What You Need to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Make Time for You

When your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you, it’s a sign that you need to give things a real shake, or wave goodbye. You deserve to be a priority. 

When Your Boyfriend Doesn't Make Time for You

In relationships, it’s all about priorities. If your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you, the bottom line is that you’re not at the top of his priority list. Don’t you deserve better than that?

A relationship needs three things to function properly: love, trust, and attention.

If you get the love and you trust your partner, can you overlook a lack of attention?


What is a relationship if you don’t spend time together? Is it really a strong union if your boyfriend is never there for you when you need him, or when you simply want to see him? [Read: The 15 signs he’s ready for a relationship and the subtle hints he’s not]

Why quality time together is important

Before we start giving you advice on what to do if your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you, let’s talk about why it’s important in the first place. Unless you know why you need quality time, you’re not going to focus on getting it.

You see, within our lives, we have several different people who mean a lot to us. We have family, friends, partners, colleagues. Some of those people should get more time than others. Now, that’s not to say that from time to time things don’t end up being a little out of balance, but if your boyfriend is spending more time with his friends, what does that say? If it’s all the time, it’s a big problem. It’s telling you that they’re more important than you are.

How does that make you feel? [Read: The right priority in your relationship: How to find & focus on it]

You deserve to be a priority in your boyfriend’s life because you’re supposed to mean a lot to him. Spending time together is important because it strengthens your bond and keeps you connected. When you don’t do that, or you feel annoyed that he’s spending it all with someone else, resentment creeps in. That’s when problems start.

Are you overreacting because your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you?

Hell, no!

Now, you might think I’m coming on a little strong here, but I share from personal experience. I had a relationship that was great in many ways, but in other ways, not so great. My boyfriend at the time simply didn’t seem to understand balance.

For instance, I would spend time with friends, family, and him. I would do it equally to ensure that nobody felt left out and also to give me equal amounts of time with everyone I loved and cared about. [Read: 11 most important things in a relationship that hold it together]

The ex? Not so much. He thought spending time with friends was more important than anything in the world, to the point where I was often sent a text canceling a night out, while he was off enjoying conversation with his buddies.

Put simply, it’s a case of relationship neglect. You don’t deserve to be further down his list of priorities, you should be up there too. [Read: How to stop feeling neglected by the one you love]

Signs your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you

If you’re not sure if you’re in this situation or you’re seeing things a little differently, let’s check out a few of the main signs your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you. If you see more than a few on a regular basis, you need to evaluate what you mean to him.

1. You call and he doesn’t always answer

Now, it’s normal for someone to be busy and not be able to answer the phone occasionally. But, if you regularly find yourself calling him and he doesn’t answer, what’s going on? He’s busy doing something more interesting maybe? It could be that he calls you back later, but if you know he wasn’t working or doing something important, it’s simply that he’s with his friends or chilling on his own. How do you feel about that? Only you know. [Read: Why do men hate talking on the phone]

2. He often leaves you on read

It doesn’t take a second to fire back a text message. Even if you’re busy, you can just quickly say that you’ll message later you’re a little busy. If he’s regularly leaving you on read, it’s downright disrespectful aside from anything else. You probably never leave him on read, right?

3. He rarely agrees to do anything without thinking about it first

The reason he doesn’t simply say “yes, let’s do that” when you suggest something is because he’s trying to work out whether he’s made other plans or if his friends might want to do something. It could be that what you’re suggesting clashes with a game he wants to watch with the boys. Obviously, he’s allowed time with his friends but if your suggestions are always way down the list compared to those his friends make, you might want to question why. [Read: The dating girl code all girls need to know]

4. He often cancels plans

Do you make plans only to have them canceled? If he has a good reason, e.g. something with his family or he’s not feeling well, that’s fair enough. But, if he regularly cancels because he doesn’t feel like it or he needs to go and see his friends, that means you’re not a priority in his life.

5. You can go days without seeing him

Some couples don’t see each other every day or every couple of days, but you know what is normal for you. If you find that he’s suddenly making excuses a lot of the time and you’re not seeing him for days, why is that? Is it because he’s not making time for you and he’s doing something more so-called fun instead? It’s time you called him out on it, if that’s the case. [Read: Timing it – How often should you see your boyfriend or girlfriend?]

6. He’s always on his phone to his friends when he’s with you

There is nothing more annoying and disrespectful than a guy who is always on the phone with his friends when he’s supposed to be hanging out with you. He might be actually on a voice call or simply messaging, but it means he’s not present in the moment. He might be there with you in person, but he’s not making time for you because he’s mentally elsewhere.

7. He always seems to be busy when you suggest something

Other than having to think about it when you ask him to do something, does he automatically seem to be busy much of the time? Nobody is so busy that they can’t take a little time for their partner, even if it’s just lunch. If he’s always busy and you rarely get to see him that much, it’s probably time to question the relationship. [Read: Is your boyfriend getting lazy and boring?]

8. There’s always someone else around when you’re together

This one is super annoying – when you finally do get to pin your boyfriend down for some time together, is there usually someone else there? It could be a family member or a friend, but it blocks the two of you from having any kind of experience together. It’s like you’re just there in person to tick a box; at least he can say he saw you, right?

9. He doesn’t like to make plans

The reason is that he is waiting for something more interesting to fill his time. You might suggest going away for the weekend in a couple of weeks’ time but he seems evasive. You know he’s not working because you chose that weekend for that reason. This is one of the signs your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you – it’s not like you didn’t give him enough notice. [Read: He won’t commit but he won’t let go. What should you do now?]

What should you do if your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you?

There are a few ways you can tackle this problem. Firstly, ask yourself whether this is an ongoing issue or something which has only just started to happen. If it’s recent, is there a reason for it? Maybe a friend is going through a hard time, or a family member is demanding a little attention and he feels bad about not seeing them as much as he used to. Maybe he simply doesn’t realize what he’s doing.

In this case, either wait it out a little and see if things change or sit down and talk about it.

It’s normal to feel left out when your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you. Of course you’re going to want to highlight the problem and work out what the issue is. [Read: How to help a selfish boyfriend find balance and change for the better]

Now, a word of warning here. This tactic could be a little gung-ho if it has literally been once or twice when your boyfriend has been a little less than available or has cancelled on you. We’re all allowed to have busy lives on occasion, and it could very well be that he’s busy at work. We wouldn’t advise sitting down and talking about things if it’s literally been only a couple of times.

However, if you’ve been lacking attention for a while, tackle the problem proactively. [Read: What to do when your guy’s friends are a bad influence]

Maybe it’s not intentional

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that sometimes men don’t always realize what they’re doing. We don’t mean to sound negative or particularly nasty here, but from our experience, most men are laid back and don’t always understand what effect their actions have. It is likely that your guy just hasn’t even noticed what he’s doing. Is that an excuse? No, but give him the chance to rectify it, and he will probably prove you wrong. [Read: How to get your boyfriend’s attention when he’s ignoring you]

If not, well, it’s time to ask yourself whether you always want to be a lower priority than everyone else.

Remind him what he’s missing

Another tactic is to make him see exactly what he’s missing out on. Most guys are oblivious to what is going on until it’s in their face. Go out with your friends a little more, post it on social media, and show that you’re having a ball.

This doesn’t mean you do anything bad, you’re simply having a good time with your friends. Why should you sit around waiting for someone who isn’t giving you the attention you deserve? Yes, it a game. Sometimes we play games to regain the attention of someone who is being a little dumb in the love stakes.

The chances are that by being unavailable sometimes, he’ll wonder what’s going on. You’re quite likely to then have a full inbox, several missed calls, and inquiries into what you’re doing tonight. Men work in predictable ways sometimes! [Read: Why do guys come back when you ignore them?]

Even if he doesn’t make time for you, always remember your worth

The flip side of focusing on yourself is that you will boost your own confidence and remind yourself of your own self-worth. Nobody should sit around waiting for someone to deem them worthy of attention. It should be given without even asking. When your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you, he’s basically telling you that other things are more important, and that shouldn’t be the case. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re giving too much]

Let’s be honest, nobody is that busy all the time. Sure, we go through busy times in life occasionally, but it’s transient. It passes and things go back to normal. If your boyfriend is constantly busy, he’s either super-successful and on the verge of overtaking the founder of Apple in the historical entrepreneur stakes, or he’s just not bothered about making time for you.

It’s harsh to hear, we know, but not making time for someone and failing to rectify the situation when they bring it up, is a message in itself. [Read: Can you actually fix a one-sided relationship before it ends in failure?]

Could it be time to say goodbye?

We don’t like to dwell on negatives, but if you’ve tried several tactics and still not getting attention, it could be time to wave goodbye. Go and find yourself another boyfriend who gives you the time and attention you deserve. [Read: How to make a guy realize he’s losing you – 13 hints that work]

Like we said earlier, a relationship requires three things to function. Love, trust, and attention. It’s like a car in many ways. When one wheel falls off, the whole thing tips to one side and doesn’t work. The engine might still run, but it’s not going anywhere. That’s the reality of a relationship lacking quality time over the long-term.

You see, relationship loneliness is a real thing. There comes a point when your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you over a long period, and you wonder what you’re doing. You see couples around you going out for dinner, spending time together, and laughing, and you feel jealous. [Read: 13 needy signs you’re too available for your partner]

You can have that, you just need to have it with someone else in this case. If he isn’t going to give you what you need, then he really doesn’t care enough. It’s not about being busy or feeling stressed, and it’s not about a million other excuses he might come up with. If your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you, especially after you ask him to, the relationship is as mobile as a car with one wheel missing.

[Read: The 16 signs to understand when someone is using you]

When your boyfriend doesn’t make time for you, it can be upsetting. Sure, it happens from time to time, and nobody is perfect either. If it’s a constant deal you seriously need to think about whether you’re in the right relationship.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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