What you should do when your boyfriend ignores you

Being ignored by anyone isn't fun. But being ignored your boyfriend is somehow infinitely worse than being ignored by friends or people you work with. This person is supposed to be one of the closest people to you — and now they won't return your texts or calls? If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do. 

Before you accuse him of doing anything wrong, make sure to assess the situation that you and your partner are currently in. Stepping back and trying to get an objective look on the situation can be helpful in a time like this. Is there something major happening in his life? Did you guys recently get into a nasty argument without a solid resolution? If there's something else that's previously happened that you're not taking into consideration, it could explain why he's ignoring you right now. 

Figure out why your boyfriend is ignoring you

In a story for Psychology Today, relationship expert Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D. wrote that because you have access to all of your own thoughts and feelings and not your partner's, this creates what's called an "information asymmetry." Basically, information asymmetry happens where you know all the reasons why you feel the way you do, but you don't know those things about your partner. She recommends stepping back and taking what she calls a "self-distanced" perspective, as it can be helpful in the long run.

If you think there's something going on, what are the next steps?

If you've taken Gordon's "self-distanced" perspective into account, yet you feel like there's still something else going on, then you need to talk with him about it. You might think that since he's ignoring your texts and calls that he won't respond to this. However, since this is a more serious request and that it affects the nature of your relationship, he should be more likely to answer. 

The number one thing you should not do in this situation? Avoid confrontation. Relationship psychotherapist Aimee Hartstein told Bustle that the best way to help alleviate the problem of a partner ignoring you is to talk to them. "You can't just pretend it isn't happening because the relationship isn't going to be able to function and move forward under these circumstances," she said. In other words, being direct about this issue can only make things clearer.

Post-confrontation, make a resolution to improve you and your partner's communication

If the conflict does not end in a breakup because of another, larger problem, then making a resolution between you and your boyfriend to step up your communication game is a good idea. Better communication is a skill that can actually be learned, said psychologist and mental health expert John M. Grohol, Psy.D. for Psych Central. He says that the most common myth about communication in relationships is that since you talk to your partner you're automatically communicating, when that's not always the case.

Between the two of you, come up with a plan to improve communication. Examples could include promising to truly stop and listen to each other, forcing yourself to actually be honest about your feelings and needs, and being more attentive to the nonverbal signals your partner gives off. 

Happy communicating!