7 signs your partner is doing the bare minimum (and you deserve better)

There’s a world of difference between being in a relationship and being in a fulfilling relationship. The distinction? Effort.

When your partner is putting in the bare minimum, you can feel it. It’s like a dull ache that never quite goes away, whispering to you that you deserve more.

Over time, I’ve compiled a list of telltale signs that your partner might not be giving their all. Because let’s face it, love isn’t about settling for less.

So stick around, because I’m about to share seven signs that your partner is just coasting along – and how you can tell you’re worth more than the bare minimum effort they’re offering.

1) Their enthusiasm is as scarce as hen’s teeth

If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, things might not always be sunshine and roses. That’s normal.

But if your partner’s enthusiasm feels like it’s on an extended vacation, that’s a different story.

When your partner is doing the bare minimum, their enthusiasm often wanes. They might not be as excited about date nights, or they may not show much interest in your shared hobbies and activities.

It’s like they’ve checked out mentally and emotionally, leaving you hanging.

And that’s not fair on you. Everyone deserves to be with someone who actively wants to be with them, and shows it.

So if you’re seeing a lack of enthusiasm from your partner, take it as a sign – you might just be dealing with someone who’s putting in the bare minimum.

2) They’re always “too busy”

You might think that a partner who’s always busy is a partner who’s invested, hardworking, and committed. But here’s the counterintuitive truth: if they’re always too busy for you, it could mean they’re doing the bare minimum.

It’s normal for life to get in the way sometimes. We all have work commitments, family obligations, and personal matters to attend to.

But if your partner is constantly using “busyness” as an excuse to avoid spending quality time together or working on your relationship, it’s a red flag.

Being in a relationship means making time for each other – no matter how packed your schedules might be. It’s about prioritizing each other and making an effort to connect and grow together.

If they’re always “too busy”, it might be their way of saying they’re not willing to put in the effort. That’s a clear sign that they’re doing the bare minimum – and you deserve better.

3) They don’t make you feel special

In a relationship, it’s the little things that count. Whether it’s a sweet text message to brighten your day or a thoughtful surprise just because, these gestures show that your partner appreciates you and thinks of you often.

But when your partner is doing the bare minimum, these tokens of affection tend to disappear. Instead of making you feel special, they might make you feel like you’re just another person in their life.

And let me tell you – from personal experience and the countless stories I’ve heard from readers of my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, this is a clear sign that you’re not getting what you deserve.

You deserve to be cherished and celebrated – not just on special occasions, but every day. If your partner isn’t making an effort to make you feel special, it’s time to reevaluate.

4) They take more than they give

As the great Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This holds true in relationships too.

In a healthy relationship, there’s a balance of give and take. But when your partner is doing the bare minimum, you might find yourself always giving, while they’re always taking.

If you’re always the one making sacrifices, coming up with ideas for dates, or initiating conversations about your relationship, that’s not balanced. It’s exhausting.

I’ve been there, trust me. It felt like I was pouring my everything into an empty well. And it took a toll on me emotionally.

A relationship should be a partnership, not a one-way street. So if you’re always the one giving, it might be time to consider if your partner is really putting in the effort that you deserve.

5) They rarely initiate conversations

people who are addicted to their phones struggle with these things in relationships 7 signs your partner is doing the bare minimum (and you deserve better)

Communication is the backbone of any strong relationship. It’s how we connect, express our feelings, and navigate through life together.

But if your partner rarely initiates conversations, especially ones that delve deeper than surface-level chit chat, it could be a sign they are doing the bare minimum.

I remember in one of my past relationships, I felt like I was the only one trying to keep the conversation alive. It was as if I was talking to a brick wall. And let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling.

Engaging in meaningful conversation shows that your partner is interested in what you have to say, respects your opinions, and values your insights.

If that’s missing, you might want to ask yourself if they’re truly invested in the relationship.

6) They don’t show interest in your life

Partners who are truly invested show a genuine interest in each other’s lives – their work, hobbies, dreams, and even the mundane day-to-day details.

As the legendary Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

When your partner doesn’t seem interested in your life, it can make you feel unimportant and overlooked.

I remember feeling this way in a previous relationship – like I was talking to someone who was physically there, but emotionally absent.

A partner who rarely shows interest in what you’re up to might simply be doing the bare minimum. And how does that feel? Not good, right?

Make no mistake: a loving partner is one who takes an active interest in your world because they care about you.

Before we continue to the final sign, don’t forget to stay updated with all my latest articles by following me on Facebook. I’d love to keep sharing insights with you on love and relationships.

7) You feel alone even when they’re there

This is one of the rawest, most honest signs that your partner is doing the bare minimum – when you feel alone, even when they’re right beside you.

Relationships are about connection, about sharing life together. But when your partner is putting in minimal effort, that connection can feel lost. You might be physically close, but emotionally miles apart.

I’ve been there, and it’s a lonely feeling. It’s like being in a crowd yet feeling utterly isolated.

If you often feel alone in your relationship, it’s a sign that something’s not right. You deserve a partner who makes you feel seen, heard, and valued – not someone who makes you feel invisible in their presence.

It takes two to maintain a relationship

Just as every person is unique, so too are relationships. But one thing remains universal – you deserve a partner who values you and contributes as much to the relationship as you do.

Understanding and recognizing the signs that your partner might be doing the bare minimum can be a tough pill to swallow.

But it’s an essential step in protecting your self-worth and ensuring you’re getting the love and respect you deserve.

Remember, a relationship is a partnership, a dance of two individuals contributing equally to create something beautiful.

And if you find yourself in a relationship that feels unbalanced, it may be time for an honest conversation or even some soul-searching.

While we’re on the topic of soul-searching, I would highly recommend watching this insightful video by Justin Brown.

In it, he reflects on his personal experience after a failed date and shares some valuable lessons about finding a compatible partner.

It’s a fantastic exploration of the complexities of relationships and resonates deeply with the points we’ve discussed in this article.

YouTube video

Remember, you deserve more than the bare minimum. You are worthy of a love that is fulfilling, balanced and joyous. Don’t settle for less.

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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