The notion that “true love is when he ignores you” is a popular belief among some groups of people. However, many relationship experts disagree with this idea and claim it is a myth or unhealthy relationship pattern.
In this article, we will examine the origins of this belief, the possible reasons behind it, and the arguments for and against it being an accurate portrayal of true love.
Where Does This Belief Come From?
The idea that being ignored or treated with indifference by a romantic partner is a sign of true love likely stems from several sources:
Many grow up consuming media that portrays aloof, mysterious, or standoffish love interests. The notion is that their indifference makes them more desirable and the pursuit of their affection more romantic. This trope shows up frequently in romance novels, films, and TV shows.
Misinterpreting Bad Behavior
Some may rationalize away real red flags like emotional unavailability, avoidance, and poor communication skills as secret signs of love. This ties into the romanticized notion of a partner who is “hard to get.”
People with insecurities may feel they need to “earn” their partner’s love and attention through constant effort. A partner who ignores them or their needs feeds into this anxious attachment cycle.
Normalizing Toxic Patterns
Unfortunately, patterns of emotional abuse and manipulation are often misconstrued as normal relationship issues.This makes it easier to justify and accept poor treatment.
Reasons Some People Perpetuate This Belief
There are several psychological factors that can cause someone to believe that indifference equals love:
People with poorer self-image may feel unworthy of full love and attention from a partner. They rationalize coldness as proof of love.
Unhealthy Attachment Styles
Those with insecure attachment styles often pursue relationships that validate their negative beliefs. Accepting indifference reinforces their anxieties.
Normalizing Jealousy and Manipulation
Some believe that jealousy, control, and emotional games are natural signs of passion in a relationship.
Lack of Relationship Role Models
Without positive examples, people may base their beliefs about love on media tropes and toxic patterns they are used to.
Going Against Traditional Gender Norms
Some adhere to outdated beliefs that men should be less emotionally expressive in relationships.
Why This Belief Can Be Problematic
There are several reasons why accepting indifference and lack of care from a partner can be highly problematic:
It Excuses Unhealthy and Abusive Dynamics
This belief rationalizes and reinforces patterns of emotional manipulation, neglect, poor communication, avoidance, and lack of accountability.
It Leads to One-Sided Relationships
One partner’s needs are ignored while they constantly work to earn affection. This creates an imbalanced dynamic that leaves one person unfulfilled.
It Erodes Self-Worth Over Time
The constant feeling of being undeserving, chasing validation, and accepting breadcrumbs of affection is damaging. Self-esteem suffers.
It Prevents Addressing Core Issues
Rather than resolving conflicts, insecurities, and needs with a partner, the indifference is justified. Problems remain unaddressed.
It Normalizes Toxic Relationship Standards
Accepting indifference as normal lowers standards for what constitutes a loving, mutual partnership.
Signs Indifference Does Not Equal True Love
While no relationship is perfect, here are some signs that indifference does not signify a healthy, loving bond:
- Your needs and feelings are dismissed frequently
- You feel anxious about losing their attention and affection
- Expressing vulnerability is met with a lack of empathy
- You are admonished for wanting quality time together
- Conversation is lacking depth and emotional intimacy
- You constantly apologize and make excuses for their behavior
- Contact and effort feels one-sided
- You feel lonely, empty, or unfulfilled after interactions
- Their life and priorities don’t involve you
What Does True Love Really Look Like?
While passion and romance come in many forms, true love generally includes:
Each partner is invested in the other’s wellbeing and happiness. There is a sense of “us” not just “me”.
Being accountable means owning mistakes, hearing each other’s needs, and working to resolve conflicts.
Respect means honoring each other’s boundaries, values, and dignity. Partners are not dismissive or demeaning.
Lovers feel safe being vulnerable. They trust one another to be faithful, honest, and reliable.
True intimacy is about deeply knowing, understanding, and accepting your partner in full. It goes beyond just physical closeness.
Effort and Commitment
All relationships take work. True love means choosing your partner and the relationship daily, through ups and downs.
True love creates an environment where both can be their authentic selves. There is no fear of rejection for being vulnerable.
11 Reasons Why Your True Love May Ignores You
They’re Stressed At Work
When your partner is preoccupied with issues at work, they may withdraw from you emotionally without even realizing it. Excessive workload demands and intense pressure to perform can force everything else to the backburner – even their loving relationship with you.
What you can do: Be supportive and understanding if your partner is going through a stressful period at work. Don’t take their workaholic habits personally. Offer to lend an ear and try to be helpful, while also respecting their need for space during this time.
They’re In A Difficult Life Transition
Going through major life changes – like switching careers, moving cities or coping with a family illness – can cause someone to pull away as they process it all. Big transitions force your partner to focus inward, which may inadvertently lead to shutting you out.
What you can do: Recognize that they need to invest energy into handling this life shift. Rather than feeling slighted, show that you care by giving them space and checking in occasionally to remind them you’re there if needed.
They Have Unresolved Insecurities
Nagging insecurities like low self-esteem, trust issues from past relationships or doubts about the future can plague even the most outwardly confident partners. Their internal struggles may cause them to create distance from you.
What you can do: Help your partner open up about what’s troubling them beneath the surface. Listen without judgment and offer genuine reassurance. Working through insecurities together strengthens intimacy.
They’re In A Mood
Everyone has grumpy spells where they feel more introverted or get lost in their thoughts. Maybe your partner is premenstrual or just having an off week. Their moodiness likely has nothing to do with you.
What you can do: Don’t make their bad mood your problem by taking it personally or pressing them to talk. Give them downtime to decompress. They’ll appreciate you letting them be.
Over time, even couples madly in love can get into a dating routine that feels dull or predictable. Losing that spark can cause one partner to withdraw out of sheer boredom.
What you can do: Mix up your usual dinner-and-a-movie nights. Go on romantic weekend getaways. Break out of ruts by trying new hobbies together. Injecting novelty revives the excitement.
They’re Hiding Something
Worrisome behavior like increasing secrecy, frequent flakiness and emotional unavailability may point to your partner concealing something from you. Whether they’re hiding debt, addiction issues or even infidelity, it can compel them to pull away.
What you can do: Have an honest heart-to-heart talk. Voice your concerns and open the conversation gently by assuming the best. If they admit to a problem, strive to be understanding rather than accusatory. Offer your support.
They Feel Smothered
Even if you have great chemistry, spending every free minute together can still suffocate your partner over time. Respecting each other’s need for personal space is crucial.
What you can do: Make sure you maintain your own independent friendships and hobbies. Volunteer to take separate cars or make plans with friends some evenings. The breathing room prevents smothering.
When depression sets in, it skews people’s perceptions and makes them withdraw socially. Partners become convinced their loved ones would be better off without them. This depressive thinking fuels isolation.
What you can do: Tell them you’ve noticed their negativity and lack of motivation lately, and you want to help. Offer to go together to speak to a doctor or mental health professional. Getting them treatment can improve depression.
They Have Commitment Phobia
For some people, the vulnerability of true intimacy makes them uneasy. Their fear of commitment surfaces as emotional distance. Rather than opening up, they subconsciously put up walls.
What you can do: Don’t force or guilt-trip them to be more open. Let things progress gradually so they can gain trust. Eventually their phobia will subside as the relationship advances.
They Feel Unappreciated
When partners start taking each other for granted, resentment can silently build up. Failing to express everyday gratitude and appreciation makes people doubt whether their needs are being met.
What you can do: Make an effort to actively highlight what you value about your partner on a regular basis. Compliment them, thank them for their support, do small acts of service. Vocal appreciation prevents withdrawal.
They Have An Avoidant Attachment Style
According to psychology, people with an avoidant attachment style subconsciously suppress their emotional needs and avoid intimacy. Childhood factors cause them to become self-reliant and equate depending on others with weakness.
What you can do: Gradually build trust by proving you’re a reliable source of comfort. Don’t label them as cold. Offer dependable support to help lower their defenses. Consistency beats avoidant tendencies.
It’s distressing when you feel your partner pulling away or stonewalling you unexpectedly. But simply blaming yourself is rarely the answer. More often than not, your loved one’s emotional distance stems from something going on within their lives or minds – whether it’s stress, depression, commitment issues or needing breathing room.
With understanding and compassion from you, these hurdles blocking intimacy can be overcome. Maintain open communication, be supportive during difficult times and make determined efforts to keep the spark alive. Addressing the real root causes of withdrawal will help you and your partner find closeness again.
So don’t immediately assume the worst if you’re ignored or pushed away. Have an honest dialogue and get to the heart of what they’re going through. With insight, empathy and renewed commitment, your true love will remember why they fell for you in the first place.