Relationships
Lying awake thinking 'my boyfriend doesn't love me enough'? Here's what to do.

10 Women Weigh In On What To Do When Your Partner Isn’t Invested Enough

You are worthy of love and respect.

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One of the pesky things fairytales and romantic happy endings don't quite warn you about is the potential that the person you’ve fallen for and started a relationship with may not love you back in the same capacity. While the thought of unrequited love draws up imagery of big, dramatic tales of heartbreak from movies and novels, in reality, it might look more like your partner just not being as invested in the relationship as you. So, what do you do if you get the sense that your partner doesn’t love you enough?

“Make sure before you convince yourself it’s the end, you've tried to fix the problems — effectively,” Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, a nationally recognized psychotherapist and author of Training Your Love Intuition, tells Elite Daily. “Make sure you're not part of the problem and that you’ve spoken up about it. Then put your eyes on your partner: Has your partner really effectively tried to work on this problem?”

Before you decide to do anything about it, remember that it’s incredibly easy to get stuck in your head and jump to anxiety-fueled conclusions that your relationship is doomed — “my boyfriend doesn’t love me back” or “my girlfriend doesn’t want to be with me anymore.” But truthfully, the signs that your partner doesn’t love you enough are nuanced, and every case is unique. Here’s what 10 women on Reddit had to say about their different experiences.

Understand That People Have Different Love Languages
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I'm a lot more affectionate and hand holdy than he is. I also grew up in a household where we were encouraged to say I love you whenever we felt it. Because he doesnt display Hallmark Card romance sometimes it feels like he doesnt love me as much as I love him....until I look over and realize that for the past 6 hours he has been researching the best insulated pants to keep me warm while camping because I was cold last time. Because if that ain't love, I dont know what is.

u/chewbawkaw

Remember That Little Things Matter
I feel this. We show our love for each other in different ways. I'm very outwardly affectionate while he shows me he loves me by supporting me in my everyday life. He's not a "grand gesture" kind of guy, but he does smaller things regularly. It just feels like I love him more because I'm more dramatic about showing it lol

u/notnatalie

Determine Whether Or Not It’s An Issue Of Investment
I agree with what a lot of other people have said about different ways of showing affection. BUT I have been in long term relationships where I always felt that I was a little more invested in him than he was. It was just a terrible nagging feeling. The difference was that we constantly fought and I was the one who always ended up apologizing because I was too scared to lose him. When he finally broke up with me it was genuinely the most freeing thing and I felt like I could live for myself for once. That was a few years ago, I'm MUCH happier now in an equal, loving relationship. tldr; yes, we express love different ways, but if it feels unequal and they treat you unequally it's not healthy for your self esteem :)

u/astudyinbowie

Don't Keep A Scorecard
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This is one of those situations where you don’t keep a scorecard. We love each other deeply. We don’t grade it. We don’t get into who loves the other more as if it’s a competition. We feel it and see it. The way we show it to one another is different. It’s always acknowledged and reciprocated.

u/random_yoyos

Take Note Of How You Benefit Each Other’s Lives
We love each other differerntly for sure. I’m a way more romantically, all enocompassing love where “we” are pretty much my entire existence. He’s much more rational about it. The good thing is he gets romantic at times and I can see how we benefit each other outside of cuddling and warm fuzzy feelings so we do ok but simply Because I’m more emotional about it I feel unappreciated at times and feel like I love him more if that makes any sense.

u/madisonpreggers

Accept That You’re Going To Have ‘On’ Days And ‘Off’ Days
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I feel this way sometimes, but he’s just not a very physically affectionate person. We’ve been together for 5 years, and moved in together earlier this year (we would’ve lived together awhile ago but we were in college). Some days I feel like he loves me and other days I feel like he tolerates me, but I’m the same exact way. Some days he annoys the crap out of me, but overall I know that he truly does love me and I love him. So I think as long as you believe that on most days he loves you very deeply, then I think you’re okay

u/_madlibs_

Figure Out The Way You Need To Be Loved
I will say that I felt this way while in a five year relationship. The feeing never really went away that I loved him more than he loved me. However, he is my ex now. I never have felt this way with my current boyfriend of 2 years. Some people express love in different ways, and for some it breaks the relationship

u/katXOmichele

Know When It’s Time To Leave
I have felt that in past relationships, although in retrospect it was probably more that I respected them more than they respected me. I would ask how they felt about things and then tried to do stuff they liked, but that was never reciprocated, even though I told them outright that I liked this or this other thing they did made me feel bad (and I made sure to do this in a direct but lighthearted way, not during a fight or other stress). It was like they just assumed I’d always be there even if they put in zero effort. So I left. My current relationship is not like that at all - in fact, I’m really careful about what I ask for and what I tell him bothers me, because he takes it to heart and I don’t want to make him concerned over unimportant things.

/u/NeutralNoName

If You’re Feeling Unfulfilled, Don’t Stick Around
I am not now, but I was before. Ultimately, I ended the relationship because I felt like a beggar, constantly unfulfilled, and he felt incapable of giving me enough affection. That was almost 9 years ago, and we are dear friends to this day. My husband is very obviously the love of my life, and our dynamic has never included this unhappy geometry.

/u/TigerMcPherson

Understand That Not Every Relationship Will Be Flawless, And That’s OK
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Everyone wants 100%. But life isn't designed for 100%. There is always gonna be decimals. The numbers won't be equal. So I know the balance isn't equal and I'm okay with it. Life has so many parts to it, as long as we're above 75%, I'm content, don't need or deserve a Disney romance.

u/minusvminus

Being patient, as well as truthful and open about your feelings with your partner, will help you figure out the right path. “It is never okay to just accept the bare minimum from someone; it's called settling,” relationship expert and author Alexis Nicole White previously told Elite Daily. “Stand your ground and clear space for the real thing!”

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your personal needs are being met. If they’re not, and you have moments when you feel unvalued, always remember that you are worthy of immense love and respect. “Say to yourself, I am lovable,” Wish says. “You've got to be able to say, ‘I don't have to believe that. I don't need their approval in love. I can find it from within.’”

Love ebbs and flows, and levels of reciprocity might not always seem equal — even in the healthiest of relationships. If you’re truly fulfilled and happy, you won’t even feel the need to check the scoreboard for who loves who more.

Experts:

LeslieBeth Wish, clinical psychotherapist and author of Training Your Love Intuition

Alexis Nicole White, relationship expert and author