At the start of a relationship, you’re both usually riding high.
You’ve found someone you connect with on a deeply personal, emotional, spiritual, and sexual level.
While this euphoric feeling was never meant to last to its fullest, the foundation of any solid relationship should be to maintain some sense of emotional connectivity.
But what happens when this connectivity suddenly disappears?
Or what if it isn’t so sudden? What if you’ve both been heading in a negative direction slowly over time?
According to Tanisha Herin in an article featured on Regain.Us:
“Emotional disconnect in a relationship occurs when a partner doesn’t feel the closeness they admired earlier in their relationship.”
To make matters worse, a lot of individuals and couples don’t even realize when this is happening.
They’ve become so accustomed to virtually zero positive feelings towards their significant other that they’re living in relationship limbo; It’s not terrible, but it’s not so great either.
If you’re worried you may be experiencing a bout of emotional disconnect between yourself and your partner, here are five signs you should look out for.
You don’t actively spend time together anymore
Life gets in the way of our relationships.
Wake. Commute. Work. Family. Kids. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. It’s a constant struggle.
When this happens it can begin to feel like you don’t spend any time with your partner anymore. Or at least you don’t feel like you spend time with each other.
That’s why a lot of couples go the extra mile to make sure they spend some quality time in each other’s company.
You’ll sit around the dinner table together and engage in deep discussion. Things that go beyond the typical ‘how was your day?’
You’ll cuddle on the couch watching your favorite sitcom. No matter how terrible it may have gotten over the past few seasons.
You head to bed a few minutes early just so you can lie next to each other and read, listen to a podcast, or get up to whatever else it is couples get up to in the bedroom (more on that in a moment).
But when an emotional disconnect occurs, you’ll often find you don’t actively spend time with your partner. Or, even worse, you’ll actively try to avoid it.
You might be in the same room, sure. But you’ve got no interest in speaking with each other. You’re probably too busy on your phone or having your attention distracted in other ways.
Spending time with each other shouldn’t be a chore. It should be something that feels natural to you both.
You should feel just as comfortable with each other as you do in your own skin.
In short, the fact that your partner happens to be nearby does not constitute spending time with each other. If you’d rather be off doing other things, and this thought occurs to you regularly throughout the week, there could be an emotional disconnect emerging.
You’re disinterested in emotional sex
Sex is fun. And it should be!
But there are so many more layers to physical intimacy people forget about.
For starters, if you’re in a relationship, sex shouldn’t always be about our animalistic urge to ‘get it on.’
Your hormones might be driving you in that direction, but there should be at least some emotionality involved in your lovemaking.
If not, there could be a problem.
Ask yourself: When was the last time we engaged in what could be referred to as ‘emotional sex?’
When we say emotional, we’re not talking about crying or anything like that (even though that’s perfectly normal, too).
We’re talking about connecting on a level deeper than the physical; Acknowledging something greater than simple physical pleasure is occurring.
We don’t have to go too spiritual — not everyone feels as though their souls are inexplicably intertwining when they make love. But there should be something more than the primal urge to ‘do it.’
If sex with your partner is purely a physical experience at this point — or if it was always just a physical experience — alarm bells should be ringing.
You take no interest in his/her troubles
Both relationships and people go through rocky patches.
As a loving partner, it’s your job to support the other member of your unit during times of crisis.
At face value, you might be very good at this. Attentive, caring, and always on board to help.
But ask yourself: Do you really care about the troubles your partner goes through? Do they affect you on an emotional level, too?
Let’s look at an example.
Your partner comes home from a terrible day at the office. She’s found out her so-called friends at work have been ridiculing her behind her back for months.
Not only this, they’ve been undermining her performance and making her look bad in the eyes of the boss.
She’s distraught, crying, contemplating quitting. Throwing years of a career down the toilet.
You’ll likely hug her, comfort her, and tell her everything will be fine.
But what are you feeling on the inside?
- Are you furious at what’s happening to your partner?
- Are you struck with empathy over her situation?
- Are you ready to raise hell to make sure she’s happy?
Alternatively, are you just going with the flow? Do you feel as though this is just ‘another one of those things’ that you’re not directly involved in?
If your answer is the latter, it could be a sign of an emotional disconnect.
Empathy should be a key trait of your relationship dynamic. If it’s not, maybe it’s time you asked yourself why.
You don’t encourage your partner to reach for their goals
None of us are where we want to be in life.
Unless you’re a multi-billionaire with seven mansions and a yacht named after your favorite football player. In which case, well done!
In relationships, it’s important for us to always be encouraging of our partners’ dreams.
The desire to improve and reach somewhere better in our lives is what keeps many of us going when things get a little tricky.
If your partner has goals for their future and wants to achieve or become something greater than they already are, be as encouraging as possible.
As long as it’s within reason, of course. If he wants to be an Astronaut, good luck with that.
If you find yourself disengaged with your partner’s hopes and dreams for the future, there’s definitely an emotional disconnect in play.
Ask yourself: Are you disinterested because it’s an unrealistic dream? If so, that’s not totally unreasonable.
But if you don’t care simply because you can’t empathize with your partner’s desires, it’s something you need to work on.
You connect with others much easier
It’s always nice to have someone to talk to.
One of the benefits of being in a relationship is that you’ll always have someone to talk to. Because you live under the same roof.
But what if you struggle confiding in your partner? What if you feel like you don’t have enough of a personal connection to be able to discuss the more intricate details of your life?
A more important question is: What if you find it easier discussing these intricate details with someone outside of your relationship?
We all have people we know we can talk to about virtually anything.
And if you don’t, I really feel for you.
But one of these people should unquestionably be your partner.
If for whatever reason you can’t talk to your partner about more personal, deeper, or more revealing topics, you could be emotionally disconnected. Or on the way to emotional disconnection.
Why is it you feel you can’t connect with your partner in this way? Is there something in your own personal history that stops you from opening up?
Or what if the shoe is on the other foot? What if you see something in your partner or their past that won’t allow you to connect and be honest?
Either way, it’s something you need to work on if you want to have any hope of a deeper, more meaningful relationship than the one you already have.
The ability to be completely honest with another human being, especially someone you love, is so freeing.
What should you do?
If any (or all) of the above is sounding familiar, it’s worth sitting down with your partner and having an open discussion as to:
- Where you find an emotional disconnect within your relationship.
- And why you feel this might be the case.
However, if you’re like countless other couples out there and you’re unsure why one of you, or both of you, have unknowingly gone down this route, it could be worth attending some couples therapy sessions to get to the root cause of the problem.
To sum up:
- To be emotionally disconnected from your partner is to feel a lack of closeness or empathy.
- No desire to spend time with your partner is a good indicator of this.
- Having interest only in the physical side of sex means there could be a problem.
- Not caring about your partner’s troubles is a clear sign of emotional disconnect.
- Supporting your partner in reaching their goals is important in a healthy relationship.
- Connecting with your partner should be just as easy as connecting with anyone else.
Previously Published on medium
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