5 Reasons You May Feel Unseen In Your Relationship

Don't be afraid to express your needs and expect your partner to meet them.

Woman feels unseen in her relationship PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

Relationships let people grow into the fullest versions of themselves, but only if both halves of the couple show up for each other in meaningful ways.

Rachel Facio and Stacey Sherrell are licensed family and marriage therapists who work together to give struggling couples “relatable, educational tools” to improve their relationships and deepen their emotional intimacy. They explained how couples can go from connection to isolation and how to come back together.


Here are 5 reasons you may feel unseen in your relationship:

1. Your partner isn’t curious about your life outside of the relationship

One of the most fulfilling parts of having a partner is the feeling of being cared for and appreciated for exactly who you are.

A strong relationship lets you be your truest self without erasing your individuality. Supportive partners know how important it is for each person to exist beyond the relationship itself and having a life that’s separate from your partner is a sign of a healthy romance.

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When your partner doesn’t invest any time or energy in the life you lead on your own, it can make you feel like you don’t matter. 

Someone who really cares takes an interest in who you are when you’re not with them. They want to meet your friends. They ask questions about your job and your family. They want to know your fears, your dreams, and what makes you happy.

If they don’t express curiosity about who you are, it might feel like they don’t care about the real you. This can create a sense of distance and make you feel invisible, unvalued, and lonely, even when you’re together.

2. You want support and validation, but you only get solutions and fixes

Sometimes, you just need your partner to hold space and validate you instead of trying to fix how you’re feeling.


If you’re venting about the awful way your toxic co-worker treated you or the totally heinous thing your sister said, and your partner responds with suggestions and solutions instead of just letting you rant, you might end up wondering why you even bother saying anything at all.

Being in a relationship where you don’t get the level of emotional support and care you need to feel safe and seen can make you feel like your partner isn’t actually hearing you. Feeling ignored and misunderstood leads to resentment, which is often the first step to the disintegration of a relationship.

3. Important events aren’t acknowledged or celebrated

A major part of feeling seen and appreciated within a relationship depends on whether or not your partner shows up in ways that resonate for you.


The five love languages might not be real, but we all have personal preferences when it comes to how we’re given love.

It’s entirely normal to want your partner to care about the things that are important to you. This desire doesn’t make you needy; it just means you’re human.

@therapyjeff Asking for your needs to be met in a relationship is good communication. #mentalhealth #therapy #therapytiktok #dating #datingadvice #relationshipadvice ♬ original sound - TherapyJeff

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Everyone deserves recognition for big moments — It’s what makes us feel connected to each other. Getting the promotion, turning 40, or training for the half-marathon are all really big deals.

Even if your partner isn’t a birthday person or doesn’t care about anniversaries, it’s more than okay that you do. You’re allowed to express what you need and expect those needs to be met.

Celebrating milestones doesn’t have to be an elaborate production. It can be as simple as a bouquet of flowers and a card full of sweet affirmations. Ultimately, it’s more about the display of affection than anything else.

4. Compromises don’t go both ways

Relationships are based on compromise and the understanding that sometimes you give, sometimes you get, and sometimes you take. Hopefully, compromises happen in a balanced and equitable way. If they don’t, it’s easy to feel taken advantage of or disregarded as a person.


Meet halfway to find solutions that work for both of you without sacrificing either of your values or priorities.

5. Your partner refuses to take accountability for their mistakes

Messing up is a very normal part of being in a relationship. We can’t show up perfectly all the time, yet the way we react when we’ve caused harm is the most important thing.

Does your partner accept when they’ve done something wrong and work on repairing the damage? Or do they double down, get defensive, and blame you for feeling hurt?

Talk with your partner about how you feel. If you don’t communicate your needs, they won’t know how to meet them. Make it an ongoing conversation, part of the partnership that can always be improved.


If your partner is unable or unwilling to show empathy when you’re upset, they might be emotionally unavailable. Speak up and express what you need to feel seen and loved, even when being vulnerable feels scary.

If your partner can’t meet you there, don’t hesitate to put yourself first. You deserve to receive love and care. You deserve to be seen.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.