Are you sitting home with your partner, night after night, feeling lonelier than if you actually lived on your own? Do you long for the past when you and your honey were so connected you couldn’t wait to be with each other and share every detail of your day? Are you puzzled trying to remember how and when the disconnection began?
Although we might believe marriage or partnership can insulate us from feelings of loneliness, this is not the case. Loneliness is determined by the quality of our relationships not by simply being in a relationship. Loneliness in relationships often happens slowly, as the disconnection we feel from our partner gradually increases over years.
At some point, discussions about mutual interests, goals and dreams, stop entirely and conversations become purely transactional (e.g., “We need milk,” or “Did you remember to pay the water bill?”), or focused exclusively on the children.
We can also fall into daily routines that create both physical and emotional distance. For example, one person watches television in the den while the other is in the office on the computer. In short, we lose the love and the affection but we stay in the relationship creating the feeling of being lonely in love.
So, what is the real reason we become disconnected and lonely?
Here’s a hint – disconnect happens when you start living from your head instead of your heart.
It’s easy to slip into this scenario – he says something that hurts your feelings and suddenly you don’t feel so free to share your inner thoughts. That is when the wall goes up that blocks out love and connection.
If you’ve been lonely in love, you don’t need to accept your isolated situation. There are steps you can take to remove the blocks to connection and regain intimacy you once had with your partner.
Here are 4 Steps to Rekindle Love:
1. Take the initiative. If you’re lonely, chances are your partner is lonely too. You may both feel trapped in an unhealthy cycle of emotional disconnect. Take the reins and initiate a conversation for connection. Ask them for their views about something they care about and make sure to demonstrate you’re listening. Validate their thoughts and emotions. Don’t expect them to reciprocate right away, as habits take time to change. With time, they’re likely to warm up to your new found interest in connecting and reciprocate the attention.
2. Create shared experiences. Think back to the type of activities you used to enjoy together and make a list of things you and your partner can do together. Having trouble? You can start by suggesting activities that require little effort (which will minimize objections) such as taking a walk around the block or in the park, cooking a meal together, or watching a movie together. Take time to reminisce by watching your wedding video together (reminding yourselves of more connected times). Sharing pleasant experiences together is a sure fire way to bring back connection!
3. Practice patience and forgiveness. Chances are your partner won’t always do or say exactly what you expect them to. Be patient, understanding and forgiving. Remember your goal is to rekindle the love and not to focus on every transgression! Expressing more sympathy and understanding toward them will deepen your mutual bond.
4. Focus on the positive. Your thoughts are creating an energy in your relationship that can be felt as your “vibe”. If you’ve been focusing on everything that’s wrong with your relationship, chances are you’ve had a bad vibe and have been unhappy. Make efforts to shift your focus to the positive. Think about the things you love about your partner and the aspects of your relationship that you appreciate. Try writing your partner a love letter or simply make a list of all the reasons you married your spouse. These simple affirmative acts, practiced often, will help your union thrive.
Practicing these 4 steps will move you to a more loving state and can pave the way to a happier more connected relationship.