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Feeling lonely? This can even happen when you are in a relationship. We have 5 tips to stop you feel

A minister for loneliness, a project first started by the late MP Jo Cox, has been announced by Downing Street. 42 year old Tracey Crouch will work across the political parties to address the challenge affecting about 9M UK people of all ages.

Many of us feel lonely in relationships. It can be caused by a number of things, but generally it has to do with feeling disconnected from your partner and/or yourself. You should communicate your loneliness to the people you trust in your life, and talk it through with your partner. If you don’t address the true causes, you will continue to cycle through the emotion and feel as though you are always alone in the world.

Loneliness isn't always a question of social isolation and the way out isn't necessarily through other people. In a recent article, Diana Villegas explained how she felt, "Someone can be there next to you, but you don’t feel you’re actually with them, you don’t feel any connection. You feel lonely, and guilty because you feel lonely, and very unsure about where you stand. I felt an immense insecurity in myself, in my relationship, in what I should be doing with my life.” At first, she panicked. “I was fed this idea that everything’s going to be fine once you find someone who understands you, and you’ll never be lonely again. But that is such an unrealistic expectation. In my past partnerships, I went along with this idea; if I hadn’t made a change in my thinking in this relationship, I would have continued making this mistake over and over again.

Then they started communicating, and started to see each other’s point of view. Diana realised they had completely different expectations: she was used to communicating with family, friends and past partners frequently throughout the day, while he was not. “There are no right or wrong communication expectations, so the first step for us was to find common ground. How often did I expect to talk? How would this take place? Who would initiate it? What came afterwards was a lot of trying, adjusting and learning how to be respectful towards different points of view.” He learned to share his problems with her instead of bottling them up; she learned to give him space; they agreed to check in with each other at the end of every day to talk about how they were feeling. She has also started going to the gym regularly to let off steam, and has joined social groups to make friends. “It’s important to find other ways to deal with loneliness and accept that just because you feel like that, it doesn’t mean your partner is at fault. It’s normal to feel lonely sometimes,” she says. The full article can be read here.

The best way to stop feeling lonely in your relationship in the long term is to examine your thoughts about it. We often think that someone loving us will get rid of our loneliness. But this isn't true.

You may be feeling lonely for one or several of these reasons:

  • Your partner isn’t spending enough intimate time with you.

  • Your partner is less caring than you.

  • Your partner is less committed than you.

  • Your partner isn’t paying enough attention to you.

  • Your partner doesn’t show gratitude for what you do.

  • Your conversations are purely transactional and have no depth.

  • Your partner doesn’t care about the same things you care about.

All of the above reasons for feeling lonely point to the other person and are nothing to do with your own thoughts. We often think that someone loving us will get rid of our loneliness. But this isn’t always true. The best way to stop feeling lonely in your relationship in the long term, is to examine your thoughts about it.

5 Tips to stop feeling lonely in a relationship:

  1. Talk to your partner. Communication is key - tell them how you feel. Relationships that have open and consistent communication often have fewer issues.

  2. Don't isolate yourself. If you’re feeling alone in your relationship, resist the temptation to hibernate in yourself, and your secluded routine. If all you really want to do is curl up with a book or watch a movie, don’t. Get out of the house, and be around other people.

  3. Keep busy. If you’re feeling lonely and all you really want to do is nothing, make the effort to get busy. Sign yourself up for a new class, take on a new project at work, or volunteer for a local charity. If you’re busy, it’s easier to forget that you were feeling lonely and it’s also rewarding when you accomplish something new.

  4. Meet new people. New friendships can often stimulate inspiration and motivation in our lives. Human relationships are an essential part of life, and if you can meet people that share your interests, it will do a lot of good to overcome your loneliness.

  5. Be nice to yourself. Just because you’re feeling lonely in your relationship and experiencing some challenges in your life, doesn’t mean you need to be hard on yourself. We all go through rough patches, and you need to remember to be kind to yourself.

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