Neglect is one of the biggest reasons why so many long-term relationships fail. Once you’ve been dating for a certain amount of time, you start to feel comfortable with your significant other, and you stop trying as hard as you once did.
This could mean small things, like you stop dressing up every time you see them, you no longer pretend to love every single thing they do to you in bed and you start getting honest, and your date nights turn into more Netflix and chill and less dinner and a movie.
The progression from trying to impress someone to feeling more at ease with how much they like you is normal and actually necessary for a relationship to survive. Unfortunately, though, there is a thin line between comfort and neglect. If you’ve noticed that you’re bored, and that something seems off with your partner, it’s possible that you’re doing something to make bae feel neglected.
Of course, things might not entirely be your fault, but whenever we notice an issue in our relationships, we tend to assume it is the other person’s doing and not ours. Sometimes that’s true! But more often than not, both people are doing something wrong.
It’s important to examine your own behavior to see if you’re maybe doing something that is making your significant other feel ignored. That kind of feeling is what can lead to infidelity or breakups – and if that’s not what you want, you have to change things up a bit.
So, how do you know if your bae is feeling a little pushed aside? Here are a few signs you’re neglecting your significant other:
#1. They're standoffish
Studies have proven that the stereotype is true: guys really do shut down when they feel stressed or emotional. If your S.O. is a dude, and they've suddenly started pushing you away, being really quiet, not expressing their feelings, and acting more standoffish than usual, it could be because they feel neglected.
I know that, personally, when I feel neglected, I get whiney and needy. Guys, on the other hand, start to feel emotional, don't know how to handle it, and instead push you away. Not every dude, of course, but a lot of them.
#2. You always get your way, even if they seem annoyed
Neglecting someone means, among other things, ignoring what they want and need and only focusing on what you want and need.
Think about the last few times you guys have tried to resolve a decision you didn't agree on. Do you always get your way? Does your bae constantly break down and just give what you want? Do you find them just agreeing to what you want to do without much emotion or excitement? It could be because they're just rolling with the punches, doing what you want because they're so used to giving in, or giving in because they know they'll lose the fight anyway.
Compromise is a huge part of a relationship, and if you can honestly recognize that you haven't been doing that, it could be a sign your partner feels neglected. Try doing something for them for once, like watching what they want to watch, or participating in an activity they like that you aren't very interested in. If they get super grateful and happy, it could be because they're so used to the opposite behavior.
#3. You feel like they're always nagging you
Maybe you feel like your partner is constantly bugging you about little things - they're always asking you to do things that make you roll your eyes, they always want to hang out and make you feel stressed, they always want your attention and it's so annoying. Sure, it could be because they ARE nagging you, but it could also be the opposite: they're simply asking you to act like their partner, and you aren't.
We can't always see our bad behavior, it often needs to be pointed out to us. Be honest with yourself: are you actually ignoring their wishes? Not doing what they ask? Not showing up? If so, it's not really nagging - it's you neglecting them.
#4. You find yourself being overly critical
Okay, be honest with yourself: are you a little mean to your bae sometimes? Are you always criticizing everything they do? Do they often get hurt about the things that you say?
If so, it could be a sign that you're not only being too critical, but also, at the same time, neglectful. I have a friend who always does nice things for her boyfriend - and he always finds at least one thing to complain about. It leaves her feeling totally bummed, and kind of like an afterthought.
Pay attention to when your bae is trying to do something nice, and be thankful, even if it's not perfect.
#5. They're just... annoying you lately
We can all get annoyed with our partners once in a while in a long-term relationship. That's normal! But if you've noticed that you're constantly annoyed by them, like, all the time, maybe something is wrong.
If you're always annoyed at someone, it's only natural to push them away and neglect them a bit. Look at your behavior honestly, and you'll see if you've been doing that.
#6. You feel bored
The feeling of boredom often comes from neglect. People don't say "relationships take work" because they like to say it - it's true! Sometimes, it takes effort to keep a long-term relationship exciting.
If you aren't actively trying to keep things interesting, they're going to get boring - and that, in turn, can mean you're neglecting your bae and the relationship as a whole.
#7. Your sex life is not great
As with most other relationship issues, your sex life is affected by neglect. Do you guys not hook up as much anymore? Does the thought of hooking up make you feel bored? Are you interested in doing it? Are they always asking for it and you're always like, "nah?" Answer these questions truthfully!
#8. They've said it
If your bae comes out and says, "I feel like you're ignoring me," then, uh, you should listen. Unless they're exceptionally needy, people typically don't say this if they don't mean it.
Again, you might be blind to your behavior - maybe you need them to point it out in order to see what you're doing. Don't ignore them if they say something like that earnestly. Take it seriously and work on it.