Having a partner doesn’t mean you’re exempt from getting lonely.
Loneliness is never a nice feeling, but feeling alone in a relationship can bring a unique pain. No one likes to feel disconnected from the person they want to be closest with.
There are many possible reasons you might be feeling alone in your relationship. This could be:
- Decline in sexual intimacy
- Not spending much time together
- Mental health or emotional issues
- Feeling like your partner doesn’t listen to you
- Being unable to resolve an issue that causes tension
- Feeling like you’re not on the same page about big things like values or future plans.
We hope these tips help if you’re feeling lonely in your relationship.
Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling
As handy as it would be sometimes, your partner isn’t a mind reader. If you haven’t told them how you feel, chances are they’re not going to work it out on their own. If it’s safe, let your partner know you’re lonely. Communicate how you’ve been feeling and what might be contributing to those feelings.
Try to use “I” statements to avoid placing blame on your partner. Pointing the finger can make them feel defensive, and can quickly turn a constructive conversation into a hostile one.
For example: “I feel ignored when you scroll on your phone during dinner” or “I feel disconnected from you because we’ve been going to bed at different times.”
Clearly communicate your needs
It’s one thing to let your partner know you’ve been feeling lonely in the relationship, but it’s another to tell them what you need to fix it. Again, they’re not a mind reader, and it’ll save a whole lot of time and resentment if you simply tell them the solution you’d like.
For example: “It’d make me feel good if you said ‘I love you’ every day” or “I’d feel closer to you if we had screen-free dinners so we could talk.”
If you struggle to communicate your needs, relationship counselling could help. It provides a safe space to discuss your issues and explore your feelings.
Schedule in quality time together
Life involves a lot of juggling, and if you don’t actively make an effort to prioritise the important things, they can easily get pushed aside.
It might not sound romantic, but scheduling in quality time with your partner in advance is the best way to make it happen. This could be daily (e.g. from 6pm-8pm) or weekly (e.g. date night every Friday).
Find what works for you and make quality time a part of your routine.
Learn and share your love languages
How do you show your partner you love them? Is it through a sweet text message or a surprise gift? By giving them a big hug or cooking them a special meal?
There are many ways to express your love, and these generally fall under the five love languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch.
Picture this: Your partner’s love language is Acts of Service and yours is Quality Time. Your partner is outside mowing the lawn for a couple of hours thinking they’re expressing their love for you, while you’re sitting inside wishing they’d spend more time with you.
This is where knowing each other’s love language could come in handy! Knowing how your partner prefers to give and receive love is like having a cheat sheet to their heart.
You can learn more about the five love languages and take the test together here.
Find fulfilment outside your relationship
Alone time is healthy and important. Everyone needs some time on their own to reflect, relax and recharge. If you struggle to spend time separate from your partner, this could be a sign of a deeper issue.
Your partner can’t be held responsible for your happiness and entertainment. If you’re feeling lonely in your relationship, look inward and ask yourself if there’s something else that’s missing. Are you simply bored? Do you have other things in life that make you feel fulfilled?
Nurturing your friendships and finding interests and hobbies can help focus your energy elsewhere and bring enjoyment to your life outside your relationship.
Feel like you and your partner have nothing to talk about? We offer tips to boost the conversation in your relationship in this blog post.