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The previous blog highlighted some of the reasons why one may feel lonely within a relationship, as well as the importance of not feeling guilty if you do experience such feelings

So, once you accept that you are experiencing loneliness in your relationship, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind

  • Check in with yourself

Try and reflect on whether you still feel an emotional connection with your partner. It is important to try and understand whether there is a compatibility issue. Incompatibility can lead to feelings of resentment, impatience and unhappiness leading to a dead-end relationship. Self-awareness is the first step to overcoming anything.

  • Communicate

Talk to your partner about these feelings. Are you both feeling the same? It’s possible that by sharing these thoughts and feeling, you and your partner can find a solution to overcome them. Remember to use language that does not throw blame or accusations on your partner. Listen to each other and see where the conversation takes you.

Communicating is also a key factor to understanding whether the loneliness is coming from before the relationship existed. If, from discussions with your partner, you realise that they have been doing all they can to make you feel emotionally fulfilled, then the root cause may be coming more from within rather than from the relationship itself. Try and reflecting on past relationships or experiences to see if you can determine a pattern that is not connected to this particular relationship

  • Spend some time apart

Not to increase distance between you and your partner, but to reflect. Time with friends or family can give you a better perspective into whether the loneliness is actually linked to the relationship. Reconnecting with other people in your life may in turn have a positive effect on your romantic relationship.

In contrast, it is also important to spend time alone, doing activities that allow you to reflect, such as meditation. The key here is to become more comfortable with being alone rather avoiding it.

  • Seek support

Do not be afraid to seek professional support by attending sessions with a family therapist or a couple’s counsellor. Whether it’s for individual support to gain a better perspective about the root cause of loneliness, or to overcome the issue as a couple, sessions with a therapist can give you the boost you need. Therapy will help you and push you to reflect on your issues, patterns and ultimately on yourself, leading to a better understanding on what is affecting the relationship.

Michaela Pace is a Psychology graduate from the University of Malta. She has worked with children and adolescents within the social sector and currently works as a Triage Officer and Volunteer Manager within Willingness Team, while pursuing a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy locally.

References:
https://www.norc.org/PDFs/GSS%20Reports/Research%20Highlights-GSS%20(ECON)%20FINAL%20slightly%20different%20layout-DTP%20Formatted.pdf

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/12/03/americans-unhappy-with-family-social-or-financial-life-are-more-likely-to-say-they-feel-lonely/

Primack, B., Shensa, A., Sidani, J., Whaite, E., Lin, L., Rosen, D., Colditz, J., Radovic, A. and Miller, E., 2017. Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 53(1), pp.1-8.