Feeling Lonely In Your Relationship? Here's Why (& How To Stop It From Happening)

It's a truly simple fix!

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Many people experience a sense of loneliness, despite the fact that they’re in a committed relationship with each other. It’s a common complaint, even among two married people, that they feel lonely in their relationship. This is a surprising problem for many couples. After all, you’re married and spend time with your spouse frequently! So how can you feellonely?


The problem is that people in a relationship often forget that being together and actually spending quality time together are two drastically different things.

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This issue, according to YourTango Experts Jill Kahn and Stan Tatkin in the video above, is called “parallel play.” While parallel play is a term mostly used in school-aged children, it can also apply directly to a couple's relationship.

What this means for adults is that you are your partner might be in the same room together, but you're not utilizing your time to be together. Perhaps one of you is surfing your email while the other watches a TV show; either way, you’re not actually taking the time to connect with one another.


Instead, you’re just kind of acting like roommates, sharing a common space and not turning your attention inward toward your relationship. Parallel play, unsurprisingly, can cause feelings of loneliness in your relationship, since you’re not using your time together to actually give each other attention.

Perhaps you and your spouse are on mixed schedules, where one of you works early in the day and the other works later in the evening. Maybe you’re too busy running errands or dealing with kids to connect with one another. Maybe you feel like you haven’t gotten the chance to connect with your significant other in a long time and you don’t know how to address what you need with them anymore.


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Luckily, there are ways that we can reconnect with each other — or keep ourselves “tethered” to our partner — throughout the day that can help alleviate the feeling of loneliness we’re experiencing. Given all of the technology we have when it comes down to socializing, one of the easiest ways to reconnect is to send a text message to each other every now and again. Even simple messages like “Love you!” will do the trick, as they will make your partner realize that you’re thinking of them during the day.

You can also make an effort to connect, however briefly, with each other in the mornings, or when you come home from work. Don’t just give your partner a peck on the cheek. Give them a real kiss. Lean in for a real hug. Tell them you love them, or perhaps even plant one of those loving and delicate forehead kisses on them. You can even use your lunch break at work to reconnect, chatting with them on the phone if they’re free, or texting them and talking about your day.



Relationships can be wonderful and rewarding, but without the proper time and attention, they can suffer and make even the most committed spouses or partners feel as though they’re not getting the attention that they need. But, if you’re willing to put in the work, then you’ll find that no matter what, you’ll never wind up lonely with your loved one again.

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Jill Kahn is a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor in Sandpoint, Idaho. She also uses EDMR therapy to help patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you have any questions about your relationship issues or would like to reach out to her for any other reason, you can contact her here.