Why Does My Partner Ignore Me?

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated February 22, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Do you find yourself wondering what happened to that spontaneous, intimate "you are my person" feeling? It can be painful to feel as if you are being ignored or as if your partner's needs trump those of your own. However, there are many possible causes that can contribute to these feelings and to your partner’s pattern of behavior. Understanding the why behind their actions can be a helpful first step in coming to a mutual resolution that addresses the needs of all involved. 

Below, we‘re uncovering possible reasons behind your partner’s behavior and supportive strategies you can start using today to support all people of the relationship in reaching a higher quality of life.

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Are you experiencing relationship difficulties?

Not sure if your partner is truly ignoring you? Here are some signs that can help you to determine what could be happening: 

  • Your partner might seem to avoid you, turning to different distractions to limit conversational opportunities 
  • Your partner may be physically reclusive and prefers to spend the majority of their time in their own space.
  • Your partner may seem to stop verbally “taking interest” in conversations, instead minimizing contact or speaking only about their needs or experiences. 

If the noted signs above align with your experiences, your partner may be ignoring you or wrapped up in their needs at the moment. While this can be painful to realize, it can be helpful to remember that identifying what is going on is often a strong first step in the process of moving forward. An honest evaluation can be the best thing for your relationship at this moment and can be supported and executed by a skilled online therapist. 

Why does my partner ignore me?

There are many reasons why your partner may seem otherwise distracted or disinterested. Here are a few supportive strategies you can try if you feel as if you are being ignored:

Choose not to jump to conclusions based upon incomplete information

Many may find that it can be incredibly easy to misinterpret cues, even from our partners. One of the best strategies you can employ in response to your partner's apparent distance or lack of interest is to consider that you may not have all the facts. 

If you have not already done so, you might choose to ask some open, clarifying questions to get the information that you feel is needed for a more comprehensive picture of what’s “going on.” Open-ended questions can be helpful here, as they can allow for any answer from your partner. 

Generally speaking, open questions can begin with "who," 'what," "how," "where" or "when.”  Some examples to help get you started might be:

  • "How are you doing right now?"' (rather than, "Are you okay?")
  • "What do you need?" (rather than, "Is there anything you need?" which can make it very easy for your partner to respond with only a "yes" or a "no”.)
  • "What can I do for you?"

Ask yourself: Could it be stress?

Many of us can become stressed periodically, and sometimes that stress can affect a relationship.

Stress can often occur as a result of change—whether the person considers it positive or negative. Possible changes that can induce stress can include a new job, a promotion or job relocation. With this in mind, you might want to take a moment to evaluate the number of potentially stressful experiences or ongoing circumstances your partner could have experienced over the past few months that could possibly contribute to how they are feeling. You may find that their behavior doesn’t have anything to do with the relationship or any concerns, instead occurring because they feel personally stressed or overwhelmed in their current phase of life. 

Could it be due to personality traits or preferences? 

Personality preferences (or perceived preferences) can affect how partners interact in a relationship. Some partnes may prefer to keep to themselves (a trait which can be commonly seen in those who align with the introvert personality type) while others may want to converse to find a deeper level of intimacy. 

With this in mind, if it is more important to you to participate in conversation with your partner about possible triggers, needs or topics, it can be helpful to let them know your preference in this regard. 

While the conversation may feel uncomfortable at first, it can be helpful to remember that your partner generally wants your needs to be met, too—they just may not fully understand how to meet them. 

Additionally, sometimes, a slight reframing of an expectation can make the difference for the concerned partner; highlighting a clear boundary between behavior that’s perceived as ignoring vs. behavior that may be more comfortable for your partner to engage in that could align well with their innate preferences. Having the conversation can also help your partner to better communicate and interact with you, which can help to meet your needs in this specific area. 

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Are you experiencing relationship difficulties?

Could it be due to something deeper? 

It can be possible that something else is underlying your partner’s behavior that you may not be aware of. Perhaps it could be overwhelm, a different passing interest that is consuming their attention or a mental health condition. However, some partners may not be ready to speak about their needs in this way yet—which can make it seem as if they are ignoring you, when they otherwise might be lost in thought or working their way through a problem of their own. 

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In either case, online therapy can be a helpful tool—working to meet the needs of every member of the relationship.

How can online therapy help to strengthen relationships? 

The idea of seeking outside support via couples’ therapy can feel overwhelming to some. That’s why many appreciate the convenience and affordability of online therapy. Online therapy, as a modality, can be applied in many contexts. 

Whether a partner is facing a concern in the relationship or is experiencing difficulties communicating, a licensed therapist can help all members of the relationship to address needs and find a path to a higher quality of life. 

Is online therapy effective?

Research shows that online therapy is a powerful tool in strengthening couples. A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found details that suggests that 94% of couples are satisfied with the care that they receive in online therapy, with 57% reporting significant progress in relationship satisfaction measures. 


Feeling ignored can be painful for many. However, there are many possible reasons for the behavior that you’re seeing from your partner that may have nothing to do with you or their satisfaction in the relationship. Identifying root causes to these behaviors can be a helpful first step for many in feeling validated and seen by their partner. Online therapy can also be a helpful tool for many couples to regain intimacy and connection. ReGain can connect couples with an online therapist in their area of need. 
Marriage can come with complex challenges
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