Do you have thoughts along the lines of “My boyfriend doesn’t do anything special for me”?
Would you like to know how to fix this problem?
The guide below features 23 effective tips to help get your relationship back on track.
In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients strengthen their relationships with those closest to them.
That’s why I’m keen to share this guide with you.
So, let’s dive in.
Why Does My Boyfriend Not Do Anything Special For Me?
When you understand why your boyfriend doesn’t do anything special for you, it becomes easier to address the situation and reach a satisfying outcome.
So, let’s explore some common reasons why he doesn’t treat you well enough.
He Doesn’t Know What You Want
It could be that he’s not aware how dissatisfied you are. That’s why a lot of this guide will focus on how to communicate your needs in an effective manner.
He Thinks You’re Not Treating Him Well
Perhaps he thinks he was already putting the most effort into the relationship, and he’s stopped because he felt unappreciated. This is an issue which can be solved with better communication about each other’s desires and feelings.
He Thinks You’re Smothering Him
If he feels smothered by all the time you spend together, he might hold back his affection as a response to this.
He’s Under A Lot Of Pressure And Stress
If he’s under a lot of pressure at work or in another part of life, he might be avoiding you to hide his bad mood from you. It might be that he doesn’t have the time or energy to fully dedicate to a romantic relationship right now. Or, even worse, he might be taking his bad mood out on you.
He’s Losing Interest
This is the number one explanation that pops into the head of a paranoid and insecure woman. It’s the fear that makes so many women panic when their boyfriend’s behavior changes. This fear makes them lash out at their boyfriend, rather than investigate his feelings calmly. As we’ll see, this does nothing to repair the situation.
It’s especially unhelpful when your boyfriend hasn’t lost interest in the relationship at all. There are many other explanations for a shift in your boyfriend’s behavior, so don’t immediately assume he’s eyeing up the single life or sleeping with other women.
When addressing this, it’s best to give him the benefit of the doubt rather than immediately jump to the worst-case scenario.
He’s A Commitment-Phobe
This is one of the more complicated explanations, but it’s particularly common in young men or those who were hurt in a relationship.
Guys like this will stop treating their girlfriend well or becoming emotionally close to them, because they’re afraid of being taken for granted or having their heart broken, even though they really do love her deep down.
Of the three attachment styles, a guy like this is most likely an avoidant.
You can learn more about dealing with an avoidant boyfriend in the following guides;
How Do I Get Him To Put More Effort Into My Relationship?
Below, you’ll find 23 tried-and-tested tips to encourage your boyfriend to put more effort into your relationship.
1. Don’t Hold In Your Frustrations
When you hold in your frustration, it boils inside of you. You carry it as tension in your neck and shoulders. It grows and ruins your mood daily. Eventually, it’ll escape as a huge burst of fury over one little thing. It’s better to calmly discuss your mild frustrations now and solve them.
2. Communicate When You Have His Full Attention
Ask for his full attention as soon as it’s possible. This is a serious conversation and should be treated as such.
3. Communicate As Teammates, Not Opponents
It’s not you vs. him. It’s you and him vs. the problem. Always explore how you can fix the problem together, so you’re both happy.
This is such a key attitude to hold when problems crop up in a long-term relationship. That’s why I’ll mention the concept of teammates and opponents a few more times in this guide.
4. Keep Your Temper
Avoid anger and bitterness. Find the emotional intelligence to communicate from a place of love and calm. If your boyfriend gets defensive and begins to raise his voice, don’t engage until he calms down too.
5. Focus On The Behavior, Not Him As A Person
He’s a great guy and you love him, but you’d like a specific act of his behavior to change. This should be the frame you approach the conversation from.
6. Be Clear About What You Want
Sometimes, in an effort to avoid conflict, we have a habit of dropping hints or making passive-aggressive statements to our partner. Avoid this. Be clear about what’s upsetting you and why.
7. Focus On Yourself
Make the conversation about what you need, not what he has to do. This subtle shift should help you to stop coming across as bossy or overbearing and make him more open to following the instructions.
8. Mention The Things He Does Do For You
This will stop you coming across as an ungrateful partner. It also helps your argument, because you’ll mention your boyfriend’s objections before he does.
9. Give Him The Benefit Of The Doubt
If you assume his mistakes were innocent, not deliberate, it helps the conversation feel like it’s coming from a team-mate, rather than an opponent.
10. Explore Your Love Language
Your frustration might stem from the fact you have different love languages.
The five love languages are:
- words of affirmation;
- quality time;
- physical touch;
- acts of service;
- receiving gifts.
If your primary love language is receiving gifts, while his primary love language is words of affirmations, he might not know how important gifts are to you. Meanwhile, you might be taking the romantic things he says to you for granted.
11. Mention Compromise
Once you hear his objections to your frustrations, explore how you can come to a compromise. This mention of this word will help to remind him that you’re on his team. Most people accept that compromise is key to a healthy relationship. If he’s unwilling to compromise, it might be time to start questioning his commitment to this relationship.
12. Choose Vulnerability
It’s tough to be vulnerable. You might feel the urge to put on a front during this difficult conversation. Ignore this urge. When you approach this conversation with no shame about your sadness, it should hopefully help to pull at your boyfriend’s heart-strings more.
13. Avoid Blackmails Or Ultimatums
Blackmails and ultimatums are a great way to come across as an opponent, rather than a teammate or a best friend. It’ll usually either make your boyfriend dig his heels in or submit to you out of resentment. Neither is a long-term win for your relationship. Use an ultimatum only as a last resort after you’ve exhausted all options.
14. Mention What You Don’t Care About
Maybe your boyfriend is working all day to earn the money to provide you with a lavish lifestyle. That’s the way he expresses love to try and make you feel special. If you don’t want all this money and would rather he had more free time, go ahead and tell him that.
15. Try Organising A ‘Date Night’
On the surface, it might seem somewhat unromantic to schedule a ‘date night’ into the calendar. Perhaps you’d prefer for him to schedule a spontaneous date night, because he wants to.
Well, sometimes it’s better to accept what you can get. A regular ‘date night’ to spend time together works for many couples, so don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
16. Expect To Be Taken Seriously
A common defensive move from a boyfriend is to laugh off your pleas, or to suggest you’re too needy and demanding. This is a self-centered move from him. Your job is to make each other feel loved. If you feel neglected, this is a problem you should both take seriously. It’s perfectly fine to reiterate this to him.
17. Remember You’re Not In A Relationship To Suffer
Some people think it’s normal to suffer in a relationship, especially among those who had unhappy parents or felt unloved throughout childhood. Sure, there will be ups and downs in a committed relationship, but there should be way more good times. Don’t forget this.
18. Go Above And Beyond For Him
This might be the last thing you want to do when he doesn’t make you feel special anymore, but swallow your pride and try it. Organise a huge romantic gesture for him to make him feel special. If he’s a good partner, he’ll want to reciprocate.
19. It’s Fine To Not Want Sex With A Guy Who Doesn’t Make You Feel Special
It’s not healthy to use sex as a weapon to get what you want. These mind games will only serve to create frustration and tension in your relationship. With that said, it’s perfectly normal for a woman to lose her sex drive if she isn’t made to feel special.
If your boyfriend complains about this, you can talk about how he makes you feel. Hopefully this will inspire him to change his ways.
20. Stop Making The First Move
Once you’ve explained that you don’t feel special anymore, take a back seat in the relationship for a few days, just to see if he’ll make an effort in the near future to show that you’re important.
Don’t ask what he’s doing on Friday night. Wait to see if he proposes something first. This will provide some insight into how important you are in your boyfriend’s life.
21. Spend More Time With Friends
Again, once you’ve explained that you don’t feel special, start making more plans with your friends and without him. Hopefully, he’ll realize that you’re slipping away and make an effort to win you back. If he doesn’t (especially after explaining your feelings to him), that’s a major sign that he’s not taking the relationship seriously.
It’s important to spend time with your friends and family whether you’re in a relationship or not. These loved-ones will make you realize or remember how people treat you when they truly care.
22. Focus On Self-Love
This is important, no matter how your relationship is going. It’s always good to keep a positive self-image, so you’re not afraid to walk away from a boyfriend who doesn’t treat you well. These self-love exercises should help.
23. If All Else Fails, Leave
It takes effort from two people to work to keep a relationship healthy. If you’ve followed the steps in this guide and this guy is still showing no obvious sign of changing, the only remaining solution is to walk away and find a guy who will make you feel special.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s round off this guide with the answers to some commonly-mentioned problems and frequently asked questions on this topic.
I Don’t Feel Important To My Boyfriend
Don’t delay talking about this with your boyfriend. Remember to approach the conversation as two team-mates, not opponents. Focus on how you feel and what he could do to help you feel better.
My Boyfriend Doesn’t Say Nice Things To Me
Honestly, it might be that he doesn’t think you need to hear them. If he does nice things for you, that’s how he shows he cares. Perhaps this is a case of mismatched love languages. Still, it doesn’t hurt to talk and tell him that you like to hear compliments on top of that.
My Boyfriend Never Does Anything Romantic
Was he romantic when you first started dating, only to stop after you left the honeymoon stage? This might not be a case of him losing interest, as much as he has become too comfortable in the relationship. Explain how you miss his romantic gestures and how you’d like him to keep making an effort to repeat these.
My Boyfriend Never Takes Me Out Or Buys Me Anything
Have a talk about why this is. Does he not have the time or the money for this? Does he think these things don’t matter, or has he started taking the relationship for granted? Once you understand his point of view, you can begin exploring how he can help to make you feel more special.
My Boyfriend Doesn’t Pay For Me Anymore
This is a contentious issue in long relationships. When should a man pay for his girlfriend? When should she contribute financially? Perhaps he paid for the first date and that has left you feeling unappreciated now he wants you to chip in.
The funny thing is: most couples hate talking about money. There’s no right answer, but it’s an issue that should be discussed like adults early on in the relationship.
My Boyfriend Doesn’t Make Me Feel Wanted Sexually
Your boyfriend could be dissatisfied with the relationship, or he could be suffering mental health problems on a deeper level. If the problem is just sex, this could be easily fixable once you gain clarity of the root cause. I’ve listed the possible reasons in my full guide on My Boyfriend Doesn’t Make Me Feel Wanted Sexually.
I Do Everything For My Boyfriend And Get Nothing In Return
If he’s one of these guys who likes to receive relationship benefits without giving anything, you need to talk about this immediately. Aim to reach a compromise where you feel more valued in the relationship.
What Are The Signs Of A Useless Boyfriend?
‘Useless’ is a harsh and insulting word, which won’t be productive to use in discussions with your boyfriend.
Still, to answer this question, I’d encourage you to list what you’re looking for in a relationship and which of these boxes he ticks. You can discuss this with him in a calm and formal manner.
If he’s a grown man who does absolutely nothing to improve your life, make you feel special or to help you enjoy each other’s company, it might be an idea to find a new boyfriend.
What Do You Do When Your Partner Doesn’t Feel Special?
Guys have feelings too, so what if the shoe is on the other foot?
If your partner tells you he doesn’t feel special, it’s your job to listen with an open mind and to reach a compromise to help him feel better.
Thanks for reading my guide. I hope you now feel more prepared to deal with guys who don’t put in the effort to treat you well.
If you have any questions on this topic, feel free to write them in the comments section below.
I love when my friends leave comments on the blog – and it would be great to hear from you.