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Adjusting your focus can bring you closer to your partner

More Than 3 in 5 Americans Are Lonely, Study Says.A survey led by health insurer Cigna found a 7 percent rise in loneliness since 2018.The research noted social media use and poor work-life balance as significant contributors to the increase.Bert Uchino, a professor at the University of Utah who studies relationships and health, has said pervasive loneliness has “widespread effects.”.Evidence is really pointing to the fact that relationships — the kinds of bonds you have with people, how close you are, how connected you feel to others — impact physical health as well, Bert Uchino, via NPR.Uchino also added that loneliness is linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.The study concluded that Gen Z has the highest loneliness scores, with boomers having the lowest

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Your relationship may be feeling fine, and other things in your life may be going smoothly, but you might still sense something is missing — and it’s making you take a second look at your life and love.

The truth is that it’s difficult to feel close to the one you love all the time. We all have problems we have to give our attention to. Sometimes we can get so deeply involved in a work or family issue that we begin to feel distant from our mate (and ourself).

The hard part is identifying when you’re the person who is overly involved in other things. It can be difficult to hear the one you love tell you they could use a little more of your attention. You need to listen. It’s important to make sure you’re not neglecting your partner.

If the situation were reversed, and you were feeling neglected, you would need to speak up. You may have been telling yourself you don’t want to distract your partner, but you need the closeness, and so does your partner, however busy they may be. Many times, just a few words are all it takes to help your partner remember to take some positive steps in your direction.

Once either of you expresses the desire to rebuild your closeness, you need to agree to do it and get started. It’s not something you should have to think about. If you are waffling, it’s a signal you need to take another look at your feelings and maybe get some input from someone you trust.

Keeping your relationship on the positive track is easy once you embrace a common goal. Making the effort to be more present can become a natural part of how you relate to each other. A little positive effort toward someone you love can change a cloudy day into a bright one.

There is no need to make this a big issue. The key here is being willing to adjust how you focus your time. For example, when I am busy writing and my partner comes to me, I will turn away from my work, give her my attention, and ask if I can have a moment to finish my thought. Then we can talk about whatever it is she needs.

Discuss with your partner your desire to be a closer couple, and talk about the things that might be pushing you apart. Then resolve to change as much as you can and enjoy moving closer together. It may take a little time, but it’s worth it.

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. is an award-winning psychotherapist. He is also a columnist, the author of eight books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with nearly 35 million readers. He is available for in-person and video consults worldwide. You can reach him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com

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