Emotional Disconnect in Relationships

Feeling disconnected from the person you love can happen in any long-term relationship. Many people claim to feel more like roommates than lovers or, at best, to feel lonely in the relationship.

Life issues that can get in the way of relationships include:
• Raising children
• Overworking
• Unresolved issues

There is a large spectrum of emotional disconnect, but it is never too late to try to reconnect. Although the solution—”to reconnect”—sounds obvious, it is harder in practice. Reconnecting demands that we change patterns of behavior, realigning priorities and striving to be more vulnerable, which can be uncomfortable. The following tools can help you and your partner to reconnect:

1. Show appreciation on a daily basis, for small or big things. Send a simple text, leave a message on voice mail, or share randomly during your day.

2. Share. Consider what is most important/meaningful in your life and share it with your partner on a weekly basis.

3. Remember. Once you know what is meaningful to your partner, ask about it on a weekly basis. Ask open-ended questions; be curious. By remembering what is meaningful to someone, you show that person how important he or she is to you. Feeling important in the eyes of your partner brings you closer together.

4. Schedule a weekly date night. Remember when you started dating, and both of you took such time and effort to connect and impress? Remember the energy you put into your dates? That same energy is needed now.
• Take turns planning date nights for each other.
• Surprise each other with fun, inventive dates.
• Come up with 2–3 ideas each, and choose among them together.
• Don’t talk about the usual (e.g., kids).
• Remember that dates do not have to cost money. There are plenty of romantic and fun activities that don’t require cash.

By employing these tools, you will begin to feel a greater vulnerability and connection with your partner.

By Sevin Philips, MFT