Knowing Why Your Partner Isn't Paying Attention to You

Updated 05/15/19

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When you’re feeling as though your partner isn’t giving you the attention you deserve, it can be incredibly frustrating, confusing, and hurtful. And if you constantly have to repeat yourself for him or her and can’t help but sense that your partner isn’t fully present when you’re together, this can take a toll on your relationship as well as your self-esteem. When you’re faced with this kind of less-than-ideal romantic situation, it’s time to take a closer look at your connection with your partner in order to determine the cause of this attention-grabbing issue.

1. Your Partner Is Losing Interest in You

One of the possible reasons that your partner isn’t paying attention to you is that he or she is mentally checking out of your relationship. When your partner no longer cares about what you say, doesn't value your presence, and doesn't seem to be invested in what’s going on in your life, it’s clear that he or she is taking steps towards living a life without you. If your partner isn’t giving you the attention that you need and deserve in a relationship, you actually need to find a new partner.​

2. Your Partner Is Mentally Distracted

Another reason that your partner isn’t paying attention to you is that he or she has other things on their mind that is taking precedence. For example, your partner may be swamped with a project at work or dealing with personal or familial issues that are taking up his or her mental energy and focus. And when your partner is heavily distracted by other commitments, tasks, and outside sources of stress and anxiety, it can be challenging to also direct his or her attention towards you.

3. Your Partner Is Always on the Phone

Speaking of distractions, another common cause of your partner’s lack of attention may have to do with the fact that he or she is always on the phone. For instance, if your partner is constantly texting, responding to emails, watching videos, and playing games on the phone, it can be quite difficult for him or her to also give attention elsewhere. And when your partner would rather listen to a podcast than listen to you, your connection can suffer as a result. 

4. You’re Not Listening to Your Partner

An additional reason why your partner doesn’t pay attention to you is that you’re actually the one who's not listening to him or her. If you’re a non-stop talker, are frequently talking over your partner, tend to interrupt him or her, and don’t make a real effort on your end to listen, he or she likely won’t want to listen to you. If your partner doesn’t feel heard or that what he or she says truly matters, then he or she isn’t going to spend much time trying to hear you. Going forward, make sure you do your best to actively listen to your partner and pay attention to what he or she’s saying as well as how he or she’s saying it.

5. You’re Not Paying Attention to Your Partner

Along these lines, if you’re wondering why your partner isn’t paying attention to you, it’s time to ask yourself if you’re paying attention to your partner. When you’re the one in the relationship who’s losing interest, is mentally distracted, or is always on the phone, you’re giving your partner the sense that he or she’s not that important to you. And you’ll likely receive the same kind of treatment in return. In order for your partner to want to pay attention to you, it’s imperative that he or she feels that you’re also making an effort on your end to pay attention.

6. You’re Constantly Putting Your Partner Down

If you’re wondering why your partner doesn’t pay attention to you, another reason may be your propensity to criticize him or her. If every word out of your mouth is an insult, critique, or disparaging remark, your partner is likely going to shut you out because of your overarching negativity and disdain in everything you say. While you should always feel free to express yourself and tell your partner what’s on your mind, it’s worth taking a second look at your communication skills in order to determine if you’re always on the offensive—and therefore are offending your partner. When you focus on the positive rather than the negative, your partner is positively more likely to pay attention to you. 

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