Did it ever happen to anyone that at the beginning of a relationship, not necessarily of the romantic type, both parties enthusiastically outdid each other in offering time, attention, and interest to one another in infatuation? And as time wears on, when the 'fireworks' burnt out somewhat and the other party became sure of us like of a piece of furniture in their apartment, they no longer paid us as much attention and interest as before, even though nothing has changed on our part? However, every time they have the opportunity to chat with a stranger, they light up and get animated, showing a lot of interest, and when, being back to just our mere companionship again after the meeting, show more interest to the Facebook on their phones than us? Did anyone want just to go out never to come back again, so as not to waste their valuable time for someone so uninterested, but some invisible force held them in place?
I guess that this is a fairly common scenario for many relationships that arose mainly because we had something to offer to the other party, and as long as we were givers and didn't pay attention to whether anything was flowing in our direction, the relationship worked quite well. If we are the type of a person who willingly gives and doesn't expect much in return, we may find ourselves in a situation that people who are more willing to receive than give will enjoy our generosity without feeling the need for 'exchange.' Nature, however, needs flow for growth, so if we give, we create a sort of void on our side to be filled out with something to come from the other party, after which we provide again with what has been enriched with our element, we become void again and wait for another tide to come in, et cetera. In this exchange process, if the balance of giving and receiving is generally positive, the relationship grows and flourishes, and both parties are satisfied. If it is more or less equal on both sides, it holds on a neutral level - no growing, no decay, and when one party gives more than it receives overall, the relationship gradually disappears. It is not about exchanging material goods or empty words, which of course can always take place, and it can even obscure seeing clearly the weak exchange between the parties. The point is here that something really valuable - the energy of our attention and interest, i.e., the QUALITY of our being with the other party.
Sometimes it takes us a long time to notice that there is an imbalance in our disadvantage. We feel it roughly as a state which is generally difficult to describe, more like 'there's something wrong.' We probably wouldn't be able to say precisely what is wrong and how it is wrong. However, our internal sensors usually feel what is, although everything in our relationship may seem normal on the outside. Often, when we share our feelings with the other party, we may encounter their reaction of dismay and denial, as they may not be aware of the exchange balance deficit. Conversations and inquiries may not only fail to improve the situation but also exacerbate the state of the unequal exchange between the parties.
Can anything be done here? Not too much, I guess, apart from withdrawing some attention from the relationship and focusing on the person who certainly needs it the most and would pay it back gratefully - on ourselves. We can offer ourselves everything that brings us joy, which we might have neglected while attempting to reach the other party's attention directed somewhere else.
Sometimes, feeling our lessened attention and interest, that was taken for granted so far, the other party may 'wake up' feeling not connected to a source of life-giving energy, anymore, as if it was oxygen. If we are dear to them, they may realize that unless they reconsider the change in their attitude, further inequality could expose them to the loss of our presence in their life. Realizing that, they can make up for the shortage on their part and restore balance.
Sometimes, however, especially when the relationship was powered by our giving mainly, it may turn out that we are not a sufficient value for the other side to compensate for this negative balance and our decision to withdraw a bit may reveal the bitter truth. As a result, provided that the idea of resuscitating the 'corpse' and further energy loss to 'rescue' the relationship does not cross our minds, it usually dies off, as the Universe does not support wasting energy on 'unprofitable businesses'.