Get a Man to Put More Effort Into a Relationship

Edited by Donna, Eng, prerna, Anonymous and 10 others

If you have been in a relationship for a number of months, or even years, you may find that your boyfriend is paying less attention to you or taking less interest in your life. He may not spend as much time with you as he used to. He may not be as well groomed for you or court you as avidly as he did when you first began your sexual relationship. You might also be experiencing sexual rejection or a lack of affection, less talk about your future together or feeling left out of events and activities that you would consider to be fun, if only you had been invited.

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If your man is taking you for granted, here are several measures you can take to recapture his interest, make more time for you and "raise the relationship bar" so that he must put more effort into the relationship or risk losing you to someone else.

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It takes effort to cultivate a healthy relationship with a happy future.

First you should examine your own behavior to see how you allowed yourself to be in this disempowering situation, and how you contributed to it.


How Are You Allowing Him to Treat You Like That?

When people take us for granted or treat us badly, it means that we are communicating some kind of subliminal message that this is okay. It is NOT okay.

Examples of disempowering behavior and actions that may tell him that it is okay for him to continue in this vein are -

  • Letting yourself go physically or in any other way may cause a man to have less respect for you. They are visual creatures and tend to lose respect for people who seem to have low self-esteem and do not seem to have respect for themselves.
  • Tolerating less than civil conversations, allowing your opinion and your point of view to be dismissed.
  • He has a sarcastic ways of communicating with you, and you don't react.
  • Shrugging it off if he stands you up or breaks promises instead of confronting him, and letting him know this is not acceptable.
  • Displaying jealousy of other women.
  • Apologizing to him for things you have not done or said "sorry" all the time as if you were apologizing for your existence.
  • Acting like a child or addressing him only in baby talk.
  • Nagging him about how he spends his time or probing him about his whereabouts.
  • Portraying yourself to him and others like a victim in the relationship.
  • Rescuing him or making excuses for his bad behavior every time he disappoints you.
  • If he is an addict or alcoholic - enabling him can have him lose all of his respect for you, even though you are technically doing what he wants you to do.
  • Texting or calling him constantly in an obsessive or possessive manner
  • Exhibiting or talking about a fear of abandonment, as this is what tells him it is very easy for him to control you and make the rules of the game because you will do anything necessary to keep him in the relationship.

These behaviors may make the guy believe he has you forever and that "he will never lose you no matter what." You are making agreements with him that he can treat you any way he likes and sending him the message that if he does leave that he has nothing to lose.

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Low self-esteem leads women to tolerate unhappy relationships where the man takes her for granted. Photo by iri Hodan.

Your goal to reverse the emotional axis of power in your relationship and make him come to you with willing and open arms and a promise of a future together rather than with the attitude that you are an option if nothing else works out. This important change begins with you, and working on yourself so that he is only allowed to respond to you in ways that attend to the cultivation of the relationship.

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Develop A New Emotionally Mature Mental Set Point

There is nothing sexier to a man than a woman who is emotionally mature, serene and who knows what direction she going in her life. Men love the thrill of the chase and are most attracted to a woman who does not let her options be limited by what men have to offer her. Although it is true that men love to be the rescuer, like a Prince Charming, on occasion, it is also true that they want a partner who has high self-esteem and brings something alluring and of interest to the table rather than a load of financial and emotional problems from the past.

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Although it is true men do tend to be attracted to looks when it comes to finding a sexual partner, they tend to choose smart, independent women as lifelong partners and once you are in the relationship, your goal is to make him commit to cohabitation or marriage.

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Being positive, happy and preoccupied with your own affairs is attractive and sexy. Photo of a politician and business woman, Sabine Uitslag by Marije Weterings.

The deepest transformation you can make as an individual is from within, is to develop a new "emotionally mature mental set point", as this will not only change your appearance and attractiveness, but also the attitudes of those around you.

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Here are some steps you can take to raise your self-esteem, establish new boundaries with your partner and develop a more emotionally mature Outlook:

  • Tell yourself that no matter what happens, you will always be okay because you can always handle it with or without a man. This will communicate a message to him that you are not a needy little girl, but a self-sufficient, capable woman.
  • Drop any resentments or anger that you have towards him and do not mention the past or outstanding issues when you see him, as they are minor compared to the huge issue of his commitment to your relationship. This will help you emanate an air of optimism that he will likely find attractive.
  • Work on yourself instead of your relationship and address any weight or dental issues so that you are more attractive to yourself and others
  • Cultivate a daily attitude that exudes confidence and self-respect by always being well groomed, nicely dressed and ready for anything. This communicates to him that you still consider yourself to be "a catch"
  • Talk less about yourself and more about current events and topics that interest everyone.
  • Refuse to take the bait that will start an argument. Instead, display an excellent sense of humor as this changes the rules of any power games he may be using to keep your relationship on the back burner
  • Resist losing emotional control in front of him by taunting, teasing, threatening or using emotional blackmail; when upset show indifference and leave.
  • Walk around like you are invincible, even if this is not true" fake it until you make it.
  • Show that you are so busy with your own life that he is lucky that you have time for him". Be a bit inaccessible; this makes you seem like more of a prize.

The point of this exercise is to "put yourself first so that others will do the same." If he sees you putting yourself last then he will put you last as well.

Pay attention to your priorities and not his". Do what is best for you!

How to Train Him to Put More Effort Into the Relationship

Training a man to respect you and put more effort into the relationship is both a matter of self-discipline (training yourself not to tolerate this current damaging lazy attitude) and disciplining him (to teach him boundaries and to value you). You are in effect changing the rules of the power dynamic in the relationship, forcing him to put more work into it, and creating a situation where you will never ever find yourself in a position where you are begging for attention.

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Make things more romantic by asking him to bring you flowers like he used to do. Photo by Adrian Sampson

Here are the behaviors you should exhibit to train him to be appreciative of you:

  • Be a bit inaccessible and not always available for a visit or a date, as this will make him feel like he is losing his "power" over you, and you take more work than he thought.
  • Do not return every single text; limit your texts to him. Many men who take women for granted use cell phone communication to string them along rather than deal with them in person.
  • Be cool and know when to be quiet; cultivate saying the right thing at the right time.
  • Ask him to bring you home flowers and make and excuse not to see him if he doesn't.
  • Demand only the best from him and that includes everything from choice of vehicle to ride into the restaurants he takes to you to " no more cheap dates at MacDonald's because you have become comfortable as a couple.
  • Never shame him; show disapproval only by becoming more and more distant from him emotionally.
  • Dress in lingerie and as seductively as you can when you retire together to bed at night.
  • If he does something right, then praise him and reward him with affection, and if he does something wrong, make yourself unavailable without much explanation.
  • Without expressing a need for him to rescue you or parent you, you can allow him to express gallantry or courtesy for you such as opening doors for you and pulling out your chair for you at dinner", which you can let him pay for.
  • Refuse to engage in power struggles with him; you are too classy for that now.
  • Appeal to his better side by encouraging him to volunteer in activities that better the lives of others, such as food drives and other charitable acts ". This will help you "get away from yourselves" as a couple, and do something rewarding together

When All Else Fails You Need to Give Him An Ultimatum

Sometimes it's impossible to convince a man of your word unless you play the ultimate card in the power game of love, which is to simply give him an ultimatum. In essence, this ultimatum is "Either you put more effort into this relationship or I go."

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Set the scene for an ultimatum about your future together by meeting in a romantic place for dinner. Photo by Clousmagz.

This does not have to be an abrupt conversation. Actually, the best scenario you can put together for this situation is to invite him to dinner. Tell him the purpose of the dinner is to discuss your future together.

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Once he is given this invitation he has the choice of either accepting or refusing the invitation. You might get a passive refusal in which he belittles the formality or dismisses the topic. He could even behave as if it is too much effort or an inappropriate thing or you do. If that is the case, tell him that the relationship is over.

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If this is his response, be candid but kind. Tell him it's just not working out.

If he agrees to have this romantic dinner with you, it is a good indication of his devotion to you. If he just comes over for "the good time", and does not address the issues at hand; putting more energy and time into the relationship, then you may also decide to leave.

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Once the ultimatum is given, it is your task to actually leave the relationship mentally, emotionally and in terms of your lifestyle. It is now up to him to pursue you romantically.

If it is true love, the male usually responds immediately by at least claiming that he will change his ways or put more effort in the relationship. Once he does this, it is up to you to ask that he come back with a verbal or written plan as to how he sees the development of your relationship and building of your life together playing out in the future. Some men will be so threatened by this development and the threat of losing you that they may even propose.

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If he follows through on his promise to make more of an effort than you have made some progress. However, sometimes a man will just say that he will fulfill your conditions in order to keep you waiting for him on the back burner.

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If this is the case, you need to walk away. This means:

  • No cell phone contact.
  • No texting or emails.
  • No socializing with your mutual friends.
  • No lurking on social media to see what he is up to.
  • No planning on running into him 'accidentally' on purpose.

The point of this is to force your boyfriend to act, and if he doesn't rise to the occasion, then it might be time to end the relationship anyway

Tips And Tricks

  • If he pays for your cell phone or any other bills, be sure to show him you are serious by setting up and paying for your own accounts. This shows that you mean to cut ties with him completely unless his behavior changes.
  • If he has an addiction problem then it may be difficult for you not to excuse his behavior, but the bottom line is that he is emotionally unavailable to you and unable to proceed until he is drug-free or sober for at least a couple of years.
  • Treat the ultimatum dinner like an audition, where you are looking at him clearly and with a pragmatic, practical eye as to whether or not this person is suitable to play the role of husband with you in the future.

Questions and Answers

I am very stressed out as my boyfriend if not paying attention to our relationship?

I don't feel loved. He doesn't have time for me. Just fee I am at the bottom of his life list. I think it was caused by: Maybe I am fatty or he is confused or he doesn't want to be with me

He may not know how to show his love in a way that you will feel it. If you have regular daily contact with him then stop stressing and make an extra effort to show him love. It can get lonely to feel that you are not a priority but instead of complaining to him, shower him with love and attention. If after a few weeks he is still not opening up the way you would like, then move on.

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Do not downgrade yourself with your physical appearance. He is with you for a reason and if you feel unattractive that will be portrayed to him negatively. We all have our days where we doubt our outward appearance but make the effort to feel attractive because 75% or more of "pretty" is a person's attitude and demeanor. If you do not feel attractive he will subconsciously begin to pick up on that.

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My boyfriend is being sort of... distant?

We haven't been dating long (my version of long is like a year) and he's starting to act different from the beginning of our relationship. By different I mean not calling me as much as we used to. Still the same personality, I just feel like I'm putting in all the work. I feel like I'm being clingy, what do I do?. I have tried: Starting the conversation with something he can obviously answer to. Also, planning dates.. I think it was caused by: I have to say this but I hope it isn't true- my clingy mood? Me calling him and then texting him something to start a conversation if he doesn't answer?

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This may be how he acts when he feels secure in a relationship. Since you are worried about coming across as clingy, start making plans with your friends. Take up a hobby that you are interested in or read a good book series. Do whatever it takes to give him some space. Relationships often settle this way where one person is doing all the communication while the other seems to not care. He might start to notice that you are texting or calling him less and realize that he has gotten too secure.

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Having problem in my second marriage?

Hey, I am having problems in my second marriage. My husband does not pay attention to me and always listens to his mother. He promises me to take me out and then forgets the other day. He has kept my calls blocked on his cell phone. I don't feel comfortable with his behavior but do not want to end this relation also. I am always crying and begging for his love but he is not acting the way he should. I am getting ill because of this and feeling very low. I am married in a place where I have no friends to roam about too. Tell me the solution, please. However, internally I know he does love me. I have tried: I have tried being silent for a day. It worked out but again temporary effect. I have also tried ignoring him and getting back to my home but it again didn't last for many days. I have tried loving him very much and being according to him, but instead, he has taken me for granted. I think it was caused by: Maybe my irritating habits of forcing him to love me. He does not like my company, he does not like to take me out and I continuously force him and ask him to do so. He does not like my calls but I kept calling him like a fool and I guess 40 or 50 times a day because I feel like my life is just roaming around him only. If he is fine with me, then I am Okay and if he is not good, then I feel like everything is gone.

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Maybe it is time for you to go home for a longer period of time. Reconnect with your family and friends which will help you feel less lonely. It is hard to feel isolated and understandable why you would seek him out continually because he is the only person you feel connected to. Start joining some social groups like a book club or women's club. Check Meet Up to see if there are others in your area interested in the same hobbies. Once you make friends where you live, it will help your relationship. Right now your husband probably feels emotionally overwhelmed and needs some space so give it to him. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

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How do I get him to commit to me?

I've been dating a man for a few months now. He is quite elusive at times, doesn't really make plans but says he is so excited about us. I want a committed healthy relationship and that is my end goal. I feel like a hamster in a wheel the way we are going. I have tried: Pulling back, not being so attentive since there really isn't any commitment yet .. I think it was caused by: Sex too soon

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It has only been a few months. Many relationships are not full commitments until at least 6 months of casual dating. Stop putting labels on your time with him and instead enjoy him when you can hang out together. If it is meant to be then you will easily slip into a committed relationship. You can force someone to commit to you, it has to come naturally.

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I'm 11 and ik they say not to get caught up in boys and stuff but?

His name is Chris we've been going out for a year since April 16, 2015, and he says he loves me but he doesn't say it as often. I have to start conversations now, but he's in middle school now so I guess he's changed. I don't know how to tell him so I sent him this article but he says it's my fault because I said I love my best friend (which is a boy) I feel like in all my past relationships I have put the most effort in! what can I do to change that?

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You are 11. Seriously be 11 and take this time to enjoy your friends. Even though you think you understand love, the reality is that you have no concept yet of what that involves. This is natural to an 11-year-old. Even a 20-year-old is still learning about relationships. These experiences as a child/teen/young adult help develop you for a real serious relationship as an adult. Oh and you are putting all the effort into a relationship at 11 because boys are not ready for any form of commitment at this age. Take a page from them and enjoy your freedom and time as a young girl. You are too young to be upset about a boy!

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how do I get my boyfriend to see that the problems he has brought into this relationship are tearing us apart - he keeps fobbing all problems off?

together 10years on and off.. Every time we broke up he got a one night stand pregnant. 3 times. I stupidly give him another chance but the past 2 kids he ignored them problem until the girl message me and me and her sorted maintenance out. Now the 3rd girl has given birth and clearly I am upset ....(I miscarried his baby 6 years ago) I got upset and now he is mad at me? For getting upset? that is life and now we are arguing - see he is nice as pie to the one-night standers ..I understand that cause there is a baby involved (he just wants to pay and have no relationship with the kid) but he is mean to me? When I'm the one standing by him. Why?. I have tried: talking. Fighting, crying. Trying to make him see that he is treating me nasty. Try to be calm, but he doesn't see this as my business or see why I am upset. I think it was caused by: he only thinks of himself (turning back on 3 kids, treating me like crap. For 10 years I have tried to get him to save. He won't. He broke 3 days after payday so with 3 kids to pay for any of our future kids will go without cause their dad is broke 1st off and then having to pay for 3 kids.

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While you have spent 10 years with this person, you will never be happy. This is a hard thing to accept but you are with a guy that wants no relationship/involvement with three children he fathered with three separate women. RUN! It is time to break up for good. He will never change his ways and you need to stop putting all your energy into making him change. Instead find someone who will love and honor you properly. Sometimes a relationship becomes toxic yet we refuse to give up when we should. You should. If for no other reasons than he treats you badly and can't form an emotional connection to a child that he helped to create. These are major character flaws. Basically, you are his "fall back" plan with a paycheck and nothing more. I know that hurts but if you leave now you will save yourself and any future children some emotional pain in the long run.

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I'm putting more into us than he is and I don't know how to handle it?

He likes me and says he doesn't want anything serious but takes me out on dates and texts me every day. I'm very confused about what he actually wants from me and I'm too scared to ask.

Just go with the flow. It sounds like he is confused yet wants to be with you so for now, you will have to just accept that if you want to continue things with him. He is making an effort to take you out and communicate daily with you and these are good signs that he is definitely interested in you. Do not ruin this by insisting on putting labels before he is ready to.

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Is my boyfriend using my situation to take advantage of me?

Hi, I am 30 years. My situation currently is that I am married, but it's being 4 months living in separate with my husband, and I am in consideration of divorce because I couldn't handle the loveless partner. I am very matured emotionally and, independent, currently, I have a boyfriend, very loving person, matured, he knows how to get me all the times, and I love him. My problem is that I am the only person who makes the effort in this relationship, I call, I initiate the plans, where to go , what to do, I text. Now I am tired because it is like he is using my situation to take advantage of me, or he is just turning me to needed. I have tried: I once spoke to him about his position in this relationship. I think it was caused by: According to what I observe, he is a guy who used to be in relationship with old people who are so desperate than him, so they used to think for him, and do everything for him

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You are still married. Perhaps he is not putting any effort in because he is emotionally hesitant of getting hurt. You should also consider that he might just be a rebound that you are in the relationship too fast after ending your marriage. Many people make that mistake where they immediately begin looking to fill the void of a lost marriage only to realize that they are not getting what they wanted. Stop making so much of an effort with him and see if he changes. You might have to be direct with him and let him know that you would like a future with him but not with you making all the plans. Maybe you call a pause and work on yourself for some time. Make sure that you are not confusing companionship and attention with love. It is easy to make that mistake, especially after the failure of a previous lonely relationship.

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How to make our relationship better?

We stay really close to each other yet he does not even come by. At school during the break he does not even come to me when we are together, we don't talk much, and we don't even go on dates or anything, he does not even make any effort to have a fun relationship. He believes rumors and constantly gets jealous ... I have tried: I have tried to go to him during the break and talk to him, I've tried making dates but he just does not do any effort. I think it was caused by: He heard rumors about me and another guy but we cleared it up. He does not want to spend time with me!

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

My boyfriend has suddenly stopped calling me or texting me on his own and I have to make all the effort since 20 days. We have a relationship of 2 years and he has done this before but I am not sure what to do?

My boyfriend has stop calling me or texting me on his own suddenly and I have to make all the effort since 20 days. we have a relationship of 2 years and he has done this before but I am not sure what to do. We recently had a fight due to this and we broke up but after 3 days I called him and settled things. The situation though has changed we are in a long distance relationship since 20 days and he is busy due to his working in the office and the other important stuff. He replies me quickly though and is soft spoken to me too. Are these only my insecurities? or there is something wrong in our relationship. he did not called me even once, when I call him he cuts the phone and call me back as he always do. please advice me what to do? I am in a long distance relationship now. Few days back we were in the same city and now we are having complications. I have tried: Calling him, texting him, and obviously confronting him 2-3 times on the same topic. I think it was caused by: Me overloading him with texts. I do not call that much. I have a high esteem I do not call him so much even I do not nag sometimes he gets on my nerves, though. I text him he text me this is what is happening. I want him to message me first or call me first. I have stopped feeling wanted in his life. He, on the other hand, does not respond like he does not care for me or love me. He has stopped showing it, though.

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My boyfriend doesn't talk to me during day time only at night?

My boyfriend and me were together since 2 years then we broke up due to family issues then after year he came back apologizing everything was great he values me pampered me loved me... He is not committed as we have family issues but I can wait for it.. Now problem is he don't give me time he don't contact me full day now at night directly he calls then gives reasons I was here there etc I tried telling him all this but he just said nothing like that I've not lost interest in you but I really don't feel good for all this how to bring him back like before and make him talk to me want me. He gives reasons and says there is nothing like that I'm not ignoring you and says I'm over thinking nothing else. I have tried: I've tried to love him more to tell him more just texting him showering him with love always. I think it was caused by: I don't know really many say more love than needed I've given

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