What Is Emotional Distance? What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of It?
I think the biggest task we humans are assigned, in this life, is maintaining relationships with others. And if you ask me, most of us often fail at this one task. And there is not just one reason for us to fail. However, one of the most common reasons, according to me, is our emotions. Let’s all just agree that irrespective of how practical we think we are, when it comes to our relationships, we more often than not let our emotions take over and decide for us. And it is when we’re emotionally distant from people that we share a bond with, that the relationship’s foundation starts to shake. So, then why do we get emotionally distant? Well, to understand that, I’ll first have to tell you what emotional distance means. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do next.
What is emotional distance?
Emotional distance is when you’re incapable of engaging with your own feelings or the feelings of the person you share a relationship with. And yes, this happens a lot with every single person (maybe even on a regular basis) but at times this becomes a tad bit more intense.
And it is when this emotional distance becomes extremely serious does it start interfering with the psychological, physical, and social aspects of your life.
The reason I said that most people face emotional distance often is because usually it is a temporary situation that is caused by stress, unpleasant situations, or people who suffer from attachment issues. However, if it persists, then seeking some help from people around you or professional help Is a good idea.
Also Read: People Who Are Sexually Or Emotionally Dissatisfied Cheat To Restore Their Self-Esteem, Says Study
Now that you know what it is, the next question is how do you know if you’re dealing with emotional distance?
Well, here are some of the symptoms of emotional distance:
- You’ll start having low self-esteem issues
- You’ll start behaving more like an ambivalent person
- Your listening skills will most probably go down the drain
- You’ll constantly question and challenge your intimate relationships
- You might even find it difficult to open up
- You’ll withdraw from verbal, sexual, and physical contact
These symptoms are the most common ones that are seen in people who are experiencing emotional distance. But then there are very subtle symptoms or completely different ones and that depends from person to person.
What are the causes of emotional distance?
Having covered the symptoms, let’s focus on another important question – why? Why do we experience emotional distance in relationships? Well, in all honesty, there are many different factors that can cause it. And just like symptoms, here are some of the most common causes of emotional distance in relationships:
1. Emotionally distress
If you or the person you are with has recently experienced a great deal of emotional strain then that could also be one of the triggers for emotional distance. Undergoing extreme emotions is not healthy and being so spent can actually lead the person to withdraw.
2. Avoiding and pursuing
As time goes by, the equations in a relationship change and what once was may not be there anymore. In the same way, there can be times when you feel that your partner needs you too much or vice versa and this feeling might make you take a step back – emotionally. Now, this can lead to two things either your partner will become even needier as they will sense your emotional distance and that in turn will lead to you pushing away more. It is a vicious cycle that more often than not ends up in a complete emotional detachment.
3. Alone time
Irrespective of how much you love your partner, the need to spend some alone time with yourself always is there and becomes a priority. And when you or even your partner for that matter don’t get enough time for yourselves it can lead to you being emotionally incapable of handling more. This is one of the most common causes and can be handled by discussing this with your partner or just spending some much-needed time with yourself.
When you have a partner who is overly critical of you, you start feeling as though they don’t seem to understand you and that feeling is a painful one. This can cause you to stop sharing your feelings with them and lead to you emotionally distancing yourself from them.
5. Love lost
One of the other causes of emotional distance is when you or your partner is not as emotionally invested in the relationship as they used to be at one point in time. Not putting enough effort, losing interest, avoiding intimacy, not sharing, etc. are symptoms that show that the love that was once shared is lost.
This or whatever other causes there might be behind you experiencing emotional distance, it is necessary to seek help from others or professionals. Because if ignored for a longer period of time, then it can damage not only the relationship but also your emotional being.