When Briella fell for Nick, she knew she’d never be alone again.

This was her twin flame. This was her soulmate.

It was so easy to be with Nick that she found herself turning down invitations to go out with friends, so she could stay home with him.

He understood her better than anyone else. She didn’t have to explain herself with him.

No one could understand how amazing that felt. She could drop the mask with Nick. She didn’t have to put on a performance. She didn’t have to dance around other people’s egos.

It was like coming home… to a place where she would always belong.

Which is why she was so surprised to find herself in my office.

She didn’t know what happened.

On the surface, everything was the same. She and Nick were still together. They hadn’t fought about anything.

But that feeling she once had, of being so in tune with him that it was like they shared the same mind, was gone.

The man she lived with looked like Nick, spoke like Nick, and acted like Nick, but he wasn’t the same person anymore. The Nick she loved always had time for her. He listened to her like she was the most important person on earth.

This new Nick was more interested in watching the game, fiddling with his phone, and having his “man space” to chill out.

It was like he’d checked out of the relationship.

And she was so lonely.

She missed him.

She missed him even when she was sitting right next to him.

She felt like she was alone in the relationship, and that it was going to be like this forever.

Relationships Cure Us from Loneliness … Don’t They?

We often think that if only we can find our soulmate…

We’ll never have to be alone again.

The cure for loneliness is finding your very own special someone.

Once you’ve got your “person,” you can go to him whenever you’re feeling disconnected or down. You can talk to him, cuddle with him, and get a pep talk to make you feel better.

Emotional support is what relationships are all about.

So what does it mean when you don’t feel like your partner is there for you?

What does it mean when you feel completely, absolutely, utterly alone … even when you’re together?

These 3 ideas might help.

#1. Relationships Don’t Stop Us from Feeling Lonely

According to the 2020 Loneliness Index, over 60% of Americans feel lonely.[1]

Being in a relationship doesn’t protect you from loneliness. The study found that people who live with others are only slightly less lonely than people who live by themselves.

Having company isn’t the cure for loneliness. Sometimes you can feel most alone in the middle of a crowd.

Knowing your “loneliness triggers” can help you find ways to manage those feelings, without expecting your partner to fix them.

Ask yourself:
What makes you feel lonely? Write down a list of the situations where you’ve felt the most alone.

#2. One Person Isn’t Enough

The cure for loneliness is a sense of connection. You feel connected to your loved ones, your community, and the world around you.

Think of it like a web, where each connection makes your web stronger and more resilient. The most fragile web of all is a web with only one connection.

For Briella, that came as a surprise.

She thought that all you needed was one person to love.

Was her sense of loneliness due to neglecting her friendships, rather than a problem in her relationship?

Ask yourself:
How many people in your life can you go to if you need to talk? Are you cultivating those relationships to keep them strong?

#3. The Ebb and Flow of Togetherness

Feeling connected comes naturally in the early days of a relationship.

You have so much to talk about. You’re delighted just to be together.

As relationships mature, it’s natural that each person starts to go their own separate way a bit.

You can’t be “we” all the time. You need a break to be “me.”

That’s what Briella was seeing in her relationship.

Nick wasn’t the same person anymore. He was settling into the relationship and finding ways to carve out his own space as well as share a space with Briella.

For Briella, that felt like a sharp, cold shock. It felt like he was pulling away.

But that opening created a space for her. What had she given up to be with Nick? What hobbies, interests, and activities had she put on hold to be in this relationship?

When we are doing what we love, even if we’re by ourselves as we’re doing it, we don’t feel alone. We feel engaged. We feel recharged.

I encouraged Briella to embrace the ebb and flow of togetherness. Sometimes they’d feel close. Sometimes they’d do their own thing. You can’t come back to each other unless you’re willing to step apart.Ask yourself:
What are you doing on your own to recharge you? What hobbies and interests feed your soul?

[1] https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8670451-cigna-2020-loneliness-index/

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