Loneliness despite Relationship | Relationship Issues

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: October 21, 2022

We sometimes feel lonely, though we have our life’s love and family around us. Many people can’t even identify this and suffer feeling something lacking and wondering what went wrong. Loneliness despite relationship is more or less the commonly identified issue in these days. First of all, if you’re here to read this article, it says that you are trying to do what you must, and congratulations on your first step!

At times, you’re at the cliff of your emotions, feeling that no one can be with you and fill the void. It feels like you can’t experience a sense of belongingness, and you don’t have a connection with the ones around you. Loneliness is an awful feeling. But why should it occur when you’re already in a relationship? Go on to explore!

A sad couple sitting at home
A sad couple sitting at home

Keerthi has been in a relationship with Shravan for over eight years.

She says, “We’ve lived side by side for a long time and slept in separate rooms. We mostly don’t do anything together and haven’t had sex for years. We are very friendly to each other, hardly argue, but also hardly talk. It was only through the lockdown and the resulting lack of contact with the outside world that I realized how lonely I am, despite my relationship.” If you feel lonely despite your relationship, doubts can quickly arise, which could be about your partner and perhaps about yourself that can increase loneliness. 

After a few discussions with the relationship counsellor, she understood that despite many attempts, she used to be afraid to show herself with all the pain and uneasiness. A behaviour that has long been inherited in her family from generation to generation. Yes, of course! This often happens.

When she says, “I can’t feel my partner. It’s there, but I don’t feel it; there’s an unseen wall between us. I feel lonely in this relationship.” It indicates how tough it is to cope with this. It highly affects an individual’s professional life and mental health.

Everyone knows loneliness. It is not tied to being alone but is a painful feeling that is hard to describe. We feel lonely no matter whether we are in a relationship, married, or single.

So Keerthi has become lonely behind a mask of conformity and self-protection. She also wears this mask in her relationship for fear that her partner might discover something wrong or forbidden about her.

Loneliness in a relationship can be due to many reasons. Often, it is primarily about the fact that more artificiality has crept into your relationship, and you no longer feel connected. Though you talk to each other about your day or the things to do, you no longer feel a shared connection. You would enjoy this beautiful feeling that you carried at the beginning of the relationship has quietly and unknowingly crept away, leaving that emptiness and an increasing distance behind.

Keerthi now wants to face this fear. To do this, she needs courage and a desire for change; otherwise, she will remain lonely, not just in her relationship with Shravan. She wants to improve her communication and behavioural pattern in relationships.

Why do loneliness occur in Relationships?

You can’t be alone: 

Many people find that they can’t spend time with themselves. It would help if you always had someone by your side because otherwise, life seems pointless, boring or lonely. This difference is observed when all such feelings just vanish into thin air while you are with your partner.

Childhood Experiences: 

Every human being needs to feel loved. It is common0 thing for every child to expect love, care, and concern from parents. However, if there were deficits in this respect, it can now reflect an increased need. So, your past experiences can decide your craving for more love.

Incorrect Attitude: 

You may not realize this feeling may result from overthinking. You worry that this loneliness is being triggered by your partner or other people in your life. Ultimately, however, this feeling is purely a matter of the head. It happens that you feel misunderstood and unloved. You might also have doubts and lose yourself in these negative thoughts. These are difficult to turn off.

You are not right for each other: 

The real cause, of course, can be that you and your partner are not in a happy relationship. You both may live everyday life in routine and would not even notice that love has long been lost. 

Your partner might feel the same, too: 

It is important to know if your partner also feels the same. After all, such relationship problems always come from both sides. It could be that they might also be feeling lonely.

A couple having issues
A couple having issues

Being lonely in a relationship can sometimes say much about your relationship and sometimes indicate simple mistakes. If simple changes in your lifestyle or communication patterns can help, why not work it out?

There could be three situations when you feel lonely despite being in a relationship.

  • Everything is fine between you both, but you still feel lonely
  • Everything seems fine, but something is bothering you, and you feel lonely
  • Things are not fine between you both, and you feel lonely

However, every situation might have a range of reasons that lies only between you both. When you’re facing some issues, it is good to take a step to sort that out rather than suffering in that pit. 

What could go wrong?

If you’re in a happy relationship and feel complete only in the presence of your partner, you can fall into a kind of hole when your partner isn’t there. Whether your partner is away for a while, on a business trip or just at work during the day, it doesn’t matter. This loneliness can be felt especially by people who make themselves very dependent on their partner and who attach their happiness to the relationship. Yes, you are getting it right! Personal happiness need not be with your partner, and there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

Though everything is working well between you, you might feel lonely and wonder why. This could arise from a comparison of your life before the relationship and after. Loneliness in a relationship shows up even when other relationships are neglected. Anyone who spent much time with their sweetheart at the beginning of a partnership will probably have neglected other relationships with friends or family. You could be missing having some fun time with your folks. So, spending less time with friends, avoiding or postponing socializing, or losing contact with some valued friends can be a strong reason you feel lonely, even in a relationship.

If you’re feeling lonely in a relationship, there may be something wrong with that relationship. You may feel neglected or misunderstood. Sometimes, everything seems fine superficially, but only you can realize that there’s a huge gap building up, and you need to talk. When you feel that your partner doesn’t value you and doesn’t take your wants, needs, and concerns seriously, it quickly leads to a feeling of loneliness.

Furthermore, the reason for loneliness in a relationship may not be the relationship itself, but it could be you! Yes, it is because people with low self-esteem and high self-doubt tend to feel lonely quickly, even when their partner is trying and loving. This means the solution to the relationship problem often lies with oneself.

If you are lonely in a relationship, being honest is the first thing you should do. This is the only way you can find out the cause of the problem. Understand that you hold the proverbial key in your hand, opening a door out of loneliness.

Reasons for Loneliness

There could be reasons why you’re finding it tough to sort it out. The most common reasons are listed here.

Common reasons:

  • Feeling monotonous in relationships / sharing household chores without expressions/living as a simple duty.
  • Missing the previous connection you both used to have and just living without an expression of love
  • Communication issues / hurting each other egos
  • Being away physically (long-distance relationship)
  • Not sharing your feelings / Feeling a little risky to open up
  • Feeling all others are blessed or jealous of others / not being grateful for what you have
  • Incompatible types / unable to handle a difference of opinions

When there are unresolved issues between you both, the relationship gets strained. You either argue each day or don’t talk anymore. Every word seems like an attempt to hit the target. Clear communication is no longer possible here.

Feeling unheard by your partner can create this loneliness. Not empathizing with each other can result in self-centric thinking, which stimulates self-pity leading to loneliness. 

Chances are that the other person might be feeling lonely too. Your partner could also feel the same way and wait for those good days! Hence, try to bridge the gap resulting from your communication gap. You may do this step by step.

Tips to make your relationship work

Take time for each other: 

Make a conscious effort to go for a walk or drink a cup of coffee or tea. It is essential to switch off your mobile phone, tablet, computer, and television, while you spend time with each other.

A Couple spending time together
A Couple spending time together

Take a mental tour: 

What was it like when you both met? The conscious encounter was probably quite unconscious, with only you and your interest in each other. 

Remember the love: 

What are the milestones of your relationship? What moves you both? Create a verbal connection by talking to each other, not just on the surface. We all often talk without saying anything! 

Eyes do speak much: 

Say something without talking. The non-verbal connection creates a lot of closeness. Touch, looking at each other while speaking, a hug, and a kiss creates a connection without words.

Feelings are important: 

In which situations do you feel lonely? What do you wish for in the future? If you had them before your relationship, what you used to do?

Love being with you:

  1. Learn to spend time with yourself and enjoy it to the fullest. If you can be happy alone, you will certainly succeed even more when your partner is by your side.
  2. Start by spending at least one hour a day just with yourself.
  3. Try doing something new.
  4. Join a sports class, catch a new movie at the cinema, or pick a hobby.
  5. Just do your favourite activities and feel entirely free.

You can change the feeling of loneliness by being honest with yourself and drawing the right conclusions. Being lonely can make you think that you alone have to deal with this. But help is always available if you are ready to seek it. Talk to a marital expert or relationship counsellor/psychologist for a helping hand.

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