My BF Doesn’t Do Anything Special For Me: How To Spice It Up

My boyfriend doesn’t do anything special for me. Why? Tips on spotting signs that our relationship is not what it used to be, and how to fix the problem.


It is quite common for girls to feel unspecial or the second choice in their relationship as if they aren’t as loved as they used to be. A lot of girls confess at some point in their relationship: “My boyfriend doesn’t do anything special for me.” Why does this happen? Why do guys often seem to forget how important it is to meet the emotional needs of their girlfriends? What can we do when facing this situation?

It can be frustrating to find yourself in a situation like this. As girls, we may feel clueless and hurt, not knowing how to communicate our emotions to our partners. We may also feel confused because we are uncertain of where things went wrong. We even may ask ourselves questions like “When did he stop loving me, did I do something wrong?”

Reasons why this happens

This is far more common than one would think, and it makes psychological sense. In the early stages of the relationship, attraction is all over the place and chemistry does the trick. This means that both parties do their best to appeal to and please their partner, establishing the beginning of what they hope to be a long-term relationship.

As the months go by, however, something happens that is known in psychology as habituation. Basically, it means that we gradually begin to take the other person for granted. As we get used to them, we no longer feel the need to impress them or prepare special details that will delight them.

A guy giving a gift to his girlfriend, making a surprise and closing her eyes.

Although we all eventually habituate to our partners and move out of the infatuation phase, that doesn’t mean we stop caring about our boyfriend or girlfriend. In fact, in a quality relationship, even when the chemistry diminishes, both parties still make the effort to surprise each other and maintain the spark.

It is therefore natural, on the one hand, that the excitement your boyfriend shows for you, along with the special gestures, diminishes over time. What is not as understandable is that your boyfriend neglects you, as if you were his second, third, or even last choice.

Guys often don’t understand what it means to not get enough attention and affection, as girls usually devote themselves to the task of making their boyfriends feel loved and special. So don’t worry, because to some extent it is natural to have this happen.

Let’s discuss now some of the signs and problems you may experience as a girlfriend regarding this issue, starting with the most important one on the list.

My boyfriend doesn’t make me a priority

You may gradually realize that your boyfriend prefers to spend most nights playing video games with his friends rather than having a romantic dinner with you. Or you may propose a plan only to have him turn it down because he’s already meeting up with those college or work buddies. Either way, it can be really upsetting to feel like you’re trying to spend time with someone who doesn’t treat you as a priority.

A group of men is having fun at home, playing video games.

It’s important to bear in mind that we all have responsibilities and hobbies besides our significant other. If your boyfriend sets aside one night a week to hang out with his lifelong friends, don’t take it personally! But if the pattern repeats itself to the point where you feel like you don’t matter at all, it’s important to let him know.

Guys have a hard time engaging in conversations about emotions; we all know they’re terrified of the words “We need to talk.” Okay, maybe the vast majority of us resent those words due to past experiences. But if there’s one thing psychology and emotional intelligence have taught us over the past few decades, is that communicating is key to the development and progress of any relationship – especially a romantic one.

It’s a possibility that your boyfriend doesn’t even realize what he’s doing wrong. He may be wrapped up in other thoughts or obligations, not stopping to consider how his actions affect you. That’s why,  if you never bring the topic up, things won’t change.

Expressing how we feel and what needs must be met in a relationship can be scary. “Am I asking for too much? What if he thinks I’m too needy and we end up breaking up?” But the reality is that the problems you’re facing right now won’t be solved without active engagement from both of you.

If you would like to be treated romantically once in a while, receive a few words of affection, or enjoy an intimate dinner, ask your boyfriend for it. Assertiveness is key in everyday life, and even more so in our relationship. We need to know how to ask for what we need, want, or expect from someone.

Be respectful and don’t attack him. Don’t say things like “You never do anything for me.” to your boyfriend because he will probably feel threatened. It is much better to formulate the request with something along the lines of; “I would like for us to spend more romantic time together.”

Other signs that your boyfriend is not being supportive

He doesn’t listen to you when you talk

Let’s face it. One thing that girls love is to receive attention and affection from their boyfriends. We could say that it’s the #1 need they have when it comes to establishing a relationship. On the other hand, that’s the whole point of having a partner; to know that he listens to you and supports you unconditionally.

Busy man on the phone ignoring his girlfriend.

If you feel that your boyfriend doesn’t pay enough attention to what you say, especially things related to your happiness, it could be a sign that he’s not being respectful to you. If, furthermore, when it’s his turn to speak he doesn’t spare words and expects demands that you listen to him, it’s definitely a red flag.

Someone not paying attention or not listening to you when you talk can negatively impact your self-esteem, especially if it’s your boyfriend. You may begin to think that it’s your fault, that you must have done something to deserve being ignored. But that’s not true. In a healthy relationship, both parties are invested in what the other has to say, even when the topic of conversation isn’t of great interest to them.

He downplays your emotions

This is a no-no. If your boyfriend makes you feel like you’re crazy or that your feelings aren’t legitimate, run away. Every emotion is valid; they are informative because they assess our situation and tell us if things are right or wrong. If everything is okay we will feel joy or peace. On the contrary, if something is wrong, we will feel sadness or anguish.

Girlfriend scolding her boyfriend.

When our relationship becomes strained, for whatever reason, it is completely normal for our sadness or anxiety to spike. These emotions attempt to warn us that something is not right. Of course, we don’t want to break up with our boyfriend. So we overthink about what might be going on.

These negative emotions -despite being negative, still valid, end up manifesting themselves in our facial expressions and behavior. If you try to communicate what you feel to your boyfriend, and he tells you that you’re exaggerating, or that your version is false, it’s a bad sign.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term gaslighting. If your boyfriend downplays how you feel, he is engaging in it. Even when it doesn’t necessarily imply bad intentions (the emotional education of guys is far from perfect), it’s no excuse for treating you poorly.

Even if we don’t agree with what our partner perceives or feels about the relationship, we must understand that they have the right to feel that way. Just listening to what they have to say can help them feel better. Then, we can express our point of view without belittling theirs. This is how healthy relationships work.

💔 If your boyfriend consistently tells you that you're crazy, overreacting, or trying to twist the facts, you're probably in the wrong relationship.

It seems that you are always the one to initiate the contact

It is normal for the initiation of contact, both physical and verbal, to be split between the two parties in a relationship. There are times when one person is busier or tired and vice versa. If 3 or 4 days out of 7 days a week you are the one to propose a plan or initiate a proper conversation, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. Especially if this has always been the relationship dynamic.

The concern may arise if you used to initiate conversations 3 days out of 7 and now you have to do it 6 or 7 days a week, with little to no effort on his behalf.

Stressed guy confiding to his girlfriend.

It is important to watch out for any changes in his life. He may be under a lot of stress, sadness, or suffering from a condition that causes him to be withdrawn. If this is not the case, which in many instances it is not, you can begin to assume that there is something wrong with your relationship.

He barely cuddles or intimates with you

Every relationship is different, and some people may place more importance on acts of service or romantic details over physical contact. Have you ever heard about love languages? Each one of us prefers to express and receive love in different ways. Some of us prefer words of affection, gifts, or physical contact. Everyone is unique.

However, even if the love language of both partners isn’t physical contact, it is still often a fairly relevant indicator of how things are going in the relationship. We all know that classic married couple who have been together for 30 years and can no longer stand each other. They end up sleeping on opposite ends of the bed without even kissing each other goodnight.

Young couple cuddling at home.

Of course, if our relationship is relatively fresh or we know for a fact that we still love each other, the marriage example becomes too much of an exaggeration. But think about the last few times you’ve had that nice, intimate contact. It could be lying in bed and caressing each other, engaging in a make-out session, or something even more intimate. How did it feel? Was it pleasant? Your intuition and your sixth sense can tell you much more than you imagine.

💔 If these affectionate contacts are lacking between you lately, or it seems like something's off when the two of you are together, listen to that little voice in your head. It can provide you with plenty of clues about the state of your relationship.

You are more like friends rather than lovers

If your boyfriend treats you like one of his buddies, it’s a bad omen. If he stops using affectionate nicknames like sweetie, honey, babe and starts calling you dude, maybe he’s not as interested in you as he was in the beginning. Even if he’s the type of guy who always calls his friends “dude” or “bro” when hanging around, what guy would switch from calling his girlfriend “babe” to “dude”?

She’s one of the boys.

Another sign is that you don’t spend romantic time together anymore. Movie nights wrapped up in a blankie on the couch? Gone. Now all you do is hang out together in the same room, check social media on your smartphone, or engage in different activities at opposite ends of the house.

It’s not uncommon in relationships to go from looking like lovers to simply roommates or friends. In many cases it has to do with the habituation process we talked about above. Other times the passion and spark fade and get replaced with friendship affection, which is not enough fuel for a romantic relationship.

💔 Be that as it may, if you feel more like a colleague of his than his girlfriend, it may be time to take a step forward and break up with him.

What to do when your boyfriend doesn’t seem to want to do anything with you?

Now that we’ve been through several signs of a damaged relationship, what can we, as girlfriends, do to avoid breaking up with our partner and save our relationship?

There are different tips for dealing with such a situation. However, the first thing you have to ask yourself is, “Do I really want to fix this? Do I feel strong enough for the effort I’m going to have to put into this?” If the answer is yes, and if you are still in love with your boyfriend, here are some tips to put into practice.

Talk, talk, talk!

As mentioned before, none of your problems will be solved without a meaningful conversation. It is important to approach the discussion as an opportunity to change what is wrong, not as criticism or an invitation to argue.

As long as you are calm and respectful, you can both express how you feel. You can say that you don’t feel special, that you don’t feel like a priority, that you would like to spend more time with him and enjoy more romance. He may respond that he didn’t realize what was going on, but that he will try his best to be more considerate of you. Or he may explain that he’s had some rough weeks and is sorry he hasn’t paid enough attention to you.

Being more pessimistic, maybe this conversation will lead to a breakup. But it’s always better than a long period of confusion and uncertainty.

Let’s be optimistic, though, and assume that you are both committed to change. Promises have to lead to results. Empty words are worthless. It is very important to remember this during the process. As much as your boyfriend tells you that he loves you and will make an effort to make you his priority, it is critical for his actions to match his words.

Spend more time together

After you’ve gone through the hardest and most uncomfortable part -the conversation- one of the first steps to take is to spend more time together. Quality time, though. It’s not enough for him to play a video game with his friends while you lie in bed watching and listening to him (this is more common than people realize).

When we talk about spending quality time together we mean putting aside distractions, such as the smartphone, and giving our full attention to our partner. The plan doesn’t have to be spectacular; just watch a movie together, take a walk through the most beautiful areas of the city, or enjoy a romantic home-cooked dinner together.

You need to work out an arrangement that works for both of you. Maybe you want to spend 4 evenings a week with him, and he tells you he is available for only 2. Through conversation, the most useful tool in a relationship, you can arrange that 3 days a week will be reserved for each other. By doing this, your affective needs will be met, without burdening your boyfriend or underestimating his needs.

Ask a friend for advice

Social support is key in our lives. If you have been struggling with your relationship lately, and you are no longer sure what to do, you can always turn to a trusted person for advice if you haven’t already done so.

A good friend will understand your point of view as well as your boyfriend’s, providing you with support and realistic advice. You don’t want someone who will blindly agree with you, and neither do you want someone who will downplay your problems. Remember the section where I explained that having a boyfriend who belittles your emotions is a very bad sign? The same goes for friends.

Even if the person you open up to doesn’t succeed in giving you advice, just having someone to vent to without fear of judgment can take a huge load off your shoulders and improve your mood. Being with people who love and appreciate us recharges our energy and the chances are that when we have to face the relationship crisis again, we will do so with a clearer mind.

Couples therapy

This option is often perceived as useless or exaggerated. And, let’s face it, it’s often resorted to by people who have been together for a long time. For instance, if your relationship is barely a year old, it probably isn’t worth the money, time, and mental effort it takes to go to therapy.

However, if you have been together for a long time and you both want to change, to return to stages in which you felt happier together, but you do not know how to do it, professional help always comes in handy. They have been trained and prepared precisely for that purpose, to help you recover the relationship you have missed lately.

When a relationship is strained, the process is certainly hard and emotionally draining. But, at the end of the day, if you love each other and are willing to fight for a future together, it will be more than worth it.

What if nothing changes and my efforts are in vain?

If this were to happen, and it’s a possibility, you must learn to put yourself first. You are too worthy to let yourself be walked over or dragged down by a person who does not give you what you need. When you have tried over and over again to make your relationship work out and, for whatever reason, it doesn’t, it’s time to let go.

A couple breaking up.

The process of realizing that a relationship is doing us more good than harm can be very hard. And it is likely to take its toll on us for a while. A breakup always brings along negative emotions and a process of adjusting to being single again. It is advisable to spend some time alone, to regain our strength and enjoy our own company, but everyone deals with these situations differently.


Realizing that our boyfriend does not provide us with the attention or affection we need can be very painful to handle. We should look out for other factors that will tell us if the relationship is seriously damaged, such as him treating us as if we were his friend or not listening to us when we talk.

We can try to repair the relationship by making a mutual effort to talk, respect, and understand each other. Spending more quality time together is fundamental, as well as preparing romantic moments to surprise our partner.

Long story short, detecting signs that indicate that we are not a priority for our boyfriend is key to implementing solutions to the problem. If nothing works, and we do not get what we need and deserve, it is better to end the relationship even if it hurts.

If you have any unresolved questions, feel free to leave a comment for us to resolve them.

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About Hugh Vinson

Hi there! My name is Hugh, and I am the owner and founder of GentlemenCenter. From Texas, USA, and with 2 sons in recent years I have had the experience of raising 2 young men. I am here to share my experiences with you, and help you with any questions you may have!