ERP 016: What To Do When You Are Feeling Lonely In Relationship
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Show Notes: Be sure to listen to the episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.
Here are some reasons why we feel lonely in relationship and what we can do about it.
We are defended and guarded.
Our beliefs about others greatly impacts our openness and receptivity.
If we trust the world is a safe place, we will give people the benefit of the doubt (thinking more positively), we will feel more comfortable and confident, our nervous system will be more relaxed (heart rate, breathing, etc.), and we will feel more at ease physically (our muscles will be relaxed and calm).
If I believe that my partner is a good and safe person, then I will be more likely to feel comfortable and vulnerable.
If I trust that my partner cares about me, then I will be more likely to share my inner thoughts, feelings and experience.
If I trust that I will get my needs meet, then I will be more likely to advocate for my preferences, desires, and needs.
Our “working model” is essentially the way we think, the way we feel emotionally, physiologically, and physically. In my doctorate program, I wrote this Adult Attachment in Romantic Relationship paper, it offers some explanation about attachment security and insecurities. A great book on this topic is Hold Me Tight, by Susan Johnson.
Expectations and Perceived Expectations:
Perceived Expectations: What we imagine our partner is wanting without checking it out with them. Many times we will put energy into what we think our partner will want, only to find out they could care less, but they really would have wanted something totally different.
Expectations: Recognize when you are feeling disappointed, upset, or frustrated. What were you hoping would have happened? What is your want, desire, or need. It can be a good idea to look at the importance and significance level, asking yourself “Is this really important to me?” If so, then give voice to it and advocate for your preference or desire.
For more more on Expectations, listen to Expectation In Relationship (Part One) and Expectations In Relationship (Part Two). If you would rather read an article, than you can read Expectations In Relationship (10 Tips To Consider).
*The development of an affair can happen in this territory. If you notice that you are feeling some attraction and connection with someone outside your relationship, it can be a good idea to look at what qualities are you attracted to. Also, if you find yourself feel engaged with this other person, what are they doing or giving you that feels so good? Again, this is a place to gather information. Are you getting more attention, acceptance, praise, or presence? What does this allow you to feel? Are you telling this person things that you have not shared with your significant other?
Old Patterns & Dynamics:
Habits: What are your habits? Do you tend to feel the need to be strong or hold it all together? Or do you often feel too busy to discuss deeper matters.
If you are wanting to change dynamics and habits, it can be more effortful on the front end. But don’t let this discourage you. This is normal and a part of the process.
Relationship dynamics: In relationship, we often adopt implicit rules without really understanding why. Many clients have expressed that even when making big decisions they did not take the time to talk about who was going to do what and what kind of agreements they wanted to create.
Tips On What To Do:
1. Take Inventory:
Self: What would help me feel comfortable and safe?
Look at the places when you soften and feel at ease, what is happening? What are you thinking?
What are my need and desires? Boundaries?
Relationally: What would help me feel more connected and close to my partner? Are there things that I am really wanting or yearning for?
2. Rethink Patterns and Beliefs:
Are my beliefs helpful to me and my relationship?
Would it be helpful to consider other ways of thinking?
When you notice a perceived expectation, check it out with you partner. If you recognize you own expectations and it seems important to ask for what you want, let your partner know what you are really wanting and looking for.
Evaluate dynamics and get curious about them. Is the best dynamic for us? Are there other ways that we could approach this situation?
4. Take a risk:
© Mo Riza | Flickr
When you gain knowledge and insight about how you might want to do things differently, you will want to experiment with the process.
Also, it can be helpful to try something new, and change up the dynamic. By changing up the routine or doing the unexpected, you will bring a domaine rush into the relationship.
5. Being open and present:
What can I experience with my partner? It may not be the exact thing that I was looking for, but what is my partner available for?
Can we find a place of meeting and connection? Can I be open and receptive to what is present between us?
To Be Continued…Look for the next episode for the remainder of the points and tips on What To Do When You Are Feeling Lonely In Relationship.
In a little over a week, I am offering a free video series to launch my online relationship course. I am super excited. Stay tuned.
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