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8 things to do when your partner doesn’t have time for you

Being in a relationship certainly has its perks.

Managing to find that one person who makes you feel happy and loves spending time with you is an amazing feeling.

But, what happens when he doesn’t have time for you?

Sure, he likes you. A lot. He might even love you.

But, at the end of the day, he is far too busy to fit you into his schedule.

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a few short months or a matter of years — it stings.

While it might be tempting to walk away from the relationship then and there, you could be giving up something great.

Before you go down that path, here are 8 tips to help you get your relationship back on track and get your partner to find time for you once again.

8 things to do when your partner doesn’t have time for you

1) Turn the focus onto you

While it might be tempting to hang around your partner and keep pressing them to make some time for you, this won’t get you anywhere.

If anything, he will lump you in the category of nagging girlfriend and find even more excuses not to make time for you.

So, for the short term, forget about him.

If there’s one thing we know about relationships, it’s that they take a lot of time away from you. Now’s your chance to get that time back and focus on your own health.

What needs aren’t your boyfriend filling right now?

Go out and fill it yourself!

Pick up a hobby to keep you busy, take up meditation to work on your spiritual self, or find some other way to keep yourself busy that also makes you happy in the process.

Not only will this allow you to step away from being the needy girlfriend, but it will fill your cup and leave you happy.

In time, this happiness will attract your boyfriend back to you. He will actively seek you out and want to make time for you because he’s feeding off your changed nature.

It’s a win-win for both of you.

2) Find a common interest

While your boyfriend might have strong feelings for you, it may just be a matter of enjoying different things. After all, they do say that opposites attract.

Now’s your chance to find something you can both do together. While you both may have very different interests, there will be a middle ground somewhere you both can agree on.

Here are some suggestions to help you out:

  • Putt putt
  • Bowling
  • Finding a TV show you both enjoy
  • Sharing same tastes in food
  • Heading to a movie you both want to see

Throw out a few suggestions to him and see what he says.

Is he receptive? Is he happy to give it a go? If he’s not willing to meet you in the middle, then this is a big red flag.

Relationships are all about compromise. If he isn’t willing to compromise with you, it might be time to question the relationship.

Opposites can attract but they have to be able to meet each other in the middle from time to time to make things work.

3) Lend an ear

Your boyfriend could simply be stressed and have a lot going on right now — which is completely understandable.

We all have those periods in our lives where things can get busy. Really busy.

Between work, home life, extracurricular commitments, and more, the stress can pile on depending on the circumstances.

Making time for you is simply another stress for him at the moment.

It’s not that he doesn’t like you. Nor is it that he doesn’t care for you. It’s simply that he has so much going on right now, he doesn’t have time to fit you in.

Instead of making it about you, turn the tables and make it about him.

Tell him that you’re there to talk whenever he needs it, night or day.

Let him know you happy to be an ear for him to talk to and will happily hear all about the stress he’s facing right now — and may even be able to help out with it.

By doing this, you’re no longer a burden he has to fit into his already stressful life. You’re the perfect stress release helping him through it all.

In time, the stressful period will pass and you’ll be able to get back on track and make time for each other once again.

4) Ask to join him

If you’re struggling to find a middle ground activity you both enjoy, then why not ask to join him in something he loves doing?

It shows him that you care and share an interest in his life. Even if it’s something that you aren’t personally interested in.

It can also encourage him to start sharing an interest in your life and taking part in activities you enjoy as well.

It’s natural for guys to love hanging out with their mates. Whether it’s to watch TV, play video games or play sport, it’s essential guy time they use to unwind.

It’s perfectly acceptable for him to want some alone time with the boys. But, if it’s taking up all his time, then it’s fair to ask him if you can come along every now and then.

Don’t be upset if he says no, he simply may not be willing to share that side of his life with you.

Instead, use it as a bouncing board to talk about spending some time just the two of you. If he knows you’re willing to go to such efforts, then he’s more likely to go to the same efforts for you.

If not, consider it another red flag. He likes having you as his girlfriend, but he isn’t willing to go to any effort at all for you.

Is this a relationship you want to be in?

5) Consider video chats

If distance is one of the main problems keeping you and your boyfriend apart, then it might be time to consider some alternative ways you can spend time together.

If it’s not easy to get to his place or vice versa, then it’s natural to be a little harder to organize time for the both of you.

At the same time, if you are always making your boyfriend be the one to drive to you, he may be feeling a little resentful of this setup and keeping his distance as a result.

It’s time to change things up a little. Forget meeting up in person and start looking at other ways you can spend time together.

Thankfully, technology has come a long way in recent years making this even easier. You have so many options out there from Whats App video calls to Skype and even Zoom.

This saves travel time for both of you, so you can simply dial in and spend some quality time together.

Of course, it shouldn’t replace your face-to-face visits. Instead, it should take the pressure off them. It shouldn’t matter if you’re seeing your boyfriend less, as long as you are talking lots and spending plenty of quality time together.

Why don’t you lock in one or two nights a week to chat and see how that goes. It could work wonders for your relationship.

6) Ask him to make the plans

Instead of constantly nagging and trying to get your boyfriend to lock down some plans with you, put the ball in his court.

Ask him to be in charge of making the next plans.

It might be hard at first, especially when he doesn’t jump on it and start planning straight away. But it’ll be good for your relationship in the long run.

This is a great test to see how much he really does value the relationship and whether or not it is worth pursuing.

After a bit of time, he might come to realize exactly how little he is responsible for initiating the contact between the two of you.

This could be enough to kick his butt into gear and have him planning your next date.

It’s important that if and when he does reach out, you’re responsive to him. You don’t want him to think that you’re upset with him or anything else. Let him know that you’re there when he’s ready, but now it’s up to him.

If he starts planning something, then readily agree and help him with the process.

If he doesn’t do down that path, then I think you have your answer no matter what.

7) Surprise him

One of the reasons your boyfriend might not have time for you is because your relationship might have gone a little stale.

Don’t take this to heart. It can happen to the best of relationships.

After you’re over that initial honeymoon period, it can be harder to keep things excited and interesting, which is when many couples drift apart and little and start spending less time together.

It’s time to spice things up again.

Organize an epic date for the two of you. Ask him to keep a day free in the not-too-distant future and plan something you know that he’ll love.

This simple act could be enough to get that spark back into your relationship and get you both on the right path again.

But remember, it’s not all on your shoulders.

Take the time to tell your boyfriend how you feel, and this might prompt him to organize the next fun date for both of you.

8) Pick a date day

Sometimes, routine is the best way to combat this issue.

It might not be that he wants to spend the time with you, it’s just that he’s a busy person who is hard to lock down.

One great way to get around this is by scheduling a date day or two each week. For example, using every Monday and Friday as date days. So, no setting any other plans on those days.

This means a lot less planning around other commitments and always being able to make time for each other.

If that’s too restrictive for you, then consider picking new days for the upcoming week every Sunday night. Something the two of you can plan together.

This means, no matter what, you’ll have a set amount of time set aside to see each other. Of course, this can change and you can end up spending more time on top of this too. It’s just a start. And a good one at that.

If he isn’t willing to do this, you might need to take a step back and question the relationship. He has no time for you and isn’t willing to make any time for you. Is that a relationship you want to be in?

Why doesn’t my boyfriend have time for me?

While all these suggestions can help get your relationship back on track and have you both spending more time together, it’s worth asking what happens if none of them work?

What happens when you’ve exhausted all 8 tips above and he still has zero time for you? Where to next?

Here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself:

1) What do you want out of the relationship?

You’ve put in the effort. You’ve done the hard yards. But no matter what you try, the time he spends on you just isn’t increasing.

It’s time to consider exactly what you want out of this relationship.

Your boyfriend has made it clear how much time he is willing to spend on you. Knowing this, are you happy in the relationship? Is this enough for you?

Knowing his boundaries and limits, you now have a choice to make about your own.

At the end of the day, for the relationship to work, both of you need to be happy. By negotiating on how much time you spend together, you have the ability to then change other aspects of the relationship in your favour.

For example, you may agree to spend less time together, but then ask that when you are together, you want to head out on proper dates — like to a restaurant.

Relationships really all about compromise. Working out what he wants, what you want, and then finding a middle ground that works for both.

It’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to compromise for this guy.

2) Do you want your boyfriend to change?

If the answer to this question is yes, then it’s time for you to run from the relationship now. It’s not healthy to stay in a relationship while hoping the other person will change for you.

The chances are — he won’t. Nor should he have to.

If you’re unhappy with how things are, then it’s time to move on and find a guy who does fulfill your needs — rather than waiting around for one who clearly won’t.

If there’s one thing going for your boyfriend, it’s that he’s made it clear where he stands on the topic of spending time together.

Instead of sitting back and hoping he might change his ways and make more time for you, you need to ask yourself whether you are happy with the way he currently is.

If the answer is yes, then great, you can make it work.

If the answer is no, then cut your losses and move on now.

3) Have you told your boyfriend how you feel?

You may have asked your boyfriend to make more time for you. You might have gone through the steps above and tried to help it all along.

But have you stopped for a moment to actually tell your boyfriend how you feel about it?

Not to yell at him. Not to vent out your frustrations. Not to nag him. But rather, an open chat about your feelings that gets down to the heart of the issue.

Try something along the lines of, “I feel sad and upset when you don’t want to spend much time with me. If it were up to me, we would see each other three nights a week and on weekends where possible”.

You know how he feels about the time you spend together. Now it’s time to let him know how you feel about it.

Keep it short, sweet and to the point and give him time to respond. He might not even know what to say at the moment.

Then start the negotiations and see how much time he sees as reasonable to see each other in a relationship.

The important thing is not to guilt him for his answers. Every guy is different, and just because you love spending time together, doesn’t mean he wants the same thing.

By the end of the conversation, you should know whether it’s worth holding onto the relationship or not.

If he is going to free up more time for you, now is his chance.

4) Is there a connection when you’re together?

Despite not spending as much time together as you might have liked, when you are together, do you share a connection?

Think about what your boyfriend is like towards you and how he treats you when you are together.

Is he affectionate, open, and engaged with what the two of you are doing at the moment?

If so, then there is hope for your relationship. While you might not be spending much time together, the time you are making for each other is quality time.

You are connecting on a deeper level and have the foundations of a solid relationship to build on. This is great news.

On the other hand, if he’s distant and evasive when you actually spend time together, it might be time to reconsider the relationship.

There’s no point staying with someone who doesn’t have time for you. And then when he makes time, isn’t even truly present.

You deserve so much more and it’s important to remember that.

5) Do you have a life outside your boyfriend?

If the answer is no, then perhaps this issue isn’t your boyfriend — maybe it’s you.

You’re trying to make your boyfriend fill a void you have in your life. Yet, he doesn’t have the same void. Which means he doesn’t have the time to fill yours.

It’s time to go out and get a hobby or meet new people. Build a life away from your boyfriend, so you aren’t relying on him to be your everything. That’s a lot of pressure for one person.

This will have the added effect of turning you into a much happier and more fulfilled person.

Who wouldn’t want to hang around that?

Your boyfriend will naturally gravitate back to you and be eager to start spending more time together. When you’re happy, it really shows and other people feed off that happiness.

Stay strong

Knowing when to stay in a relationship and work on it and when to walk away is no easy task. Make sure you stay strong and hold your ground.

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of accepting your boyfriend’s terms without even considering what makes you happy. You matter in this relationship as well, so don’t let that go unnoticed.

If he’s not willing to listen to you, as much as you’re listening to him, then it’s time for you to consider whether or not he’s worth it.

Too often we get comfortable in a relationship. The thought of putting ourselves back on the market and finding someone new is daunting.

But don’t forget, it’s also exciting, fresh and fun.

You want to find a guy who respects you and your needs. And you don’t want to have to spend the rest of your life compromising to meet his.

It’s a two-way street.

If you get the strength to walk out early, you’re saving yourself so much more heartache and pain down the track.

Plus, you’re giving yourself a fresh chance to find Mr. Right. What could be better!

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Felicity Frankish

Written by Felicity Frankish

My name is Felicity (Flick) Frankish and I am mum to Cassandra, Vivienne and Elliot. After studying journalism and digital media, I naturally fell into the online world - and hasn't left since!

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