Seven Ways to Reconnect with Yourself And Your Partner When You Feel Disconnected

Updated March 31, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Feeling disconnected or depersonalization from your body in a relationship occurs when a partner doesn’t feel the closeness they admired earlier in their relationship or they tend to dissociate from their body.  “Relationships go through stages where you feel really connected for a period and then not as connected for another period; it’s during the disconnect when it takes extra effort to reconnect. It’s important to remember that if your relationship is in a disconnect stage it does not necessarily mean that your relationship is over, it may just mean that the relationship is in need of a tune-up. Take time to listen to the needs of your partner and be prepared to put in the effort.” – Dr. Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPCC

The connection between two people can be a beautiful thing, but it is not always easy to maintain. According to a study of recently divorced individuals, one of the most common reasons cited for divorce was growing apart. In fact, 55% of couples cited this as the primary reason for their separation.

When a relationship starts to feel disconnected, it can be frightening and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to mean the end of your partnership. There are steps that both partners can take to help reconnect and strengthen their relationship.

As we explore different methods of rekindling your connection, it is important to remember that all relationships are unique. What works for one couple may not work for another, and that's okay. We'll also look at some valuable ways to take care of and nurture yourself while you're on your journey back to connection.

Does your partner feel distant or disconnected?

Understanding disconnection

When it comes to relationships, disconnection can be a common issue. Disconnection often manifests itself in various ways. You may feel distant, unattached, lonely, or isolated. However, left unchecked, disconnection can lead to serious issues with the mental and emotional well-being of both partners. 

The most common signs of relationship disconnection can include the following: 

  • Miscommunication: Miscommunication is one of the most common causes of disconnection in relationships. When partners don't communicate effectively with each other about their needs and feelings, it can lead to misunderstandings which may cause tension or hurt feelings. 
  • Trust issues: Trust issues are another major cause of disconnection, as they can lead to feelings of insecurity. If both partners are not open and honest with each other, it can create an ominous environment that's difficult to escape. 
  • Feeling unheard or unseen by your partner: When we don't feel heard or seen by our partners, it can cause us to feel isolated and alone in the relationship. These feelings are particularly significant when our thoughts or emotions are disregarded or not given proper attention.
  • Negative patterns in the relationship: Negative patterns, such as criticism, blame, and contempt, can cause a rift between partners. If these patterns become entrenched, it can lead to a breakdown in communication and an overall sense of disconnection. 
  • Lack of desire to be intimate: Intimacy is essential in many relationships, yet when one or both partners don't feel the same level of desire, it can cause deep feelings of separateness and distance. 
  • Not feeling excited about spending time together: When the spark and excitement of being with your partner fade, it can be a sign that there's a deeper issue at play. 
  • Inability to feel emotions or feeling empty: These are sometimes signs that one or both partners have put up emotional walls in order to defend themselves from pain.

Research has shown that there is a strong association between loneliness and depression, with some evidence suggesting that feelings of loneliness may exacerbate depressive symptoms. While loneliness is an emotion that many people experience at some point in their lives, it can be especially painful when we feel disconnected from our partner.

Due to the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, being in a loving relationship can help us to feel more secure and connected. A study by Frontiers in Neuroscience indicates that love withdrawal can affect how our brains process negative emotions. As such, when we don't experience the same level of connection with our partner, it can be particularly challenging to manage these emotions.

Seven tips for reconnecting in your relationship

A feeling of disconnect can make you feel as if you and your partner are in different worlds. In order to address the problem of disconnection, it is important to be proactive in your approach to your relationship. Below are seven ways to reconnect with yourself and your partner when you are feeling disconnected.

Prioritizing communication

Communication can increase trust, respect, and intimacy. It can also help you better understand your partner's thoughts and feelings. By making communication a priority, you open up the opportunity for both partners to feel seen and heard.

Active listening can be an effective way to ensure that both partners are heard and understood. Instead of just responding, taking the time to fully understand what your partner can show your partner that you are present in the conversation and that you care about their views.

Using "I" statements when expressing your thoughts and feelings can also be helpful. When you use language that focuses on your own internal experience, you can prevent blame and criticism from entering the conversation. Solution-oriented language is also important for creating a productive dialogue.

Expressing gratitude and appreciation

Expressing gratitude and appreciation towards your partner is an important step in reconnecting. Acknowledging the positive contributions that they make shows your partner that you appreciate them and value their presence in your life. Research shows experiencing gratitude can also help to reduce stress and foster positive feelings.

Taking the time to talk about the things you appreciate with each other also provides an opportunity for both of you to express your love and admiration in a supportive way.

Practicing compassion and empathy

Compassion and empathy are important components of connection. Focusing on your partner’s needs and remaining open to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences can make it easier to connect with them on a deeper level.

Compassion and empathy can be practiced through active listening, validating your partner's feelings, and actively engaging in their experiences. It is also important to remember that there are times when addressing issues may not be the best solution; simply being present for your partner is sometimes enough to create a strong bond of connection.

Making time for fun and play

Having fun with your partner is a great way to reconnect and create positive emotional bonds. Taking the time to engage in enjoyable activities together can help reduce stress, build trust, and bring you closer.

It doesn't have to be anything big or elaborate; even participating in simple activities like going for a walk or playing a board game can be enough to foster positive connections. Making time for laughter and play can also help to release endorphins, which are hormones that are associated with pleasure and happiness.

Practicing self-care

Self-care can be a powerful tool for strengthening relationships. By taking the time to care for yourself, you may be able to bring more energy and focus into your relationship. Self-care also creates an opportunity to show your partner that you value yourself as an individual.

Setting personal boundaries, engaging in physical activity, pursuing personal passions and interests, and managing stress in healthy ways are all important components of self-care. Supporting your partner's self-care efforts can also be beneficial for your relationship.

Developing a stronger spiritual connection

Exploring spirituality as a couple can be an effective way to deepen your bond and create a stronger connection. Participating in spiritual practices together, such as meditation or mindfulness, attending religious services or events, and engaging in acts of service or charity can provide an opportunity for both partners to develop a deeper understanding of each other's spiritual beliefs.

While spirituality doesn't have to mean following a particular religion or belief system, it is important to respect and support each other's beliefs. Encouraging your partner to discuss their spiritual views openly and honestly can also help create a stronger connection and bring you closer together.

Does your partner feel distant or disconnected?

Seeking professional help

If you have been unable to connect with your partner despite your best efforts, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Couples therapy or counseling can provide an opportunity for both of you to express yourselves openly and honestly without fear of judgment or criticism.

Therapy sessions provide a space for couples to explore their feelings, learn communication skills, and develop better problem-solving strategies. As a roadmap for reconnecting, couples therapy can be beneficial for addressing underlying issues and creating a stronger bond.

Online therapy offers a safe and discreet way to seek professional guidance. Online counselors are available to provide support and advice in a variety of areas, including relationship counseling and marriage guidance. As a tool for reconnecting and strengthening your bond, online therapy can be an effective way to create emotional safety and understanding in your relationship.

Couple counseling outcome studies indicate cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may effectively reduce relationship distress. The Marital Adjustment Scale (MAT) is used to measure the effectiveness of CBT and other types of couple therapy. With the right combination of skills and strategies, couples can use counseling as an opportunity to deepen their connection, foster mutual understanding, and find solutions that work for both individuals.

Therapist reviews

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”


Creating a strong connection with your partner is often an ongoing effort that requires commitment, patience, and understanding. No two relationships are the same, and what works for one couple may not be useful for another. However, there are a number of helpful strategies that couples can use to foster connection.

Patience and communication are key when it comes to addressing disconnection. While these can be a challenge in times of stress or conflict, being proactive and working together can help set the stage for a stronger connection. Online therapy can complement your efforts to reconnect and foster understanding. With the right combination of effort and commitment, couples may create an enduring connection with each other that lasts through life's ups and downs.

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