What to do if someone you’re dating just isn’t making enough effort

How do you navigate someone not putting in the work (Picture: Getty / ITV / metro.co.uk)

Love Island’s Indiya and Amber are facing a common dating dilemma – both feel like their partners, Ikenna and Dami, aren’t putting in any effort.

When you’re outside of this situation, the answer seems obvious: if you’re dating someone who’s not making an effort, just sack them off and move on.

But it’s not so easy to know what to do when you’re in the midst and emotionally invested.

How can you tell when it’s time to give up?

And is there another way to get someone to pull their finger out and get grafting?

Sally Baker, a senior therapist and relationship expert, reckons that if there’s no effort being made, there’s little point in hanging about and waiting for change.

‘If your love interest isn’t matching your effort and commitment to the relationship then there is very little you can do to fix the situation,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

A sobering reality, but one that could save you further heartbreak later down the line.

Sally continues: ‘It’s dispiriting to feel you’re doing more of the work and being the cheerleader for the two of you when they’re doing barely showing an interest.’

Still not sure what to do? You’ve got three options…

love island indiyaShe’s not impressed (Picture: ITV)

Meet them at their level

This is one way to level the playing field.  

Sally says: ‘One way to cope is to expect less, put in less effort yourself, and dial down your expectations that they feel the same about you as you feel about them.  

‘The danger then is that you settle to being endlessly breadcrumbed.

‘This is when someone you’re interested in offers intermittent snippets of attention that keep you hooked in but never enough satisfy you.’

All of this means potentially accepting less than you deserve – so think wisely.

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Tell them straight

Like an ultimatum, you could tell them they need to step up to keep your interest – because right now it’s waning.

If you do this, be prepared to walk away or have them do the walking if they can’t be bothered (which should tell you all you need to know).

Either way, if nothing changes, you need to stick to your values. Chasing someone is a recipe for disappointment.

Ness Cooper, a sex and relationships coach, says communication is vital.

She says: ‘Talk and allow them time to process the information.

‘If there are things that are repeatedly not being met, you may have to explain why that is in multiple ways.

‘Remember to thank and acknowledge them when they do put in the
effort – adding body language such as staring into their eyes or touching
their hands can help bring more awareness to this.’

End things

It’s the toughest and bravest choice of the lot, but is probably most advisable.

Sally says: ‘I’d recommend listening to your gut instincts – that’s the hunches you get about things or people.  

‘If the imbalance in your relationship is making you feel more stressed and unhappy than it makes you happy, then listen to your gut response and walk away.’

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