It’s a widespread myth that once you’re settled in a serious relationship, you can never feel lonely again. However, this assumption is wrong – and can be very damaging to people who do feel lonely in their relationships, because it can convince them that they’re “broken” or their feelings are wrong.
On the contrary, it can be very easy to feel lonely when you’re in a relationship. This can definitely come through more if you’re in a serious, long-term relationship, as time and change can make you feel like you and your partner are drifting away.
There are many reasons why feelings of loneliness can develop even in the most committed of relationships.
1. First off, feeling like you’re being ignored, both physically and emotionally, by your partner, can easily foster feelings of loneliness. It very often happens, especially if you are very anxious about your partner’s commitment to your relationship, that you might convince yourself that your better half is ignoring you and not fulfilling your emotional and physical needs.
This can manifest in different ways. It can mean that you’re feeling undervalued and unloved in the relationship and you feel that your partner isn’t putting in the same effort that you are. It can also mean that you are not satisfied with your intimate life anymore. Either way, feeling ignored almost always results in feelings of loneliness and creates an invisible barrier between relationships.
2. Another reason why you might feeling lonely is if you’re not exactly certain what you want from your relationship. In order for you to feel comfortable with your partner, you need to establish what it is that you need in order to be happy and fulfilled. Relationships where both people aren’t entirely certain what’s keeping them together aren’t very likely to succeed.
It’s at this point where you also have to consider your interests, morals, political and religious beliefs, etc. What are you willing to compromise on in order to stay in this relationship? Will you be happy knowing that you and your partner disagree on important issues, or that you can’t talk to them about your interests? If you make the wrong decisions on that, you can very easily feel lonely in a relationship.
3. Lack of communication is another reason why you might feel lonely with your partner. You both need to make an effort to be open and honest about the important things in your relationship. Your partner won’t be able to read your mind, so unless you tell them that you’re feeling lonely, you’ll just end up being angry with them for not doing anything about it.
4. Finally, you may feel distant and lonely from your partner if either of you is going through a difficult phase. This can sometimes serve to create some distance between the two of you. The important thing in overcoming this is being supportive and knowing what you can do to help them get through the tough time.
These things, as well as many others, can cause feelings of loneliness and distance grow between you and your significant other. It doesn’t matter whether you live together or you’re in a long-distance relationship, whether you’ve been together for five months or five years. You can always feel lonely and overlooked in a relationship and, if these problems, aren’t addressed, it can potentially lead to a bad breakup.
So what can you do to prevent that from happening?
It’s important to identify feelings of loneliness as soon as possible and address these. If you want to fix your relationship and give yourself a chance, here’s seven ways in which you can do that.
1. First and foremost, talk to your significant other. Any feelings, concerns, worries and grievances you have about your relationship must be discussed with your partner. Let them know you’re feeling lonely and explain why you think this may be – that way you can work together towards a resolution. It’s much better to tell them how you’re feeling rather than stew in your bad feelings, hoping they’ll go away. Good, consistent communication is key to any healthy relationship.
2. Make sure you don’t enter into a pit of despair and isolate yourself. It can be a vicious cycle to be trapped in, where you feel lonely and you start shutting off people around you, which in turn leads to more loneliness, and so on, and so forth. It’s probably tempting to stay at home all day watching Netflix when you’re feeling alone. Don’t do it! Force yourself to socialize and you know you’ll feel a lot better.
3. Another trap lonely people can easily fall into is inactivity. A great way to ease those feelings of loneliness is to create some new buzz in your routine. Join a cooking class, volunteer at an animal shelter, or take up a new, exciting DIY project. It’s very rewarding when you accomplish something new and it can ease your feeling of not feeling fulfilled.
4. Make an effort to meet new people – maybe together with your partner, but also on your own. It will give you a breath of fresh air and introduce variety in your life. New friends are stimulating and a great source of motivation. Meeting people that share your interests will not only widen your social circle, but you’ll also take some more steps towards overcoming your loneliness.
5. Remember to be good to yourself. It’s easy to judge yourself too harshly when things aren’t going great, but remember that everyone goes through a rough patch every now and then. Encourage yourself rather than bringing yourself down and that will help your self-esteem and, in turn, your loneliness.
6. If you feel like your feelings of loneliness are overwhelming, share with someone. A friend, or a family member would be your second choices after your partner. This is a great way to not only recognize the problem but also to get out of the trap of internalizing it. Reaching out to a professional can also be a solution. When you share your experience, you will be able to gain some invaluable advice and a different point of view for your problems. It’s can also be very comforting to find if people are struggling with the same issues.
7. Finally, identify what’s causing your loneliness and work towards resolving it. There would always be a reason as to why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and the one way to truly resolve it is to remove the root cause. It’s good to work on this with your partner, as it would give you a chance to bond over finding and resolving the problem in your relationship. It will also alleviate their guilt over making you feel lonely if you show them that you’re willing to work together to solve the issues you’re facing. If you don’t address the real causes of your loneliness, then you won’t ever be able to fix them.
Feeling lonely in a committed relationship is nothing to feel ashamed or guilty about. Understand why you’re feeling it, don’t be afraid to address it, and then fix it, using the advice in this article. That’s the only way to feel happy and fulfilled in your relationship again, because if you just keep it inside, you’ll only make it worse and worse.
Do you know someone who might have struggled with loneliness in their relationship? Or have you experienced it yourself and you want to educate people on how to tackle the problem? Then make sure to share this article with your friends and family and raise awareness of this issue.