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Is he losing interest? 22 signs and what to do about it

A few years ago, I was left heartbroken by a guy I loved. Whilst I was planning our future together, his attention had wandered far from me and our relationship.

At the time, I didn’t know the reason. I was confused, his behavior was weird and as things started to unravel, I did my best to win him back.

We still broke up but I learned a valuable lesson:

Know when to fight for your relationship and when to walk away. I wasted months trying to gain back his interest, but you don’t have to make the same mistakes as me.

So, that’s what I’ll be sharing with you below — signs he’s losing interest, what it means, and whether it’s worth doing something about.

Let’s jump straight into it:

1) He doesn’t ask questions anymore

At the height of your love, he couldn’t wait to hear about your day. Learning new things about you was a pleasure and he wanted to drink it all in.

Now though, he’s distant and seems to have zero interest in how things are with you. Even when something important happens, he doesn’t bother checking in or asking how it went.

What does it mean?

He may be caught up with personal stuff but the key here is to work out how long this lack of interest has been going on and whether it’s the only sign or not. If it’s because he’s lost interest, this is probably his way of letting you know it.

What can you do about it?

Be upfront with him. If he’s genuinely got a lot on his mind, he’ll understand your concern and share his issues with you.

On the other hand, if he’s simply lost interest, it might be time to have that tough conversation and figure out why he’s so distracted.

2) He’s always on his phone

When you first started dating, he’d put his phone away and focus all his attention on you.

He might have even apologized if he did have to take a call while you were out together, but now he couldn’t care less if his behavior is rude or disrespectful.

What does it mean?

Being on his phone is a distraction technique. He’s trying to avoid speaking to you and he’s chosen an extremely inconsiderate way of doing it. This shows that he doesn’t value the time you spend together and could hint that he’s on the hunt for a bit of fun elsewhere.

(If you are worried he’s playing away, this article on how to tell if your boyfriend is cheating might give you the answers you’re looking for).

What can you do about it?

Confront him about it. Don’t be worried about sounding paranoid or jealous, you have a right to know what’s going on and why he’s so distracted by his phone.

If he’s got nothing to hide, he’ll give you a reasonable explanation. If not, it’s clear he’s not bothered about your relationship anymore.

3) He’s quick to pick a fight

Arguments happen but it’s obvious when someone looks for the tiniest of reasons to pick a fight.

It might seem like he’s deliberately pushing your buttons and finding ways to hurt you, even though you try to remain patient and talk things through.

What does it mean?

There are periods in every relationship where you’ll fight more than usual. If he’s stressed out at work or having a tough time in general, he might take it out on you.

But if it happens all the time and other signs on this list ring true, it’s more than just a temporary bad patch. He’s probably hoping you’ll have enough and break up with him, to save him having to do it.

What can you do about it?

Staying in an emotionally stressful situation for too long can take its toll on you. It’s not healthy to be around someone who blames and fights with you for no reason simply because he doesn’t have the guts to end it.

In this situation, you need to put yourself first and put this to an end. His behavior is irrational and there’s not a lot you can say or do to make him stop.

4) He’s always defensive

You could ask him a simple question and he’d flip out and accuse you of being on his case. You might feel anxious to even speak to him because you’re not sure how he’s going to react.

What does it mean?

Being defensive is usually a sign that a person feels threatened. It could be that he feels trapped in the relationship and he’s acting out because of his frustration (rather than feeling physically threatened).

What can you do about it?

To find out what’s going on with him, you need to try and get him to talk. Approach him for a casual chat, keep it light but raise your concerns and find out what’s making him so unhappy.

5) He never makes an effort

At the start, he would do his best to impress you and take you on memorable dates. Now, that’s long forgotten and you can’t remember the last time he went out of his way to make you smile.

What does it mean?

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together if he stops making an effort, it’s a sign he’s losing interest. By not making an effort, he’s putting distance between you (that’ll quickly end the relationship).

What can you do about it?

Communicate how you feel, and find out why he’s lost his mojo.

If he can’t give you a valid reason, you need to consider whether it’s worth sticking around to see if anything changes, or if it’s time to break up.

6) He’s full of excuses

When it comes to spending time with you, he’ll have a ton of excuses lined up. If you ask him why he’s home late from work, he’ll have a story prepared.

You’re not sure if he’s truly busy or just determined to avoid you but the excuses are becoming lamer and lamer.

What does it mean?

He’s making it clear that you aren’t a priority to him — without saying it outrightly.

Whether it’s because he’s got something to hide or he’s genuinely going through something, if he cared and valued you he’d be honest.

What can you do about it?

Unless he can be honest and upfront, you’ll never know the real reasons behind his excuses. But one thing is for sure — if he’s this determined to avoid spending time with you, it’s not a good sign.

Also, check out these things to do when your partner doesn’t have time for you.

7) Sex feels like a distance memory

Having sex less frequently is quite normal amongst couples as they evolve in their relationship, but if you’re not having sex at all and it’s at his insistence, there’s an underlying issue here.

What does it mean?

The truth is, there are many reasons why your boyfriend doesn’t seem interested in you sexually.

He could be distancing himself from you down to a lack of physical connection. This might also be linked with feeling emotionally confused, so avoiding sex is his way of avoiding his feelings.

What can you do about it?

Approach the subject sensitively. If he’s genuinely got a problem that’s affecting your sex life, you may be able to work together and overcome it.

But if he isn’t willing to work through it, it’s a sign he’s losing interest in you.

You should never have to fight to make someone find you attractive, so at this point, it might be best to walk away from the relationship.

8) He’s lost his spark

When he was invested and happy in the relationship, it showed.

He was passionate about life and everything seemed to be magical and glowy. Now though, he seems unmotivated and uninterested in everything, including you.

What does it mean?

If he’s unhappy in the relationship, but suppressing his feelings because he doesn’t want want to break up with you, it’ll show up in his general enthusiasm toward life.

What can you do about it?

If there’s something specific in the relationship that can be improved, you might be able to work things out.

But if he’s simply lost interest in you and won’t be honest about it, you shouldn’t waste your time trying to cheer him up.

9) Everything you do seems to annoy him

It doesn’t matter how much you tiptoe around him, if he’s losing interest in you, he’ll find you annoying.

You’re breathing too loud, you didn’t turn off the bathroom light, you name it. The pettiest of things will turn into an argument.

What does it mean?

Sometimes, people lash out when they’re burnout.

If he’s extremely stressed or overworked, he might find the smallest things annoying but you’ll only know this by asking.

What can you do about it?

If it turns out to be a work problem, discuss ways that you can support him (and for him to have more patience and stop taking his stress out on you).

If it turns out that he just doesn’t like you anymore, well, you know what to do…

10) He avoids spending time with you

We’ve already covered having lots of excuses, but sometimes, a guy will genuinely make himself busy just so that he doesn’t have to deal with his relationship.

So, you’ll be confident that he’s telling you the truth and he’s busy at work, but the question is, why isn’t he freeing up time to spend with you?

What does it mean?

It could indicate that he doesn’t view the relationship as worthy of investing his time in anymore. Most people can’t wait to finish work so they can catch up with their partner and unwind, so it’s a sign of trouble if he’d rather work than be with you.

What can you do about it?

Try to get to the heart of why he’s always so busy. If he’s playing an avoidance game, you’ve got to take the reigns and decide what’s best for you.

Give him a chance to explain himself and then move on if he’s not willing to make more time for you.

11) The relationship has become one-sided

Do you feel like you’re the only one making an effort?

When it comes to date nights, making plans, even the basics of just communicating, it feels like he’s checked out and given up his role in the relationship.

What does it mean?

The sad truth is, if he doesn’t respect his role and commitment to the relationship, it’s because he doesn’t have any more feelings towards you.

It’s hard to hear but better to know so you can move on with your life.

What can you do about it?

You should have a conversation with him about it, but remember, it’s not your job to teach him how to be in a relationship, especially if it wasn’t one-sided at the start.

12) He stops making plans for the future

Couples usually look forward to having holidays or special events planned for the future. It gives them something to look forward to.

But if he stops making plans altogether and seems hesitant to commit to any plans you make, it’s a strong sign he’s losing interest.

What does it mean?

He doesn’t see a future with you. There’s no nicer way to put it, unfortunately.

If he’s lost interest, he’s not going to waste his time making plans with you, unless he’s a real jerk who plans on canceling on you at the last minute.

What can you do about it?

You can’t force someone to commit to you.

If he won’t be honest with you about his lack of feelings, do yourself a favor and spend time with those who truly appreciate and value you.

13) He’s never affectionate

Some guys are more affectionate than others, but if he used to be all over you and now he barely kisses you goodbye, you’ve got good reason to be concerned.

What does it mean?

A lack of affection can come from having a weak emotional connection, so it’s clear that he’s feeling disconnected from the relationship.

It might also happen if someone’s been unfaithful; their guilt might make them pull away from being intimate with their partner.

What can you do about it?

As with most of the points in this article, talk about it!

It wasn’t always like this, so if there’s a way to repair the relationship it must begin with honest conversations. That is if he’s willing to talk about it.

14) He stops making an effort with your friends and family

An obvious sign that he’s losing interest is when he stops making an effort with your loved ones.

You see, whilst he was all loved up, he would do anything to stay in their good books but now things have changed and it feels like an effort to make him come to social gatherings.

What does it mean?

By neglecting them, it could be that he’s planning to end the relationship and this is part of his winding down strategy.

What can you do about it?

Is he simply overwhelmed? Or is it deeper than that?

You’ve got to find out what’s causing this lack of enthusiasm and see if there’s a chance to repair it. Otherwise, if he’s just not bothered anymore, stop wasting your time.

15) He never bothers to call or text

And not only does he suck at texting and calling now, but the fact that he’s probably always on his phone shows that it isn’t out of forgetfulness.

He would have once texted to see how your day was or called when he was running late. Now, you’re lucky if he even bothers to read your messages.

What does it mean?

This usually depends on the type of relationship you have.

If you live together, naturally you’d text less anyway, but if you’re still in the early days of your relationship, his lack of response shows his interest has faded.

What can you do about it?

If you’re in it for the long run, you need to see whether he is too.

If not, you can’t spend your entire relationship waiting for a text back, so make your feelings clear about this.

16) He doesn’t pay attention to you

It’s the small things that matter in a relationship, like paying attention to the details of our partner and making them feel seen and appreciated.

So, if he’s stopped giving you any form of attention, you’re quite right to feel worried.

What does it mean?

By not paying attention to you, he’s sending a clear signal that he’s not interested anymore.

If he was genuinely busy or had a lot on his mind, he’d have the decency to explain the reasons behind his rude behavior.

What can you do about it?

Don’t resort to fighting for his attention, it’ll just end ugly.

The truth is:

You shouldn’t have to beg for anyone’s attention, let alone your partner’s. If he isn’t willing to walk away, nor improve the relationship, maybe it’s time you make that decision.

17) He keeps conversations light and general

Do you notice that he closes up the moment the conversation heads into deep waters?

He’s okay to talk until a certain point but anything personal or relationship-related makes him clam up and change the subject.

He might even get annoyed if you mention topics he’s sensitive about but he never explains why it bothers him.

What does it mean?

Unfortunately, your guy is avoiding getting closer to you. It’s like he’s putting a brick wall up to separate you from his vulnerabilities.

Either he’s got real trust issues, or he’s not willing to open up because he’s not that interested in you anymore.

What can you do about it?

If you can persuade him to talk about it and it turns out to be trust issues, you can encourage him to get help (with your support).

But if it’s because he’s not willing to commit and truly be with you, then you’ve got to be honest with yourself about whether this relationship is worth continuing.

18) He flirts openly in front of you

Some guys are naturally flirty, but you’ll know if that’s the case since he’ll have always have been “out there” since you first met.

But, if he’s recently started pushing the boundaries – chatting up women right in front of you – he’s lost respect for you and the relationship.

What does it mean?

There’s always the possibility that he’s doing it to make you jealous, but even so, it’s still immature and disrespectful. If he’s losing interest in you, he might be doing it to make you break up with him and save him from being the bad guy.

What can you do about it?

Call him out on it. When he’s blatantly flirting in front of you, question him on it so he can’t avoid the conversation. Be clear about what your boundaries are, and if he’s not willing to talk honestly about it, maybe it’s time to move on from this relationship.

19) He rarely tells you he loves you

If he’s not confessing his love to you at every opportunity, he doesn’t love you enough (or at all for that matter). Especially if he used to be very vocal about his feelings but now it’s rare to hear him say those three magic words.

What does it mean?

His feelings towards you might have changed and he’s struggling to tell you. That’s why he’s stopped saying he loves you because he doesn’t want to hurt you more by lying.

It could also be his way of trying to bring the relationship to a “natural end”. This quiz on if he’s pulling away might help you work out what’s going on.

What can you do about it?

It’s hard to process the thought that someone you love doesn’t feel the same way but you’ve got to do what’s right for you and your heart.

Think of it this way, staying with someone who doesn’t love you is holding you back from finding the right guy.

20) Date nights are a thing of the past

When was the last time you spent some proper quality time together?

Whether it was cuddled up at home, or out on a weekend getaway, if you can’t remember the last time you “dated” your boyfriend, it’s not a good sign.

What does it mean?

This ties in with many of the points we’ve covered — a lack of attention and affection, and not making an effort with you.

What can you do about it?

Maybe it’s just a case of the spark dying out in the relationship, and some spontaneous fun is what’s needed to reconnect you both.

However, if any of the other points in this article resonated with you, there’s a good chance he’s losing interest and still won’t make an effort.

21) He hides away from the “relationship conversation”

Most guys tend to avoid the “relationship chat” for as long as possible, but they usually give in once they realize how strongly they feel about their partner.

They recognize that for the relationship to move forward, these talks need to happen so both partners know where they stand.

What does it mean?

If he’s adamant about not speaking about your relationship, it shows he’s not committing to you. Maybe he doesn’t want to admit that he’s lost interest, or that he’s afraid of being in a relationship.

And there’s always the possibility he doesn’t know what he wants, and therefore he avoids the whole subject.

What can you do about it?

At some point, you’ve got to move on. If he’s unwilling to be mature and honest about where the relationship is heading, you’ve got to value yourself and do what’s right for you.

22) Your gut feeling tells you something isn’t right

Your gut feeling is a powerful tool and you should listen to it. The chances are, you’ve probably had an inkling that he’s losing interest and that’s what brought you to this article.

What does it mean?

All of his behaviors have shown you that he’s not interested anymore, and as much as you’ve been hoping that things will change, it’s time to accept what your body already knows.

What can you do about it?

Give yourself time to think about what’s best for you. Maybe you want to give him a chance to explain himself, in which case you should. But, know that walking away might be the best option, especially if he’s not willing to talk things through.

Getting your love life back on track

This might not be what you want to hear, but if he’s genuinely lost interest in you, nothing you do will win him back. If there is a chance, it’s going to take a lot of work and growth from both of you.

And I know just the thing to help:

This free video on Love and Intimacy will iron out any toxic relationship patterns you or your partner has.

It was created by Brazilian shaman Rudá Iandê. Drawing upon his shamanic practices and real-life lessons, he helped me understand why things went wrong in my previous relationships, and which red flags to look out for in the future.

So, we can wait and hope for our partners to improve, or we can get on with it and do it ourselves. Your boyfriend is losing interest, but what can you do about it?

I’d start with empowering yourself, working through your relationship hang-ups, and redeveloping your idea of a healthy relationship — all of which you can learn from the video.

That way, even if this relationship doesn’t work out, you’ll be better prepared to find true love and healthier relationships in the future.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

Final thoughts

The pain of realizing that someone you care about and love has lost interest in you isn’t easy to process. It took me a long time to get my head around it, and I wish I had known these signs sooner.

So, if you feel like you’re in the same situation, stuck in limbo waiting for him to be honest about his lack of feelings, I say take back control and make the decision for yourself.

Don’t allow a guy who doesn’t value you (or any guy for that matter) to make you feel unimportant and unwanted.

And if the idea of breaking up with him sounds too difficult, just remember there’s plenty of guys out there who’ll appreciate and love you, but you won’t meet them by staying in an unhappy relationship.

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Written by Kiran Athar

Kiran is a foodie, writer and traveler. She considers herself a citizen of the world, who gets her inspiration from the people she meets along her journeys. She's currently living in Spain, where she spends her time writing, watching the shepherds and eating tapas in the mountains of Andalucía.

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