You may think that having a partner, who you spend time with the most, will solve the problem of loneliness. However, you may be surprised to realize that many people may end up feeling lonely in a relationship, as well.
That person could be you or your partner. Feeling alone in a relationship is a sign of trouble. You can either be in a stale or toxic relationship.
The signs of loneliness in a relationship may not always be visible.
Also, there are plenty of reasons why someone would feel lonely in a relationship. It could also be stress from other factors, and your partner is not helping alleviate it. You could also be living in a loveless partnership, and you’re just going through the motions of your daily life without fun, romance, or meaning.
What loneliness in relationships means
“Why do I feel lonely? I have a partner, but why do I feel alone?”
All of us can feel lonely once in a while, whether we are in a relationship or not. However, one must not confuse being alone with being lonely. Feeling lonely has little to do with the fact that you have a partner or not. Some people may not feel lonely even when they are not in a romantic relationship.
So, what does it mean to feel lonely in a relationship?
You do not feel lonely in a relationship if your partner is not constantly physically around you all the time. You feel lonely in a relationship when you feel that your partner is not heard or not valued.
A person can start feeling lonely when their partner is physically present but is mentally absent.
One can start feeling lonely in a relationship when they feel that their presence or absence has little effect on their partner. If two people cannot speak to each other about their feelings, fears, and thoughts, they may feel lonely in a relationship.
All these feelings of loneliness are valid, and there are so many examples of loneliness in a relationship depending on the cause of these feelings.
Main causes of loneliness in relationships
Feeling alone in a relationship can be caused by many factors. It’s complicated, and it’s painful.
You first have to identify why you are feeling alone in a relationship. Is your partner the root cause, or is their lack of support that’s leaving you feeling neglected.
Here are the top causes of feeling loneliness in relationships.
This happens when one partner is too needy, and the other allows themselves to be abused to fulfill their obligations.
It’s okay to support and take care of your partner. However, when it becomes excessive, you will lose your individuality in the process.
You will start to feel the signs of loneliness in a relationship, and you may also feel trapped.
One partner is pessimistic about everything and resorts to substance abuse as an escape mechanism. They blame the world, their spouse, everyone else, including the mailman, for their predicament.
Even if you love this person and try your best to help your partner, this can lead to being alone in a relationship.
Your partner is present but is too occupied with their negative thoughts, needs, substance abuse, and so much more.
In the end, this can lead to codependency or just the feeling of being alone in your battle. 4. Trapped in a loveless relationship Are you like robots? Going through the same dull routine day after day, year after year? Even if you sleep in the same bed, there’s no meaningful conversation or intimate sex with your partner.
Your relationship may have started exciting. Unfortunately, now, you find that each day has become dull and uninteresting.
You don’t share anything in common, and you always get on each other’s nerves. No one initiates open communication, and you don’t even have the same goals in life.
Anyone would feel lonely in a relationship in this case.
5. Loving a cheater
You think everything is perfect. You have a beautiful house with a white picket fence. You can pay the bills with some leftovers for Doritos and pedicures, but find out that your partner is always out with someone else.
Anyone would start feeling alone in the relationship when their partner is cheating on them.
What if it wasn’t just a one-time fling? There can be instances that their partners would cheat over and over again. This act of infidelity brings unmeasurable loneliness to their partner.
It’s easy to imagine being married but lonely if you are in one of those relationships mentioned above. Most people don’t know how to deal with loneliness in such a situation.
Infidelity Expert & Therapist Todd Creager talks about how infidelity changes the cheater.
After a few years, you may find yourself and your partner starting to drift apart and spending time on your new interests. It’s common for people who are incompatible with each other.
You may find yourself wondering how you can stop feeling alone in your relationship.
9. Both of you are more focused on your screen
You’re having dinner, but you’re both busy looking at your phone.
You’re together every weekend, but you’re busy watching different shows. Soon, it’s Monday again, and you’re off with your busy schedule. There is no time for bonding, communication, and intimacy.
10. You don’t ask about each other
You want to know how to overcome loneliness in a relationship, but how can you do that when you can’t check on your partner anymore? You try to ask your partner about their day, but you only get a one-word answer, or maybe no answer at all.
It’s like you’re together physically, but that’s it.
For abusive or codependent relationships, you may start feeling that no one care’s about you at all. You’re drained and empty, fulfilling your partner’s desires but not your own.
11. Your needs and wants are no longer met
Every couple in a healthy relationship will do their best to meet each other’s needs and wants without sacrificing their own.
When there’s loneliness in a relationship, one or both may no longer meet each other’s wants and needs.
We’re talking about food, shelter, safety, intimacy, love, and so much more.
14. You notice changes in your eating pattern and health
People who have been too strong can still feel lonely. The signs of loneliness in a relationship can manifest in eating disorders.
Some people binge eat, and some lose their appetites.
Both of these can cause health problems that can also affect daily activities.
15. You notice changes in your hygiene
Being alone in a relationship can take its toll. Some signs can show by not being interested in everything, even themselves.
They no longer wish to look good and feel good.
Some people refuse to clean themselves and even look at themselves in the mirror. They would lose the spark and the light that makes them happy.
Do we all feel alone in a relationship?
Yes. Anyone can have feelings of loneliness. It’s normal to experience this feeling, along with other strong emotions.
If you think you are feeling alone and lonely in your relationship or marriage, it’s time to dig deeper into what causes this feeling.
It’s time to understand the different signs of loneliness in a relationship.
Once you have addressed the cause and the signs, then it’s time to know the different ways to cope with this feeling.
Let’s start by understanding emotional intimacy and how it can affect one’s relationship.
How to develop emotional intimacy to fight loneliness
Emotional intimacy is a beautiful way of strengthening your relationship.
You can describe emotional intimacy as the feeling of connecting to your partner. It is when you can express your feelings and thoughts. You also allow yourself to open up and trust completely.
Emotional intimacy develops easier than most people believe. However, if you allow it, it does take a lot of time. The feeling of loneliness stems from a lack of emotional intimacy. When you feel there’s nobody to turn to and confide in your problems, that’s when someone starts to feel alone.
People feel alone when they have nobody to share good and bad times.
They have to trust the person enough to talk about their real feelings without awkwardness and fear of judgment. Finding someone to share your deepest thoughts without inhibitions and connecting with them is the only solution to loneliness.
It needs to be a two-way street.
You have to be so comfortable with each other that you share each other’s dirty laundry. If you are lonely in marriage, that means you don’t have the emotional intimacy expectations with your spouse that you should have.
Either your spouse is the source of your problems, or they are too emotionally distant to make a connection.
The first case is more complicated. That’s why a lot of people turn to others instead. If you want to connect with your partner, you have to reconnect with them through romance.
If you are married or in a relationship with the person, you at least had some chemistry in the past. Find time to re-establish a romantic connection with your spouse.
It won’t happen unless you resolve the underlying problems in your relationship. Challenging them together can make your relationship stronger.
Loneliness in a relationship has a lot to do with how the couple interacts. If you rely on each other and share your success, you won’t feel alone.
Sometimes, you need to work harder to bring back your emotional connection with each other.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.