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Alone and Lonely

If we’re sure that we want to build that secure attachment with our loved one, and they’re dedicated to building that safety as well, we can face the roadblocks together.


In therapy, we have a responsibility to help our clients process their emotional struggles. To move in the right direction towards secure attachment, we must cross roadblocks and intersections that can steer us away from our partners— these moments are vital, because they provide rest areas for us to lean in and understand what message you or your partner are trying to send to one another. Ultimately, the drive can be bumpy if we are relying solely on an insecure cycle to guide our partners to this destination.


Imagine taking a trip with your partner to the beach—you book the trip, the hotel, and now you’re on your last flight to your destination. You throw your bags into the back of the taxi, explain to your driver where you’re going, and the wheels begin to move. Your partner gives the driver the wrong information, and this is the first time you’ve been to this place, but they drop you off where you’ve requested, and you find out you’re lost.

You’re both on your own now— and you realize your partner has explained to the driver the wrong directions. How do you respond to your partner in this scenario?

I’ll be the first to say, we had a very similar experience in our relationship, and it was a very difficult situation. It was so easy to get frustrated trying to walk around, all while we were struggling to translate the streets and sequences of buildings in front of me. I would stop and point out how the images correlated between the buildings and the photos for the place we were staying at, but we were carrying loads of luggage on cobblestone roads in a new area. My partner would also get frustrated, and there was a point where it was hard to make a call as to what to do.

Here is a valid moment to point out where I see functioning alone and feeling lonely to differentiate. Sometimes there are roadblocks in our relationships, literally or figuratively, where we have struggles trying to understand what we’re feeling or what we need emotionally. Because I was so caught up in my frustration about being lost, I was allowing the distress I was feeling to get in the way of acting on the particular situation and finding an answer to our debacle. In a similar sense, I know my partner’s frustration and tiresomeness was valid as well, and I feel like certain situations take the most out of us.

While you might feel very comfortable planning or creating a system around certain things in you or your partner’s life, there will be times where you feel like you’re struggling inside. Will we share that pain, or will we succumb to what’s happening around us?

In terms of emotional pain, I believe I felt so helpless in this particular scenario. I was unsure of the situation, given it was a totally new experience, and I was relying solely on myself to find solutions. Having worked through such a situation with my partner, I could understand that being overly frustrated led me to turning to my own head to analyze what could’ve went wrong versus expressing and acting on that helplessness.

If in a similar situation, you face this kind of ordeal, will you feel safe enough to share what’s going on underneath that frustration or reaction?

I found this really difficult, but I still believe that the best relationships that center on building that security and safety take effort and commitment. That might look like a real roadblock or intersection at times when we’re struggling to communicate, but even if we’re unsure, we can lean into our partner for the comfort we need in that particular situation.

If we’re sure that we want to build that secure attachment with our loved one, and they’re dedicated to building that safety as well, we can face the roadblocks together.

We help other loved ones understand the value of this type of work in relationships. While we may or may not relate to experiences in your life, we understand and commit to walking through those struggles together. Knowing that you have another party on each of your side’s can create tremendous momentum in an insecure attachment. That’s why we are dedicated to providing that space for us to work through those roadblocks together. Please reach out and schedule an appointment if you’re interested in doing this work together.


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