A relationship is supposed to be a loving and meaningful connection.
But for far too many people, relationships become places of emotional deadness and emptiness, or control and resentment.
When you’re in a relationship where something’s just not right, one of the top emotions you may struggle with is actually loneliness.
Let’s take a look at the crucial signs that your relationship is actually making you lonelier instead of more connected.
If a lot of these points ring true for you then it’s a clear signal being sent to you that you’re not in a healthy situation and the relationship either needs to be improved and resolved or left behind.
1) You don’t feel comfortable opening up to your partner
Relationships are a process of opening up.
When you don’t feel comfortable showing who you really are and opening up to your partner, it’s a sign that you’re not in this together.
Your relationship is making you lonely.
Maybe the discomfort is more within you or maybe it’s more within your partner. Maybe it’s simply the unique combination of you both and something about the way you interact and how you feel together.
Whatever precisely is causing this discomfort, it’s certainly a fact that when you don’t feel able to open up to the person closest to you then you’ll start to feel lonely.
2) You find conversations you do have in your relationship anxiety-inducing and stressful
When you do talk to your partner, you find it anxiety-inducing.
It feels like there is some kind of disconnect and you may not be sure exactly why.
Is it you, is it them? Is it both of you?
All you know is that when you talk to your partner it often lulls into an uncomfortable silence or into in-depth talks about things you really don’t want to talk about.
You feel lonely because you don’t feel like you can be yourself in the relationship.
This leads me to the next point…
3) You feel that you’re playing a false or shallow role in your relationship
We all have roles we play in relationships, including even in friendships and work relationships.
Romantic relationships are no different except that they are even more intense and intimate, and the roles we play need to be understood and mutually agreed on.
If you feel that you’re expected to play a role that’s shallow or not true to who you are, it makes you feel awfully lonely.
Are you just supposed to be the stable provider nice guy? Boring! That’s not who you really are! At least that’s not all you are!
Are you seen by your partner as the submissive, supportive girlfriend who always has her life organized and knows what she believes? That’s not you at all, at least it hasn’t ever been in the past!
Yet here you are in a relationship where it’s the new reality, and when you dip a toe in the water outside of these roles your partner reacts with confusion or dismay.
4) You feel emotionally cramped in by your partner’s expectations of you
On a related note to feeling that you’re playing a role which isn’t really you or is only a shallow echo of you, does your relationship make you feel cramped?
Often an immature or toxic relationship is one in which we’re expected to be something, feel something, say something in order to be loved.
If you have any insecurities and self-doubts this can be especially tempting, because it taps into your desire to be validated and wanted.
But at the same time you also feel even worse afterward because you’re no longer living your life, only the life your partner believes or expects you to be living.
5) You find yourself seeking out friends you can talk to in order to feel heard
When you’re in a fulfilling relationship, it’s healthy and great to still have friendships and a social life outside of the relationship.
But if you find that you’re actively seeking out friends to talk to about how you feel because that’s missing in your relationship, all is not well.
Your partner can’t be everything to you, true, but he or she should be a safe harbor where you feel free to be yourself and to bare your soul.
But when your relationship is making you lonely, you don’t really feel united with your partner, and they’re not really a person who provides you comfort or understanding in times of need.
“You don’t feel like you’re a team taking on life together,” and “if you seek comfort from your spouse they often say the wrong thing.”
6) When you try to explain your beliefs or values your partner meets them with dismissal or rejection
Part of this loneliness you may be feeling in your relationship is based on a lack of interest and respect for your values that you perceive in your partner.
When you try to explain what really moves you and motivates you, your partner has a blank stare.
Or they nod and grin, then change the subject.
So, why even bother?
You’re explaining what makes you laugh, cry, get up in the morning and the person you’re together with is shrugging it off or smirking?
No wonder you’re feeling lonely!
7) When you reach out for connection and real emotional intimacy it feels like your partner is ‘too busy’ or not interested
Pertinent to the previous point as well is that your attempts at emotional intimacy in general get rejected or glossed over by your partner.
Even a little hug while you’re on a walk is shrugged off or halfheartedly returned.
He or she just seems to be in their own little world, and the more you try to break through the walls the more it feels like they withdraw.
They may be avoidant, going through trauma or just not that into you.
But whatever it is that’s going on, the lack of affection certainly isn’t coming from your end, and who can blame you for feeling hurtfully rebuffed?
8) You often fantasize about having a partner who truly appreciated and listened to you
Noticing attractive men or women who appeal to you is one thing, and even a healthy relationship isn’t going to be without its temptations.
But if you find that you’re emotionally fantasizing about being with someone else, it’s a symptom of a much deeper love sickness.
This may also occur as dreams of a loving and empathetic partner that start coming to you at night.
You wonder why, are you just bored in bed? But no…It’s much more than that.
On some level you’re crying out for a partner who actually listens to you and pays attention to you.And who could blame you?
9) You disconnect during physical intimacy with your partner and feel strangely dissociated
On the topic of being bored in bed, it is important to note, however, that this definitely does play a relevant role as well.
If you find that physical intimacy with your partner has become quite mechanical or detached, it’s usually a sign of something deeper that’s amiss.
You’re going through the motions, but you don’t feel able to truly be yourself or experience full pleasure even physically.
You’re holding back, and feel not fully like yourself. Instead of laying back in an ecstatic glow after lovemaking or erotic activities, you feel bored, empty and oddly sad.
10) You have the impression that your partner doesn’t truly care about what happens to you
This is a very sad thing to feel, but it’s surprisingly common.
You’re with someone (and maybe have been for quite some time!) but you genuinely feel that they don’t care a lot about you.
Any attempts to gauge the depth of their sentiments for you come across as needing or clingy, so you begin circling through your thoughts obsessively.
What now? Do you just get used to this coldness and loneliness that you feel or do you walk away from the love you once had and take a chance on a new life alone?
11) You feel a sense of relief when your partner is away
When your partner is away, it’s normal to feel a little lonely or sad.
At the very least, it’s healthy that you feel joy when your partner returns or sends you a message and checks in.
But if you feel relief when your partner is away, it’s a sign that the relationship isn’t fulfilling your needs.
In fact, you feel relief when your partner is away because you feel more freedom to be yourself.
Even if you still feel lonely, you now can at least be honest with yourself about it and feel free to experience what you are instead of being stuck in a relationship that feels more and more like a fraudulent charade.