Pay attention to me! How to deal when the focus isn’t on you

“I love it when my significant other ignores me,” said no one ever. That’s why the silent treatment is such an effective form of torture. We love to be the object of desire, not the object of disinterest, so here are a few ways to handle it if you’re feeling a little too far off someone’s radar.

You vs. Work
They spend all their time on the job. You wish they’d work less and play more.

Ask yourself: Is my S.O. working on something really important to them? Am I being sensitive to their goals? Is this only short-term?
Tell yourself: It’s good to support my S.O. while they deal with intense work demands, and we can schedule a vacation for us to reconnect when they’re out of the woods.
Brace yourself: If they put no work into your relationship and only care about work, you might not ever feel truly fulfilled in this situation.

You vs. Friends
They’re up for anything as long as it’s with the group. You want some one-on-one time.

Ask yourself: Can you tag on an hour of private couple-time on to your group-time? (Hello, compromise.)
Tell yourself: We’re seriously fortunate to have such good friends and each other.
Brace yourself: If they really avoid time with you alone and don’t even spend much time by your side in a group, there may be a bigger problem.

You vs. Porn
They seem more content with self-service. Screw going solo; you want to connect in bed.

Ask yourself: Am I ok with porn at all? Is this too much or would any amount not be ok with me? Does their viewing habit make me feel like I’m not enough? (BTW, you are always enough.)
Tell yourself: Either I’m ok with it or not. If I’m ok with porn in general, then they can watch that stuff and still be totally into me. If I’m not ok with it, then it’s time to talk about this.
Brace yourself: If your S.O. stops having sex with you and only gets off on porn, that’s not a healthy development for your relationship. Talk it out and see if there’s something else happening that needs to be addressed. (Like addiction.)

You vs. Sports
There’s always a game that seems to take priority over time with you. You’re over it.

Ask yourself: Is there something I can do to foster my passions or goals while they’re doing the sports thing?
Tell yourself: A little me-time or blowing-off-steam-time is good for a couple.
Brace yourself: If the only way to be with them is to be into sports—and you could care less about anything sporty—you may need to work on having more in common.

You vs. Their Needy Ex
They’re just being nice to someone they used to love. You feel like you should be #1.

Ask yourself: Am I being overly jealous and insecure, or is there really too much time being spent with this other person?
Tell yourself: Dedication and concern are noble characteristics. This is a time for compassion and I don’t have to feel threatened.
Brace yourself: If you can objectively see that they’re getting emotionally drawn back into a past relationship, you may have to have a fierce conversation about the state of your commitment.

And should it come down to you vs. anything else, we always recommend talking about it. It’s ok to want more attention, time, or intimacy. That stuff is pretty common and can be worked through. It’s not ok to be greedy, selfish, or unreasonable about how much attention one person can bestow on you. So do check yourself and try to proceed from a place of balance, compromise, and esteem.


P.S. Got a penis? Or a vagina? Or a pengina? Then the new Bedsider videos on Funny or Die are for you.

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