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Direct communication and "I Don't Feel Special"|
I understand it might be hard. I'm not advocating it as a perfect solution. I'm explaining my preferred communication style, and I don't actually have partners who are great at it, so clearly I can be in a relationship with someone who doesn't do this. However, we frequently frustrate each other. I am lousy at indirect communication, so when they try to indicate what they want with subtlety or behavior changes, I can tell something is wrong but not what, nor how to fix it.
It's not as if I didn't start off thinking everyone should be able to read my mind. I suffered the frustrations of thinking people must not love me since they didn't do the obvious things I wanted (even though I hadn't directly communicated those wants). But because I am so bad at reading other people's minds, I did a lot of work learning to recognize and directly communicate my wants and needs instead of expecting my loved ones to guess right every time.
At least if I directly say "I don't feel special to you right now," I know your response is to the right problem. If you aren't paying attention to me after that, it's not because you couldn't tell I needed it--you must be doing it for some other reason. On the other hand, you know I want something from you, so we can work out how to achieve that.
I haven't always gotten what I asked for, either. "No" is a valid answer, after all. And sometimes knowing that the answer is no has made my life easier; sometimes it's given me the strength to end a difficult relationship.