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Six Things to Do When You Realise Your Partner Is “Pulling Away”

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Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker

Dating someone is fun and exciting. The feeling of another who loves you unconditionally is one of the most exceptional feelings in the world. But what then do you do when it seems that the person who was once a great lover and friend appears to be disappearing?

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Noticing your partner is growing distant can be very painful most especially when he happened to be the centre of your world. It can be super scary when the person who was always once there to listen to you, talk to you, comfort you and so on suddenly stops being there.

How do you cope when someone who was always available to you becomes suddenly “always busy”? What do you do about it most especially if you both are in a long distance relationship and it feels like distance is beginning to take its toll?

Man being rejected by his girlfriend when is proposing marriage. Don’t think we don’t get it, we do. However, when you are in such a situation, we suggest you do the following to ease things between you and your partner as well as relieve yourself of the pain you may be feeling at that moment

1. Always ask questions

Don’t assume you know the reasons why it is happening that way. Ask questions. Sit your partner down and ask him/her. People may sometimes need their” breathing space”, and it may be that that is all your partner is asking for.

It can also be that there is another reason why your partner all of a sudden started becoming distant. How would you know if you don’t ask questions? When you bring it up peacefully, and without accusations, you are giving you people a way to sort things out.

Invite your partner over to talk about what may be going on. Ask sincere, direct not accusing questions. Questions such as “What’s on your mind?” or “I have recently felt you pulling away and becoming distant, I wonder if I might be able to support you in what may b bugging or disturbing you.”

Asking questions as subtly as this gives you both a level ground to discuss the issue and hopefully find a lasting solution to the real problem.

2. Don’t disregard what is happening

Most times, one of the most critical steps is actually to accept that there is a problem. Acknowledging that there is a problem helps you identify the problem as well as rectify the situation faster.

According to Jay Harden who is a psychologist and breakup coach, he says that you need to acknowledge the distance to feel and you need to ask your partner if they have handled that distance as well.

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You may not necessarily be happy about their response. However, you must listen to it and be open-minded. If it is something you did or do that must be changed, you should be able to hear the voice of reason.

If your first reaction is to be defensive and go all out trying always to be right, the discussion won’t go well at all. Remember, at this stage what you want is to bridge the gap between you both and not to further widen it. However, if your response is open for reasoning, then you both can trash things out.

3. Give them what they ask

If your partner wants space and asks for it, be ready to give them that space. It is probably they already feel choked up with you and need a breath. Give them what they asked.

After granting them their requests, you can then begin to ask them questions that are required before giving them their space; you can now start to ask questions. Whenever you give people what they want, they feel more obliged to listen to you. Don’t get defensive however when you listen to their reasons.

Understand that their reasons might be coming from the point of pain. Listen. Don’t listen to find faults, listen to fix the problem. After talking it out, if they still need their space, grant them their requests. Give them an opportunity to miss you and reason out your discussion.

4. See if the reason for space is intentional

If you have noticed that your partner is withdrawing and becoming distant, gently ask to know if the break is deliberate or not. This probably should be what you may use to start the discussion.

It might just be your mind playing with you, or it could also be due to the situations and circumstances happening around your partner that may cause him/her to pull back creating the distance you now experience unconsciously.

Your partner could be in denial about what is happening so if you are reading other signals other than what you should be ready to sit your partner and ask him/her. Once your partner says he/she hasn’t taken note of any change, don’t push them or force them to face the unpleasant reality.

Instead of making them see the unpleasant reality by force, you can subtly let them know that you have been seeing some changes and feeling a shift from the normal in your relationship. They may not be aware of it or even want to talk about it. However, you both need to. You can take turns talking about it without interruptions

5. Let them voice out their opinions

For some partners, they may be finding it difficult for them actually to voice out their opinions and their thoughts. Yes, it is quite true they have quite a lot to say. However, it usually is a problem for them to air their views first. Hence, they need that discussion to take place so it can serve as a platform for them to air their feelings.

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6. Allow for a little bit of time

The time they say heals all wounds, and I say time repairs everything. They have asked for space, grant it to them. They might have hurt you, but it gets better with time. You will surely learn to live without them or their influence.

While waiting for them to come around, don’t let your life pass you by. Have fun, learn a skill or do something else while waiting for them to come around. If and when they eventually come around, they would meet you as a better person; an asset not a liability.

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