I Don’t Feel Loved: Reasons And What To Do About It

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Being forgotten can feel like a deep stab in the chest. “I don’t feel loved” is a sentiment that could probably make you feel stranded in a labyrinth of sad emotions. The feeling, however, is not often unwarranted. It crops up after ignorance and dissatisfaction creep up in your relationship, in which you and your partner were supposed to walk hand-in-hand. 

This void brings us to a large question – is it the end of the road if you have been feeling less loved in a relationship? The answer lies in thoughtful scrutiny of your relationship. Do you feel like you have grown apart emotionally? Is the damage irrevocable? Or, are you still on decent terms and can tell your partner “I don’t feel loved?” This scathing phase is never easy to express. To understand it better, and find a way out, I talked to life coach and counselor Joie Bose, who specializes in counseling people dealing with abusive marriages, breakups, and extramarital affairs.

Why Don’t I Feel Loved By My Partner? 

“Lack of communication among partners, a diminished show of care which once glued the bond together, reduced involvement in daily plans that involve other people and taking partners for granted can make a person feel unloved in a relationship,” Joie said.

Lysa, an exam moderator, has experienced most of the elements listed by Joie. She claims that she has started to feel estranged from her husband, Mike. “I don’t feel loved by my husband because the spark seems to have fizzled out. We are not like we used to be – fun-loving and energetic. We would make an effort to do things together. Now, we have just slipped into a routine that includes copious amounts of television and takeout food,” she said.

Lysa has been looking for ways to deal with the “I don’t feel loved in my relationship” phase. She has been attempting to get Mike off the couch by getting him involved in hobbies – she finding ways to keep the spark alive. In a conversation over a cuppa, she told me that her tricks are not working and that it is driving her crazy. I told her maybe she has to assess why she is feeling unloved. Our conversation helped me zero down on some reasons.

1. Your partner has stopped sharing thoughts

“I don’t feel loved by my husband anymore because he has stopped sharing things with me,” Lysa complained, adding, “There was a time when I believe that we shared comfort because we were able to share things. Over time, it just fizzled out.”

A relationship has 12 stages of development. The initial months are often glossy. Partners share every minuscule life update. They introduce you to the things they hold dear and even become vulnerable. However, gradually, when they stop sharing things, it could make you feel irrelevant and make you go “I don’t feel loved anymore”.

 I dont feel loved in my relationship
You can stop feeling loved if your partner stops sharing things

2. You don’t feel loved anymore because they lied

Lysa said that one of the reasons why she feels unloved is because she has caught Mike lying. “It was one of those cliche things – he would return home late and tell me that he had work. Once his friend let it slip that they were out in a bar. I found out that this had become a regular thing for him. I felt bad that he was avoiding me. I don’t feel loved when I am faced with ignorance,” she said.

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It is normal for a person to reach the “I don’t feel loved in my relationship” phase when they catch their partner lying. No one expects their loved ones to lie. The moment they get caught could be sour and turn into a defining milestone. From here on, it will depend on how you take it forward. Will you confront and tell them “I don’t feel loved” or will you wait and watch?

Related Reading: 12 Signs Of A Lying Spouse

3. You don’t feel loved because your partner’s behavior has changed 

When your partner was courting you, he was probably the best version of himself. Then, you guys fell in love and got into a relationship. Time passed by and you realized that the spark between you was temporary. 

Your partner is showing sings of losing interest – and you have started feeling that he doesn’t love you anymore. In such circumstances, do you want to assess what went wrong or do you want to confront your partner? It is better to find answers to these impending questions. Because the longer you complain to yourself saying “I don’t feel loved anymore”, the longer you will be in pain. 

4. Your opinion is not considered

As Lysa deliberated on why she did not feel loved in her relationship, she concluded that it was also because Mike had started keeping her out of decision-making. She said that she had not signed up to be a part of unilateral decisions in their relationship. She had realized that Mike was using a lot of “I” and “me”, instead of “we”. This remarkable change in behavior put her in a dilemma. Moreover, she wondered if he was ignoring her for someone else.

“I don’t feel loved because of constantly being kept in the shadows. I don’t even know when he makes plans involving the both of us. The other day he told me that we were supposed to attend a dinner at one of his senior colleague’s place. Now, this person I do not like. But Mike signed me up for it and told me about it very late. While I did want to support him, don’t I get a say in plans?” she said.

5. You may not feel loved if he stops introducing you to his friends

In the initial phase of your relationship, your partner was so keen on making you a solid part of their life that they introduced you to their favorite friends and family. They wanted you to be accepted by their loved ones. However, after one or two meaningful meetings, you have seen this urge to make effort wane away. It has made you worry that they are losing interest in you. This could make you feel unloved in a relationship.

Related Reading: Every Guy Has These 10 Types Of Friends

Ways To Deal With Not Feeling Loved In Your Relationship

Joie said that “unloved” is a personal feeling and so it is upon the individual to take charge and deal with it. “It is your responsibility to let the other person know that you are feeling unloved. And at the same time, you need to clarify and manage your expectations. Then, you could create situations that will allow your partner to shower you with love and care,” Joie said. 

She added, “You must also make an effort – or if you are being shown love, you could reciprocate to the fullest. If you don’t, you can’t expect your partner to do the same.” I talked to a few more people who had hit a rough patch in their relationship. They devised their own tips and tricks to overcome their problems.

1. Ensure you are happy with yourself 

Sometimes, we tend to overthink smaller things in all aspects of our lives, including relationships. It happens when we lack confidence or are dealing with bad past experiences. It has happened to me – I have said I don’t feel loved anymore, because my partner was not responding to me on time or that I was simply overthinking some things. I thought that my relationship was too good to be true. I would constantly find things to worry about. It was perhaps a little to late when I realised the overthinking ruins relationships.

“Focus on the good things you have, not on the negative aspects. To feel assured, celebrate how lovely your relationship is. Share the love with others on social media, so that they can partake in your happiness. Go on dates frequently and spend time doing things that create memories,” Joie suggested.

 I dont feel loved anymore
Be self-assured to be able to take your relationship forward

2. Form new relationship traditions 

Shaniqua, a young hospitality professional, said that once the honeymoon phase of her relationship with Doug, a college student, was over, she wanted to declare: “I don’t feel loved by my boyfriend”. She said that they were going on lesser dates and having less sex. It was a big letdown for her compared to the initial period of bliss. However, she claimed that she knew this was not the end and thus came up with some traditions and ways to reignite the spark in their relationship.

“I could not keep on saying ‘I don’t feel loved’ anymore and not act on my insecurities,” she said, adding, “Doug is a little shy and I knew he would have found it difficult to restart the conversation. So, I started scheduling movie nights as we used to at the beginning of our relationship. It would often lead to intimacy. And guess what? This worked. We eventually started going out on more dates too.”

3. Tell your partner ‘I don’t feel loved’

Dealing with an issue in a straightforward way could bring unexpected and quick results. Telling your partner “I don’t feel loved” instead of sulking could help revive a conversation. Joie said that it was absolutely alright to tell your partners that you are not feeling loved. “Once you have told them, give your partner some time to change their behavior. You can also help them understand what you seek by confessing that you feel unloved,” she said.

But before you tell your partner that you do not feel loved, you may want to identify what is making you feel insecure. Has their behavior changed or have they stopped sharing things with you? If it is the latter, Joie has some advice for you.

“If your partner stops sharing things with you, have a conversation with them and make your expectations clear. A healthy relationship cannot manifest without people sharing their lives. This will raise doubt, and insecurity and make the other person feel distanced. Sharing enhances attachment,” she said.

Related Reading: 9 Things To Do When Every Conversation Turns Into An Argument

healing from a breakup

4. Take a break if you don’t feel loved in a relationship

Taking a break in a relationship does not have to be a negative step. It could be treated as a period of self-introspection – to figure out what is wrong. It must be looked at as a part of a relationship and not as a departure from the normal. Mileena, a martial arts trainer, and her boyfriend, Salim, a banker, took the break in the right spirit and used it to reset their relationship.

“It was time for a break in our relationship. We took a conscious decision to understand what was going wrong. We figured out what habits of ours were irritating each other. Salim was unhappy that I discussed our relationship in great detail with all my friends. In a way, he was right as after my versions of our fights, my friends had begun to feel that I don’t love my boyfriend anymore. That is not the case. I told Salim to work on his work-life balance, and he agreed. This break has given us a lot of hope,” said Mileena. 

5. Get a counselor’s help if you don’t feel loved

My friend, Klause, once confided in me about his marital discord. “I don’t feel loved by my wife,” he said, while we caught up over beers. This has been going on for a while. Klause’s wife, Tinah, is a hardworking and busy woman. They are what you would call the perfect couple – they look great together and are successful. You would want to be in their company. So, when Klause told me that there were some problems, I realized that it was hard for him. 

I advised him to talk to Tinah about his sentiments and that they should discuss it in great detail. However, he had been wondering about how Tinah thinks there are no problems and that by saying “I don’t feel loved by my wife”, Klause would create more problems. I told him to approach a counselor. 

A counselor can help you unspool your thoughts and help you find a way. Sometimes, the problems pressing down on you are not as huge as you think and even one session can start making a difference. Some exercises given by the counselors can help you understand where you stand and how you should find a way. Bonobology’s experts can help you with your issues. 

It is natural for a relationship to have ups and downs – for a person to think “I don’t feel loved”. However, instead of letting this problem cloud your mind, you could take charge and find out what’s leading to the problem. You could start working your way up and once you see even a glimmer of progress, I promise you will feel better. 

FAQs

1. Is it normal to not feel loved? 

Relationships do not have a uniform road. Think of it as a mountainous pass instead – it’s a winding path with ups and downs. Thus, it is normal to feel unloved in a relationship. However, if you have been feeling so for a prolonged period of time, you could start a conversation with your partner. Be mellow with your words and do not let emotions get the best of you. 

2. How do I make myself feel loved?

If you feel you have gone off your partner’s love radar, you could try reintroducing some traditions back into your relationship. Think of some things that you did in the initial days of your relationship and get them back into your relationship. Arrange for dates, make more love. Once they reciprocate, you will feel loved.

Feeling Unwanted In A Relationship – How To Cope?

9 Signs You Are Comfortable In A Relationship But Not In Love

15 Ways We Push Love Away Without Even Realising It


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