People who give the bare minimum effort in their relationships usually display these 7 behaviors

There’s a vast difference between investing yourself fully in a relationship and just barely scraping by with the least amount of effort.

The distinction boils down to attitude. People who give the bare minimum are often just trying to maintain the status quo, without really plunging into the depths of what a relationship truly entails.

These half-hearted individuals typically exhibit certain behaviors that betray their lack of commitment. And trust me, after years spent navigating the turbulent seas of love and human connection, I’ve come to recognize these red flags all too well.

In this piece, I’ll be sharing some of these telltale signs with you. These are behaviors commonly displayed by people who are merely skimming the surface in their relationships, rather than diving in headfirst.

1) Lack of active engagement

In the complex world of relationships, there’s nothing more telling than the effort someone puts into actively engaging with their partner.

Those who give the bare minimum usually display a distinct lack of active engagement. This isn’t just about being present in the same room or responding when spoken to.

Active engagement goes deeper, involving both emotional involvement and genuine interest in the person you’re with.

Think about it. How often have you observed couples where one partner seems more engrossed in their phone than the person sitting across from them?

A lack of active engagement is a strong sign that someone is merely coasting along in the relationship, rather than investing the effort required to make it thrive.

This isn’t about demanding constant attention or needing to be entertained every second. It’s about showing interest, being responsive, and essentially, being there in more than just a physical sense.

2) Overly agreeable

Surprisingly, being overly agreeable can be a sign of minimal effort in a relationship. While it might seem counterintuitive, it’s not always about avoiding conflict or keeping the peace.

Those giving the bare minimum often take the path of least resistance. They’ll agree to everything, not out of genuine agreement, but because it requires less energy and engagement than discussing or debating.

It’s easy to mistake this for flexibility or adaptability. But there’s a difference between being open-minded and simply agreeing to avoid involvement.

When someone is overly agreeable, they’re likely not investing in forming or expressing their own opinions within the relationship. This lack of investment can be a clear sign of giving the bare minimum effort.

So while it might seem like smooth sailing if your partner is always on board with your ideas, take a moment to consider: are they truly engaged, or just taking the easy route?

3) Avoidance of personal growth

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that individuals who put in the bare minimum in their relationships often avoid personal growth. It’s almost as if they’re afraid that growing might change the dynamics of their relationship, or demand more effort than they’re willing to give.

This avoidance can show up in many ways. They might resist new experiences, shy away from challenges, or even scoff at the idea of self-improvement.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I discuss how personal growth is essential for healthy relationships. It allows us to become better partners and to contribute more positively to the dynamics of our relationships.

Remember, a thriving relationship involves two people growing together, not just coexisting.

4) Minimal communication

It’s been said time and again, but I’ll say it once more: communication is the key to any successful relationship. Yet, those who give the bare minimum often fall short in this crucial area.

Minimal communication isn’t just about being quiet. It’s about withholding feelings, thoughts, and concerns that should ideally be shared with your partner. It’s about staying on the surface rather than diving into deeper discussions.

As the renowned poet Maya Angelou wisely said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” In relationships, these untold stories are our unspoken feelings and thoughts.

If your partner tends to keep things to themselves more often than not, it could be a sign of minimal effort. A healthy relationship thrives on open communication, where both partners feel heard and valued.

5) Rarely initiates plans

There’s something truly special about a partner who takes the initiative to plan dates, outings, or even simple activities at home. It shows they’re invested in creating shared experiences and making memories together.

In contrast, those putting in the bare minimum often leave the planning to their partner. They’re happy to go along with whatever is suggested but rarely take the initiative themselves.

From personal experience, I can tell you that this kind of passivity can be quite disheartening. It sends a message that they’re not as invested in creating shared experiences, which are pivotal in building connection and intimacy.

Do you find yourself always being the one to suggest dinner places or plan weekend getaways? Then it might be a sign your partner isn’t putting in their fair share of effort.

Remember, relationships are a two-way street. Both partners should contribute to creating joyful moments together.

6) Taking more than giving

Relationships are all about balance. There’s a give and take that needs to happen for both partners to feel valued and appreciated. However, those who put in the bare minimum often tip this balance by taking more than they give.

This isn’t necessarily about tangible things. It could be emotional support, time, affection, or even simple acts of kindness.

As a wise man named Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This rings especially true in relationships. Giving is what breathes life into our connections with others.

From my personal journey, I’ve learned that the joy of giving often surpasses the pleasure of receiving. It’s in the act of giving that we truly connect and bond with our partners.

For more insights on relationships and my latest articles, don’t hesitate to follow me on Facebook. I’d love to continue this journey with you.

7) Emotional unavailability

Let’s get real here. One of the most hurtful behaviors that minimal-effort partners display is emotional unavailability. They may be physically present, but their emotions and feelings are locked away, leaving their partners feeling alone even when they’re together.

Emotional unavailability can manifest in many ways. It could be a reluctance to share feelings, an inability to empathize with your experiences, or a general lack of emotional depth. It’s like trying to connect with a wall. No matter how much you share, there’s no emotional response.

This behavior can be incredibly damaging to a relationship. It leaves one partner feeling isolated and emotionally starved, often leading to resentment and dissatisfaction.

So if your partner seems emotionally distant or closed off, it’s likely they’re not investing the effort required for a healthy, balanced relationship. True connection goes beyond the physical; it involves sharing emotions, feelings, and vulnerabilities.

Final thoughts

Human relationships are wonderfully complex, and understanding the subtleties of behavior can be a lifelong journey.

Recognizing the signs of minimal effort in relationships isn’t about blame or judgment; it’s about gaining insights into dynamics that might be hindering the growth and satisfaction we all deserve in our connections with others.

So if you’ve noticed some of these behaviors in your relationship, take heart. It’s not a sentence; it’s an opportunity for growth. Remember, every relationship is a dance, and sometimes, we just need to learn new steps.

But don’t just take it from me. I’d like to share a video that I believe will provide some valuable insights into this topic.

Justin Brown, in his candid and thoughtful style, explores the complexities of finding a life partner. He shares some invaluable lessons learned from his own experiences, which I believe can further illuminate what we’ve been discussing in this article.

Understanding these dynamics is a crucial step towards healthier relationships. So keep learning, keep growing, and remember – you deserve nothing less than a relationship that enriches your life and supports your personal growth.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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