Relationships when they first begin can be all-consuming. Couples want to spend every moment together, know everything about each other, love through the thick and thin, support through the amazing and the difficult times. It should come as no surprise in these situations, that familiarity can sometimes breed complacency. Knowing someone this well can result in us assuming rather than asking questions and relying on past efforts, instead of continually pouring new energy and love into the partnership.
When the gloss of newness wears off it is sometimes an extremely slow event and before we know what’s happened, our connection to one another has all but evaporated. If this is something you’ve experienced, or want to make sure never happens to you, our warning signs below may help you to better understand when and why an emotional reconnection is sometimes necessary.
You stopped laughing together or that’s all you do
Finding someone who makes you laugh, and who also finds you hilarious, makes for such a content union that you truly feel like you’re dating your best friend. One of the first changes that can occur with an emotional disconnection is that those quirks and in-jokes no longer hold the same sway with each other. Belly-laughs become smiles of nostalgia or duty, rather than genuine joy in the moment.
On the flipside, there are relationships in which couples are no longer able to take each other seriously. In this extreme, banter rules intimate moments, joking takes the place where sensuality once lived and long hugs are replaced with friendly nudges.
Whilst either situation it may seem like a natural progression, be careful that you’re not losing the very thing that helped you to become lovers in the first place.
They stopped being all you need in the difficult times
Part of being in a loving, caring relationship is that hopefully when you’re going through tough times there is support that you can rely and call upon. If there was a point when your partner was the only person you needed if upset and that appears to have changed, it may be a sign that you’re moving away from them emotionally.
Likewise, if you notice your partner now prefers to confide in a best friend, work colleague or family member when they’re having any sort of difficulties, then it’s better to openly and compassionately discuss this exclusion. Definitely don’t just observe and ignore it, or get stuck in jealousy.
Your viewpoints have begun to move away from each other’s
Whilst this may not seem like an issue to do with emotions, shared beliefs and opinions in a relationship can have a huge impact on its success. When one person has experiences that change their outlook or makes them start to reconsider how they feel about the world around them, the other person can get left behind. It’s easy to get so caught up in the differences there now are between you that you forget the similarities which initially brought you together.
Occasionally, people seek to grow and change because they feel there is a void somewhere in their current life, and a connection to something else is needed to fill that space. If you’re the one evolving, be gentle about it and understand that alienating or not explaining yourself will only damage your relationship. If it’s your partner with the newfound lease on life, take extra care with the things you both still enjoy and use those moments to really connect. Both of you should try to understand what is going on for yourself and your partner on a deeper level.
Your happiness is no longer their priority
There can be a lot of compromise at the start of a relationship, with each party wanting to make sure that the other is having their needs met. For example, this can mean that one of you forgoes certain pleasures so the other is able to have an evening out, eat the last bit of dessert, or have the window seat on the plane. We sacrifice, whether large or small, when making another person feel good and loved means more than our own temporary satisfaction. When this begins to change in a relationship, it’s worth noting the extent of the difference.
It’s okay to be selfish from time to time and to have a couple of things that you’re both slightly inflexible about, but the balance should never tip over into the relationship being just about what one of you wants.