Emotional Distancing: What It Is & What Causes It?

You weren’t emotionally distant when choosing your partner and in the beginning of your relationship. Something must have happened during the course of the relationship that has caused either you or your partner to become emotionless. Once you start holding back your emotions, you start allowing anger to enter the relationship, which is a recipe for a quick end.

It’s not healthy to allow emotional distancing to fester in the relationship. You want to be aware of what emotional distancing is and what causes it, and try to detect the reasons behind you becoming emotionally distant. It’s always best to consult an experienced relationship advocate to help you, however you first need to know what and why it is happening to you.

What Is Emotional Distancing?

Emotional distancing, or emotional detachment, is the inability of an individual to completely engage with their own feelings, or the feelings of others. Severe emotional distancing can start interfering with a person’s social, emotional, psychological, as well as physical development. 

Emotional distancing can be temporary, in response to a stressful or unpleasant situation, or ongoing, which appears in people who suffer from attachment disorders. Whatever kind of emotional distancing you’re experiencing, you should try and find professional assistance to help you cope with it and overcome it.

Common Symptoms of Emotional Distancing

Some of the most common symptoms of emotional distancing, be it in a relationship or with loved ones, are the following:

  • Suffering from low self-esteem
  • Becoming completely ambivalent
  • Exhibiting very bad listening skills
  • Constantly challenging intimate relationships
  • Not opening up or having great difficulty doing so
  • Experiencing lack of verbal, physical, or sexual contact

What Causes Distance In A Relationship?

What Causes Distance In A Relationship?

Emotional distancing in relationships can be caused by several different factors. Determining the cause behind you or your partner becoming emotionally distant is the first and vital step in overcoming such emotional problems. Here are the most common causes of emotional distance in relationships:

  1. Alone time: Sometimes, it all begins with a benign reason as craving some alone time. If you or your partner do not have sufficient time to dedicate to yourselves, you should try discussing it and finding some time for you and you alone. 
  2. Emotional distress: If you or your partner have recently suffered severe emotional strain, it can be what triggered the act of emotional distancing. Experiencing extreme emotions can lead to an individual withdrawing and becoming emotionally distant for a time.
  3. Love lost: Sometimes, you or your partner are no longer as emotionally invested in your relationship as you used to be. Losing interest in the relationship, not putting enough effort and avoiding intimacy are different factors that can lead to problems with emotional attachment.
  4. Avoiding and pursuing: Sometimes, you can start feeling that your partner is too needy, or vice versa. This leads to taking an emotional step back which, in turn, leads to your partner pushing even harder for answers and explanations, which quickly turns into a vicious cycle of pushing and falling back, climaxing in complete emotional detachment.
  5. Criticism: When you or your partner begin to experience emotional distance, it can quickly become really hurtful. One of you will then start to become overly critical of the other, leading to emotional withdrawal and further emotional distancing. This withdrawal will make you feel even more distressed, which will lead to even more criticism, without an end in sight.

Whatever the causes and the reasons behind emotional distancing, it’s paramount that you consult an experienced relationship advocate to help you get through it all. Otherwise, you and your partner risk imprinting further emotional damage onto each other.

What Does It Mean When You Distance Yourself From People?

Sometimes, the cause behind becoming emotionally distant is simply a lack of excitement in your life. As simple as this may sound, the feelings you’re experiencing are still hard and difficult to deal with. 

Distancing yourself from people close to you, be they your partner, your family, or your friends, is never easy, and you may want to try to do something to change it. Here’s what you can try to do when you feel that your life has become stale and that it’s causing you to take a step back from the important people in your life:

  1. Get a pet

    The affection pets show can help promote emotional bonding, and their natural excitability can help you find the excitement you’ve lost.

  2. Drives and walks

    Start taking long walks in beautiful settings, or start taking your car for drives through interesting and exciting scenery. Try to promote interaction with the environment to stop yourself from feeling dull and isolated.

  3. Learn a skill

    Try finding a new hobby, challenge yourself in fields you haven’t tried before, try to learn how to play an instrument. Find something to become engaged in, and let it embellish your daily life.

  4. Find new friends

    Sometimes, you need a fresh friendship to take you out of the rut you’re finding yourself in. They can show you new experiences, open you up to new events, and show you a completely different side of life.

  5. Consult a professional

    Finally, if all else fails, consult an experienced advocate who can help you cope with and overcome the emotional problems you’re facing.

Why Am I Distancing Myself From My Partner?

If you notice that you’re starting to emotionally distance yourself from your partner more and more, it’s time to take a look at some of the reasons why that might be happening. There are three main reasons why you might be distancing yourself from your partner:

  1. Prolonged distance: Couples go through different emotional periods together. Sometimes, they feel more distant, while sometimes they feel close to each other. However, if you stop spending time together, enjoying engaging activities, or start spending prolonged time away from each other, you can become more and more emotionally distant unless you change these habits.
  2. Unresolved conflicts: Experiencing conflicts in relationships is normal. However, you should always try to resolve those conflicts and not leave matters unfinished. Unresolved issues can cause long-term resentment, which can lead to severe emotional distancing between you and your partner.
  3. Poor sexual connection: Finally, if you’re experiencing a prolonged period of sexual inactivity between you and your partner, this may be a signal that you’re growing further and further apart emotionally. 

Join PIVOT Workshops & Overcome Intimacy Problems In Your Relationship

What Is Emotional Distancing?

Losing emotional attachment to your partner or loved ones is never easy. Becoming distant in a relationship is hard on both parties involved, and it can exert horrible emotional toll on both partners. 

However, there is a way to solve such intimacy problems in a relationship, and it is best to start working on resolving your emotional distancing issues with an experienced relationship advocate. 

PIVOT is your safe sanctuary where you can get in touch with your inner self and learn how to connect with your partner all over again. We organize relationship retreats and workshops for you and your partner, while you can choose to have individual coaching sessions with a team of our experienced advocates. PIVOT is here to help you feel again. Contact us today!