One of the best things about being in a long-term relationship is the feeling of comfort and security that comes with it. Sometimes, it’s nice not making an effort. Sometimes, it’s nice getting takeout and watching Netflix rather than getting dolled up for a big night out. But if you ever find yourself thinking, “My boyfriend doesn’t do anything special for me,” then you and your boo might just be in a slump. When your partner doesn’t ever plan dates, surprise you with gifts, get dressed up, or do anything to keep the spark in your relationship, it’s natural to feel a little neglected.
As Pricilla Martinez, CEO of Regroop Online Life Coaching, previously told Elite Daily, keeping the spark alive is essential, and it takes two to make it happen. “If you've been together a long time or have started to live together, you must remember to continue dating,” Martinez said. “Especially if you're living together, you need to remember that your partner is not your roommate.” Not sure how to confront a partner who never plans anything special? Here’s how to navigate that tricky conversation, because you deserve to be treated like a priority in your partner’s life.
Lead By Example
If you want your SO to treat you like the royalty you are, then you need to make sure you’re making them feel special, too. A person who’s feeling loved and appreciated is much more likely to make their boo feel loved and appreciated, right? “Make sure you’re stroking their ego and making them feel sexy,” Martinez said. “Give what you’re hoping to get and it will pay off.” When you start showering your SO with attention — both emotionally and physically — they’re far more inclined to return the favor.
There are endless ways to let your partner know how much you value your relationship. You can give them a massage while you watch TV, or you can do a load of laundry for them, or you can plan an elaborate date night complete with a chartered yacht and a full crew. While you don’t want to shower your partner with endless affection if they aren’t showing it back, you can help them see how you’d like to be treated by planning a special date or two.
Change Up Your Routine
A person in love will want to make an effort to impress their boo, and this goes both ways. While you likely won’t feel the need to always be on your A-game once you settle into a relationship with someone, it’s still nice to keep your partner on their toes. "Safety and predictability are important, but it’s possible to experience this while also having a relationship that feels enlivening and exciting,” Daniel Sher, clinical psychologist and a consultant for the Between Us Clinic, previously told Elite Daily. And if you fall into complacency, then you probably won’t find it worth your while to keep things enlivening and exciting.
When the dynamic between two people goes stale, it’s often due to boredom, both with the relationship and your daily lives together. Whether you get a fresh haircut, go on a shopping spree, or suggest a new place for dinner, making changes in your routine will make it clear to your SO you haven’t fallen into complacency in your relationship — and that they shouldn’t, either.
Spend Time Apart
If you and your partner are spending too much time together, then it’s possible they’ve forgotten all the things that make you special (and therefore no longer feel motivated to make an effort). According to Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, someone who spends too much time around their SO can start to take them for granted. “No more hand-holding, no light touches on the back, no gifts and important dates like anniversaries start to get forgotten,” she previously told Elite Daily. “This happens when you just don't feel like it, so you don't put the effort into keeping the connection alive.”
The solution to this is to spend more time apart than you usually do. Get a new hobby, hit up friends, plan a trip to see your family, or do anything that gets you out of the house and too occupied to see your boo 24/7. Chances are, they’ll realize once you’re no longer around all the time how they’ve taken you for granted, and they’ll want to put in some extra effort.
Use Positive Reinforcement
The most direct way to deal if your SO never does anything special for you is to simply tell them what’s on your mind. Worried about offending your boo? According to relationship expert Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, you can give your partner a positive example of a time they did something you really appreciated, even if it was small. "Bring up a positive experience with your partner," she said. "'Remember when you got me that pint of cookie dough ice cream because I was having such a bad day at work? That meant so much to me.' You're showing it's not the amount of money spent that matters, but being in tune with each other and thoughtful that matters."
Here’s hoping it’s only a matter of time before your SO decides to step it up, because you’re well worth it.
Pricilla Martinez, CEO of Regroop Online Life Coaching
Daniel Sher, clinical psychologist and a consultant for the Between Us Clinic
Cherlyn Chong, dating and breakup recovery coach
Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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