Your relationship may be generally feeling fine, and other things in your life may be going smoothly as well, but you may still sense that something is missing, and it’s making you take a second look at your life and love.
The truth is that it is difficult to feel close to the one you love all the time. We all have our problems that we have to give our attention to, and sometimes we can get so deeply involved in a work or family issue that we begin to feel distant from our mates (and ourselves).
The hard part is identifying when you are the one who is overly involved in other things. Sometimes it can be difficult to hear the one you love tell you that he or she could use a little more of your attention. In fact, if you have a very supportive mate, he or she may choose instead to allow you to stay on-task, allowing you to focus on whatever you’re busy doing and not feel like you are neglecting your partner.
You may not want to distract your partner from the tasks at hand even if you are feeling neglected. That being said, if you are feeling like you want to be closer to the one you love, you need to speak up. Many times, just a few words are all it takes to help your partner remember to take some steps in your direction.
Once either of you expresses the desire to rebuild your closeness, you need to agree to do it and get started. It’s not something you should have to think about. Ideally, if your mate wants to be closer, you should be onboard without hesitation. If you are waffling, it is a signal that you need to take another look at your feelings and maybe get some additional input from someone you trust.
Keeping your relationship on the positive track is easy once you embrace that goal. Making the effort to be more present for your partner can become a natural part of how you relate to one another, and as you make this effort, your life will just naturally get nicer. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it. A little positive effort put toward someone you love can change a cloudy day to a bright one.
There is no need to make this a big issue. The key here is being willing to make some changes in how you focus your time. For example, when I am writing and my partner comes to me for some reason, I turn away from my work, give her my attention, and ask if I can have a moment to finish my thought. Then we can talk about whatever it is she needs.
Discuss with your partner your desire to be a closer couple, and talk about the things that may push you apart. Then resolve to change as much as you can, and enjoy moving closer together. It may take a little time, but it’s worth it.
Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple – How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.” Email him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com. Follow his daily insights at www.twitter.com/BartonGoldsmith.