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Saturday, February 26, 2022

Relationships: Telltale Signs You and Your Partner Aren't on the Same Page About Your Relationship

In my previous article, I discussed why it's important for you and your partner to be on the same wavelength in your relationship.  I also talked about the many different relationship choices these days, and the consequences of having divert needs on major relationship issues.  In this article I'll be discussing the telltale signs you're not on the same page (see my article: Are Your Emotional Needs Being Met in Your Relationship?).

Telltale Signs You and Your Partner Aren't on the Same Page

Telltale Signs You and Your Partner Aren't on the Same Page
The following list might indicate that you and your partner aren't on the same wavelength with regard to your relationship:
  • Less Emotional and Sexual Intimacy: When you're not happy in your relationship because you and your partner aren't in agreement about what you each want, you might feel disconnected from your partner which could lead to a reduction in emotional and sexual intimacy or you feel like you're just going through the motions (see my article: What's the Difference Between Sexual and Emotional Intimacy?).
  • Arguments About Time Apart vs Time Together: If one of you wants to spend more time together than the other, you could be having more arguments about this. Often the person who wants to spend more time together feels rejected and abandoned by the partner--even though this might not be the case. It might just be that one partner needs more alone time to recharge (see my article: Learning to Compromise in Your Relationship About Spending Time Apart vs Time Together).
  • Arguments About How You Spend Your Time When You're Not Together: If one or both people are feeling insecure about the relationship because they don't know where it's going, they might argue about how much time you spend with friends, hobbies or at work. 
  • Discussions About Life Decisions Are Avoided: You and your partner aren't talking about long term relationships goals because you don't have a common understanding about the direction of the relationship, so you avoid dealing with these issues. This avoidance, in turn, creates more tension and misunderstandings (see my article: 7 Tips For Creating a Stronger Relationship With Relationship Goals).
  • Arguments About Money: If you're not discussing relationship goals, you won't know how to prioritize decisions about money, e.g., buying a house, saving for a vacation, and so on (see my article: Arguing About Money in Your Relationship).
  • Arguments About Flirting With Others: As mentioned in the prior article, there are so many different types of relationships (monogamous, monogamish, open relationships, etc), so if you each have a different understanding about how you define your relationship, you might argue about how your partner is interacting with other people, including being overly flirtatious.  If you're feeling insecure, even if your partner has no intention of being with anyone else, you might engage in "mate guarding," which can create even more tension in your relationship (see my articles: Irrational Jealousy and Mate Guarding - Part 1 and Part 2).
  • Family Events Are a Problem: If you and your partner aren't on the same page about the type of relationship you each want, you might find family gatherings become problematic because you don't go to your partner's family events and/or your partner doesn't go to your family events. This can create tension for significant events like parents' birthdays or holidays. Even though some family events might not be fun, if you're in a serious relationship, you're there to support one another.  You also might end up making excuses to your family about why your partner isn't there.
  • Boundaries Aren't Respected: Whether it's emotional, sexual or other physical boundaries, it's hard to know what the boundaries are when you and your partner aren't in agreement.  If you want to be in a monogamous relationship, but your partner wants an open relationship that includes sexual and/or emotional intimacy with others, you or your partner are bound to get hurt and disappointed.
  • A One-Sided Relationship: If you feel you're making most of the effort in your relationship so that your relationship feels one sided, you're going to feel resentful and disappointed. Another sign of a one-sided relationship is when your partner talks about something the two of you did together and instead of saying "we," they tend to say "I."
  • Frequent Misunderstandings About Your Partner: If you feel like you don't know your partner anymore, you could be experiencing a sign that you're not on the same wavelength anymore (or maybe you never were). You might be growing apart because you have divert views about what you want in the relationship.
  • Together But Feeling Alone: When a couple isn't on the same page about the relationship, one or both of them can feel like they're alone even though they're physically together. If you're with your partner but you feel lonely, this is another indication of being disconnected from one another (see my article: Are You Feeling Lonely in Your Relationship?).
The items listed above aren't exhaustive, so there might be other telltale signs that you detect with your partner.

In a future article, I'll provide a clinical vignette and discuss how you can try to resolve these issues.

Getting Help in Therapy
Just because you and your partner aren't on the same wavelength doesn't necessarily mean you can't get there.  Sometimes you just need help.

These kinds of problems usually don't get better by themselves, and if you don't know what to do, you could benefit from working with a licensed psychotherapist.

A skilled psychotherapist can help you to discover what you want, how to communicate your needs and how to work out a possible compromise.

So take the first step of contacting a licensed mental health professional so you can have a more fulfilling life.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 or email me.