You may be a devoted partner in the relationship. But do you feel lonely because of how very little your significant other is present in your life?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 26, 2019. It has since been updated.
Not all partners are equally devoted to a relationship but they make up for it in other ways. As long as both partners are happy with the other there are no problems. But there's bound to be problems when one partner is completely emotionally unavailable. You can feel it from their disinterestedness and how disaffected they are with everything the other partner does.
You could be cooking them a great meal or dressing up for them, and still, they would not notice all the efforts you are putting in. If you feel that your partner has emotionally checked out of the relationship, there could be trouble in paradise.
“Being emotionally unavailable means that a person consciously or subconsciously creates a wall that prevents them from being intimate with another person,” explains Jill Sylvester, a mental health counselor, to Oprah Magazine. The person doesn't want to be vulnerable, says marriage and family therapist Tess Bingham to the magazine. “They can't show up for you in the way in which you want a potential partner to show up,” she says. As the person on the receiving end, it can be very disheartening. “The person on the other end of the relationship is often left feeling rejected and unloved,” says Sylvester. “You probably feel like something is missing as if there’s a barrier to getting to know this person,” says Bingham.
If you have been feeling this way, you need to know the other signs that show that your partner is not emotionally available:
You could be with them for years and still, you wouldn't have spoken about concrete long-term plans as a couple. If you're with someone like that then your partner is not emotionally open to you.
"Someone who doesn’t take you into consideration for the long-term wants to take each day as it comes rather than focus on a future with you, which is signaled by not following through on plans that are made," Danielle Sepulveres, sex educator, tells Bustle.
When your partner is always on the receiving end but not on the giving end, they try to show you that "you’re only valuable because you provide them with a service," relationship expert Amy North, tells Bustle. "That your own needs and wants are not their responsibility to fulfill," she said.
They might seek support all the time but are never available when it's your time to lean on them. It is possible you might be in a toxic relationship. A partner being unwilling to change could be a red flag. However, in a healthy relationship, both partners should be supporting each other.
Some couples have active and separate social circles. However, in a long-term relationship, people know each other's friends and family. If your partner refuses to introduce you to their close circle, they are keeping you at an arm's distance.
"They will not introduce you to people that are important in their life like friends and family, even though you have been together for some time," psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. "They will have all different reasons for this, but when it comes down to it, there comes a point in a relationship when these worlds should cross, and you should know the people in each other's lives if the relationship is serious or has a future." If this isn't the case, then, it might be time to ask them why they don't want to bring your worlds closer together.
When we are in a long-term relationship, people naturally carve out space literally and metaphorically for the other person. For instances, they would give you a part of their wardrobe to keep your things or they would alter their routine to be able to spend more time with you. If they find it inconvenient to modify their lives to accommodate their partner, they probably don't see the relationship as an important part of their life. They don't want to compromise and are inflexible, says Psychology Today.
It might seem like your partner is a positive and sunny person for not wanting to fight, but there could be other reasons as well. "Conflict and healthy fighting show a commitment to stay connected and work through areas with your partner," therapist Latasha Matthews tells Bustle. However, when your partner is too complacent with the status quo in your relationship and never wants to shake things up, it could indicate that they don't care enough. They might not be as invested as you, but to not engage in any conversation about the health of the relationship is emotional neglect.
Initially, a relationship revolves around the fun bits before people settle down into the daily routine. The way we spend time with each other is also an exploration into each other's personalities. However, in a long-term relationship, the fun sometimes fizzles out and then you have to make extra effort. However, if only one partner keeps at making the partnership a fun one while the other one just coasts along, it can feel like a lonely place to be. It can also feel that you're desperate when in fact your partner has not made any efforts at all.
Disclaimer: This article is based on facts collated from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.