Most relationships and marriages go through ups and downs, but sometimes those can leave you feeling lonely. Passing loneliness is a normal and natural feeling, but if you’re constantly feeling alone in a relationship, there has to be a reason. If you want to stop feeling lonely, you’ll want to dig deeper to uncover the root causes of your emotions.
Counseling and therapy can help. It could be that you have emotional trauma holding you back or that your partner is pulling away. Regardless of the reason, here’s what to do when feeling alone in a relationship.
Remember, it takes two of you to make real change and move closer towards having meaningful relationships, so while it’s important to self-reflect and make positive changes, it’s equally crucial that your partner do the same. You can only move forward healthily and productively if you want to save your relationship. Let’s get started.
What Should You Do If You’re Feeling Alone in a Relationship?
Loneliness can mean different things to different people. You feel disconnected from the world around you, isolated from your loved ones, and disengaged from things you once enjoyed, including your relationship and partner. If you’re feeling alone in a relationship, first reflect on why you may be feeling that way. Once you’ve identified what’s going on, talk with your partner. Don’t keep all your emotions bottled up.
Consider seeking professional help if you’re feeling alone in a relationship. Individual or couples therapy can help you discuss issues in your relationship with an impartial mediator. The most important thing to do if you are feeling alone in a relationship is to address the feelings. Don’t repress them, as that could cause more trouble later. Face them head-on, no matter how challenging it may be. You’ll be better for it, even if it doesn’t help your current relationship.
Common Signs of Loneliness in Relationship
Loneliness in relationships doesn’t always look like standing alone in a crowd of people. It can be a series of microaggressions that build up, creeping up into your life and poisoning your relationship slowly until you break. It can be sudden, with a quick change in behavior that can make you feel like you’re spinning and isolated. If you’re having difficulty identifying if you’re feeling alone in a relationship, here are six common signs that you may be.
Lonely Even When Close Together
One of the most common ways that loneliness presents itself is the feeling of being distant. Either you can start pulling away from your partner, or they are pulling away from you. Even if you’re in the same room, sitting next to each other, you can feel worlds away. Distance doesn’t always have to be physical; it can also be emotionally and mentally distant.
When you quit talking to each other, that can promote feeling alone in a relationship. You don’t care enough to fight anymore or feel like you’re the last to know important news. You don’t want to talk because everything seems to escalate into an argument, or you just don’t want to bother. Our relationships started with words before they turned to intimacy for many of us, so when you stop communicating, your relationship’s foundation will suffer. You’ll quickly start feeling alone in a relationship when you stop talking.
Change Daily Routines
Feeling alone in a relationship can present itself much like depression. Your eating habits can change, and you’ll either lose your appetite entirely or use food as a coping mechanism. Your basic hygiene may suffer, and you’ll find it hard to shower or brush your teeth. If you notice a change in your daily routines, look closely at what may be causing it. Depression and loneliness go hand in hand.
Lack of Intimacy
If your sex life is suffering, your intimacy will be nonexistent. You’ll feel alone because your partner doesn’t want to touch you, or they consistently turn you down for sex. Soon, you’ll stop initiating sex, drifting farther apart. Touching your partner doesn’t always have to be sexual either. Being close can help build intimacy, ensuring that you’re not alone. That can make feeling alone in a relationship even worse.
Avoidance can be another clear sign that something is wrong in your relationship. If you’re feeling alone in a relationship and still want to avoid your partner, that’s a problem. When you don’t trust your partner, you will avoid them. However, avoidance is a temporary fix. Your problems and feeling alone in a relationship will still be there when you stop running away.
Feelings of Isolation
Feeling alone in a relationship isn’t just about being lonely with your partner. You can also feel isolated from your friends and family. It could be self-imposed social isolation – you don’t feel comfortable being around people lest they know something is wrong with you – or your partner could enforce it. If it’s the latter, take a step back to examine your partner’s intentions. Deliberately isolating you from your support system is a red flag.
Why Am I Feeling Alone in a Relationship?
Now that you know some of the common signs of feeling alone in a relationship, you may wonder why you feel that way. Perhaps your relationship is perfect on paper. Your partner is everything you ever thought you wanted, but you’re still not happy for some reason.
You feel alone in a relationship for many different reasons. Here are some of the most common. While it may seem like it at the time, you will not always feel alone. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
You’re Feeling Lonely in Your Daily Life
If you’re feeling lonely in your day-to-day life, you’ll feel lonely in your relationship. No relationship is going to fix the existing problems in your life. You have to do the work yourself, so if you’re expecting your partner to fix what’s broken in your life miraculously, you’ll be waiting a long time.
Consider why you’re feeling lonely. Is it because you live far away from your friends and family? Are you depressed, and loneliness is a residual emotion? The feelings you’re feeling won’t magically go away because you started dating someone. Sure, you may feel better at first, but they will always come back when you least expect them.
You’re Not Communicating How You Feel
Communication is the cornerstone of healthy relationships. You feel comfortable sharing the most vulnerable parts of yourself with your partner, including how you feel. Once you stop communicating, your comfort level with your partner will decrease. Instead of sharing how you feel, you’ll bottle it up.
You’ll feel defensive, justifying your every move with a defensive edge. Your conversations will quickly escalate into arguments, snipping at each other over minor things. Because you can’t talk to anyone, you’ll start feeling even more alone in a relationship.
Vulnerability is hard, but face your fears and lean into them. The more open you are with your partner, the more you’ll feel heard and valued. You’ll feel seen, and as a result, you’ll no longer be feeling alone in a relationship.
You Believe Social Media Is Real
Much of what you see on social media is fake. It’s highly curated to tell a specific story with clear intentions. Influencers get paid to sell their lifestyle, so remember that the people who have the most picture-perfect life on social media hide things. It’s all smoke and mirrors to distract from what’s going on behind the scenes.
In the moment, while you’re endlessly scrolling, it isn’t easy to separate facts from reality. It may seem as if everyone else has their lives together. They have the perfect relationships, the most amazing family, and the most expensive home. Seeing those posts and believing them will keep you feeling alone in a relationship.
What you have can never compare to what you see on social media, and you’ll spiral into depression thinking about all the things you lack. If you’re feeling like this, it may be time to take a break from social media or unfollow people who give you the most anxiety. You don’t owe anyone anything on social media.
Your Connection Is Weakening
Relationships fail for any number of different reasons. The spark has faded, and you didn’t have the strong foundation to sustain the relationship after it’s no longer fun and exciting. Your intimacy may decline, and you’re no longer meeting each other’s needs, so you or your partner start to seek that emotional and physical connection elsewhere. You could be in a long-distance relationship, and the miles make it too hard.
Relationships take hard work, and if you don’t put in the effort to sustain it, you’ll quickly start feeling alone in a relationship. You will begin to pull away, which may trigger depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, and more. Your actions have a ripple effect in your life, so if you want to make sure your relationship will last, take care to foster the connection.
You Don’t Want to be in a Relationship
If you’re feeling alone in a relationship, consider if you want to be in the relationship itself. You may be dragging the relationship along because you don’t want to end it. You could fear being alone, but you’re not connecting that you can feel just as lonely with someone as you can be single.
You also may not want to be the one to pull the plug, so you’re hoping if you give the bare minimum, your partner will do it. Relationships are complex, but being in the wrong relationship can be as draining as being in the right one. It’s better to let it go, let your partner find someone who wants to be with them, rather than just hoping the end is near.
You don’t need to be in a relationship for fulfillment. It won’t make you feel less lonely. Instead, it may make things worse if you’re not happy.
What To Do When You Are Feeling Alone in a Relationship?
Feeling alone in a relationship isn’t a permanent thing. You can take steps to fix your relationship and feel closer, but you have to be committed to making real and lasting change. It takes time and effort – and sometimes professional help – but it’s possible. Here are some steps to stop feeling alone in a relationship.
Talk to Your Partner
If you want to stop feeling alone in a relationship, you have to talk to your partner. Be vulnerable with your emotions. Is there something they are doing that’s making you feel unimportant? Is there something lacking in the relationship that is making you feel distant?
Approach all with a calm demeanor. You don’t want to start an argument by accusing your partner of doing things that keep you feeling alone in a relationship. Instead, be inquisitive. Please share that you’re feeling like you’re drifting apart and want to talk to fix it. Clear the air with your partner and lay it all on the table. It’s the best way you’ll no longer be feeling alone in a relationship.
Listen to Your Partner
Listening is just as – if not more – essential than talking with your partner. Listen to understand. Don’t listen to gossip. Your partner’s feelings are valid, so if you’re feeling alone in a relationship, they likely are too. Listening can help you uncover why they are acting the way they are.
You may not always hear things you want to hear, but approach them with an open mind. Your partner may be pulling away because of something you’re doing to keep them feeling alone in a relationship. It’s likely unintentional but valid nonetheless.
Listen, and when they finish talking, ask questions to understand. Don’t judge their feelings. Accept them as their truth, and start to move on. Together, you’ll no longer be feeling alone in a relationship when you put it all on the table.
Touch Your Partner
When you touch your partner, your body releases hormones that cement your relationship in place, and you feel loved, cherished, and admired by your partner because they can’t get enough of you. Gentle caresses can sometimes turn to heavy petting and then sex, but it’s not just about sex.
Touching creates intimacy in relationships, and you don’t realize how much you miss those little caresses until they are gone. If you’re feeling alone in a relationship, that can be a great first step to rebuilding your connection.
Spend Time with Family and Friends
If you’re feeling alone in a relationship, consider spending time with your loved ones. Isolation can make you feel lonely and depressed, and if you start to reconnect with those you care about, you’ll see benefits in all aspects of your life, including your relationships.
If you can’t physically be with them, use the many available technologies. Video calls can do in a pinch, helping you see their faces, even if you can’t hug them. It can be easy to isolate yourself if you’re feeling off, but you’ll only make yourself feel worse.
Pay attention if you isolate yourself from others. If you’re feeling alone in a relationship because your partner won’t allow you to see others, you need to set boundaries. You are permitted to have a life outside of your partner.
Take up a Hobby
Sometimes we lose ourselves when we get into a new relationship. It’s exciting, the sex is fantastic, and you can’t get enough of each other. When the shine wears off, you can forget what you liked before you met your partner, and you’ll feel alone in a relationship.
If that’s the case, take up a new hobby! Pick up old passions. It doesn’t matter what you do, just that you start to re-establish your identity outside of the relationship. Only then will you stop feeling alone in a relationship. You are more than your partner’s boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife.
Talk to a Therapist
If you’re still feeling alone in a relationship, it may be time to seek professional help. Couples counseling can bring transformative change in your relationship because it provides a safe space to talk about your feelings – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your therapist will be impartial, helping facilitate challenging conversations with ease that will help you when you’re feeling alone in a relationship.
There’s no shame in seeking help for relationship issues or mental health problems. Relationships take hard work, and you both need to be willing to compromise and change. It only gets more important when you get married, so don’t rule out marriage counseling.
Discuss your issues, develop plans to make lasting change, and put in the work. Only then will you stop feeling alone in a relationship. When you take these steps, you’ll develop more meaningful relationships throughout your entire life.