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What to Do When You Feel Lonely in a Relationship

3 Things You Can Do to Overcome Feelings of Loneliness in Your Relationship

It's not uncommon for people who are in relationships to feel lonely. Unfortunately, the prevalence of these difficult feelings doesn't make this type of loneliness any less painful. Emotional intimacy is something all people crave, and when we can't cultivate closeness with our partner, we feel sad, anxious and unfulfilled.

Fortunately, it is possible to overcome feelings of loneliness in your relationship. Throughout my years as a counselor, I've helped many couples learn how to rekindle their emotional intimacy. It's rarely easy, but it can be incredibly worthwhile.

With that in mind, read on to learn more about the three most effective ways to address loneliness in your romantic relationship.

1. Discover the root causes of your loneliness

Loneliness in a partnership can manifest for many different reasons. To resolve it, you first need to learn why you feel alone.

For example, at the beginning of a relationship, an initial “spark” coupled with sexual chemistry helps people feel close to their partner. Ideally, this lust will develop into lasting love and emotional closeness. Still, this transition can be difficult, and one or both partners can feel lonely as a result.

Of course, there are countless reasons someone might feel lonely in a relationship. To learn why you feel isolated from your partner, try journaling to understand your emotions better. Therapy, whether on your own or with your significant other , can also be incredibly helpful and healing.

2. Be honest about your loneliness, both with yourself and your partner

Communication is the key to a successful relationship, but I'm not just talking about communicating with your significant other (though that is crucial.) You also need to communicate with yourself, which requires soul searching and honesty.

So, before you sit down for a conversation with the person you love, spend some time with yourself. If you've worked on step #1 and have discovered the root cause of your loneliness, think about how you feel, what you've noticed in the relationship and what you want to change going forward.

Additionally, if you feel guilty about your loneliness, I urge you to look at things differently. Your feelings are real and valid, and they deserve to be talked about. Don't allow guilt to keep you from discussing important things with your partner.

Once you've unraveled how and why you feel lonely, it's time to sit down for a conversation. It can be so hard to talk about difficult topics with the people we care about, but these communication tips on how to use “I” messages will help you learn how to speak with compassion.

3. Learn how to connect the dots between loneliness and emotional abuse

Emotional abuse can cause you to feel lonely. Emotional abuse can also be very subtle. You may not even notice it during conversations and other interactions. That's why I suggest learning more about some of the most common red flags in this straightforward article, How to Recognize Emotional Abuse .

For couples in loving relationships, where both individuals feel cared for and respected, loneliness can typically be resolved through healthy communication . Start there, and see if you can develop greater emotional closeness.