Meet the Neglector.
He places little or no priority on you or the relationship.
He is self-absorbed and thinks only of himself.
He is not interested in your good news or bad news.
He rarely has sex with you or has none at all.
He doesn’t text or call you very often like he did when you first started dating.
He doesn’t say sweet things to you anymore in the rare event that he does text or call.
He makes you feel lonely, even if you are sitting right next to him.
He shuts you down when you try to talk to him, especially about the relationship.
He no longer makes plans that involve the two of you.
Raise your hand if I need to go further. No, I didn’t think so.
The Neglector is one of the worst men you can get involved with. Their behavior is an insidious form of emotional abuse. We don’t think of neglect in that light, however. Emotional abuse is a concept we’re more used to hearing about in narcissistic men, gaslighters, rageaholics, and the like.
But this doesn’t mean that it is not a big issue between romantic partners. It is a Big Effing Issue.
Emotional neglect is when your guy fails to take your feelings into account, actively ignores you, and places a low or no priority on you, your needs, or the relationship.
I recently dated a Neglector, and it was the most difficult relationship I’ve ever been in.
Here is my story. I began seeing a man who in the beginning seemed sweet, gentlemanly, expressive, and fun. After the third date, he said he was in love with me. I said I was in love with him too. After five weeks, he asked me for a commitment. I said yes, I was committed.
About three more months in, I realized that I had entered Neglector territory. The first signs were that I was making all the weekend plans, he was having sex with me less often and eventually not at all, and he was not interested in my life or anything about it.
After another two months of this neglect, I ended up in the land of WTF. He rarely responded to my texts, even to benign messages like, “Hey, want to try this new restaurant near your house?” One Sunday, I tried calling him twice to see how his seasonal allergies were, no answer. I followed up with a text. He texted me back: “I’m watching a movie. I don’t feel like talking.”
The next weekend we didn’t even get together. He wanted to stay home and supposedly chill.
I slowly realized that I had tried to share my life with someone who was sending me the message that I was no longer worth his time or consideration. My confidence was shattered, my self-worth was called into question, and anxiety was my constant companion.
I hope this never happens to you, because when a boyfriend or partner consistently neglects you, you feel:
Extremely anxious and on edge all the time
Filled with self-doubt.
Sad and depressed.
Unwanted and unappreciated.
Unworthy of love and attention.
When a woman is neglected in a relationship, she feels all these emotions at the same time, and they are incredibly painful to endure. When a woman feels like this, she is likely to blame herself, even though emotional neglect says nothing about you but everything about him. When a woman feels like this, she will go to great lengths to fix the relationship – which makes the Neglector shut down even more. Eventually, when a woman feels like this, she will pull away, and in most cases, end the relationship completely (which is the best-case solution and what I did).
You might be wondering: can a Neglector change?
My personal opinion: It’s not going to happen – because he would rather amputate his right arm with a butcher knife than take ownership for his abusive behavior or let go of his opinion that he is far and wide the center of his own universe.
Here’s all you need to know: Neglectors are quite incapable of behaving like decent, caring human beings. They cannot sustain healthy relationships, nor do they even try. They cannot give or receive intimacy at any level. And they are certainly not worth the emotional suffering they will put you through.
You deserve more. You deserve someone whose entire day feels empty when you’re not there. You deserve someone who wipes away your tears, not someone who causes them. You deserve someone who will never let you fall asleep at night wondering if you still matter. You deserve someone who loves you forever.
Don’t give up trying to find him. He’s looking for you too.