouldn’t see you as anything more than a roommate or one of his bros?
While it’s nice that he’s so comfortable around you, it wouldn’t kill him to put a little effort into making you feel special, would it?
After all, you do so much for him and work so hard at maintaining your relationship. How come he never thinks to show you some appreciation? You feel like he’s taking you for granted and not at all interested in keeping the spark of your relationship alive.
It’s one thing to feel lonely whilst single. But being lonely while in a committed relationship is on another level of unfulfillment and discontent.
If you’re feeling neglected in your relationship and want to find out how to get your boyfriend to occasionally do nice things for you, keep reading. We’ll explore the possible reasons why your man isn’t giving you the treatment you desire, and what to do about it.
1. Your Love Languages Are Mismatched
The concept of love languages was first developed by Gary Chapman. They refer to the way we express and receive love. Everyone has a primary love language, along with at least one strong second preference.
The five love languages are:
Words of Affirmation
If your love language is words of affirmation, you value words of affection, whether written or spoken. You prefer frequent “I love you’s,” compliments, words of appreciation, verbal encouragement, and often lots of digital communication like texting and social media engagement.
When your love language is quality time, you feel most loved when your partner spends time with you. You enjoy being around your significant other, hanging out with them, and having their full, undivided attention.
You especially love having long, meaningful conversations with your partner with no distractions from the television, phone, or other people.
If receiving a sentimental gift makes you feel especially loved, then your love language is giving or receiving gifts. But not just any gift, one that has special meaning to you. For you, it’s not the cost of the gift that matters. Rather, it’s the thought behind it that means the most to you.
You enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone and love it when someone goes out of their way to find a meaningful gift for you.
Acts of Service
For you, actions speak louder than words. So, while being told that you are loved is nice, you feel especially loved when your partner shows you they love you. That could mean helping around the house or taking care of you when you are sick.
Acts of service are your love language because you feel a person’s love is shown by the things they do and not just the words they speak.
You love kisses, hugs, and cuddles. Physical touch and intimacy are your love language. When your partner connects with you on a physical level, you feel loved and appreciated. It doesn’t necessarily mean just sex, but sex does play a big part in making you feel loved and appreciated.
If you feel as though your boyfriend does nothing special for you, you may have a love language mismatch. The way he expresses his affection for you does not align with the way you receive love and vice versa. He may express his love, but not in a way that makes you feel loved.
Do further research on love languages with your partner to figure out your preferred languages. Then take steps to show love in a way that makes the other feel loved.
2. He Doesn’t Know What You Want
Your boyfriend isn’t a mind reader. He may have no idea what you truly want from him.
Let’s be honest, some of us are difficult to shop for and plan for. We feign gratitude, but our significant other usually knows when we’re disappointed with their gift or surprise.
To make the entire process easier for both him and you, communicate what your needs and desires are (without getting emotional or nagging). You could even give him a list of things to choose from, so there will still be an element of surprise and he won’t feel like you’re trying to control him.
Teach him what you’d love for him to do, in a nonthreatening way. When he gets it right, shower him with praise. Even when he misses it by a mile, still shower him with praise for at least trying.
3. You Don’t Meet His Needs
Your boyfriend doesn’t feel like his needs are being met. He doesn’t feel heard or appreciated. Perhaps he’s even shut down as a result.
Sometimes we forget that men have emotional needs too. Society has trained us to think that men are emotionless beings. That they never cry, are slow to show love, and are never afraid.
Logically, we all know that’s not true, but because men rarely complain or ask for emotional support, it’s easy to ignore the emotional aspect of them.
It’s possible that you’re so used to him doing the heavy lifting in your relationship that you never looked after his emotional needs. It never occurred to you he might have emotional needs that are left unfulfilled.
Take steps to rectify that. Do things for him that make him feel special, that feed his emotional needs. When he feels loved, he is much more likely to reciprocate and doing nice things for you.
4. You’re Always Together
You’re never apart. Like two peas in a pod, you are always together. Always. He can’t get a minute alone.
If he can’t even use the bathroom alone without you being underfoot, maybe he’s starting to resent all the time you spend together. Perhaps he’s feeling suffocated with all the attention.
If that’s the case, it’ll be hard to do something special for someone who has essentially become a pest. Unfortunately, he can’t tell you he needs some space because he knows your feelings will be hurt and you’ll take it the wrong way.
So he shuts down and withdraws into his mind, where he can at least be alone with his thoughts.
Give him some space to be alone or spend time with his friends or family without you. Both of you should spend time developing relationships and hobbies outside of your relationship.
Different interests can help to spice up your relationship. They’ll give you something to talk about when you do spend time together. Nurturing different hobbies and relationships will give you both a chance to grow as individuals, which can only strengthen your relationship.
It might even help to bring the spark back to your relationship, where he longs for your company and does special things for you and with you.
5. You’re Mothering Him
Have you met his mother? Have you seen the way he behaves around his mother? Does it resemble the way you treat him? If you are babying him the way his mom does, he may have started seeing you the same way he sees her.
You may not even be treating him like a child, exactly. But when you nag him, your voice takes on a striking resemblance to his mom’s voice when she used to scream at him to clean his room back when he was a teenager.
Unless his name is Oedipus (Greek King who killed his father and married his mother), it’s not likely he’s trying to be romantic with his mama.
Remember, he’s a grown man. Unless you’re dating a mama’s boy, he was taking care of himself long before you entered the picture. Treat him like a man who is fully capable of doing things for himself and making his own decisions.
It may take a while for him to stop seeing you in a mothering role, just like it will take some time for you to stop assuming that role in his life. But with continued effort, you can both return to treating each other like two fully functional adults who choose to be with each other.
6. You’re Smothering Him
You’re over-invested in him. He’s so smothered with love and attention that he doesn’t feel the need to invest back into you. Through your actions, you’ve convinced him he’s the most important person in your relationship. You so often make sacrifices for him that he’s started taking it for granted, barely remembering to utter a simple “thank you” for your effort.
To put it quite simply, you’ve spoiled him.
It’s difficult to blame him because you never talk about your needs or wants. He didn’t start off wanting to walk all over you, but it was difficult not to when you’re already lying on the ground, practically begging him to do so. You were relentless in showering him with love that somewhere along the way both of you forgot that you have needs too.
People treat you the way you let them treat you. You need to do some self-reflection to figure out if you were doing all of those things for him out of love or to buy his love. Do you feel as though you are not worthy of love without all the sacrifice? Why is it so easy for you to overlook your feelings in the service of someone else?
These are difficult questions you need to answer for yourself. If you don’t, this cycle will continue to repeat itself in every relationship you have. You may need to engage the services of a licensed therapist to help you uncover any hidden trauma you may have that has caused you to believe you are not worthy of love.
How to “un-spoil” your boyfriend is a tricky task. But if you have started the internal work on yourself, a frank conversation with your partner can help you set boundaries and stand up for yourself in a manner that doesn’t make your boyfriend feel attacked.
7. You Have Very Different Interests And Likes
Do you and your boyfriend have similar interests? Maybe you are both so different that you have nothing in common at all? If you’re dating someone who is nothing like you, it will be hard to do something for them that they would consider special, and vice versa. You just have very different tastes.
The only option is to get interested in what he is interested in. If there’s absolutely nothing about him that interests you at all (in which case that would put the longevity of your relationship into serious question), the both of you should find something new to do together. This could be a television show or a hobby or a certain genre of books that you both like.
Having similar interests will help you connect on another level. He’ll get to see a different side of you. This can give him ideas on the activities you’d like to do or gifts you’d appreciate. With shared interests, you’ll both look forward to spending more time with each other more.
8. You Don’t See All The Things He Does Do
Maybe you’ve been watching too many rom-coms which have made you blind to how real relationships work. Because he’s not chasing you through the airport to proclaim his undying love for you in front of a captivated audience, you miss all the ways he shows you his love.
You can’t remember the last time you had to put gas in your car, but since he never buys you flowers, you ignore his thoughtfulness. Maybe he gets the coffee started in the morning for you, knowing how much you need your caffeine hit first thing. But since he’s not taking you out to expensive restaurants, you don’t value the scent of freshly brewed coffee that wakes you up every morning.
Try to focus on the little things he does do for you, like helping you with the ironing because he knows you hate it. Does he buy extra french fries without you asking, certain you’ll want some? Is he good at taking care of you when you’re sick?
These simple actions are not grand gestures of his undying love. Cut the guy some slack and appreciate the small and consistent gestures of his affection.
9. He’s Selfish
Maybe your man is just selfish. You give and give and give and he just takes and takes. Is he even appreciative of all you do for him? Or does he make you feel as if you’re not doing enough?
Is he the type of guy who likes to receive relationship benefits and doesn’t feel like he should give back at all? After all, he’s the prize?
There’s little you can do if your boyfriend is fundamentally selfish. Unless you want to make your peace with always coming second to his needs and wants, you will need to walk away with your dignity intact. Even if he was capable of giving you what you want, he won’t because he thinks only of himself.
No amount of love you could possibly give him would compare to the amount of love that he gives himself. Don’t waste your love or your energy.
10. He’s Lost Interest But Doesn’t Want To Hurt You
He checked out of the relationship sometime back, but he can’t bring himself to tell you because he doesn’t want to hurt you. While he’s no longer interested in a relationship with you, he still cares about your feelings.
His affection has been decreasing for a couple of months now. You chose not to see it because you didn’t want to face the reality that your relationship is ending. But it’s getting harder to pretend everything is okay when he’s so emotionally distant.
You need to have an open conversation with him. While he’s been avoiding the eventual breakup because of your feelings, delaying it is just pushing you to be the bad guy. Because someone has to end this. And that’s not fair on you.
Both of you are not happy. There’s no denying the obvious. But there is no need to let the end of your relationship sour the good memories you’ve had together.
11. He’s Seeing Somebody Else
Your boyfriend isn’t doing anything special for you because he’s busy doing something special for somebody else (or a bunch of other women, if he’s that type of guy). He is busy spending his romantic spontaneity on another woman while you get what’s leftover.
Even if you could salvage this relationship, why would you want to? Instead of treating you with respect, he started a relationship with someone else and poured his energy into that. Not only has he broken your trust, but he has also stomped all over your heart and your relationship.
You don’t deserve to be treated like that, no matter what his excuses were.
12. He Doesn’t Think You Are Special
You’ve been together for so long, there’s no mystery left. You are more like a sister to him now. It almost feels like you are roommates, only talking when something requires your attention. You don’t feel like friends, much less lovers. Friends at least enjoy each other’s company.
The spark in your relationship has died and getting it back will require effort from both of you. Start by finding what you have in common, outside your kids (if you have them) or your immediate environment. Try to retrace your relationship steps back to what made you fall in love with each other in the first place.
Consider going for couple’s counseling to help you deal with any issues you may have in your relationship. A counselor can help you learn how to communicate with one another again.
But one thing is for certain, as Oscar Wilde said, “never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” The spark may have died, but it can come alive again if both of you are willing to put in the effort. If not, don’t settle for being treated as anything less than special.
13. He’s Under A Lot Of Pressure
He has a lot going on with work, or maybe a family member is sick. Either way, he’s under a lot of pressure. He is likely struggling to keep his head above water as he goes through these challenges.
As his partner, this is not a good time to mention that you feel neglected. You’ll end up looking self-centered, adding one more thing to the pile of stuff he has to deal with when he’s having so much trouble already. Instead, let him know that you’re there to support him.
Ask him if there’s anything you could do to help him through this period. Give him time to handle whatever is occupying his mind and support him as best you can.
Still not sure what to do about a boyfriend who doesn’t do anything nice for you? If you allow this to continue, it will affect your love for him and likely lead to the breakdown of your relationship. So why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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