We’ve talked a lot on A New Mode about how to tell if a guy likes you and how to tell if he doesn’t. We’ve also fielded tons of questions from you about how to tell if he’s losing interest or has lost interest completely.
But what can you do if he seems to be losing interest? Can you regain it if it seems to be slipping? And can you get it back if it’s totally lost?
If you’ve been paying attention and can identify the signs your man is losing interest, it’s possible to salvage things and re-route from the negative direction you’re headed in. Maybe you need to make changes in the way you relate to him, or maybe you need to make changes in your approach to your own life. Most likely you need to do a little bit of both.
It may seem counterintuitive, but what you want to do is usually exactly what you shouldn’t do.
These six steps are actually things you should integrate into your life all the time. If you do them consistently, you’ll have happier, healthier, overall better relationships.
If a man you’ve been seeing seems to be losing interest, review this list to make sure you’re on the right track and adjust as needed.
What To Do If He’s Lost Interest In You
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
1. Do nothing
This is much harder than it sounds!
First and foremost, don’t freak out. Men are repelled by drama, and cranking the emotional register up 10 notches isn’t going to make a man who’s losing interest turn back in your direction, it’s going to make him run the opposite way.
So if it feels like he’s emotionally on his way out the door, should you pursue him? You may want to because it will feel like that’s the only way to “catch” him, but remember, you’re not a hunter and he’s not prey! It doesn’t work that way. He has to come to you of his own free will, not because you hunted him down and trapped him.
Perhaps most importantly, if you’re the one chasing him you’ll never know how he really feels about you. If you make it nearly impossible for him to lose you because you’ve chased him and caught him and won’t … let … go … you’ll never know if he’s with you because he wants to be, or because it’s easier than trying to break free of your relentless grip.
You have nothing to be afraid of. If you don’t hear from him and you let it go and you never hear from him again, you have all the information you need. It was never going to work out anyway.
It will be painful in the short term, but in the long term it will open other doors and leave you free to meet someone who is crazy about you, someone you never have to chase.
When you step way back and let a man lead, you learn about him—who he is naturally when you’re not trying to get him to behave a certain way, and how he really feels about you. If you constantly step in and chase, you’ll never know anything except how he reacts to being caught.
2. Date other men
It can be hard to see other men as viable options when you have your heart set on one specific guy, but this is key to having the right mindset—the single mindset. He’s not your boyfriend and you shouldn’t treat him like one, especially when he appears to be losing interest. You’re both still learning about each other, and if he begins to show signs that he’s not that into you, take that information and moderate your own behavior to match his.
Until he becomes your boyfriend, remember that he’s just one of the many men who could be right for you.
Even if he seems like he could be “the one,” you don’t know him well enough to be sure. You do know that he hasn’t committed to you, which means he’s keeping his options open … so why aren’t you? Why would you give your all to a man who’s holding back, and why would you decide he’s the one for you when he still hasn’t decided about you and his interest levels seem to be dropping off?
This is the most important thing of all to remember: you need to cultivate this single mindset for yourself, not to get a reaction out of him. It’s not about him at all! It’s about you. What do you want? What do you need in a relationship? Are you happy? Could you be happier without him, or with someone else who treated you differently?
One of the ways to cultivate the right mindset is to keep an open mind about other men. Really give them a chance. Go out and have fun and get to know them. Don’t date other men to make the guy you have your heart set on jealous, and don’t put him up on a pedestal and compare everyone else to him. He doesn’t deserve to be up on a pedestal (nobody does!) and you could be blinding yourself to other men who have great qualities by fixating on this one guy.
3. Focus on your life
Maybe you don’t have time to date multiple men, aren’t interested in anybody else at the moment, or the dating pool in your area is just so shallow it’s hard to find one man to date, let alone two or three. That’s okay! It’s not a hard and fast rule that you must date multiple men at a time.
The most important thing is not to commit to a man in your heart before he’s explicitly committed to you, and to keep an open mind about other men, whether you happen to be dating others at the moment or not.
However, one thing you should always be doing no matter what is focusing on your own life. Your life is not a man, but if you’re fixating on a guy it can be hard to remember that. Maybe you don’t even realize you’re doing it, but little by little you’ve made him the center of your world and everything else has fallen by the wayside.
This can be an unhealthy pattern that you repeat over and over again. We’ve all had friends who disappear as soon as they get a boyfriend. In your teens or early 20’s this can be almost normal, at least in the beginning exciting stages of a relationship … but when you become an adult, dropping all your friends for a man is a sign of a very unhealthy behavior pattern.
If your man is losing interest, stop and think about if you’ve been making him the center of your world and neglecting yourself and the other people and activities in your life. The two things could certainly be related for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a lot of pressure for a man to be the center of your universe. Second, if you have no life, you’re not going to be very interesting.
So what should you do? It’s pretty easy, really. Here are just a few pointers.
- Reach out and reconnect. Put some effort into your friendships—maybe some of your friends have needed you, but you’ve been so focused on yourself and this guy that you’ve dropped the ball and not been there for them. Or maybe you just need to have a girl’s night out, or some one-on-one time with an old friend you’ve lost touch with. Think about the relationships that matter to you and nurture them.
- Spend quality time with your family. Maybe that means picking up the phone to see how people are doing, maybe it means planning a fun trip. Get away! Absence really does make the heart grow fonder because it means you have your own life.
- Re-engage in old hobbies or get new ones. It can be hard to create habits, so you may need to make a schedule and be consistent until you get the hang of it, or you may need to join a club or seek out others with similar interests.
- Focus on self-improvement. This could mean taking classes at the local community college or going back to school full time, reading self-help books, joining a support group … the sky’s the limit. What are your career goals? What other goals do you have in life? Remember, a man is not a goal.
- Get physical: get your butt to a gym, join a hiking group, start skiing or rock climbing or running. Sign up for races or find other incentives to work out and meet new people. Staying active is good for you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
These are just a few ways to start focusing on your own life instead of focusing on a man. Think about it, if a guy became so fixated on you that it seemed like he no longer had a life of his own, wouldn’t you start to lose interest?
4. Remember he’s a mere mortal
If you’re zeroing in on him and feel certain he’s “the one” when you’ve only been dating him a short time, not only will this likely drive him away because it’s just too much pressure, you’re probably not viewing him accurately.
Everyone has faults, and you need to think about some of his. Not in a negative or critical way, but to remind yourself that he’s not perfect.
Is he doing things that make you unhappy? Maybe he doesn’t stay in touch with you throughout the week, when you’d like a phone call every couple of days? Having different needs in terms of levels of contact is important, and if he’s not stepping up, he could be losing interest, or he could just differ from you in terms of the amount of contact he’s comfortable with. This doesn’t make him a bad person, it’s not even a fault, it just means you may not be compatible.
Take note of it and anything else he does that makes you unhappy. Do this because you need to see the whole picture, and if you focus on his good qualities to the exclusion of everything else, you’re not seeing the whole picture.
You don’t know him as well as you think you do, and you shouldn’t let your heart get ahead of your head. Instead, use your head to protect your heart by not giving it away so easily to someone you can’t possibly know well enough, yet, to trust with it.
5. Remember how great you are
When you really like someone you can start to feel like he’s the prize and you need to win him. This is all wrong!
You need to begin relationships with the right mindset. You are evaluating him to see if he’s right for you.
You shouldn’t feel anxious that you might not be good enough for him. Know that you’re a wonderful person and a great catch, and he would be lucky to call you his girlfriend. If he doesn’t feel like the luckiest man in the world to have you in his life, he’s not the right man for you.
Of course, it can take some time for him to get there, but after a few months he should appreciate what you have to offer. But how can he fully appreciate you and all your great qualities if even you don’t?
Make a list of your positive qualities. This can feel daunting—most people don’t like to brag about themselves, and if you have low self-esteem you might even feel stumped. If that’s the case, enlist a friend to help you.
Are you fun? Generous? Easygoing? A good listener? Flesh out the qualities you identify with examples. Once you’ve developed a good list, refer to it when you’re feeling down on yourself or anxious about your relationship, or you’re wondering why he’s losing interest.
Know that if he doesn’t appreciate you for your good qualities, it doesn’t mean those good qualities aren’t there or that they aren’t worthwhile … it means he’s not the right person for you because he wants or appreciates something else. You don’t need to change for him or adjust to a man you aren’t suited for, you need to move on and be with a man you can be yourself with naturally.
There is a man out there who will appreciate all you have to offer, but you have to appreciate yourself first.
6. Know how he feels is not a reflection of your worthiness
This is the most important thing of all to remember. How he feels about you is not a reflection on you.
Just because a man doesn’t like you or want you doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough or that you need to change, it just means he needs or wants something else.
This isn’t a bad thing, it just feels like a bad thing in the moment because your hopes and expectations are so high. Once you’ve invested time and energy into a relationship, it can feel like the right thing to do is change yourself to match what the other person wants and needs, but that’s never the right answer.
Yes, you can change small behaviors to suit the person in your life, but you shouldn’t change your personality for him, you should find someone else who likes you as you are.
Think about it—when you don’t care for a man, it’s generally not a reflection on him as a human being—maybe you just don’t click with him. If he’s exceptionally quiet and introverted and you prefer someone you can have long interesting conversations with and can leave alone a bit at parties to mingle, he’s obviously not the right guy for you. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with him. There’s a woman out there who’d be perfectly compatible with a quiet, introverted guy, it’s just not you.
So if your guy appears to be losing interest, remember it’s not necessarily because you’re not interesting, it could be that you’re not what he’s looking for in a partner. And that’s okay.
This is what dating is about. Not everyone we date will be right for us. Sometimes you will come to the realization that the man you’ve been seeing isn’t quite right for you, sometimes he’ll come to that realization about you. Either way, it says nothing about anyone’s worthiness, only about their compatibility.
When it feels like a man is losing interest it can be really hard not to take it personally, but that’s exactly what you need to do.
You will probably want to do exactly the opposite of what you should: Chase him. Don’t date other guys. Put all your focus on him. Put him up on a pedestal and think about how awesome he is. Forget how great you are and how much you have to offer. Equate a lack of interest on his part to something being wrong with you.
But this is all completely wrong. You need to do the exact opposite of what you feel naturally inclined to do.
Follow these 6 steps when you feel like a guy is losing or has totally lost interest, and follow them all the time for better relationships in general.
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
Here’s what to do if he’s lost interest in you:
- Do nothing
- Date other men
- Focus on your own life
- Remember he’s a mere mortal
- Remember how great you are
- Know how he feels is not a reflection of your worthiness