Feeling Lonely in Your Relationship

October 13, 2019
Feeling lonely in a relationship can be devastating. Read on to learn more about this issue!

Feeling lonely in your relationship can be extremely painful. It hurts not knowing why your partner is acting emotionally indifferent. After all, the point of being in a relationship is to feel loved and to have your partner’s companionship. Few kinds of loneliness are as problematic or as common.

Gustavo Adolfo Becquer wisely said that loneliness is very beautiful as long as you have someone to talk about it with. However, plenty of people with many social media followers still feel alone and disconnected from their surroundings. Not only does that cause psychological distress, but also health problems.

This isn’t a new problem. People have always struggled with loneliness in their relationships. However, thanks to modern studies about loneliness, researchers are discovering more about this phenomenon that affects people of all ages. Couples young and old experience isolation and emotional indifference.

“If you’re afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.”

-Anton Chekhov-

A couple with their backs to each other.

What causes loneliness in a relationship?

Some of the most intense sadness stems from the cold silence between two people who swore to love each other forever. Sometimes, one partner forgets their promise, choosing instead (consciously or unconsciously) to be emotionally indifferent with their partner.

This kind of situation doesn’t usually happen overnight. Psychological estrangement often creeps in unnoticed. It happens when you stop paying attention to the things you once enjoyed together. It happens when you forget details, stop listening to your partner, or when you simply go through the motions and stop making an effort.

Estrangement in a relationship has serious consequences. Watching your partner grow more and more distant is very painful and also has other consequences. Experts such as Dr. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, philosopher, psychologist, and relationship expert, explains the following:

  • It’s important to differentiate between being alone and being lonely. Being alone means that no one is physically with you. Being lonely, on the other hand, is a psychological reality that’s becoming more and more common. Surprisingly, those who experience it the most are people in relationships.
  • This kind of loneliness often leads to depressive disorders and anxiety. According to studies such as this one conducted by Dr. Greg Miller at the University of Manchester, loneliness is just as dangerous for your health as smoking or leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Let’s analyze some of the reasons why you might feel lonely in your relationship.

A sad girl lying in her bed.

Falling out of love and fear of change

Sometimes, falling out of love is like feeling a cold draft and not knowing where it’s coming from. Suddenly, although nothing has changed, things seem meaningless, unexciting, and dull.

Not always is there a concrete reason for falling out of love. Sometimes it just happens, and it’s disconcerting for both people involved. That being said, if you’re clearly aware that you don’t love your partner anymore, you should communicate your feelings. Deceiving your partner (or deceiving yourself) can have serious consequences. One of those is subjecting your partner to your emotional indifference, as much as you might try to hide it.

Getting stuck in your routine

You’re more likely to feel lonely in your relationship when your day-to-day routine gets overwhelming. Between work, children, and responsibilities, you may not have any time left for affection or reconnection.

When that happens, even your conversations become mechanical, void of any affection, love, and intimacy. One way to deal with that is to try to change things up or seek professional help. In either case, being passive hardly ever helps solve the problem.

What if you’re the reason you feel lonely in your relationship?

Sometimes, you reach a point in your life where you just feel inexplicably empty. It’s a mix of dissatisfaction, existential crisis, and a fear of change.

These situations are more common than you might think. Some people feel lonely in their relationships because they’ve changed and are dealing with the frustrating of not having what they want. In this case, although no one is directly responsible, it’s easy to blame your partner for not being able to give you what you want. However, the truth is that your loneliness stems from your transformation.

You’ve evolved and your perspective has changed. Your likes and dislikes, needs, and motivations have changed as well. Maybe you’re on a different track professionally, you want to be more independent, or you’re longing for new social connections. Humans live in a state of constant change, and those changes can affect your relationship.

Feeling lonely in your relationship.

In conclusion, loneliness in relationships is very common. It’s also the cause of many breakups. First of all, because it causes suffering, psychological problems, and health problems. Second of all, because no one should have to experience this kind of pain or its consequences.

Thus, if you’re experiencing this kind of loneliness, try to get to the bottom of it. Figure out the root cause. Talk to your partner and try to come up with sincere, respectful, and responsible solutions.

  • Miller, G. (2011). Why loneliness is hazardous to your health. Science331(6014), 138–140. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.331.6014.138
  • Renzetti, E. (2014). Life of solitude. The Globe and Mail, 23.11.13