My boyfriend never takes me out but goes out with his friends

When your boyfriend is always out with his friends but never takes you out, it’s pretty difficult to not take it personally.

You may be left wondering “Why is he so damn interested in hanging with his buddies, but can’t seem to make the effort to take me on a proper date?”

If it feels like you’re living on the sidelines of your boyfriend’s life and you just want him to pay you the attention you deserve, don’t despair.

If you’re looking for some practical solutions, you’re in the right place. Here are 12 effective ways to get your boyfriend to pay you more attention and want to take you out rather than always hanging with his friends.

12 effective ways to get your boyfriend to take you out on a date

1) Ask him

Ok, it might sound ridiculously obvious, but have you asked your guy to take you out?

I know, I know, in an ideal world you shouldn’t have to ask. But let’s face it, what they say is true and sometimes it can seem like men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

Usually, the best way to get what you want in a relationship is the direct approach of asking for it. That doesn’t need to be a heavy or demanding conversation, it can be as simple as making a little suggestion.

Perhaps mentioning that you haven’t had a real date night in ages and wouldn’t it be great if you did something special, just the two of you, this weekend.

If you’ve started to notice that your boyfriend is spending more quality time with his friends than you, it’s much better to do something about it before your frustration grows. It could genuinely be that your boyfriend is just a bit clueless and simply needs a little nudge in the right direction.

Telling him how much you want him all to yourself to do something super fun might actually make him feel special.

Sometimes you don’t need any fancy “tricks” and taking the simplest approach can be the most effective.

2) Flatter him

I don’t care who you are, all of us like to feel special and hear nice things — especially from the people we care about. There can be a bit of a stereotype that guys don’t need compliments but I think we all like to feel flattered and desired.

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Often it’s the case in a relationship that what you are looking for from your partner, they are actually wanting back from you too.

If there’s any chance he could be hanging out more with friends because he feels lacking in attention at home, then be sure to remind him exactly why you want him in your life.

Sometimes a guy might miss the attention he got from living the single life before you came along and likes going out with his friends to get a taste of that again. That certainly doesn’t mean he’s going to act on it or cheat, it may just be an ego boost he is looking for.

So if you think he’s fun, smart, kind, funny, and pretty damn easy on the eyes, make sure he knows that you feel this way about him.

3) Discover his love language

You’ve probably heard of love language before. It’s the idea that we all express affection and love in different ways.

Sometimes these differences can wreak havoc in a relationship because we misunderstand someone else’s love language or they don’t reciprocate in the way we prefer love to be shown.

For example, one person might like to buy little gifts or come home with flowers to show their love but the person on the receiving end would much rather spend quality time with their other half.

When we pay attention to how our partner prefers to express their feelings, then we might pick up on plenty of signs we just hadn’t noticed before. We can also start to show our love in a way we know they will notice it.

Of course, if your boyfriend doesn’t seem to have any love languages at all, then you may be in a bit of a one-sided relationship.

4) Give him something to stay home for

This tip comes with a bit of a wink and a nudge.

Whilst I’d never suggested weaponizing sex, it is just a biological fact that testosterone can be quite a motivator.

Of course, not all guys are into sex but it’s a safe bet that plenty are.

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Whilst the old myth that men think about sex every seven seconds has been debunked, recent studies do suggest it does cross their mind on average about 19 times a day. This is most definitely one area where you have the edge over his friends.

The reality is that those fireworks at the beginning of a relationship, which appear as if by magic, are actually largely chemically driven.

After a while, that natural spark begins to fade for most of us.  But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and there are ways of injecting some passion back.

The snuggling on the couch stage of a relationship has its own charm, but if you want to turn his head, reminding him of your womanly charms can be a good place to start.

5) Don’t be a pushover

Sure we want to be great partners, we want to show respect, love, attention, and care…but we also want all those things back too.

Whilst it’s true that you do catch more flies with honey than vinegar (perhaps not the most romantic of sayings), that doesn’t mean that we should become total “yes” people.

Personal boundaries are really important in a relationship and need to be upheld. When we don’t draw a line in the sand, that’s when we get taken advantage of.

If you feel like your boyfriend is forever putting other people’s needs, like his friends, in front of you, then it might signal a bigger problem.

If he tells you that for the third time in a row he’s spending the weekend out with his friends, throwing in a casual “you don’t mind do you?”, then perhaps it’s time to let him know — yeah, actually I do mind.

It can be challenging, especially for people-pleasers, to voice when they’re not being treated right — but in the long run, he’s going to respect you more when you stand up for yourself.

6) Trigger his hero instinct

Ok, maybe you’re thinking what the heck is the hero instinct?

This tip uses the power of biology to get your guy’s attention away from the Xbox and a six-pack around his buds house and back on you.

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It’s not like we need an expert to tell us that men and women are different, we figured that one out for ourselves. But you can use these biological differences to grab his attention.

The hero instinct is basically a biological drive that men have to provide for those he cares about and a desire to gain the respect of those around him. It’s an instinct that is especially ramped up in romantic relationships.

You can spark his hero instinct by:

  • Asking for his help
  • Celebrating his successes
  • Bigging him up in front of others
  • Praise him, but don’t overdo it so that it feels fake or condescending
  • Letting him know he makes you happy
  • Supporting his passions
  • Show him he’s important
  • Keeping him on his toes and giving him a challenge

It’s actually a really fascinating topic, and there’s far more to it, so if you’re curious, I’d definitely recommend checking out the 8 ways to trigger the hero instinct in your man in more detail.

7) Get out of the relationship comfort zone

When you’ve been with someone for a while, it’s normal that your relationship changes over time.

It’s not a bad thing to find yourself in the comfort zone, in fact, it can bring with it a deeper and tender form of love and affection.

It’s nice when we feel more comfortable around someone, but sometimes it means we also stop making as much of an effort. This especially happens to couples who go from dating to living together.

They no longer need to make time for one another, because their other half is always around. But a side effect is that you may start to feel less like the object of his desire and more like a part of the furniture.

If you’ve slipped into a routine and it feels like he’s having all the fun with his friends instead of you, then it’s time to push the relationship’s comfort zone.

Sometimes just the little things can help you to do that — things like creating more time to talk (without the TV on in the background), not changing into your sloppiest clothes as soon as you get through the front door, or even something silly like playing a game together.

8) Show him that you also have a life of your own

In fact, this isn’t just about showing him that you have a life of your own, it’s also about truly having a life of your own.

It’s important to do things separately in a relationship as well as together as it gives you things to talk about and a chance to miss one another.

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I think we can probably all agree that people who have their own interests and friends usually make for a more well-rounded partner.

Right now if you feel like your biggest problem is that he isn’t taking you out, rather than wait for that to happen — make plans elsewhere. It’s not about giving him a taste of his own medicine but it may give him the opportunity to realize what it feels like.

It’s one of those ironies of life that the more we grasp hold of something, the further we seem to push it away.

Don’t stay home waiting for him to call.

When he sees you’re not the needy type and there’s plenty of things other than him you can also be spending your time on —  it could be the wake up he needs.

9) Stay in his thoughts with little gestures

If we’re honest, I think many of us have been guilty at some point or another of taking someone special for granted. It’s not that we’re even always aware of it.

Finding playful ways to keep yourself on his mind can offer a gentle reminder of exactly what he has.

Whether that’s leaving him little notes to find around the house, sending him a racy message, or small gestures like picking him up his favourite sweet treat on your way home.

Rather than demanding attention, it can be smarter psychology to grab his attention in subtle ways that make him feel loved.

Of course, this will only work if he’s not totally selfish and ungrateful but if he genuinely cares about you he will appreciate you the more he sees that you appreciate him.

10) Be confident and build your own self-esteem

Confidence is a really sexy quality in a person.

We’re not talking demanding or diva behaviour, of course, just that inner self-confidence that signals to someone that you don’t need them, you want them.

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As totally cheesy as it may sound, the more we love ourselves the better all our relationships tend to be. We feel happy if someone is around us, but we also feel happy enough when they are not.

This kind of independence can become magnetic. We often gravitate towards those happy souls who clearly respect and care for themselves.

Working on your own self-esteem is likely to make him sit up and notice you more, but the real reward is how it will make you feel.

11) Take an interest in things he enjoys

You don’t have to suddenly pretend that every single hobby of his is your new favorite thing…

“Please do explain World of Warcraft to me again, it sounds FASCINATING.”

But it doesn’t hurt to take some time to show that you care about the things he cares about, simply because you care about him.

In a relationship it isn’t always about what you do, it’s just about spending time with one another.

Maybe he has been going out more with his friends because they like doing the same kind of things — things he doesn’t think you have any interest in. They love the same sports or he just didn’t think you’d want to go paintballing, so he never even asked.

Suggest doing something together that you know he likes. Hopefully, when he sees you making the effort, he will appreciate it and do the same for you too.

12) Be honest about how you’re feeling

At the end of the day, there are two of you in your relationship and two of you who need to make an effort if it’s going to work.

Healthy communication really is the lifeblood of strong relationships that have longevity.

If you’ve been feeling ignored and neglected for a while now, you need to let your boyfriend know how you feel. Sitting on our negative emotions doesn’t make them go away, they’re just more likely to spill out of us in more unhealthy ways.

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Sit him down and calmly explain to your boyfriend how it makes you feel when he goes out with his friends, but never takes you out.

When we say how we feel without throwing around blame, it gives our partner the chance to do something about it.

If he does care, he won’t want you to feel unwanted or neglected.

If all else fails…

It’s normal for ups and downs in relationships.

The biggest struggles often come from misunderstandings or poor communication which can be resolved.

But if you’ve put in the time, energy, and effort into your relationship and he isn’t reciprocating — then as difficult as it may be to accept — you have to think about whether he is the one for you.

Maybe you feel like you’ve tried to lead by example, you’ve attempted to ignite some passion, you’ve shown him plenty of love, care and attention (in the hopes of getting some back), but it’s all gone unnoticed.

If you have explicitly told your boyfriend that you’re upset by him constantly going out with his friends, but never taking you out — yet nothing has changed — it could be the end of the line.

The reality is that there are plenty of men out there who would jump at the chance to take you out, but you’re not giving them the chance whilst you are tied up with someone who ultimately isn’t fulfilling your needs.

Maybe he isn’t really ready to settle down yet and you are, maybe you don’t have as much in common as you thought, maybe he is a bit of a party animal or maybe it’s a sign that the love simply isn’t there for him anymore.

Whatever the reason, it could be time to face the facts that you might not be compatible.

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