7 Habits That Make You Feel Disconnected From Your Partner Over Time

Ad failed to load

Couples have their fair share of ups and downs, but if you've been feeling distant in your relationship lately, it might be due to a few tiny habits that are driving you apart — without you even realizing it. Sometimes, a loss of connection is due to something that seems trivial, like leaving for work without saying goodbye, or going to bed at different times. And yet, experts say it doesn't take much to erode your connection over time.

Little habits like these, if they happen infrequently, are hardly ever a big deal. It's perfectly OK, for example, to rush off to work one day and not say goodbye. Your relationship will surely survive. But if things like this are done every day — these little habits that might say "you're not a priority" — the ripple effect can have a profound impact.

The good news, though, is that once you're both aware of any habits that might be driving a wedge between you, it's usually easy to change. And your relationship can be better for it. As certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle, "Keeping connected to your partner is essential for a successful long-term relationship." Here are a few habits to avoid if you'd like to maintain your connection, and have a healthy, close relationship.

Ad failed to load

1Leaving For The Day Without Saying "Bye"

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

It sounds so simple, and yet leaving for the day without saying goodbye to each other can have a profound impact on your relationship. "This can leave [them] feeling like you don’t matter enough to acknowledge," couples consultant and coach Lesli Doares tells Bustle. And the same goes for coming back home again, and not taking the time to greet each other.

Just a quick "hey, how was your day?" or a hug or a kiss is all it takes to prevent that feeling. Without a quick greeting, it's all too easy to feel ignored and unimportant, and that can foster a lack of connection over time.

2Not Being Fully Present, At Least Some Of The Time

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

While it's impossible to give each other undivided attention 24/7 — and hey, you shouldn't be doing that anyway — it is important to be fully present with each other when you're say, eating dinner, going on a date, or simply updating each other about your day.

By being present, you're showing your partner that you hear them, and that you're there. And in doing so, it can prevent some unwanted side effects of inattention. "Forgetting important dates or events. Forgetting things that they have said, especially things that were emotionally charged. Disregarding the wants and needs that they have expressed," licensed psychologist Dr. Tanisha M. Ranger tells Bustle. "These all foster disconnection."

3Going To Bed At Different Times

Ashley Batz/Bustle

While this can't always be helped — especially if you work a late shift, and your partner gets up early — going to bed at the same time is something you should strive for.

"Studies show the importance of being in bed with your partner," Chris Brantner, the Certified Sleep Science Coach from SleepZoo, tells Bustle. "75 percent of couples don't go to bed at the same time. This robs them of intimacy and connection. Couples who don't go to bed at the same time have less time in serious conversation, shared activities, and sex. The fact is that time spent in bed before going to sleep can be the most relaxing. In fact, research shows that this cuddle time can leave couples feeling more nurtured and relaxed."

Even if you don't to actually fall asleep, it can be helpful to cuddle with your partner before they nod off. These moments of closeness can help you bond — not to mention, it's simply a nice way to end (or start) your day.

Ad failed to load

4Only Communicating Via Text

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Whether you live together, see each other a few times a week, or are dating long distance, make sure that you find the time to hang out and/or talk for real — and not just via text.

If you only chat via text, "you miss nuance, facial expressions, body language; all of which connect you," Doares says. "When you only get words, especially when not spoken, it's rather cold and opens up the chance for serious misunderstandings."

And when that happens, arguments can spiral out of control, and even "lead to feeling a need to hold back," Doares says. By seeing each other's facial expressions, and spending phone-free time together, you'll definitely feel more connected.

5Working While At Home

Hannah Burton/Bustle

Hey, if you need to work late, or bring a few papers home with you, that's obviously fine. But having a work/life balance is important for a healthy relationship.

"If you give most of your time and energy to your job, then it’s hard to have enough left over for your partner," Bennett says. "This isn’t just working overtime, but can occur when you constantly take the stress of work home with you."

So make sure you find time to do both. You might, for example, decide that 8 p.m. is the cutoff for checking emails — for both you and your partner — so that you can spend some quality time together.

6Saying "No" Frequently

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You're both entitled to boundaries in your relationship, and sometimes that'll mean saying the word "no." But it shouldn't become a knee-jerk habit. "Not being willing to accommodate each other ... can leave you feeling lonely within the relationship," Doares says.

Whether it's helping each other with a chore, agreeing to see a movie you don't really want to see, or listening to each other even though you're tired, little things like this — that are often so easy to say "no" to — can make all the difference.

Ad failed to load

7Turning To Others To Meet Your Emotional Needs

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

If you're going through a tough time, or simply want to talk, it's perfectly fine — and healthy — to reach out to your network of friends and family members to chat, vent, etc. Your partner can't always be your best friend and your partner and a shoulder to cry, so it's great to have others to turn too.

But be wary about skipping over your partner, and going straight to others for all your emotional needs. "When you find yourself leaning on people outside your relationship all the time, that is a sign that you and your partner are not connected," says Ranger. "It's hard to know what came first, the disconnection or the turning to others for emotional support, but the outcome is the same."

To work on it, give your partner a chance. You might not realize that they're chock full of good advice, too. And by giving them the chance to support you, you'll both feel more connected.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

11 Tiny Sunglasses That Will Make You Look Even Cooler Than Kylie Jenner

You know what they say — the tinier the sunglasses, the more stylish the outfit. OK, that's not really a saying, but it seems to be the case these days. Basically every celebrity, model, and It person has been spotted sporting tiny sunglasses as part…
By Sara Tan

9 Ways This Royal Wedding Was Way More Modern Than Past Ones

The newly named Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, made history with their storybook courtship and wedding. What's more, there are myriad ways the royal wedding 2018 was more modern than previous royal weddings. From deciding…
By Brandi Neal

16 Brand New YA Rom-Coms To Add To Your Summer Reading List

Ah, summer. Post-Memorial Day it's all about being outside in the sunshine, lazy pool days and exciting beach trips, warm weather treats, and — most important of all — tote bags packed to the brim with all of the biggest and best summer reads. Whatev…
By Kerri Jarema

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

9 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Mom That Also Give Back

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and unless you’re the type who’s got gift-giving on lock months in advance — and seriously, who is that person? — you might be scrambling a bit for great Mother's day 2018 gift ideas. And while it’s important to cho…
By Carolyn de Lorenzo

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan