Loneliness as a couple is a devastating and contradictory experience. This reality brings with it serious consequences, because there is nothing more painful than experiencing the emotional emptiness and indifference of the loved one.
Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: 15 November 2022
Loneliness as a couple is one of the deepest sufferings that can be experienced. It hurts a lot to ignore the reasons for such emotional coldness. Having your loved one by your side and not perceiving it is pure contradiction. Few solitudes are more problematic (as well as frequent) than those that are consumed under the same roof.
However, and surprising as it may seem, there are many people who, despite having stable social relationships, feel alone and disconnected from their surrounding environment. This can not only cause psychological distress, but also health problems.
The argument is not new. Loneliness as a couple has always existed. However, thanks to the studies conducted on loneliness in the population, nowadays we are constantly discovering new information on this kind of suffering that occurs at almost all ages. Young couples suffer from it, but especially older adults.
"If you're afraid of loneliness, don't get married."
Loneliness as a couple: what is it due to?
There are dramas in which words, slaps or tragedies are not needed to generate suffering. In reality, the most painful dramas manifest themselves in silence; day after day, in the daily life of two people who once swore eternal love, but now one of them no longer swears or promises anything, but refuses and behaves, whether she wants it or not, with emotional coldness.
However, such a situation does not arise overnight. This psychological distance (which is not always physical) appears in unsuspecting ways. How to stop giving importance to the habits of the past, leave out the details, not listen carefully to what your partner has to say, get carried away by the routine and no longer want to start new activities together.
These situations create a strong impact. Perceiving your partner mentally distant and feeling an ever greater emotional distance doesn't just hurt. It is also the source of many other problems. Experts such as Dr. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, a philosopher, psychologist and love relationship expert, point out the following:
- A distinction must be made between being alone and the phenomenon of loneliness. Being alone means having no one at your side, it is a physical reality. On the contrary, loneliness is an increasingly frequent psychological fact and is experienced above all by people who live in couples.
- This type of loneliness often sets the stage for depressive and anxiety disorders. The suffering is acute and, as it reveals study conducted at the University of Manchester (UK) by Dr. Greg Miller, loneliness as a psychological phenomenon is as dangerous to health as tobacco or a sedentary lifestyle.
Let's see below what may be the reasons behind the loneliness of the couple.
Disaffection and fear of acting
Sometimes disaffection manifests itself as an icy wind whose origin cannot be identified. Suddenly, and without anything happening, everything loses its brightness, meaning and importance. Emotions are no longer the same and it is useless to force yourself or show what you no longer feel.
Lack of love doesn't always need a concrete reason, it just happens and when it does it can be just as disconcerting for both partners. Well, when one is fully aware that he no longer loves the other, he must act and make his feelings clear. Deception (and self-deception) maintained over time leads to serious consequences. One of these is to make the partner suffer through the perception of emotional coldness.
The choking routine
Loneliness as a couple increases under the weight of routine. There are times when you just get carried away. Work, duties, children… Everything sinks into a mechanical rhythm where there is no room for affection, to look into each other's eyes and find each other again.
Eventually, even conversations become routine, consuming affection, love and intimacy. Faced with all this, we can try ourselves to make changes or ask for the help of a professional. In any case, inaction rarely solves problems.
Loneliness as a couple: what if we were the cause?
There is also a third dimension in the phenomenon of solitude as a couple. Sometimes, there comes a point in one's life where a void appears, without explanation. In that existential crater, dissatisfaction, lack of meaning and even the fear of changing what is around are mixed.
These situations are more common than you think. There are people who feel alone in pairs because they are no longer the same; they feel frustrated because they no longer have what they want. In this case we are not guilty, and although we think that it is the other who has changed and that he is no longer able to give us what we need, in reality, perhaps the problem starts with us.
Perhaps we, who have evolved, have grown to the point of changing tastes, needs or motivations (another professional career, more independence, new social and personal contacts, etc.).
In conclusion, couple loneliness is as recurrent as it is deadly for many relationships. First, it is a source of suffering, psychological and health problems. Secondly, no one deserves to experience this form of pain that carries with it so many aftermaths.
Let us therefore try to understand the origin of this situation. We speak with the partner and share solutions in all honesty, respect and responsibility.