As a Holistic Counselor, I often see clients who are in an emotionally distant phase of their relationship.
We know in our hearts something has changed—our partner has become distant. It’s not the big things, it’s the little changes that we feel. But, relationships have a natural ebb and flow.
Here are five signs of emotional distance and how we can remedy the situation:
1. Your partner is low on energy and somewhat down or depressed.
This is common when someone is under a lot of stress. Stress plays a big factor in all of our lives, and we learn to deal with it in our own unique ways.
There are many reasons for stress, from financial to emotional. With practical matters, often this is a matter of time and patience; understand that you need to respect each other’s differences and responses to outside influences.
Now is the time to purpose your own goals and not your partners. When we put other’s needs and problems before our own, we deplete our own dreams.
2. Your partner runs hot and cold.
One minute they are pursuing, the next they are avoiding, often with little communication, explanation, or acknowledgment. This can be a hurtful and confusing time if it’s happening to you—it’s hard not to take it personally.
At the same time, you want to be shown respect. It might be the case that the person shutting down feels that the relationship is moving too quickly; it may be a time to slow down.
Try not to go into pursuit mode; like flight or fight, we can emotionally go into pursuit or flight mode.
Take the time to get grounded, slow down, and trust your relationship.
3. Your partner wants time alone, making you frustrated.
We all need it, some more than others; it’s a natural part of being human. This is always a great opportunity to nurture yourself. Two people, being independent, can still form a loving and long-term commitment.
Giving each other healthy space often makes us stronger. Time alone for ourselves is crucial to good health: emotionally, physically, spiritually, and soulfully.
Learn to enjoy your own company.
4. You’ve lost that loving feeling.
This is often a sign to reconnect, to take yourself—or yourselves—out on a date. Communication is key here, but it’s important to note that conversations aren’t an interrogation or an attempt to resolve it immediately. Take the time to listen and engage in what is meaningful and important; it can be a heart-aching period to endure.
However, identify what it is that you need for you; take the time to plant some seeds in your own garden.
5. You feel stuck in a cycle of criticism.
The communication is angry and accusing; it seems like you can’t do anything right. Be strong, and know that if you are going to get in an argument or if you both aren’t speaking—spend time to nurture yourself.
Do something that creates time for you; work on feeling hurt and resentful. Don’t allow their anger problems to become yours—notice if it’s healthy or not. It could be a good time for talk therapy: chat with a friend, someone you can trust, or a professional.
We can’t make other people change; we can only change how we react to situations. Remember to recharge your own battery, first.
Remember, relationships can drift in an emotional sense, but you aren’t responsible for someone else’s personal happiness. Take this time for you, and let your partner take time for themselves.