Sometimes when you start dating someone, you have an immediate connection. Over time, though, you might feel your partner start to pull away from you. How do you bridge the gap and become close again?
Whether you’re just starting your relationship or you’ve been together for years, it’s important to let your partner know that they can confide in you. When you’ve just started dating someone, they might not feel ready to let their guard down completely, and you might have to earn their trust before they’ll get close to you. If they try to talk to you about a problem they’re having, listen, and don’t offer advice unless they ask for it. It might have taken a lot of courage for them to open up to you, and this is a sign that they might be ready to get closer.
Don’t criticize them
There are going to be times when your partner drives you crazy, but if they feel like you’re constantly nagging them about silly things, they will start to pull away. Psychologist Guy Winch, Ph.D. says that when you criticize your partner often, they will start to withdraw, which can make you more critical, and make them pull away more. To break this cycle, Dr. Winch recommends the 80-20 rule, meaning 80% of your communication is positive, while only 20% is negative.
Make time for sex
Sex won’t solve all of your problems, and if there are bigger issues in your relationship, you need to address them. However, physical intimacy will help you build a stronger bond and reduce stress. Refusing intimacy can create more distance between you and your significant other, and, according to Dr. Winch, can lower your partner’s self-esteem.
Give them space
This might seem counter-intuitive, but some distance can actually make your relationship stronger. You are individuals who need lives outside of your relationship, and spending time apart gives you the chance to see friends and explore new hobbies. This is also a great opportunity to reflect on your relationship so that the two of you can figure out what you truly want and express your feelings.