Are you feeling lonely in your relationship?
Most people believe that once you’re in a serious relationship, you will never feel lonely again.
How could you possibly feel alone when you’ve got someone on your side loving, supporting and motivating you?
However, if you’re feeling lonely in a relationship, you’re not alone. Every couple at some point experiences this problem… After some time, people start drifting apart. Things change. You are still together and you still want to be together, but something is missing… Something is just wrong. What is this something? There may be a number of explanations you can think of; however, there is always only the one reason hidden behind ALL of them: our thoughts and feelings.
We approach relationships with very warped thinking patterns. We think that our partner is responsible for our happiness and fulfilling our dreams. As soon as our partner doesn’t do things that we want them to do, they become unsuitable. When we start feeling that something is wrong, we tend to put the blame on the person closest to us. We feel let down, unseen, not cared for and not loved enough…
Various studies indicate that roughly 20% of the general population suffers from chronic loneliness at any given time, and in one recent study of older adults, 62.5% of people who reported being lonely were married and living with their partner! Loneliness is determined by the subjective quality of our relationships not their objective quantity, nor just by whether we happen to be living with a spouse.
We may believe that marriage can save us from the ravages of loneliness, that is not so. Loneliness in a relationship often happens slowly, as the disconnection, we feel from our partner gradually increases over years.
Loneliness is not the same as aloneness.
The empty feeling within of aloneness comes from various forms of self-abandonment, such as not attending to our feelings, judging ourselves, turning to various addictions to avoid our painful feelings, or making someone else responsible for our feelings. We will always feel alone and abandoned when we are abandoning ourselves. We will also feel lonely when we are abandoning ourselves because when we are not connected with ourselves, we cannot connect with another.
It is important to do a number of things when you’re starting to feel lonely in your relationship, and the following can help you start mending the disconnect you’re feeling.
1. Don’t isolate yourself
Loneliness can be a perpetual cycle as it leads to you further closing yourself off to the people around you, causing you to feel even lonelier. If you’re feeling alone in your relationship, resist the temptation to hibernate in yourself, and your secluded routine. Get out of the house, and be around other people.
2. Talk to your partner
The absolute first thing you should do is talk to your partner about your feelings and the concerns you have with your relationship. Tell them that you have been feeling lonely lately, and express the reasons that you think this may be.
3. Be nice to yourself
Just because you’re feeling lonely in your relationship and experiencing some challenges in your life, doesn’t mean you need to become hard on yourself. We all go through rough patches, and you need to remember to be kind to yourself and offer words of encouragement instead of self-diminishing.
4. Stop expecting too much
Try to understand that whatever you are feeling, your partner might be feeling too. Do not expect your partner to make you happy. Reach out to him/her and try to make THEM happy instead.
5. Don’t lose your identity
Most of us have probably at some point have been so caught up in a relationship, that we’ve lost who we are.
Perhaps you’ve lost touch with friends, or you no longer have time to pursue your own interests, or you feel that you have compromised on some many occasions that you no longer feel the relationship represents who you are.
5. Don’t overthink
When we are unhappy, we tend to think too much about our feelings. The more we think about them, the more we feel them. Concentrating on the good sides of our relationship other than crying about the bad ones is going to help a lot! Find the positives instead of thinking too much about the negatives.
Don’t feel ashamed or guilty if you are feeling lonely in your relationship. Address it, try to understand why you’re feeling it, and concentrate on fixing it.
After all, suppressing your loneliness will never make it go away.
By Anastasia T.
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