Love, Self

3 Ways To Get Closer As A Couple If You're Feeling Lonely In Your Relationship

Photo: Angelika Agibalova/unsplash
3 Ways To Get Closer As A Couple If You're Feeling Lonely In Your Relationship

Many of us believe that if we're feeling lonely in this world, searching for love and being in a relationship would fix that loneliness.

We think that being in love is the most profound feeling possible — it is the glue that holds us together and the greatest joy we can experience in our lives!

RELATED: 10 Things To Try When You're Feeling Unbearably Lonely

While this is likely true under the right circumstances, falling in love is a fickle thing.

We have the capacity to fall in love with someone who is unavailable. Maybe the person we love doesn’t love us back. We might fall in love with someone who is incapable of expressing emotions or affection.

In fact, falling in love with the "wrong" person can be the worst of all heartaches.

Is love really the antidote to loneliness if it can so easily go awry?

In my work as a relationship coach, I help people foster closeness, not necessarily love.

Closeness is a reliable method for helping two people know each other and care about each other. It solves the problem that love lets linger: reliability.

Sometimes, love makes us less lonely, sometimes it makes us more lonely. Closeness always reduces feelings of being alone in this world.

Many relationships fall into the category of "love" but don’t fall into the category of "closeness".

To figure out whether or not you and your partner have a good amount of closeness in your relationship, consider these 5 questions:

1. "Do I feel like my partner understands me well, especially my life goals?"

2. "Does my partner consistently behave in a way that I can’t relate to?"

3. "Am I withholding any major information from my partner?"

4. "Do I believe that my partner considers me a priority?"

5. "Is my partner genuinely excited for me when something good happens?"

These are not simple "yes" or "no" questions, but notice any uncomfortable "maybe's" or "maybe not's". These indicate that — though you may very well be in love with your partner — the relationship may be lacking closeness.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Stop Feeling So Lonely Almost Immediately

To learn how to deal with loneliness and get closer to your partner so you can rekindle the love and passion in your relationship, try these 3 things.

1. Welcome support from each other

Set aside time with your partner to discuss a difficulty you are having outside of the relationship. Doing this allows them to be there for you and to learn more about what types of things are a struggle for you right now.

This works because it’s much easier to support someone if you know specifics about their challenges. Also, keeping the topic outside of the relationship (for now) is key to generating support and avoiding defensiveness.

2. Plan "date swaps"

"Date swaps" are dates that one partner plans around the other partner’s interests.

Doing these regularly (switching back and forth between who’s planning and who’s receiving, of course) gives both people a chance to actively recollect what the other person likes.

These are almost always received as being very thoughtful and sweet (even if you miss a nuance here or there) and are pretty fail-proof for generating closeness. They are also fun!

3. Use "non-love" language

"I love you" is the hallmark of romantic language, but to build more closeness, try using phrases other than "I love you" to describe how you feel about your partner.

While "I love you" feels amazing at first, it can easily lose some of its meaning and power over time.

Think about other phrases you could use to describe your positive feelings towards your partner, such as:

  • "I admire you."
  • "I appreciate you."
  • "I’m proud of you."

Mixing these in will remind you that you do indeed feel more than just love for your partner.

Use this simple closeness assessment and list of tips to stop feeling lonely in your relationship once and for all!

RELATED: 5 Completely Realistic Ways To Stop Feeling So Incredibly Lonely

Kira Asatryan is a certified relationship coach and author of Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships. For more relationship tips, visit her website and follow her on Twitter.

This article was originally published at Psychology Today. Reprinted with permission from the author.