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Feeling lonely in a relationship?

How can it be that you feel lonely living with the person you love?  And you still love them, right?  At least, you think you do. Yes, you’re sure you do…  or????  

You know you used to love them, and then something changed… not overnight, not suddenly in a lightning-bolt-moment…  But slowly, gradually over months and years. 

The connection you both once had just wasn’t there any more. The electricity was gone, replaced by drudgery, paying the bills, work deadlines, and the stress of “everyday life”.  If you have children, then maybe the added sleep deprivation (if they’re young), and/or the parental role of caring for them and supporting them, but at the same time giving them enough independence at the right time to develop independence, is a constant challenge. 

No wonder the spark between you two got extinguished long ago, and you are left feeling lonely. 

If you’re reading this article, then I probably know how you feel. I’ve been there myself, experienced the decline of desire… and you’ll be glad to hear that i found many solutions, tools, and techniques to help you find your best friend again, and re-discover your lover ….  (without being tempted by the ever present allure of those dating apps, porn sites, ex’s on social media, or the flirty colleague at work who you always find attractive. …  these temptations only bring guilt, shame and push even greater distance between you and your beloved.)  It’s not a surprise you feel lonely. 

“I’m still in love with them, but I almost can’t feel it anymore. It just feels like we’re a million miles apart, living in the same house.”

So, how is it possible to feel lonely when you are physically in the same house?  Well, technically it’s not standard loneliness (not like if you went out to a forest and lived alone for a year or two.)  What your inner-self is missing is recognition, intimacy, and intensity. 

Recognition; knowing that you’ve been heard, not just listened to, but actually heard. The spirit of your words is heard, not just the words and sentences. And your deepest feelings are met with empathy, understanding and care. 

Intimacy; those special moments when you are open and vulnerable, romantic and passionate with ‘a special someone’. These moments, even if few and far between, breathe life into a relationship. When they are completely absent for long periods, then you feel lonely. 

Intensity; the knowing look, the fleeting glance, the deep eye contact, the gentle touch, the heartfelt hug that lasts forever, the deep kiss that swept the legs from under you, or melted your heart. Now, so often, only replaced with ‘grandma kisses’  and ‘friendship hugs’… 

So what to do? ????

Well, that depends a little bit on what you are thinking right now… 

Sorry to be so direct… but…. If you’re thinking, “Omg, he’s right, that’s exactly what it’s like!” Then your relationship is probably heading very much in the wrong direction, and if the thought of divorce (or cheating?) hasn’t crossed your mind once or twice, then it may have crossed your partners mind already…  Time to take action? Or are you just gonna wait a year or two more?  Book a free discovery call here. 

If you’re thinking, “Yup, that’s how my relationship is, I wish i knew what to do, i am sure there’s something good here, and we can still save it”, then read further, i have some tips for you… 

Now, to give ‘generalised tips’, I’m gonna have to assume a few things about your lifestyle and your situation. (However, in my personal relationship coaching sessions, I delve into your specific situation, and find solutions and strategies that fit perfectly to YOUR situation, preferences and lifestyle.) 

The first thing to do is “lay down your arms”. You need to forget and forgive all the indiscretions of the past (for your own sake). Move past them if you want to go forward. The situation you both find yourself in, is NOT 100% their fault. So stop blaming them. 

Neither is it 100% your fault. But while you refuse to take 50% of the blame, nothing is ever going to change. Stop attacking, blaming them and start ACTIVELY listening to them.  If they attack you, ask yourself “Why are they attacking?” (The answer is , because they are hurting inside, they are missing your love, yoru connection, yoru recognition, they are just as lonely as you and it hurts.)

The only way forward is from a place of vulnerability and humbleness. Only then can you both have a reasoned conversation that is solution focussed. Only then can you connect with the inner-person you fell in love with a long time ago. 

It’s difficult, it may not succeed the first time, and it means “swallowing some big pills”. 

When you’ve got to a place where you are not blaming them, and not angry, then you can look forward and work together to develop recognition, intimacy, and intensity;  

Develop Recognition;

One exercise I recommend doing with your partner is an ‘active listening’ exercise. Discuss this activity, agree on a time and day, and agree on a subject to talk about. (Subjects like: ‘work-stress’, ‘the kids’, ‘the mortgage’, ‘your mother’, are all banned.) Try to choose a subject that will give room for insight, and vulnerability; ‘passion’,, ‘connection’, ‘guilt’, ‘grief’, ‘love’ or ‘inter-connectedness’. 

Turn off your phones, computer etc. Set the mood with a dimly lit room, candles, and either silence or some very very low volume soft background music. You can choose if you want to be naked, semi-naked, or in loose fitting casual clothing.  Sit either on the floor facing each other, or in relaxed chairs facing each other. Sit and relax for a minute or two. 

When ready, set a timer for 5 mins. 

One of you begins by talking about the subject, for 5 mins. It’s ok to pause, and think, and to stop talking and just feel, until you have something else to say. 

The other listens. The ‘listener’ may not speak, may not react, they may not move. No facial expressions. Nothing. Just listen. You may not react to what is being said. You just listen. 

After the 5 mins is up, you both take a one minute break. Maybe hug. (But do not discuss or speak. 

Then the next person speaks about the same subject for 5 mins. (You should not defend or comment on what has previously been said, just say your own things, your own feelings and perspective on the subject. Don’t “reply”. It’s your own speech.) 

The new ‘listener’ may not speak, may not react, they may not move. No facial expressions. Nothing. Just listen. You may not react to what is being said. You just listen. 

Afterwards, hug and relax. 

Then the next person speaks about the same subject for 5 mins. (You should not defend or comment on what has previously been said, just say your own things, your own feelings and perspective on the subject. Don’t “reply”. It’s your own speech.) 

The new ‘listener’ may not speak, may not react, they may not move. No facial expressions. Nothing. Just listen. You may not react to what is being said. You just listen. 

Afterwards, hug and relax. 

Enjoy. 

Develop Intimacy;

Set the scene in a similar way to the previous exercise, but either in the bedroom or on a mattress somewhere else. Choose a semi-dark room, light some candles, put on some soft music, low in the background. You both take your clothes off (or if you prefer some sexy underwear). One of you lies down on the bed. Then set an alarm/timer (low volume – 10 mins).

The other begins to touch you all over. Softly. Caressing. Or maybe light touches with fingertips, just teasing – you may not touch the ‘naughty bits’. (but also, it’s not a sports massage.)  You can use your hands, fingers, elbows, shoulders, chest, face, tongue. But do not use your genitals. After 10 mins. Swap places. Remember it’s about connection, not sex. (if sex happens afterwards, I won’t hold it against you though ???? )  Enjoy… 

Set the scene in a similar way to the previous exercise, but either in the bedroom or on a mattress somewhere else. Choose a semi-dark room, light some candles, put on some soft music, low in the background. You both take your clothes off (or if you prefer some sexy underwear). One of you lies down on the bed. Then set an alarm/timer (low volume – 10 mins).

The other begins to touch you all over. Softly. Caressing. Or maybe light touches with fingertips, just teasing – you may not touch the ‘naughty bits’. (but also, it’s not a sports massage.)  You can use your hands, fingers, elbows, shoulders, chest, face, tongue. But do not use your genitals. After 10 mins. Swap places. Remember it’s about connection, not sex. (if sex happens afterwards, I won’t hold it against you though ???? )  Enjoy… 

*if this ^^^ is “too much”, then try it doing just a face massage. 

Develop Intensity;

When you have calmed the whole situation down, stopped blaming, listened to each other authentically, and got a little intimate, it’s time to try and build up the intensity. 

Anticipation is a great way to build up intensity. By only hinting at what “might” be to come later, your imagination runs wild and you build th esexual energy within yoru partner and yourself…   Yes, it’s flirting, and flirting with your long-term partner is essential. 

Flirts can be anything from “cheesy but cute” to “sexy n naughty”, it’s up to you to find your own style, and hopefully you know what your partner finds funny, sexy or downright cheesy-and-vomit-inducing.  

When you have calmed the whole situation down, stopped blaming, listened to each other authentically, and got a little intimate, it’s time to try and build up the intensity. 

Anticipation is a great way to build up intensity. By only hinting at what “might” be to come later, your imagination runs wild and you build th esexual energy within yoru partner and yourself…   Yes, it’s flirting, and flirting with your long-term partner is essential. 

Flirts can be anything from “cheesy but cute” to “sexy n naughty”, it’s up to you to find your own style, and hopefully you know what your partner finds funny, sexy or downright cheesy-and-vomit-inducing.  

I’m not even going to try and give you a specific example of how to flirt, only you know what your partner likes. A text message “thinking of you”, a bunch of flowers, their favourite chocolates, a poem, or a pornographic picture, or even a sexy selfie, or a description of what you’d like to do to them when you both get home that evening. Let your imagination run wild. 

So to summarise: 

  • Lay the past behind you.
      (… that might be a step you need personal coaching assistance with).
  • Be vulnerable and open.  
  • Listen actively. 
  • Create intimacy. 
  • Develop intensity. 

I’m tired of feeling flat, numb, frustrated. I want some spark again, I want to feel electricity between us again, I want to feel loved and give love. …. I just want to connect again, on a deeper level.”

So to summarise: 

  • Lay the past behind you.
      (… that might be a step you need personal coaching assistance with).
  • Be vulnerable and open.  
  • Listen actively. 
  • Create intimacy. 
  • Develop intensity. 

There’s one other possibility, that may be making you feel lonely in your relationship, and it has nothing to do with your partner (which means, if you don’t address it, then you’ll carry this ‘achilles heel’ with you to your next relationship, and the next, and the next … until you heal yourself.) 

If you have a weak connection to your inner-self, then your ‘subconscious self’ doesn’t truly believe you deserve love and happiness. What this means in real terms is you can’t relax and let your partners love in. 

This may be present if you were not loved unconditionally as a child, or you had a traumatic event earlier in life. This is called an emotional wound, and is blocking you from loving yourself, and accepting your partner’s love. This may be why you feel lonely in your relationship. 

Among other things, some of th symptoms of this are: negative self-talk, difficulty making simpel decisions, procrastination, over-reaction to small events, difficulty accepting a complement, super high / low sex-drive, or some forms of addictions (comforting tools), etc… 

There are strategies and tools to help you connect with your inner self and heal that wound, but if you are feeling this way, I strongly recommend tackling this with a professional. This can change your life. … forever. 

Starting the conversation from a place of vulnerability, and with a ‘solution oriented’ perspective will in many cases make for a more positive discussion, rather than an argument. 

So make a time for your next “Quality Time session” …  let’s call it “a date”.  Don’t worry overly about the content of the activity, just start by setting a time and a day next week sometime.  Do it now! Text them and say you want “a date” with them. 

You can try doing some intimacy exercises together if you know how to do them, or you can just take a shower together and give each other a massage, or comb each other’s hair. Or light some candles and listen to music lying naked in bed, or on the sofa. Or eat chocolate fondue together..  You’re only limited by your imagination. The activity isn’t important, just BE together.  

To explore these issues further, to find personal solutions specific to YOU then just drop me a line, or book a free discovery call

Let’s love better, ❤️

Relationship Coach

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