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Feeling Alone in A Relationship? Here’s What You Can Do

Laura Richer, Seattle Therapist

Jun 11, 2021

Couples who experience feelings of loneliness in their marriage often report feeling more alone than if they were single. Loneliness when your partner is physically present can be a painful experience. Focusing on social media and how other people portray their relationships online can amplify these feelings and make you feel even more alone. Here are common signs you may be feeling lonely:

  1. You are feeling disconnected from your partner
  2. Communication has become difficult or you only talk about family, business and logistics.
  3. You don’t spend time together having fun.
  4. You no longer seek out one another for support.
  5. You sense your marriage is in trouble but don’t know how to talk about it or bring it up.

1) You are feeling disconnected from your Partner

It is very easy to feel disconnected when life is so busy. We are pulled in a million different directions and it can be easy to get caught up in the all of the stress. Relationship expert Dr. John Gottman states:

“Some people leave a marriage literally, by divorcing. Others do so by leading parallel lives together.”

The health of a long term relationship depends on learning effective communication skills and being to discuss what you are feeling with your partner.

Talk to your partner about your sense of loneliness without blame. Sharing your feelings with one another in an open non-judgmental way can create an opportunity to collaborate and find ways to reconnect. If you are in a place in your relationship where this type of communication is not possible seek out a couples therapist for assistance in addressing challenging issues.

2) Communication has become Difficult

Are you arguing with the intention of winning or being right. Do you get defensive when your partner brings up their concerns or does your partner shut down when you try to talk about difficult issues? When people feel misunderstood or unheard by their partners it is very difficult to feel connected and without that sense of connection feelings of loneliness are likely to follow.

One way to stop feeling lonely in your relationship is to learn how to effectively communicate with your significant other in ways that support and deepen connection instead of shutting it down.

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3) You Don’t Spend Time Together Having Fun

Do you feel that your relationship is all business and that you are approaching your life as a logistics or project manager? You could benefit from making time for fun! Prioritize time with your spouse apart from work and family to nurture your connection with each other.

Quality time spent having fun can lead to to more conversation, intimacy, and a feelings of closeness. All of which combat feeling of loneliness or depression.

4) Your partner is not your source of emotional support

Do you seek out conversation with friends to avoid being vulnerable with your significant other? This could be another reason that can make you feel lonely in a relationship. While it is important to have friendships and not rely solely on our romantic relationship for guidance, if you do not see your partner as a source of comfort that is an issue that is worth exploring and could be related to why you feel alone in your relationship.

5) You suspect that your relationship is in trouble

Feeling alone in your relationship could be a sign that there are serious problems in your marriage that need to be addressed. If you feel like there are issues that need to be addressed it is best to do it sooner than letter. Often people feel if they ignore the issue it will go away. Don’t subscribe to this philosophy, usually the opposite is true. It can feel vulnerable to express emotional concerns such as feeling alone in a relationship, however, talking about your concerns will has the possibility for resolution instead of allowing the issue to continue to fester and grow larger.

Why are you feeling lonely in a relationship?

The core issues is that there is a disconnect with your significant other and you feel like you’ve lost your partner’s interest or attention. Maybe you both are too distracted by media and scrolling through your phones when you could communicate and listen to each other or maybe you have lost the ability to speak each other’s love language. This can happen slowly over time however there is always the opportunity to begin again and address the issues that are causing you to feel alone.

Here are common reasons why people get lonely while in a relationship:

  1. Lack of emotional or physical intimacy
  2. Physical or Emotional Distance-you are leading separate lives
  3. You and your person are not compatible
  4. You do not make your relationship a priority
  5. One or both partners suffers from chronic physical health issues or mental illness.

10 ways to overcome loneliness in a relationship

A relationship feeling lonely is a sign that it is time for a change. Here are some actions steps you can take to offer you some relief.

  1. See a couples therapist or counselor
  2. Make your relationship a priority
  3. Practice Self-Care and spend healthy alone time addressing your own needs
  4. Share your concerns. Your partner may be unaware of how you are feeling.
  5. Don’t compare your relationship to others.
  6. Cultivate outside interests and relationships
  7. Find ways to give yourself an esteem boost.
  8. Address your own negative thought patterns or sabotaging behaviors .
  9. Focus on what really matters to you.
  10. Find practices and rituals for connecting with your partner daily.

1) See a Couples Counselor

A couples therapist can help you improve your communication skills and learn how to listen and how to be heard. Effective communication and using positive language and words that keep the lines of communication open with keep you and your spouse talking instead of shutting down. This will allow you the opportunity to resolve conflict and feel closer. If therapy is not an option subscribe to an online course or read an article or book on communication. Effective communication is an acquired skill that can be learned by anyone.

2) Make Your Relationship a Priority

Everyone says that their relationship is a top priority however, if your actions don’t demonstrate that claim than it is just words. Notice what actions you and your partner are taking to invest in your marriage. Don’t assume that things will naturally fall into place without any effort.

3) Practice Self-Care

Make sure you are taking care of your own needs instead of focusing on your significant other to meet all of your needs. If you feel alone focusing on your relationship with you might be a good place to begin finding the answers you are seeking.

4) Share your Concerns with your Partner

Loneliness is an experience that improve by sharing with your significant other. If you notice they are spending all of their time on social media instead of engaging with you at the dinner table let them know your concerns. Learning how to communicate your needs without blaming can lead to more closeness and less feelings of loneliness.

5) Don’t compare your relationship to what you see in the media

Each person has different needs. What works for another couple may not work for you. Just because you and your person are not constantly taking selfies for Facebook professing your love to each other online does not mean that your relationship is sub par or not working or that your partner’s commitment is lacking. Concentrate on the strength’s of your partnership instead of comparing yourself to others.

6) Cultivate outside interests and friendships

Continuing to focus on your own interests and friendships will help alleviate stress and loneliness even when you are experiencing distress with your romantic interests.

7) Find ways to boost your own worth

Know your own worth. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one your are having with you. When you love the person that you are it is easy to enjoy your own company.

8) Address your own sabotaging behaviors

Individual Therapy can help you explore how the experience of feeling alone in a relationship might be related to your own history and how you can change your own behavior and beliefs to feel more secure in relationships.

9) Focus on what really matters to you.

Pursuing ideals that your find in an article in Cosmo or social media platform may leave you feeling less than in your relationship. You may find that you are unconsciously reaching for ideals that are not your own. Focus on what is important to you and your partner in your partnership, only pursue information that is helpful in supporting you and your goals.

10) Find small ways to connect with your partner daily

Don’t wait for a big opportunity to spend quality time with your partner. Carve out moments every day, even if only for a 15-20 minutes to be together whether it is for a hug or kiss hello or a cup of tea in the evening to unwind together and check-in. Small consistent efforts will yield big results.




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