7 ways a man shows he’s lost interest without saying a word, according to psychology

“You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips / And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips”

Do you recognize these lyrics from the classic Righteous Brothers song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’?

If you do, it may be because your man may be losing in your relationship, or it could be that you’re that man, and the loving feeling that seems to be slipping away is your own.

Sometimes, love slip-slides away without any warning instead of blowing up in a big confrontation.

But is losing interest the same thing as losing love? And is this a one-way street or is it possible to rekindle the fire and get those feelings back?

While this might seem like the realm of Hollywood movies, psychology has a lot more of interest to say about it.

Let’s look at seven ways a man shows he’s lost interest without saying a word, according to psychology, and discuss what this means for the future of your relationship.

1) He seems depressed.

When people get depressed, they can start to lose interest in just about everything in their lives.

Sadly, romance is no exception.

Research shows that losing interest across the board is a symptom of at least half of people affected by depression. These people lose their feelings of excitement and attraction to certain activities and points of focus in their lives and feel a general sense of anhedonia or lack of pleasure.

This can include their feelings toward their loved ones and specifically their romantic partners. It can also affect their health and quality of life, which in turn can make them feel even more depressed.

The question is whether or not this lack of interest means a man is finished with a relationship or not.

The answer is that while his interest may have decreased, he may still have affection for you and a need for yours, too.

Is this going to be enough for your relationship to survive?

2) He stops communicating.

Communication breakdown is one of the biggest symptoms of trouble in a relationship. 

Now, if your relationship was never exactly known for great communication, this isn’t necessarily a sign that he has lost interest. Instead, it might just let you know that you need to work on making improvements.

But when your communication becomes way worse than in the past, it can let you know something has changed.

That change may be that he has lost interest. However, it could also mean that he is dealing with stress or that you’ve had a conflict that you weren’t able to work out.

For example, a man might be dealing with all new stressors at work and that might make him quieter or a lot more irritable at home. 

Or you may have had a major fight about something that didn’t get resolved. It could be that his feelings are still hurt or that he is struggling with how to resolve the differences in your core values.

But if you don’t talk anymore like you used to do, it may be because he has lost interest.

Other signs of communication breakdown include aggression and escalation in your arguments, not finishing discussions, or avoiding communication entirely.

All of these can show you that something is seriously wrong

Whether or not that’s because he has lost interest in you, however, is something you’ll have to investigate further, especially if he won’t just tell you.

3) He criticizes you.

The Gottman Institute is famous for its observations of the breakdowns of relationships. As professional psychologists, the Gottmans have been able to predict whether or not a relationship will end in divorce with 93.6% accuracy.

How do they know if a relationship will work out or if it’s doomed?

One big factor that the Gottmans point to is criticism versus complaining.

In any relationship, there are going to be things that don’t work out well and things that partners won’t agree on. It’s normal for them to complain about things they don’t like.

For example, an example of complaining might be saying to your partner, “You came home late without calling or texting to let me know. It made me worried.”

While this is a complaint about what the person did, it’s phrased to focus on the situation and the person’s own feelings.

However, criticisms turn that focus onto the partner and attack their character, not just their actions.

In the same situation, a scathing criticism might be, “You came home late without calling or texting again. You’re always doing this, and it shows me you have no regard for my feelings.”

According to the Gottmans, this criticism is way worse since it tells the partner that they’re bad and devalues them.

If your man has turned from complaining to criticizing you, it’s not a good sign. This might be an indication that he’s lost interest and doesn’t care about you the way he once did.

4) He speaks to you with contempt.

toxic relationship 7 ways a man shows he's lost interest without saying a word, according to psychology

This is another of the Gottmans’ big signs of a relationship in trouble.

You might be wondering what contempt sounds like in a relationship. It’s not the same as contempt of court!

Contempt is a feeling that the other person isn’t worth your time and attention. What they care about and think has no value.

This shows up in belittling remarks, being condescending, and treating each other disdainfully.

People say things like, “Oh, poor baby! I’m so sorry you’re tired after I’ve been working all day,” or “I don’t care what you think because you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Even body language, like rolling your eyes or shaking your head at your partner, can show contempt.

Contempt is found in happy and unhappy relationships, but it can also be a sign that your man isn’t interested anymore.

If he feels like he doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore, he might start to feel resentment toward you and may begin to communicate contemptuously.

5) He doesn’t touch you.

Normally, a guy who’s attracted to you and loves you will try to touch you often. 

Of course, the amount of touch that’s normal in your relationship is different for every couple. 

Some couples touch non-stop like they’re afraid the other will float away like a helium balloon if they’re not constantly joined. Others only touch rarely, and some really only touch during sex.

Touch can be a great way to express feelings without words. It can help couples express love and admiration and build intimacy.

The key to notice here is if the amount that he touches you goes way down.

If you used to hold hands in public all the time, but lately, he’s not into it, something has changed. 

This doesn’t mean that he’s lost interest, necessarily.

It could be that he’s upset about something that you haven’t worked out or that he’s stressed about other things. Talk about it and try to find out.

Just be aware that you might find he has lost that lovin’ feelin’, and now it’s gone.

6) He no longer shares his secrets.

According to psychologists, “sharing secrets is often a way to build trust or closeness.”

By confiding in another person, you find social support and can unload some of the burden of carrying a secret.

Most people share secrets with their partners because they can trust them. It’s that simple. 

They feel close and intimate and like their partner will be very unlikely to break their trust.

Secrets are a good thing in relationships, so long as they’re not dark secrets being kept from each other.

So, when your man stops sharing secrets with you, this can be a sign that he has lost interest.

He may no longer feel really close to you, and with that loss of intimacy, he may also feel less inclined to trust you with his secrets.

7) You feel a lack of reciprocity.

Reciprocity is just a fancy way of saying that you do things for each other in a balanced way.

You rub his back, and he massages your feet. He takes out the garbage, and you scrub the toilet.

In healthy relationships, there’s a power balance that allows the partners to do things for each other to keep things relatively equal.

But when that balance noticeably changes, it can be a sign that something has changed. Your man might have lost interest in you romantically but still wants to gain benefits from you.

So, he might seem to start using you for sex or doing his laundry while not doing anything in return.

Final thoughts

These seven ways a man shows he’s lost interest without saying a word, according to psychology, can be hard to deal with.

Rather than talking about his feelings, a man might just let things run their course, and that can be painful. If you notice these signs, it’s time to talk about whether or not your relationship has a future.

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.