What to Do When Your Partner Seems Distant

If your partner feels distant, it can be the result of many factors. However, it doesn't always mean that the person no longer wants to be with you. We'll tell you about it in this article.
What to Do When Your Partner Seems Distant
Isbelia Esther Farías López

Written and verified by the philosopher Isbelia Esther Farías López.

Last update: 25 July, 2022

“My partner seems distant. What can I do?”

This, perhaps, is one of the most frequent concerns among those in a relationship. Suddenly, the person changes, things aren’t as they used to be, and the fear of a hypothetical breakup appears.

How should you react in these cases?

Since there are many feelings at play, it’s common for doubts and questions to appear that don’t always have an immediate answer. However, before starting to elaborate hypotheses, it’s best to examine some of the possible causes for which this could have happened.

Let’s take a closer look.

The couple’s bond

According to this study by Dr. Ortega Rojas, a couple’s bond is one of the most important bonds that people build throughout their lives. Therefore, couples must establish harmony between the process of giving and receiving.

For love to work, several components influence the couple’s well-being. And these revolve around mutual dedication and consideration of each other’s needs.

A couple sitting on the beach looking into one another's eyes.

At the same time, this research conducted by a team from the University of Santo Tomás (Chile) tells us that to be happy in a relationship, it’s important to satisfy basic needs (food, money, clothing, etc.).

Also, shared entertainment activities, and of course, emotional satisfaction, intimacy, and social support are also important.

If these components fail, or if only one of the partners fulfills them, the relationship’s prone to break down.

My partner seems distant with me: Possible reasons

While it’s true that a change of attitude in your partner can seem like a sign that things are going wrong, it’s also true that you should analyze other possible causes.

Here are some of them.

Mature love is being forged

This may occur after the falling in love phase. When this stage is overcome, the relationship calms down and everything becomes more serene. This doesn’t mean that the love’s over, but rather that it’s moved into a more mature phase.

Your partner has experienced a loss

Any loss involves a grieving process. Your partner may have lost a loved one, their job, or something else significant in their life and is feeling deep grief.

If this happens, it’s normal for their attitude to change. It’s just that, as their partner, being so close, you’re the one who usually perceives the changes first. Try to give them all your love and understanding.

A couple sitting on the couch, looking cold and distant.

They feel under pressure

Whether it’s because of studies, work, or the pressures of living together as a couple. In these cases, stress takes hold of the person and its consequences can be terrible for the relationship.

If you think this is what’s happening to your partner, talk to them and ask them to express themselves without fear. Together, you can establish guidelines for action and analyze how you can improve or what you need to change.

Constant conflict

In these scenarios, it’s possible that one of the two partners feels tired of so much unproductive quarreling and chooses to keep their distance.

If this is the case, the partners will tend to distance themselves emotionally to avoid arguments.


This is another possible reason why you may feel distant from each other, however painful it may be for you to admit it.

In some cases, the partner who’s unfaithful changes their schedules and routines or begins to hide some issues.

Read also: What Do I Do If My Partner Cheats on Me?

I feel distant from my partner: What should I do?

After analyzing these possible causes, if you’ve managed to identify one that could describe your case, it’ll be time to move on to the next phase.

  • Talk to your partner: Do it assertively, trying to focus on the facts and not on what you believe. Tell them about the specific actions you’ve observed and, without trying to start an argument, ask them directly what has made them change their attitude.
  • Be patient: Avoid harassing your partner, either with constant messages, persecution or by invading the limits of their privacy. If you do this, then you’d be the one who’s resorting to unhealthy behavior or suffering from jealousy.
A woman looking away while her partner talks to her.
  • Show empathy: If you’ve already had a conversation and you’ve come to realize that your partner’s going through a difficult time, put yourself in their place and show understanding.
  • Don’t imitate their attitude: Some people, seeing their partner distant, also assume that attitude out of pride. However, this only makes the situation worse. Instead, it’s more convenient to create habits to improve the relationship.
  • Have self-esteem: You must develop good self-esteem. Many times, it may be that everything’s in your imagination, that nothing’s going on, but you’ve developed fears because of the forms of attachment you have. If this is the case, you should seek psychological support to strengthen your areas of weakness.

Love yourself and don’t accept less than you deserve

When you’re going through a rough patch in a relationship, the solution can only come from both of you. If you feel that the love and support are one-sided and that your partner doesn’t reciprocate or make you happy, you need to think of yourself first.

If you’ve talked to your partner and you’ve confessed your feelings and they continue to do the same, the best thing to do is to put an end to things. It’s much better to be alone than in bad company.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Andrade, J. A. (2013). Relaciones tóxicas de pareja. Psicologia.Com: Revista Electronica De Psicologia.
  • La dinámica vincular celos-infidelidad. (2011). Pensamiento Psicológico.
  • Ortiz, J. M. C., García, P., & Gómez, L. (2009). Celos y emociones : Factores de la relación de pareja en la reacción ante la infidelidad Jealousy and emotion : how partners react to infidelity. Athenea Digital. https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/athenead/v0n15.528
  • PERCEPCIÓN SOCIAL DE LA INFIDELIDAD Y ESTILOS DE AMOR EN LA PAREJA. (2014). Enseñanza e Investigación En Psicología.
  • Valor-Segura, I., Expósito, F., & Moya, M. (2010). Emociones Poderosas y no Poderosas ante Conflictos de Pareja: Diferencias de Género. Psychosocial Intervention. https://doi.org/10.5093/in2010v19n2a4
  • Vallejo Pareja, M. A. (2000). Emociones y dolor. Revista de La Sociedad Espanola Del Dolor.
  • Alzugaray, Carolina., García, Felipe. (2015). Relaciones de pareja y bienestar psicológico. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/294891178_Relaciones_de_pareja_y_bienestar_psicologico
  • Ortega Rojas, Juan. (2012).El vínculo de pareja: Una posibilidad afectiva para crecer. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1941/194124704008

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.