You know that relationships take work. With that said, it’s incredibly painful to consider that your partner might not care as much about the relationship as you had hoped. Maybe you had serious visions for your future. Perhaps you were hopeful that he was the one, and you imagined baby names or future houses.
It can be crushing to experience doubt now. But what are the signs he doesn’t care enough? Do these signs appear gradually or quickly? Is it obvious to other people, or is it less apparent than you may believe?
If you notice them, what should you do next? Can people fall back in love even if they start drifting away? Is there any hope for the two of you- or should you call it quits while you’re ahead?
There are many signs he doesn’t care about the relationship. Some signs are apparent. Others might be more selective and hidden. Of course, no two men are the same, but similarities exist when people start falling out of love.
Understanding these red flags can help you feel more empowered, even if the insight hurts. In addition, if you choose to let go of your partner, you might feel more confident in your decision.
19 Signs He Doesn’t Care About the Relationship
When reading about these signs, it’s essential to keep a few pointers in mind. First, having one sign doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is doomed. Most relationships ebb and flow, and sometimes, we take out our stress on our partners.
You want to look for consistent and worsening patterns. For example, if he only had one or two signs a few months ago, but now he’s showing over ten of them, that’s a cause for concern. Similarly, if he seems to make no effort to improve, it probably means he’s not interested in you or the relationship.
#1 He No Longer Seems Interested in Daily Updates
You used to know every detail about each other. Your partner knew the contents of your lunch, the nuances of your argument with your coworker, and the frustration you felt during your morning commute.
No piece of information seemed too insignificant. You talked nonstop, and you preferred it that way. IIt was like you couldn’t get enough of each other.
But now? He no longer asks what’s going on each day. And if you do tell him, he seems distracted, bored, or as if he’s not listening at all.
Relationships ebb and flow (and we all get busy), but if he no longer seems interested in your life, it may mean he’s also no longer interested in the relationship.
#2 He Suddenly Spends a Lot of Time Engaging in New Hobbies
You used to spend every free moment together. You took advantage of evenings and weekends and may have even skipped work to hang out.
Some of the relationship novelty can fade over time, but happy couples generally value spending time together. One of the signs he doesn’t care enough is that he suddenly becomes “swamped.”
It’s one thing if you’re financially strapped, and he decides to work more hours. Moreover, it’s also valid if he needs to take care of family members or other obligations. But if he’s now picking up new hobbies and sinking all his time into them, that’s a cause for concern. Hobbies are great, but if it’s becoming his main priority, it means the relationship isn’t.
#3 He No Longer Includes You in Future Plans
When was the last time he talked about getting married? Or having kids? Or buying a house together? If you are settled down, when did he last discuss shared future goals?
Happy couples enjoy remembering their past, living in their present, and looking forward to their future. But a man who’s checked out won’t include you in his upcoming plans- he’s probably too focused on perfecting his exit strategy!
#4 He Flirts Openly With Other Women or Pushes Boundaries
In a healthy relationship, both partners want to respect each other’s boundaries and limits. You commit to being with one another. Therefore, it isn’t appropriate to entertain the idea of being with other people!
But one of the signs he doesn’t care about you anymore is that he stops caring about your feelings. Flirting or being inappropriate with others may mean a few things. First, he might want to enjoy the best of both worlds, especially if he doesn’t think you will leave. Second, he might want to annoy or hurt you, so you must do the dirty work of breaking up with him.
#5 He’s Never Available
How often do the two of you spend quality time together? Is he suddenly busy with no signs of slowing down? Does it seem like he’s just squeezing you in between other commitments?
If he’s always busy, that could be a sign that he’s no longer interested in the relationship. Happy couples are often pressed for time, but they prioritize each other. On the other hand, you might be in a more toxic relationship if you feel like you’re the one who’s always chasing him down.
This rule applies to both in-person and virtual contact. It shouldn’t take him days to respond to a phone call or text. Most of us are on our phones throughout the day- if he doesn’t get back to you, it means he doesn’t find it important!
#6 He’s Become Flakier
Healthy relationships require a sense of trust and loyalty. You should feel like you can rely on your partner to follow through with what they say. Therefore, breaking commitments is one of the signs he doesn’t care about your feelings.
But if he can’t keep his word, it’s hard to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, is he lying to you? Is he waiting for better plans to come along? Whatever the reason, it usually isn’t good.
It’s also problematic if he avoids commitment altogether. For example, if he’s always vague or uncertain, it makes it hard for you actually to make plans. Over time, that ambiguity can lead to frustration and resentment.
#7 He Lies to You
People lie to protect their egos and personal interests. They also lie because they want to present a certain way to others.
But relationships are all about honesty and vulnerability. If you can’t trust what he says to you, what’s the point of being with him? You’ll always be left questioning his motives and doubting what he tells you.
Not all lies are created entirely equal. Sociopathic liars tend to be the most dangerous. These liars regularly lie without experiencing any guilt or remorse over their actions.
#8 He Doesn’t Want to Spend Time With Your Friends
Even if he isn’t besties with your crowd, a man who’s interested in his partner will undoubtedly be interested in her friends. He will want to make a good impression and get to know them- even if the interactions are relatively superficial.
But one of the signs he doesn’t care enough is that he has no interest in spending time with your friends. He’ll either flat-out refuse the invitation or spend most of the event pouting or appearing withdrawn. In some cases, he may even be rude or argumentative to others.
#9 He Criticizes You
Partners should support each other, even when the relationship becomes rocky. Both people should focus on finding a working solution in the face of conflict.
But if he’s criticizing, shaming, or attacking your character, those are key warning signs indicating emotional abuse. Emotional abuse rarely improves on its own. It often progresses as the relationship becomes more serious.
You deserve to feel respected in your relationship. The relationship isn’t healthy if he can’t seem to respect who you are- despite inevitable conflicts.
#10 He Only Cares About Sex
Sex can be an essential part of a loving relationship. But sex alone cannot sustain true intimacy. Intimacy often requires both physical and emotional connection.
Moreover, sex is very different from making love. Sex is a physical release- making love is more sensual, integrative, and connecting. But if you feel like you’re just a booty call, the relationship starts feeling one-sided and even hollow.
Unfortunately, some men will push a relationship because they want easier access to sex. You can usually tell this is happening if he lacks interest in going on actual dates, spending time with other people, or simply talking about his days.
#11 He Makes No Effort
When was the last time he planned a special date night? Or give you a birthday card? Or just complimented your outfit?
If you can’t remember, that’s a cause for concern. Relationships should feel like a mutual take-and-give, which applies to all dynamic areas. One of the signs of losing interest is a man’s lack of willingness to engage in the relationship. In some cases, he will do the absolute bare minimum to “get by.”
Over time, this lack of effort may transcend the relationship. For example, he might neglect household chores or errands. He may even transform into more of an adult child who expects you to do everything for him!
#12 He Makes Serious Decisions Without Your Input
While we are all independent beings, most couples check in with one another before making meaningful choices that affect their lives. After all, if you’re in a committed relationship, your actions impact your partner and vice versa.
So, if he’s buying a new car without asking you or quitting his job on a whim, that’s a severe red flag. It means he thinks he has the right to make executive decisions all independently- even if the consequences are dire for you.
Be careful of double standards. For instance, some people think they are entitled to make decisions independently while expecting you to consult them whenever you’re in that position.
#13 He Doesn’t Care at All About Other Guys Giving You Attention
Chronic jealousy isn’t a good look, but some occasional jealousy is expected even in healthy relationships. Most people will feel somewhat insecure if their partner gets much attention from others. Even if they don’t express their feelings, they may make subtle gestures like reaching for their partner’s hand or discussing the relationship.
But if he isn’t really interested in you, he will present as entirely unfazed. In some cases, he might even find it relieving (and that’s because he might be hoping you jump to someone else).
#14 He Starts Fights Over Nothing
Does it seem like you’re always the bad guy? Are you walking on eggshells in your own home because you are so hypervigilant about your partner’s mood?
Conflicts are unavoidable, but if he’s always causing problems, that’s a cause for concern. It could mean he has anger, power, and control issues. But it could also suggest that he’s simply baiting you and seeing how you will react. Unfortunately, if he doesn’t care about your feelings, he won’t really care how his actions affect you.
#15 He Brings Up His Exes Constantly
It’s okay to have a past, but does it seem like he still lives there? Have you caught him messaging his ex or looking her up on social media? Does he name-drop her in benign conversations?
If he seems obsessed with his ex, it could mean that he is still obsessed. It could also mean that he’s ruminating over his past and perhaps missing parts of it that don’t include you. Or, it could suggest that he’s trying to make you feel jealous or insecure- and that’s never a good thing!
#16 He Wants You to Pay For Everything
Relationships aren’t always 50/50, but there should be a sense of equality. For example, even if one partner makes significantly more money, the other partner usually makes a conscious effort to contribute what they can.
But if he always expects you to foot the bill, it means he doesn’t value your money. It also means that he might be hoarding cash for his future, which might not include you in it! In some cases, this behavior may suggest that he has financial problems (that he hasn’t told you about), and that’s also a serious cause for concern.
See what happens the next time you two decide to go out together. Make it a point that you want him to pay for this outing. Then, see what happens. Does he become frustrated or annoyed? Does he suddenly want to cancel the outing? These are all red flags!
#17 He Always Seems Irritated
Irritability can be a symptom of depression or anxiety, so this sign alone doesn’t mean he’s checked out of the relationship.
But if he seems irritated with you and happy or “normal” around other people, that’s something to examine. Healthy couples enjoy spending time together. They know how to cheer each other up, even when life gets stressful.
But if the opposite occurs, and it seems like he’s in the worst mood with you, that means he may not really care about you.
#18 He Doesn’t Care About Your Successes
Did you get an exciting promotion at work? Did you finally complete that half-marathon you’d been training for the past few months?
In a healthy relationship, partners revel in one another’s successes. They act as a support system, as cheerleaders encouraging growth, change, and appropriate risk-taking.
So, if he seems apathetic or even angry about your achievements, that’s a red flag. He may be a narcissist and threatened by your good fortune. On the other hand, he might also not care about your happiness. Neither of these situations is particularly ideal.
#19 He Often Jokes About Breaking Up or Divorcing
Some people hide behind humor to share their genuine truths. So, if he casually tosses around phrases like, I’m going to trade you in, or, When I’m single, I’m going to, pay attention.
Light joking can be good for the relationship. But if you’re not finding his humor very funny (and you’ve made it a point to tell him), it’s not a good sign if he continues that toxic habit.
How Do You Test Him to See if He Cares?
Mature relationships shouldn’t entail playing games. You two are adults, and having to “guess” each other’s loyalty becomes exhausting and demoralizing. However, you can use a few strategies to gauge the relationship’s quality and his commitment to you.
Share Something Vulnerable
Talk about something that feels shameful or embarrassing to you. Try to be as honest as possible, and don’t hold back on any arising emotions.
Then, see how he reacts. Does he validate your feelings? Does he attempt to comfort you or offer you a helpful solution? Does he do what he can to try to make you feel better (even if he doesn’t necessarily know the right thing to say?).
On the contrary, pay attention to red flags. For example, does he seem distracted or even annoyed by your disclosure? Does he mock you? Does he turn the conversation inward and make things about himself?
If he cares about you, he cares about your feelings. He also feels grateful that you feel safe confiding in him. Of course, he won’t always know how to handle the situation, but he will do his best and make an authentic effort.
Point Out Something That’s Upsetting You
Spend time thinking about something your partner does that hurts your feelings or frustrates you. It doesn’t need to be overly serious- it can be as simple as feeling annoyed that he hasn’t done the dishes in a few weeks or that he didn’t follow up with that critical phone call until you reminded him about it a few times.
When sharing how you feel, it’s important to be respectful. Blaming or attacking him will likely trigger defensiveness. Use an I-statement like, I felt annoyed when I came home today, and the kitchen chores weren’t done.
See how he reacts. Does he instantly become angry or eager to prove you wrong? Does he start listing all the problems he has with you to retaliate?
Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect your partner to respond perfectly to constructive criticism But if he cares about you, he will at least respect what you have to say. He may ask clarifying questions to understand your perspective better. Most of all, he will try to integrate your feedback.
Ask Him About the Relationship Directly
It doesn’t hurt to ask him outright how he feels. However, with this strategy, it’s often more important to look at his nonverbal cues rather than what he says.
It’s easy to put on a good front and tell someone everything right. But you also want to be paying attention to a cluster of concerning signs like:
- Very little or no eye contact.
- Crossing their arms.
- Feet that are pointed away from you.
- Mismatched facial expressions (only having forced smiles or complimenting you while it seems like they’re actually frowning).
- Yawning repeatedly.
- Speaking minimally or only when directed.
Of course, you should also pay attention to what he says. For example, does he seem to understand where you’re coming from with your concerns? Does he apologize genuinely (or does the apology feel fake)? Is he eager and receptive to discuss solutions for change?
Set a Firm Deadline
Let’s say he’s been putting off a proposal for years. Or, you two have been discussing having kids, but he seems angry or resistant every time you broach the subject.
You can test his commitment by creating a firm deadline. For example, if he hasn’t proposed, you may decide to end the relationship within six months. Only you can determine a timeframe that seems reasonable.
By sharing it with him, you convey that you’re serious. He won’t want to disappoint you if he cares about you and the relationship. But, of course, if he still waffles back and forth, you need to follow through with your intentions. If you don’t enforce your boundaries, you only reinforce him getting away with his frustrating behavior.
Require Couples Therapy
One of the best ways to test someone’s loyalty is by examining how willing they are to work on the relationship actively. Couples therapy provides a professional opportunity for that work.
Even if there are problems, a committed man will generally be open to therapy. He will be interested in learning new insights and implementing new strategies to improve the relationship. The opposite is also true. A toxic man (or someone who’s emotionally checked out) will dismiss professional support entirely.
Touch Base With Your Support System
What do your friends and family think about your partner? Do they gush about how amazing he is to you- or do they drop hints about how you deserve better?
People who love you want you to be with others who love you. Even if it’s a tough pill, it’s worth asking your loved ones for honest feedback.
Some good questions to ask include:
- What is your honest impression of _____?
- What do you make of the relationship I have with ____?
- What concerns do you have about my relationship?
If you take this approach, you must remain open and receptive to their thoughts. Doing so conveys a sense of maturity. Furthermore, they will likely avoid telling you the truth if you become defensive.
How Do You Know He Is Not in Love With You Anymore?
Love can be such an intense emotion; relationships often move through more connection and disconnection periods. But if things constantly feel like they’re falling apart, he may not have his heart in the right place.
Of course, it’s also important to consider your feelings in all of this. Do you still feel like you’re in love? Do you feel appreciated and respected in the relationship? Is this the man you still want to spend your time (or life) with?
Answering these questions can be challenging, and you don’t need to answer them immediately. But relationships are inherently a two-way street. So it may be time to reflect on your needs and wants if things aren’t improving- and he doesn’t seem open to improving.