One of the most enjoyable parts of being in a relationship is going out and having fun together – eating out, going to a dance or taking a long romantic ramble through the park are stuff that partners are most likely to cherish from their time spent together. So you may be disheartened to find that your partner is reluctant to do all these things. If he/she rarely or never seems to want to go out with you, here are a few things you can try.
Think about it objectively
Before you jump to conclusions about your partner’s level of interest in you, it may be a good idea to start with an objective consideration of his/her social nature. Was your partner always disinterested in going out or is it a new thing? A handy pointer is going back to the time you met – think back on the venue, if it was at a mutual friend’s party or if you got to know him/her through a dating site. Also try and remember the things that you did together in the early days of your relationship – were they always indoor date ideas or did your partner then enjoy an occasional outing with you. If you honestly think that your partner is becoming more reclusive with time, or if he/she has always been so the tendency to social alienation is getting more acute with time, then it could even indicate psychological issues like inability to cope with stress, depression or even the first symptoms of social anxiety disorder. But on the other hand if your partner’s social interactions have not changed significantly, then it could be a matter of clashing likes and dislikes. For you to recognize this, it is again important to define the problem in objective terms – when you say your partner never wants to go out with you, do you actually mean never or simply that he/she does not go out as often as you would like him/her to. Needless to say, the latter is a matter of personality differences and if you wish to be in this relationship, you will have to figure out a way that both satisfies your social needs as well as your partner’s comfort level.
How about his friends
A useful way to tell if your partner’s reluctance to go out is limited to you or symptomatic of his/her personality is to observe his/her overall social behavior. If your girlfriend has no problems going shopping with her pals on Saturday afternoons or if he is not too tired to meet his beer buddies at the neighboring pub, then it is a clear sign that your partner is merely reluctant to go out with you. Other variations of this behavior would be your partner attending office parties or hanging out with co-workers till late at night but pleading a headache or an early office anytime that you suggest going out. If this has been going on for a while, then perhaps it is time to think of compatibility issues or any other reason why your partner may be avoiding you.
Find new points of interest
If you get the feeling that your partner no longer enjoys your company as he/she used to and is thus reluctant to go out with you, perhaps your relationship has become boring over time. While you may have been trying to include outings as a way of stirring things up, your partner is tired of doing all the same things or going to the same places. Instead try and come up with new ideas which might inject a fresh breath into your relationship. Even doing simple things together like playing a new board game or finding out what is on sale this month at the bookstore will add interest in your lives. If you both are foodies, try out a new recipe or check out the new Lebanese restaurant in town. If he/she used to enjoy the outdoors in the past, explore a new hiking trail or work together to build a tree house for the kids. Even if keeping off the beaten track is not always practical, these small ways of doing newer things will not only help your connect to each other but make your lives much more interesting.
One of the most common reasons for couples drifting apart is a breakdown in communication and your partner’s reluctance to go out with you may only be a symptom of this far deeper problem. So try and have meaningful conversations every once in a while. Choose a time when both you and your partner are relaxed and then ask yourselves if you are living the way you want. If not, discuss what you both can do to get yourselves where you want be – emotionally, financially and in this case spatially. However take care not to let the discussion turn into a barrage of accusations. Rather ask your partner specific questions so that you have answers and then strategies for the achieving the goals you both want, as individuals and as couples. For instance see if your partner can give you a concrete reason as to why he/she is not interested in going anywhere with you? Perhaps finances are in bad shape and your partner is trying to save money or you both went out just two nights before and he/she sees no need to brave the winter cold again. This can be a good sign in that it indicates valid reasons – at least from your partner’s point of view – why he/she does not want to go out instead of merely disengaging from you emotionally.
Effective communication not only means putting your views and emotions across but also finding how the other person thinks and feels. So try and ask what interests your partner and what he/she would like to do – whether indoors or out. Perhaps all this while you only suggested ideas that interested you instead of taking into account your partner’s likes and dislikes. Inviting him/her to
A person’s likes and dislikes are not always a matter of personality, sometimes they can be significantly influenced by external situations too. Thus if your partner spends long hours on the road or works a grueling ten-hour schedule every day, then it is only natural for him/her to spend leisure hours at home. However this need not mean that you have to give up on a shared social life entirely – just like you need to be understanding of the nature of your partner’s work, he/she needs to bring about better work-life balance.
Get busy on your own
If all this while you had been waiting for your partner to facilitate your social life, realize that self-help is the best help. Ring up your friends and meet them regularly. Make plans with co-workers and their families. Along with all the socializing, work to expand your intellectual horizons – join a new course, learn a new language or if pressed for time attend workshops where you can learn about new things. All this will not only keep your social life buzzing so that you do not miss going out with your partner but it will also make you more interesting and who knows your partner may well be intrigued and wish to spend more time with you.
If in the end, all your efforts at making outings more interesting for your partner do no succeed, perhaps you need to make peace with the fact that he/she is basically a homebody. On the other hand, shared interests are an important aspect of a healthy relationship and if you believe that you just cannot turn into a social recluse like your partner or are tired of going everywhere alone, it may be time to re-prioritize your relationship.