Are You In An Emotionally Distant Relationship?
Many of us have been there, wondering where we went wrong, wondering if your partner has fallen for someone else, and wondering if they’ve become bored. Feelings of paranoia have raced in, pounding you with self-doubt, and endless questions, asking yourself, “Are they distant, or am I misinterpreting?”
You know it wasn’t always like this, and there was a time when the furthest thought from your mind was second guessing your partner. Now you’re searching for an answer to repair your emotionally distant relationship. You may be wondering how this happened, and wish you had a crystal ball to see into the future.
Should you stay and work through it?
The answer will always depend on how deep the distance runs and the amount of effort you are willing to put into your relationship. But before throwing in the towel, consider the actions causing your doubt.
Lack of Physical Touch
When you’re sitting together on the sofa memories come flooding back of when the two of you were entwined together, his head on your lap, or your feet resting on the ottoman wrapped under his. Yet recently you’ve noticed his lack of physical touch. His arms are now crossed, and you can’t remember the last time you felt the warmth from his hand on your leg.
Feelings of comfort while listening to his excitement over a latest project. Your conversations once felt intimately connected as he faced you on the sofa, not staring straight ahead, talking to an imaginary figure on the wall.
According to the UC San Diego News Center physical touch promotes the release of Oxytocin, the same chemical that is released during sex. This love chemical is responsible for increasing emotional attachment and an intimate connection.
Regular touch in a romantic relationship, even an emotionally distant relationship can chemically change your relationship for the better. Regular touch alters your brain pathways affecting facial recognition and affection. Losing touch is a slippery slope toward a non-intimate relationship.
Solution: If he isn’t touching you… then put your hand on his thigh next time you talk to him, or while casually relaxing on the sofa, rub the back of his head. Chances are good that he will soak that in, and inch his way a little closer to you.
Lack of Communication and Understanding
Another sign of an emotionally distant relationship is lack of communication and understanding. You’re no longer on the same page, you may be sitting next to one another, but your thoughts are elsewhere. And the longer this continues, the further those thoughts will wander.
Solution: Confide in your partner. Casually bring up a topic that perhaps you’re sensitive of, a childhood event or insecurities and fears. Sharing secrets increases intimacy in your relationship.
A Psychology Today article states that one of the most important aspects of intimacy in a relationship is “compassion, trust, and empathy”. The key to repair an emotionally distant relationship with your partner is communication and offering understanding and sincere listening skills. Be ready for when he does open up. Everyone wants to feel connected to another person, but for some it’s difficult to show vulnerability.
Emotionally Distant Relationships and Stress
Men show stress differently than women, they tend to feel helpless when they can’t find a solution to a problem, even if it’s your problem. This shows vulnerability, and for some, it’s a very difficult emotion to accept. If stress is a factor, then space and understanding can go a long way. Let him know that you wish there was something you could do to help. Everyone manages stress differently. Being there for them when they want to talk would be the best way of helping.
Lastly, keeping yourself busy with your own hobbies and interests is an attractive trait in anyone. According to the Huffington Post it is important to nurture those interests and hobbies. A good partner will see you in a different light, they will admire your independence and hopefully support you.
And in return, don’t forget to support his separate interests as well. After all, if you do everything together, then what would you have to share at the end of the day? Don’t lose yourself in your relationship, because in doing so, they may feel they’ve lost what first sparked their interest in you to begin with. Remember the old saying, you have to love yourself before others can.
An emotionally distant relationship, as trying as it may be, does not have to equal doom. If you love your partner, then it’s worth trying to get to the root of the problem. Try these steps, because his distance can be a result of several factors. And one thing to remember is that their distance may not be about you at all. Give your relationship time, and give it patience, and in this process you may find your relationship growing closer than ever before.
Featured photo credit: Portishead1/istock via vix.com