Loneliness is a very painful feeling… You might believe that the people who feel lonely are people who are not in a relationship, but as Margaret Paul points out, just as often, they are lonely in their relationship. Being in a relationship does not always take away loneliness – it often causes it.
Do you ever feel lonely in your relationship?
What Creates Loneliness in a Relationship?
- You may feel lonely with your partner if your heart is closed because you are protecting yourself from hurt with your anger or withdrawal. You cannot connect when you are closed and protected.
- You may feel lonely with your partner when your partner is closed and angry, or withdrawn and uncommunicative. You will feel lonely if your partner deliberately shuts you out with work, TV, food, alcohol, hobbies, the Internet and so on.
- You may feel lonely when you are trying to have control over your partner’s feelings by giving yourself up. Being inauthentic in order to control how your partner feels about you does not lead to authentic connection.
- You may feel lonely with your partner when one or both of you are closed to learning when a conflict arises. The unwillingness to have open communication about important issues creates walls between you.
- You may feel lonely if you or your partner use your sexual relationship as a form of control.
- You will feel lonely if you or your partner stays up in your mind rather than being together with open hearts. Intellectualization can be interesting at times, but after a while it can feel flat and lonely.
- You may feel lonely if your partner judges you regarding your thoughts, feelings, looks or actions. Judgment creates disconnection, and disconnection can be very lonely.
- You may feel lonely when you or your partner can’t connect due to being overly tired, frazzled and overwhelmed, or ill.
Anything you do or your partner does that disconnects you from yourself and/or your partner may create loneliness. Loneliness goes away when we connect with each other from our hearts. Disconnection occurs anytime one partner closes his or her heart to protect or control.
We stay connected with each other when:
- We are willing to be vulnerable and authentic, speaking our truth without blame or judgment.
- We are willing to feel our painful feelings and lovingly manage them and learn from them — taking responsibility for all our feelings rather than avoiding them with protective, controlling behaviors. When we are connected with ourselves, we can connect with our partner.
- We are willing to learn about ourselves and our partner, especially in conflict.
- We are caring and compassionate with ourselves and our partner.
- We make time to be together to talk, play, make love, laugh, learn and grow. We are interested in personal and relationship growth. Time together, and growing in our ability to love ourselves and share our love with each other, are high priorities for both partners.
When each of you is devoted to evolving in your ability to love yourself and each other, your relationship has a high chance of staying connected. Partners who are connected with themselves and each other rarely feel lonely.