9 warning signs you lack a genuine emotional connection with your partner

Everyone has moments in their relationship where they are a tad unsure.

Sometimes, the reason for the wobble is a feeling that the connection isn’t there.

Like you’re going through the motions of a relationship and existing together in (almost) perfect harmony. But you’re not really connected to each other.

And something just doesn’t feel right.

If a lack of a genuine emotional connection is the issue, there will be warning signs. Specifically, you’ll notice these 9 things!

Up first:

1) You don’t talk about the “deep stuff”

When you’re in a truly committed relationship, they should know you like no one else does.

You should be able to explore the deepest parts of your soul and how your brain works. That’s my opinion, anyway.

But even experts say that couples who have more meaningful conversations (rather than just small talk) have a stronger bond and are happier together.

To test this out, think about a normal conversation with your partner. Is it mostly small talk? Talk about chores? Shopping lists? Or organizing “life” stuff?

Or do you sometimes make room for the controversial stuff? The philosophical topics? The raw, emotional, heart-to-hearts that expose your deepest thoughts and insecurities?

If it’s the latter, you talk about the deep stuff. If it’s the former and you never talk about these things, your connection might not be that strong.

2) You feel like you don’t really know them

I’ve dated some people in the past who I never really connected with. Every time, I felt like I didn’t really know them.

The most obvious was a relationship that lasted for years. We got along fine and were pretty happy together. But it just felt like I didn’t really know them deep down.

Under the surface, I had no idea who he really was.

Occasionally I’d get a snippet when he was out with friends or did something he really enjoyed. It was an odd feeling.

I think this feeling mostly comes when you don’t talk about the “deep stuff”, which is very important in a romantic relationship (see above).

If you know the feeling I’m talking about, perhaps you don’t have a true emotional connection with this person as much as you’d hope.

3) You feel misunderstood

When you lack a real connection with someone you’re dating, you won’t feel seen or understood by them.

I’m not saying you won’t have misunderstandings if you have a genuine emotional connection with your partner.

My partner and I have misunderstandings all the time – and I’m certain he’s my soulmate! But despite the small miscommunications you have, you’ll feel understood by them on a deeper level.

With my ex, I couldn’t say the same thing. It felt like something was off about the way we understood each other.

I was constantly thinking (or saying) “I don’t get why you do it”. And he never took too much of an interest in figuring me out either.

It wasn’t because we weren’t trying hard enough in our relationship. It was because we just didn’t have a deep, true emotional connection.

4) Your disagreements never get resolved

Another warning sign you don’t have a true connection with your partner is when it comes to your arguments.

Disagreements happen in all relationships. Some experts even say it’s healthy to argue sometimes to keep the spark alive!

But the difference is that in a healthy relationship, it always feels like you’ve buried the hatchet after talking things out. In fact, in my experience, you feel even closer and more connected to them after the argument!

Yet in a relationship where the connection is lacking, you might:

  • Go around in circles discussing the same thing
  • Give each other the silent treatment
  • Go to sleep and pretend it never happened

Or do anything else that essentially dismisses the argument and leads to it never getting resolved…

Because when you do this, it’s a sign you don’t care enough about the relationship to work through problems and prevent issues from cropping up again.

5) You aren’t sure what you like about them

If you’re already starting a long list of physical things that you like about your partner, let me stop you right there.

Because this warning sign is about what you like about your partner beyond the physical stuff.

When you have a genuine emotional connection, your love goes way beyond their hair color, body shape, and what’s in their bank account.

It goes to the root of what’s inside their mind, body, and soul.

You might love the way they think about things, how mentally strong they are, or how understood they make you feel. It won’t just be how they make you feel in bed or how good they look on your Instagram…

6) You gatekeep what you tell them

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When you have a genuine emotional connection with your partner, you’ll want to tell them everything. Few subjects will be off limits – if any are at all!

You’ll happily tell them all about your day, thoughts, feelings, and grievances. You’ll even be happy to talk about your deepest, darkest insecurities.

But when the connection isn’t there? You probably won’t do this – and neither will they. Instead, you’ll gatekeep some things.

You’ll hold back on telling them certain things you thought of, plans you’ve made, or experiences you’ve had at work or with friends.

Why? Well, because…

7) You feel judged by them

When you don’t know or understand someone on a deeper level, it’s easier to judge them.

This is exactly what happens when you’re dating someone you don’t have a genuine emotional connection with. Things you say and do are misunderstood.

Or at least, it feels that way.

If you’re at a family event and have to give a speech, you’d feel like they’re judging you more than anyone else. Or if you feel nervous about doing something new, you’d feel judged if you told them that.

It’s not that you feel embarrassed around them. It’s more like you think they’re embarrassed by you – even if they’ve never said it before.

And it’s all because you don’t really have that deep of a connection to each other.

8) You don’t think about them all that much

Another warning sign you aren’t as deeply connected as you think is if you don’t think about your partner that much.

Of course, we all have lives to live. There are a ton of things that cross my mind every day that don’t include my partner. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about him!

Yet when you’re dating someone you don’t have a genuine connection with, you won’t think about them all that much when you’re not together.

And if you do, it won’t be positive thoughts. It won’t be things like “They’ll like this” or “I can’t wait to tell them about this when they get home”.

It’ll be ruminations over past arguments or trying to understand their behavior.

9) You avoid discussing the future

Another warning sign your connection isn’t as strong as you think is if the future is an off-limits topic for you.

I’ve avoided talks of the future with many people in the past – and they’ve avoided them with me, too!

There can be many reasons why you don’t discuss the future with the person you’re dating. I used to do it when we both knew things wouldn’t last.

But what happens if you bring up the future? Like talk of moving in together, buying a place, getting married, or having kids?

If you fear it’ll scare them off or end in a conversation you don’t want to have, this isn’t a good sign.

It might signal the emotional connection isn’t really there between the two of you. Plus that forever isn’t on the cards…

Final thoughts

Just because you don’t have a genuine emotional connection with someone, that doesn’t mean you have to break up immediately.

Relationships take work and if a deep connection isn’t forthcoming, you might need to work on it.

Spending more quality time together, asking more thoughtful questions, and taking time to appreciate each other can all help you form a deeper emotional connection with your partner.

But of course, these warning signs could also mean that something isn’t quite right with the relationship. Hopefully, you’ll have a bit of a gut feeling if this is the case.

And a chat might be needed to work things out. Or, if things are really bad, it might be time to respectfully part ways…

Picture of Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

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