Losing the connection you once felt to a partner can be a painful and confusing experience. We become bonded to our partner’s energy and to feel it cold, withdrawn and disinterested can be like living with an open wound. On the other side, you may no longer feel the attraction you once did. You may feel loss and guilt. Your relationship has become an empty desert and who knows what lies over the horizon. Many of us wander this wasteland, lonely and afraid. We are unsure as to what we should do and unable to take a step that might liberate us. Here are some tips to help you orientate yourself within this emotional matrix:

Decide Whether or Not You Have Done Everything You Can to Save the Relationship 

This step is going to require some soul-searching on your part. Obviously, the first decision you need to make is whether or not you are willing to keep investing. If the answer is no, skip to point two. If you believe there is a chance that you and your partner may be able to re-kindle the love that was once there, continue reading. Without constant work, relationships can become damaged and begin to feel loveless. Resentment between partners is a common cause. This often accumulates over time, particularly if communication is not skillfully navigated. Talking freely and openly with your partner can become a minefield. Pain and hurt is brought to the surface but neither partner is able to hear the other. If both you and your partner are willing to attempt to save the relationship, invest in some relationship counseling. This will help repair the abyss that has grown between you. Relationship counselors are experts in creating a safe space for you and your partner to learn new ways of communicating with each other. A counselor will encourage you and your partner to understand each other by relaxing your defenses. Through this process, you will begin to remember the aspects of each other that you once loved so dearly.

Make the Decision to Go Solo

You may know in your heart of hearts that you want to leave this relationship. If so, it is likely fear that is stopping you from taking that step. Depending on your circumstances a leap into the unknown will carry different implications. There may be practical considerations such as living space, or children. There will certainly be emotional factors. It can be daunting facing the prospect of being single once again. There is often grief at the end of the relationship. You lose a part of your life that has been important to you. You must also grieve your lost hopes and dreams. However, with every loss, there comes great gain. Begin to focus on the positives about making this move. Imagine feelings of excitement and contentment as you plan a new life for yourself. Believe that one day you will meet someone else with whom you can be happy. Look forward to re-discovering yourself. Start focusing on your own life now. Join groups, or start activities, that you feel passionately about. Meet new people. Start expanding. Ensure you reach out to your friends and family, or seek professional help. You will benefit from support as you move through this transition.

Keep Your Boundaries 

You may receive some resistance from your partner, especially if you are the one who declares the relationship over. Different partnerships will manage this in different ways. An amicable separation can be healing for both individuals as it enables you the supportive space to ease into what could be a major life change. If the end of the relationship is not received well, however, stick to your boundaries. You may feel compassion for your ex-partner’s pain but you have a right to your own happiness. This is where you need to focus. Don’t get involved in long battles, or drawn out conversations. State your boundaries with love and kindness but remain clear. You have made your decision.

Give Yourself Lots of Love 

The end of a relationship can be a difficult time. There is likely to be a period of grief as you adjust to the finality of this part of your life. Possibly, you may be feeling low on self-esteem and afraid. It is important that you take care of yourself and treat yourself with love and tenderness as you build up your strength and begin to stretch your independent wings. Remind yourself of the brave decision you have made in order to live the happy life that you deserve. Feel all your emotions deeply and honor your vulnerability. Get out and about into the world, but only when you are ready. You will grow enormously from the decision to leave a loveless relationship. There will be a great bounty waiting for you as you heal. Don’t rush to get there. All will unfold as you are ready.

By Ron McDiarmid