Caring about someone has a lot to do with learning about them and how they want to be cared for. These things are personal and can vary by person.
But there’s some non-negotiables. Some things that you shouldn’t experience in any relationship.
Read on to learn the signs they don’t care about you.
Caring Vs. Not Caring
Before we get into the signs of whether someone cares about you or not, we should note something pretty important.
Someone can care about you and show it in horrible, unhealthy ways. That does not make it okay.
Some people say “if they cared, they wouldn’t treat you like that.” In some cases, that may be the truth. But sometimes you might feel that someone actually genuinely loves and cares about you despite their actions or words. That could be true. Just because we have the capacity to love doesn’t mean we know how to do so in a healthy, deep way. That is never an excuse though.
Many, if not all, points on this list are deal-breakers. If you can relate, you might consider where the courage is within yourself to choose yourself.
Here are the signs he really doesn’t care about you.
Seriously, name-calling should always be off-limits. Never let someone disrespect you by calling you negative names. By the way, they don’t even need to be swear words or things that other people consider rude. It can be something that you specifically have asked them not to call you.
For example, let’s say they call you a “baby” when you express you don’t like something. They refuse to stop calling you that word even though you’ve asked him several times. This isn’t okay. If they cared about you, they care how you felt about that being called that and stop.
Other people may disagree with this one. But as someone who wears a lot, there’s a time and a place for it. The time and place isn’t when you’re arguing with your partner. Casual swearing is one thing. But in my opinion, you should never direct a swear word at a partner during a confrontation or serious, tense moment. Swearing during these times can erode the relationship we have with our partners. It can make them trust us less. And further, it helps escalate the situation and make it worse. That’s not what you want. If you can’t deescalate, the very least you could do is not inflame it with hostile language. Of course, sometimes we get angry and one may accidently slip. That doesn’t mean we’re bad people but we should realize what we’ve done wrong and try to hold back more next time.
If everything is your fault in a relationship, it likely isn’t. If you notice yourself taking responsibility and the other person can never admit their faults, that’s not normal. One person may have more work to do than the other. But being blamed for every little thing is a sign they don’t care.
Everyone has things they dislike about their partner. For example, maybe they’re a bit sloppy and need to work on picking up after themselves. Maybe they cook a food they love but you find hard to stomach. That’s okay. What’s not okay is insulting the person for it by calling them “a pig,” or “lazy do nothing” or “horrible cook.” In some cases, it might be appropriate to have a calm discussion about it and let the person know how you feel. Other times, it doesn’t matter and you should just let the person be themselves. No need to degrade them in any situation.
As you get closer to a person, you’ll begin to share more and more personal things. It’s normal and a good thing to begin opening up. Vulnerability is a key within relationships. However, if your partner is using what you’ve told them against you, they’re not caring about you.
For example, I was dating a guy one time and I opened up about my previous relationship to someone with addictions and mental health problems. He got into an argument with me about harm reduction and used my own story against me.
“My ex slowed her use with me. Why couldn’t you make your ex? If we’re supposed to help people, why can’t you even help him?”
Clearly, not a guy who cared about how I felt. People should never use your vulnerabilities or information against you to try to make a point.
When someone cares about you deeply, they’ll want to know more about your feelings or things you’re going through. That’s because they’ll want to provide comfort and make sure you’re not alone in that experience, even if they can’t fix it.
For example, let’s say you open up and tell the person that you’re grieving the loss of a family member or going through a depressive period. If the person responds, “ok” and then goes on to switch the subject or talk about themselves again, that’s not good.
A partner who cares shouldn’t gloss over details when you open up. They should learn into them to know more. If someone is doing this, it may be worth asking them why this is a pattern. But oftentimes, they just might not be open enough to care deeply—and that’s not something you can change.
At the beginning of a relationship, it may normal to feel like one person is chasing the other. It’s part of the process of getting to know each other. But if that never settles down, and you’re always the one reaching you, they may not care as much as you do. It shouldn’t always be a chase. This isn’t always the case; some people have different communication styles. For example, some people like to text more or less and that’s not necessarily a sign of care.
But if you’re the one planning dates, trying to impress them, calling first, texting first, waiting forever for answers, dodging canceled dates—you might want to forfeit the game.
A partner who cares about you should say good things about you when he talks to other people. If you notice that in a group, your partner is constantly saying negative things, even light-heartedly, that’s not a good sign. It could get downright disrespectful if he brings up private matters or insults you.
It’s worth noting that some people just aren’t wired for romance and that’s okay. But if that’s a need you value, you deserve someone who can meet that. If your partner doesn’t want to ever kiss you, hold your hand, go on dates, spend quality time together, you might wonder why they’re even there in the first place.
There’s some things we should never compromise on. And what that looks different to everyone because it depends on our values and our standards for those values.
But regardless of that, every relationship will likely have some flexibility; some give and take that makes it work. If you realize you seem to be the only one giving up things or making compromises, you should ask yourself if you’re being cared for. There may be periods in life where you’re comprising more (ex. if your partner is busy this month on a work project). But if it never ends, know that you deserve someone to meet you halfway.
If the person isn’t making time for you, it’s likely they don’t care on some level. Maybe they like you and like spending time with you, but they don’t care enough to invest regularly. One of my boyfriends would rather sit at home with his roommate and watch TV than see me 6/7 days of the week. That’s okay, but it’s also a sign that he probably didn’t care enough, so I too, had better things to do.
How much time someone has or they should have depends on both of your lifestyles. Some people want to see their partner a lot. Some people are okay with one day a week even 5 years in. Rather than labeling someone’s needs as “right” or “wrong,” reframe it as “a match for mine” or “not a match for mine.”
Are you ever talking and realize it looks like your partner is in daydream land? But as it’s their turn to speak, they quickly snap out of their haze. Or maybe they change the topic altogether. These things can make us feel unseen and unheard. Everyone has off days, but a good partner should genuinely try to listen and connect.
If you’re in an open relationship, obviously this doesn’t apply to you. But if you’re exclusively dating someone and they still continue to flirt with other people, that’s a sign they don’t care. First, consider if what you think is flirting actually is. I’ve had some boyfriends accuse me of flirting when I’m talking the same way I would to a woman (and I’m straight). Consider the person’s personality and their normal standard of communicating.
If you determine that the person is flirting, know that you deserve someone who focuses on you only.
In any given relationship, each person will eventually say sorry hundreds, if not thousands of times. That’s life. We all make mistakes. The key is to learn from them and make amends. If you notice that your partner can’t hold themselves accountable, it could be time for a change. They might also continuously apologize in ineffective ways. It’s hard to grow together when they don’t admit your faults and make an effort to apologize.
They say it takes two to tango, but it also takes two to make things work. If you’re trying to fix your relationship and your partner doesn’t seem to be putting forth anything, it’s likely he doesn’t care. You deserve someone who wants to keep you around forever and that’s not happening if one person refuses to budge.
If someone is constantly bringing up a handful of your wrongdoings to justify their boatload, that’s just not right.
One of my boyfriends would constantly do hurtful things. Whenever they occurred, he might throw a quick “sorry” and proceed to say “but you did X and Y, so it’s not that bad.” The X and Y would always be the same minor events. But they somehow excused all of his behavior for the entire relationship.
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