Emotional support refers to intentional verbal and non-verbal ways to show care and affection for another person. It includes offering reassurance, acceptance, encouragement, caring, and making them feel valued and important. It can come from a variety of places including family, partners, friends, colleagues, counsellors, online groups, and even pets. Here are some signs that your relationship lacks emotional support.
You don’t talk about emotions
Communication is key. If you and your partner can’t be vulnerable and honest about your feelings and emotions especially because one party doesn’t want to do it, your relationship may lack emotional support. It may also be the case if they minimize your feelings and refuse to listen to anything related to your feelings. If they pull a disappearing act when you’re emotional or teary, that may also be a sign your relationship lacks emotional support.
Withhold physical intimacy
If your partner withholds physical intimacy from hugs to casual touches to sex, the relationship may lack emotional support. Physical touch is important in communicating affection, care, and building trust. Some people will only engage in physical tough during sex which may indicate a variety of problems including the fact that they only view their partner sexually and no more. Non-sexual contact is important. Hugging, for example, has many benefits including reducing loneliness, negative moods, and stress.
No interest in your goals
If they show no interest in your dreams, goals, and achievements you may be alone in that relationship lacking emotional support. Goals and dreams are a huge part of our lives and if you’re not interested in or involved in each other’s lives, what are you doing? It means you’re missing out on important opportunities to reassure and encourage each other, opportunities to celebrate each other’s wins and be involved in each other’s lives. It means you’re leading entirely separate lives which defeats the purpose of being in a relationship.
Don’t solve problems together
If you don’t turn to each other during difficult times or for help with problem resolution, you lack emotional support in your relationship. Not turning to each other during difficult periods indicates the emotional distance in your relationship which is a symptom of deeper problems.
Ways to improve emotional support in your relationship
A relationship is unlikely to survive if this problem is not remedied. Here are some ways to improve the emotional support in your relationship.
- Take time to identify your needs as individuals then clearly communicate the same to your partner
- Pay attention to their emotions, respect and validate them
- Recognize your partner’s efforts and appreciate their efforts even the small gestures
- Set aside time to spend together
- Share your feelings
- Engage in physical touch and intimacy
- Avail yourself when they are going through difficult periods
- Make nice gestures that make your partner happy
- Support your partner in public
These tips work not just for romantic relationships. There’s a common misconception that relationship advice is exclusive to sexual or romantic couplings. It shouldn’t be like this, we should put as much effort into our non-sexual relationships as we do the romantic ones. If you’re going to be in a relationship with someone, you should feel cared for and supported while offering the same to your partner whether it’s platonic or romantic. If all else fails and nothing changes in terms of emotional support in your relationship, you could consider ending it, for relationships that you can walk away from.
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