When I met Harrison he was the life of the party.
We met in my second year of college at the library and yes I did make a joke about his name.
We bonded quickly in so many ways:
Our sense of humor;
Our life goals;
It was uncanny. And I was in love.
But now — after three years — things are different, and not in a positive sense.
My boyfriend never wants to do anything.
It drives me freaking crazy and I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve been wondering why he’s changed so much but the fact is I can’t put my finger on anything I’m aware of that turned him from a fun guy into a bump on a log.
If I had to pinpoint when this started it would be about eight months ago. A bit less going out, less engagement, less interest in the things we used to do.
Now I’m wondering if the guy is turning catatonic or something. He went from being my young Harrison Ford to my Harrison Bored.
Anyway, I wrote this list to help out ladies in relationships who are worried because their boyfriends never want to do anything.
I’m going to list 14 of the top causes of a boring boyfriend followed by 7 solutions.
My boyfriend never wants to do anything: what the hell is going on?
These are the top 14 causes and warning signs of a boring boyfriend. One or many of them may be true in your situation.
It really sucks to start dating a guy and catch feelings only to have him deactivate like a tired robot after a year or two (or even less time). That’s why I think these causes and warning signs are so important.
And it’s also important to know what to do if your boyfriend never wants to do anything, so I’ve listed out the best solutions below as well.
1) He’s going through drama
Men tend to shut down when dealing with harsh things.
If there’s an illness in his family, problems with friends, or any other drama kicking up then it could explain why he’s now sitting around all the time. There’s another side of this too. It’s the fact that many guys don’t want to saddle their girls with their problems.
It makes them feel weak, vulnerable, or less desirable in some way, so they usually choose to lock it all inside and play video games or stare at the floor a lot.
Dealing with emotional stuff is super exhausting and it could be what’s sapping his energy and making him seem distant.
Relationship expert Nick Bastion says:
“The first step is simply realizing that when something is weighing on a man’s mind, he just needs some down time to think about it. There is no time limit. It takes as long as it takes. And when do they have that down time? When they’re not at work…
It doesn’t mean anything bad about you if he needs to deal with his thoughts/problems/worries during the time he isn’t at work. It doesn’t mean you’re not important to him or that you’re not a priority. It just means that he’s not at work where it is crucial that he be focused and that he needs to let his mind work on it or he’s going to go crazy”.
2) He’s tired of your friends
Getting super close to someone is an exhilarating experience but some couples really overdo it.
If you go everywhere together and your friends are now his friends, then what could be going on is that he’s sort of tired of spending so much time with your friends, hearing about them, and basically pretending to like them.
You need to make sure your life and his life are separate in some ways, including having your own friends and activities that you each enjoy as well.
Your boyfriend may seem boring to you because he’s trying to stake his own independence but feels like you won’t understand and keeps it to himself.
3) He doesn’t enjoy what you do
Part of the reason my boyfriend never wants to do anything is that I tried to get him to be into too much of the same stuff as me.
Like I said, from the moment we met we had similar interests, values, and goals. But we didn’t actually love doing all the same stuff.
I like going out to pubs with friends, Harrison is more into low-key meals at home. I like going for walks, Harrison prefers adventure sports like whitewater rafting and hang-gliding.
We’ve tried out each others’ favorite activities, but jumping off a cliff isn’t really for me. And I know that for him going for a stroll or coming to the pub isn’t really his thing.
This could be true for your man also: he might just not enjoy a lot of the same activities as you.
4) The romance is missing
Somewhere along the line, the romance went missing for Harrison and I.
Probably if I had to point to one major reason it’s because our schedules are totally conflicted. But there could be other problems going on, too.
If your boyfriend never wants to do anything it could be because the romance is missing. You’re losing attraction for each other or experiencing a romance breakdown for one reason or another. And it’s making him switch off and getting you frustrated as hell.
This is a sign of a deeper relationship issue that will need to be addressed. When the romance goes missing it’s a red alert situation.
“I’m not a super romantic person, so romance always feel a bit forced to me. But if you and your partner were the kind of lovey-dovey couple that used to shower each other in roses and now those genuine gestures suddenly feel fake, it could be because you’re not romantically interested in each other anymore”.
5) He’s tired of your face
Spending time together with someone you love is obviously awesome.
But even the best things can go stale and if he’s starting to take you for granted then it’s usually because he doesn’t value you as much and thinks he can’t lose you.
No matter how in love you are it is possible that your boyfriend feels crammed in and a lack of space. He could still love you dearly but be tired of spending all your time together and feeling like you are always on top of each other.
This is particularly true if you live together where it’s harder to get time alone and feel like you have your own space.
6) You’re treating him like a friend, not a lover
Men need to have their hero instinct triggered. They also need to feel turned on, appreciated, and slightly challenged by you.
It’s possible to turn your boyfriend into more of just a friend without barely even realizing it.
I’ve come to see that this is part of the issue going on with me and Harrison. We still have physical intimacy and some couple vibes but in various ways, I started to treat him like a pal or a sidekick instead of a man who I want to possibly marry one day.
And I think that him feeling more like he’s just my buddy or something, made him stop wanting to do as much things with me and spend as much time with me.
7) He’s mad at you
Guys are usually more direct but they can get passive-aggressive at times. I saw this darker side of Harrison start emerging after a year together and by now it’s got me walking on eggshells.
Instead of just saying what’s wrong, he glowers and frowns or makes comments about other tiny issues.
He’s obviously mad at me. Your guy could be feeling resentful of you as well.
8) It’s just the end of the honeymoon phase
Relationships usually have a honeymoon phase for the first few months that starts to wear off once you know each other better and the initial excitement fades a bit.
I’m not doubting your judgment or the hard time you’re going through but it is possible that the honeymoon phase is just ending and that means your guy is less into spending all his time with you and being your constant companion.
The end of the honeymoon phase doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship. But it usually does mean a noticeable downturn in how much time you spend together and his interest in doing activities.
9) He’s sexually bored
Things might be going great in many other ways but if he’s not happy below the belt then it can all go to waste.
It’s not necessarily your fault that he’s not feeling excited in the bedroom obviously, and putting the burden of that on the woman is misogynist bullcrap.
But if this issue is going on then some kind of communication is going to have to take place and you’ll likely want to spice it up a bit in the bedroom and get his libido back to roaring like a lion.
If you want some tips, here are 7 ways to put the sexual spark back in your relationship recommended by Gina Vivinetto.
10) He feels pressured
Reverse psychology might not always work but it’s true to an extent.
If you’re all over your guy and making him feel like you depend on him to be happy and fulfilled, it’s usually going to be a bit of a turn-off for him.
When he feels pressured and expected to spend more time with you or do activities and events together, his first instinct is going to be to find a way to dodge the commitments or make it obvious he’s not that invested.
If he feels like you depend on him to make your life worthwhile, he’s going to feel squirmy and uncomfortable.
Don’t be that girl.
11) He’s withdrawing to deal with mental health challenges
All of us run into rough times, and in some situations, your boyfriend may just be dealing with really serious personal mental health challenges.
Some of the most common are anxiety and depression but he could also be struggling with paranoia, dissociation, severe mood swings, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia, and much more.
Lori Gottlieb wrote about this in the Atlantic and her words are really on point:
“I love him very much, and I plan to spend the rest of my life with him, but I don’t know how to live feeling like the floor could come out from under me at any time. He is trying to get help, but he refuses to go on any medications or stick with a plan to get better for very long. I am so scared that this is going to always be his life — a constant roller-coaster ride controlled by depression. I want so much more for him, and for us.”
He may not want to tell you about what he’s going through because he’s afraid you’ll leave him or lose attraction.
This is a tough issue for a relationship, but it can definitely be one of the top causes of him withdrawing.
12) He feels misunderstood by you
Nobody is going to understand another person 100%. Because each of us is ourselves and we see and feel the world in different ways based on tons of different factors.
But if your boyfriend feels like a basic link of connection and understanding has been severed or is missing, then it can be one of the primary issues that cause him to stop wanting to do anything with you.
There are many examples of what can cause this.
For example, he may feel you don’t care enough about his life and career issues, or he might think your interests and emotional responses to his life are shallow and it makes him feel annoyed and alone.
13) He feels you don’t appreciate him enough
The hero instinct is a big thing and so is basic appreciation.
If your guy feels overlooked or underappreciated it can cause him to shrink up in his shell like a tired turtle and go looking for other people who seem to care about him more.
Showing appreciation for your boyfriend isn’t about being over the top or crazy affectionate, it’s just about giving him some appreciation, thanks, and love every now and then.
When he feels appreciated he opens up and wants to do things together; when he doesn’t feel appreciated he withdraws and hides.
14) The relationship is over for him
I certainly hope this isn’t what’s going on with your boyfriend but it could be.
He may want to call it quits but not know how or be too scared to go for it and end things. If he’s hiding out and being a recluse who never wants to do anything with you, it could just be that he doesn’t want to be with you anymore.
It hurts a lot to think about but it could be true and you should at least think about the possibility so it doesn’t completely blindside you if he does break up with you.
What to do when your boyfriend never wants to do anything
1) Ask him what’s going on
Nothing else can replace communication.
If your man is shutting down and doesn’t want to do things anymore then you need to do your best to talk to him in a calm, mature way.
Try to be subtle, sex and relationship writer Carolyn Steber advises, noting that one good way is just to ask how their day went.
“Go ahead and ask your SO about his or her day. Do they respond by pointing out the great weather and the awesome burrito they had for lunch? Or do they grumble about everything being horrible?”
The thing about this is that guys usually don’t enjoy talking about their feelings or what’s going on with them, so there’s a pretty good chance he’s going to stonewall you.
That’s where we come to number two:
2) Try to see his POV
Strong emotions can make us blind — that goes for positive and negative.
Try to see your boyfriend’s point of view. This doesn’t require giving him a free pass or always giving him the benefit of the doubt. It’s just a matter of looking at the world through his eyes.
If he won’t communicate with you much or at all, then do your best to think about the situation he’s in and how that could be affecting him.
Did he lose his job recently or have a work conflict?
Has he had drama with an ex?
Is he worried about his health?
Have you been having arguments or clashing over your future plans?
3) Try something new with him
Sometimes all it takes is one new thing you can do together that will bring you back from the edge of a dead relationship.
There are many stimulating new activities you can try with your boyfriend.
If you’re both tired from work then what about binge-watching a new TV series?
Do you both love food? Take a cooking class together or just try new recipes at one of your places (or your place, singular, if you live together).
What about a spontaneous road trip to somewhere your boyfriend always used to talk about? Just do it!
Think of these activities as ways to re-facilitate your connection and let him open back up to you.
4) Stay as calm as possible
In your communications and relationship with your boyfriend try to stay as calm as possible.
It’s easy to take this kind of situation really personally and then have it blow up in your face but his behavior might have nothing to do with you. That’s why you should approach it with caution, respect, and calmness.
Yes, you need to let him know there’s a problem. But you don’t have to shout his ears off or bring all the drama.
5) Accept what you can’t change
If there is either a situation or relationship change that has caused your boyfriend to withdraw and stop wanting to do things with you then it’s vital to accept what you can’t change.
In other words: him.
You may be able to talk to him, influence him or help him, but you can’t make him into a different guy or change where he’s at in his life.
Trying to change your boyfriend is a losing game that’s only going to end in you being supremely frustrated and him being even more withdrawn than he was to start with.
6) Be honest with yourself
You could be in a codependent relationship. I probably am with Harrison.
At the start, we were basically balanced with how much we pursued the other, but now after three years, it’s all me — all the time.
I text, I call, I encourage, I comfort. He does…well, basically nothing.
It’s not great and if you’re not honest with yourself then you’re likely to have months and years of needless suffering.
If your relationship is completely one-sided then I have to ask you: where’s your self-respect and self-love?
Don’t ever pour your heart and soul into something with no reciprocity. You’re going to get burned out and end up with a broken heart.
7) If necessary, break up
Now we come to the sad finale and the final, blow-it-all-up option.
Breaking up is hard to do but sometimes it just needs to happen.
If you’ve done everything you can and your man is still just sitting there with a blank look on his face, then what else are you supposed to do?
If he wants you back or has an explanation about what was going on he can come after you. But your time waiting around has come to an end.
If you want a second, less final breakup option then think about taking an intentional separation and time apart for a few months and reassessing where things are at with him after that time.
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