Toxic Love > Unhealthy Attachments > What to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Time for You

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

How do you cope with feeling neglected and lonely when your boyfriend doesn’t spend time with you? There are smart ways to respond and draw him closer (instead of reacting and pushing him further away!). You don’t have to break up with him or even talk about your relationship. And you definitely shouldn’t beg or threaten your boyfriend was ways to get him to spend more time with you.

Instead of complaining or pleading with your him, remember that you have more power than you think! And you can use your power wisely.

These tips for coping with a physically distant or emotionally absent boyfriend were inspired by a reader. “I am always lonely, and I complain to my boyfriend because he doesn’t have time for me,” says Desiree on 5 Smart Ways to Respond When Your Boyfriend Stops Texting You. “He says he understands and that I need to give him time and we both need to weather the storm together. I don’t know what this means. My friends and family say he isn’t prioritizing me or our relationship. It’s been five months of him almost never spending time with me, and I’m lonely and confused. Is my boyfriend not interested in me anymore? What do I do?”

Don’t let your boyfriend’s choices affect how you see yourself. If he’s choosing not to spend time with you, do not assume it means you are not lovable, valuable, or worthwhile. 

Instead of relying on your boyfriend for your self-image, find ways to love and honor yourself, to see yourself the way God sees you. You are creative, smart, quirky, funny, and beautiful. You deserve a relationship that fills you up and helps you love yourself for who you are. You deserve a boyfriend who wants to spend time with you, who is eager to be with you.

What to Remember When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Spend Time With You

Your boyfriend likes you and maybe is even in love with you. He’s in a relationship with you, after all. The problem is that he is prioritizing other things in his life over you. He’s not making time for you. Can you live with your boyfriend and his choices – without him changing – exactly the way he is right now? Because you can’t change who he is. You can do a few things to do get his attention without manipulating or controlling him, but you can’t change his personality, lifestyle, or habits unless he really wants to change.

When your boyfriend doesn’t have time for you, you have two choices:

  1. You can focus on him and your relationship
  2. You can focus on your own growth and self-development
What to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Make Time for You
What to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Make Time for You

I vote for option #2, because that’s the best way to respond to a boyfriend who doesn’t make time for you. Don’t focus on him; focus on your own spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

Read through my tips for what to do when your boyfriend doesn’t have time for you below. I encourage women to create healthy, abundant, interesting lives outside their relationships. Learning how to stop being a needy girlfriend is a double bonus: it makes you happy and fulfilled, which makes you more attractive to men. So your boyfriend will WANT to spend time with you because you are healthy, happy, and whole.

Here’s the rest of my reader’s comment:

“He’s my first boyfriend, and we got back together after 12 years apart,” says D. “We are in our 30s. We ran into each other eight months ago and were excited to get back together. He had made so much money, and he kept saying he needs someone to talk to and to arrange his life. So he’s not really organized and his work gets in the way of our spending time together. I don’t know if he really has time for a girlfriend or if he even cares about me. I feel desperate and clingy.”


If you, too, feel desperate and clingy, read 5 Signs You’re Emotionally Smothering Your Boyfriend (and How to Stop!).

6 Things to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Time for You

There is no “one size fits all” answer that applies to every relationship. You need to listen to the still small voice inside of you, and decide where to focus your time and energy. There is no right answer.

What do you want out of your life, your relationship, your boyfriend? That’s where you must start.

1. Figure out what you want out of your relationship

Your boyfriend is clear on what he wants and how much time he’s willing to invest in your relationship. He’s making choices and he’s sticking to them – regardless of how it makes you feel. He’s setting his boundaries and limits.

You need to do the same thing! You must clarify what type of love relationship (and, eventually, marriage) you want. You really do have the power to control your future. It’s up to you to take the reins, rise above your wishes, and stop saying “but I want and wish….” You need to stop letting your emotions (“I want to be married, I want my boyfriend to love me and spend time with me, I want to start a family”) control you. Instead, start thinking like a smart, savvy, strong woman.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my boyfriend show me he loves me in concrete ways?
  • How well does my boyfriend’s actions match his words? Does he say he loves me, but then he doesn’t spend time with me or prioritize me in his life?
  • If my boyfriend never changes, can I be happy in this relationship?
  • Is this the man I want to marry?
  • Will my boyfriend be there for me and our kids, if we do get married?
  • Is he financially, emotionally, and professionally stable?

Be honest with yourself. If you think you want a long-term relationship with your boyfriend – or even to marry him – make sure you ask the right questions. Talk to him about his vision of your relationship, and really listen carefully to your boyfriend’s answers. It’ll help you figure out if he’s the right man for you.

And be painfully honest with yourself. If you know your boyfriend doesn’t have time for you now, how can you be sure he’ll make time for you in the future? His current choices and actions show his priorities. If you are important to him, he will find a way to see you. If you’re not, then he’ll find excuses.

2. Decide if you can accept your boyfriend as he is, right now

Don’t hope and expect your boyfriend to change, because he won’t. Yes, people can and do change…but only if they’re motivated. Only if they want to change, if they have a reason that’s important to them.

If your boyfriend is immersed in his work, friends, hobbies, or goals right now, then he may prioritize them first for the rest of his life. Can you live with this? If you want this relationship to work, you need to accept that your boyfriend doesn’t have time for you now, and he likely won’t have time for you after you get married, settle into a house, and have kids together. Don’t keep going deeper into the relationship with the expectation or hope that he will change. Your boyfriend may change and can change, but you can’t force or even expect him to change.

You need to accept your boyfriend for who he is right now. If he hasn’t been spending time with you for awhile, read 7 Ways to Know if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For.

3. Tell your boyfriend how you feel about him and your relationship – once

Be honest. Tell him how it makes you feel when he spends all his time working, hanging out with friends, playing video games, or detailing his car. Say something like, “I feel _(sad?)_  and  _(lonely?__ when you don’t spend time with me. My ideal relationship would involve us spending X amount of time on weeknights or weekends together.”

Ask your boyfriend how much time he can reasonably commit to your relationship. One date a week? Two hours a month? Get specific. Give him space to talk, to be honest with you. Don’t guilt or shame him because he’s not the boyfriend you want. He is choosing not to spend time with you for a reason. He might not be able to share that exact reason because he may not even be aware of it! Many of us have no idea why we do what we do. Personal insight and self-awareness is really hard to gain.

After you and your boyfriend have a talk about your relationship, let it go. Don’t initiate the same conversation more than once. It doesn’t help to keep telling your boyfriend you are lonely, confused, sad and frustrated because he doesn’t have time for you. He heard you the first time. If he wanted to change, he would.

4. Remember that all relationships go through ups and downs

Back to my reader, D. She says: “The work project my boyfriend spent all his money failed, and he banked on another. That failed, too.”

She added that it’s been five months since her boyfriend’s work failure. “My once beautiful relationship is now a shadow of itself. My boyfriend doesn’t give me time or attention anymore, and does not let me visit, although he pays me surprise visits at intervals. He said he wants to be left alone, as he is working tirelessly to get back on his feet.”

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

Many men see their value and self-worth in their work and finances. Some guys don’t want to embark on a committed love relationship until their professional life is stable and even prosperous. Others can’t focus on both work and love. They simply need to focus on one aspect of life at a time.

If your boyfriend doesn’t have enough time for you because of his work commitments, you might give him time to deal with his career. It’s hard to know if your boyfriend isn’t spending time with you because of a short-term crisis that is commanding his attention (which you should respect and allow space for), or if he’ll always choose his other priorities over you. Is this simply a stage in your relationship or is this part of your boyfriend’s personality? If he’s a workaholic, he’ll never ease up on his job.

Read How to Be Honest With Your Boyfriend for tips on how to set boundaries in your relationship with him.

5. Create a life outside your boyfriend and your relationship

This is the most important – and the most fun – thing to do when your boyfriend doesn’t spend enough time with you: create your own interesting, fulfilling, exciting life!

The healthiest way to respond to a boyfriend who doesn’t have time for you is to build a life you love. Do not make him the center of your existence. Find what inspires and energizes you. What makes you happy? Your boyfriend is part of your life – he is not your whole life. The happier and healthier you are, the more attractive you’ll be to him.

Questions to help you figure out who you are:

  • Where is your life going?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • What are your passions, hobbies, interests, loves?
  • When are you happiest?
  • Why did God create you? What is your purpose on this earth?

The best way to handle a boyfriend who doesn’t have time for you is to COME ALIVE! Find life, be yourself, choose authenticity, take risks…be who you were created to be. Get emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Learn how to love yourself.

6. Do not let your relationship consume your self-identity

For your sake and for your relationship’s sake – and for your kids if you have them – you need to create your own life and identity outside of your relationship. You can’t let your identity get wrapped up in you boyfriend or his life, or you’ll lose yourself.

When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Time for You

In Get the Guy: Learn Secrets of the Male Mind to Find the Man You Want and the Love You Deserve, Matthew Hussey describes how to land a first date, establish emotional intimacy, and find lasting love. You won’t just attract the right guy, you’ll start to understand how men think and what they’re looking for. Attracting the right guy is about being confident in who you are and the value you bring to the table – so you can find a guy who’s as great of a catch as you are.

What do you think – does your boyfriend have time for everything and everyone but you? If you think it’s a sign of how he feels about you, read How to End a Relationship When You’re Scared to Be Alone.

I welcome your comments welcome below…I can’t give you relationship advice or tell you why your boyfriend isn’t spending time with you, but writing might help you figure things out.

May your relationship be filled with love, forgiveness, and commitment. And, may you find courage, strength, and honesty to share exactly how you feel and what you need from your boyfriend.

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171 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Time for You”

  1. Hey
    My ex changed when he got this new job hence why he ended things with me. He was always busy and always working didn’t make time for us.
    He seemed to had changed & stressed to point it was making him drink more.
    I decided to go no contact and after 3 months he said sorry, said he missed me and said he wanted to meet
    me. He said he is thinking leaving this job but his not sure.
    Anyways he planned to meet me but the day of he cancelled on me and said his really stressed out and was held at work. So I said ok no worries. Since he hasn’t made any further plans? Iv given him some space but reached out check on how he is and if he needs anything he knows where I am. He said thank you and said I was amazing and kind. But still no further plans to meet me. Not really sure what to do? Should I back away see if he comes to me? Or should I reach out to him say no effort is being made and see what he says?
    I don’t want to have my time wasted and be texting someone for months on end. I won’t be walked all over.
    Perhaps can give me some guidance?

  2. Hello my name is Shauna, I have been seeing this guy for 4 months now. He recently went to prison for a crime that was not his fault, he got 7 and a half week. I stuck by his side sent him letters everyday and the first letter he sent me be asked me to be his girlfriend. Anyway everything was fine he would send loving letters then he came out Monday 24th and I went out of my way to be there for when he was let out. When we came home he acted as though I was a ghost so I went home I ha e only spoken to him once and he said “I’m starting a new job and I know if I see you you will distract me” I have cried for days now and I don’t know what he wants I want to see and ask him but I don’t know what to say and this is really hurting me because I done everything for him and this is how I get treated.

  3. My bf of 2.5 years doesn’t text or message me anymore. He used to text me every day until 1.5 years but I’m the one who always initiates all contact now. He’s still intimate when I see him and it may be wrong to measure his love by the frequency of contacts but still. Not only this but also he doesn’t come and see me so much like he used to. He used to see me 2 or 3 times a week but once a week or less than that these days.. I see him only a few times a month, which makes me so sad and mad at the same time. What am I to him? I’ve fought with him about this so many times last year and I’m tired now because nothing changed. I just look desperate and stupid to beg him to see me and text me more often.. Even he texts me sometimes and I reply to him then he stops replying back suddenly. He only texts me when it’s convenient and ignore me easily. I’ve been trying to not initiate the contacts, no text no call no saying I miss you. We don’t talk for a week sometime and he seems totally fine without taking to more than a week. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how can I make him miss me more and come and see me. I even feel he has someone new or doesn’t love me anymore. I wanna see him this weekends but I don’t want to ask him. I’m afraid of being ignored again. I don’t want to look desperate anymore. But I feel we’re over if I stop initiating contact with him. 

    1. Let him go.
      Join a dinner party organisation and meet someone new. You will never regret it and be so glad you did when you look back. Love yourself and cut him loose.

    2. I have the same experience as you. My advise is to let him go. Focus on your life, find new people who can make u feel loved and cherished not someone who puts u on a pedestal. Believe me you’ll save up more time being happy than sad around him. Someone who love you doesn’t treat you that way! If he really cares and if he is a REAL MAN, he would be CONSISTENT. You’ve done your part, you do not need to break more of your dignity for him. Save some for yourself. Love yourself!

  4. Thank you for this article. For the past few months I have felt last in my boyfriends life. When I express myself and feelings to him about that he gets upset as to why I would feel like this. But I feel all that comes out of his mouth are excuses. We all have things going on in our lives but we all make scarifies for the things we really want. He tells me that he likes to finish all the things he has to do before he sees me so nothing gets in his away and my attention is all his. But when do I get his attention???? At night. So Ill see him in the morning as hes taking off to take care of the things he needs to. School, studying, friends, gym. Once that’s done its about 9pm thats when he seems to have time for me… How could I not feel last?? And weekends don’t get me started. Again mostly a evening time hes available. And even when he is he wants me to go to him instead of him coming to pick me up etc. I just dont know anymore. It seems to be to much for now. He tells me that all this sacrificed time will make up for the future. Hes doing it all for “me”

    1. You know what guys love the most? Women who are happy with life in or out of the relation ship, while spending time together and while separated. A guy wants to date a girl that he can make happy not a girl that complains. Don’t nag, do not get frustrated just ask nicely and be honest why you want to spend time with him. Tell him it makes you happy when he makes time for you! Tell him how cool it is to do things with him, do not tell him how bad it is to not be with him. if you ask nicely and he doesn’t change something then you change something. Stop making time for him too and you will see how he start realizing he is not important to you anymore, that would switch his attitude and if he doesn’t he is not the right person for you. It is simple! I have experienced this before and the only way to fix it is to have the strength to put him aside as much as he does to you. You know how you can do it easily? Get to know other guys! I am not saying cheat, I am saying go out and meet them. Also find a hobby that you are really into and passionate about and dedicate time for it. Why? because guys love women with passions on their own as it makes you interesting, also it will make you happier and deeper. With time new experiences, new adventures, new attention from them and new exciting fun things to do will show up at your door and you will be free to take them. Your boyfriend soon will realize he has competitors and he will clean his act or sooner or later you will fall for someone else! The thing is no matter how serious you are with anyone women need to have a social circle that includes fun opportunities of any kind and yes lots of masculine energy to boost your life. It doesn’t mean you are a slut, it means you can get compliments from anyone, it means flirting is sexy and healthy and it means decisions will be taken as your life unfolds and not restricted by one person that has no time for you, or does he? or will he make it or he will loose you? Don’t you think is more attractive for a guy to always feel you are with him despite your multiple choices than just because you have nothing else going on and depend on him emotionally 100% because you are not in demand. You are a goddess, believe it, and behave as such so they treat you like one!

  5. Thank you for this article. I love my boyfriend with all of my heart but feel as if I am the only one who is putting in most of the effort into our relationship. We have been together for almost one year and I have voiced to him a couple of times that I wish we could spend more time together. When we do meet up, its not for long as he always has to leave to go work his second job or babysit his daughter. I always make time for him and drop everything just to see him. We see each other maybe once or twice a week. He’s also still living with the mother of his child but says its only because he would like to see his daughter everyday and financial reasons. They aren’t married but she follows him around needing to know where he is at all times. When we have tried to meet up, he has canceled plans with me because he has to care for his daughter. I don’t know if it is an excuse or not. I don’t think the mother knows about me but he is scared that she will take the their child away, if she finds out about me. It makes me feel sad and most of the time I feel extremely lonely.

  6. Your answers are all in correct in my case. What do you do after 5years and you have now recently ended up in Chronic pain. Your boyfriend is in another country now and far to busy to see you. 🙁

    1. You get a new boyfriend! If you love him and is just a temporary thing you focus on your personal growth while he comes back and see if he still the same loving or boyfriend. If he just left because you are not in his future plans do the same and move on.