Relationships: Is It Normal For Someone To Shut Down If Their Partner Is Not Responsive?

At the start of a relationship, one may find that their partner is fairly or even extremely responsive. What this means is that this person will listen to what they have to say, stop doing certain things if they have negative effect on them, and be open to feedback, amongst other things.

In other words, one will feel seen and heard by this person, and they will know that they exist when they are around them. Along with this, one will most likely behave in the same way when they are around this person.

An Affirming Experience

Being around someone like this is going to have a positive one ones mental and emotional health. There will be how they feel when they are in their presence and there will be how they feel when they are not.

If they were to think about this person, they could think about how perfect they are and even how grateful they are that they have met someone like this. What this may show is that they have only been with them for a short period of time.

An Uplifting Effect

When they are not with this person, they could spend a lot of time thinking about them and going over the positive feelings that they have experienced with them. While this may mean that they are not as present as they usually are, their energy can be far better than it usually is.

As a result of this, their friends, family and colleagues will know that something in their life has changed. They will probably know this anyway, but even if they were not aware of the fact that one is in a relationship, their general demeanour would more or less make this clear.

A Harmonious Flow

If one was to compare their relationship to something else, they might compare it to dancing. The reason for this is that, like a two people that dance together, both one and their partner will work together.

In a dance, one person will move their body and the other person will move their body shortly after; whereas when it comes to their relationship, one of them will speak and the other will listen, for instance. One and their partner are then going to be working together, as opposed to working against each other.

Staying Awake

As their relationship progresses, both of them may find that it is a lot harder for them to be this way. However, thanks to their fondness for each other and their commitment to their own growth, they may do what they can to make sure that they don’t switch off.

This may mean that one or both of them will need to learn more about relationships or that one of both of them will need to work with a therapist/healer. Ultimately, they will do what it takes to stay present and to be there for each other.

Another Scenario

Now, while this is what will take place in some relationships, there are going to be others where something very different occurs. Here, someone may find that their partner becomes less responsive as time goes by.

In the beginning, then, they may have been fairly or even extremely responsive, but as time has passed this will have changed. It could be as if they are with a completely different person.


So while they will have felt seen and heard during the start of their relationship, they won’t feel this way now. When they are with their partner, they may have moments when they wonder if they even exist.

The reason for this is that it may seem as though their partner is not really there anymore. One could bring this up and talk about things that are bothering them, only to find that their partner is not listening or interested in what they have to say.

One Outcome

Or, even if there are moments when they pay attention to what one has to say, it doesn’t mean that anything will happen. Their partner could continue to behave in the same way as before.

After experiencing this for a little while, one may end up shutting down. They will then have gone from being full of energy and feeling alive at one point, to having no energy and feeling dead at another.


One will then still be in a relationship with this person, but like them, they will have checked out. Physically they will be there but they won’t be there emotionally, and this will have most likely taken place to protect them.

Being in tune with how they feel around someone like this will be painful, so shutting down will be a way for them to minimize the amount of pain that they experience. The trouble is that while this may stop them from experiencing painful feelings, it will also stop them from experiencing pleasurable feelings.

No Way to Live

It will be as if one is trying to dance with someone who doesn’t want to move and this will have stopped them from trying to move. Their energy will have changed and it will be vital for them to do something about this.

If their partner is not willing to communicate or to change their behaviour, they may need to cut their ties with them. The truth is that they don’t deserve to experience life in this way.

Four Stupid Things People Say When You’re Grieving From a Misfortune

We’ve all been in an unfortunate circumstance that made us grieve. Either the loss of a loved one, financial difficulty, dismissal from a job, failure in an exam, a painful breakup, a deal that fell through, betrayal, public embarrassment, family issues, a health challenge, or simply, clinical depression. What makes those events all the more painful is that they are mostly unforeseen-they take place suddenly, when we are least prepared against their effects. The fact that we have no control over most of the difficulties in our lives can be extremely devastating.

Sometimes when these unfortunate events happen, we just want to shut the whole world out, and grieve alone, but usually, we seek out those we feel love us, and narrate our ordeal with them in order for them to lift us up with their words. Unfortunately, most things we hear during our period of difficulty do little to lift us out of our predicament, and some even make us feel more miserable. At times, it’s better to just pet a person while they grieve or sob, without saying a word, than to make some stupid statements. Here are four stupid things that people say to a grieving person that do little to lift them out of their grief:

  1. “Just forget it” or “It’s nothing”: This stupid statement is very common. A person has just been betrayed by a trusted friend, or has suffered public humiliation, and what comes to your mind is that it’s nothing. You tell them to just forget it. It may mean nothing to you because you’re not in their shoes, but it means something to THEM, and so you have to respect that. Human beings are wired to choose the easiest path in solving a problem. If it were that easy to forget it, or if it comes naturally, that would be our first line of action. They wouldn’t grieve in the first place. Often, I’ve heard a person tell another after a breakup from someone they love, “Just forget him and move on!” as if it were that easy. We can say this in a different way that would not make a grieving person feel as if you’re dismissive of their problem. Simply put-it’s stupid to ask a person in deep pain to just brush aside the pain and get going.
  2. “You’re a man”: So what? Who ever made the rule that a man is never meant to grieve? Who stereotyped men as robots without a heart? Immediately a man begins to show signs of sorrow or heartbreak, people begin to brandish this stupid statement. “You’re a man. You’re not meant to cry!” Says who, please? He had a wife, and she died suddenly, leaving him with a small child and a big hole in the heart. Let him grieve, please. He lost his job in a sudden retrenchment, and he is the head of the family. Why shouldn’t he grieve? He’s a man, and he’s got a heart. If this is all you’ve got to say, just continue to pat him on the back in silence instead. It’s a stupid statement not worth saying.
  3. “God brought it to pass”: God and Satan take the blame for a lot more than they are responsible for. When people misbehave, they blame Satan. When misfortune strikes, they blame God. God did not strike your child with a disease. “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh,” they say, resignedly. Well, the correct statement is “The Lord giveth, Satan stealeth, killeth, and destroyeth.” The Bible says that no one should ever say when a misfortune comes, that God is behind his predicament, because God is incapable of doing evil (James 1:13). Rather, Satan is responsible for the stealing, killing, and destruction that abounds (John 10:10). Stop blaming God. He’s innocent. Encourage the grieving person to wage the battle against the devil and claim their victory. Does it make sense that God would make you lose your source of livelihood and be begging on the streets? What kind of loving Father would do that? God might take a smaller blessing from you in order to give you a bigger one, though.
  4. “You’re a Christian”: A Christian is someone who is like Jesus Christ. Which brings me to the question, “Did Jesus grieve when He was on earth?” “Did He weep?” Yes, He did. Jesus wept when Lazarus died (John 11:35). Jesus grieved when a group of people did not want Him to heal a man with a withered hand (Mark 3:5). The hypocrisy, stubbornness and wickedness of their hearts caused Jesus grief.

And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth your hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored as the other. (Mark 3:5-6)

Jesus was in severe agony when He prayed in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). He cried out in frustration on the cross when He felt a separation between Him and God (Mark 15:34). Why do we think that Jesus was less human in emotions then we are? David is another example of a great man in the Bible that wept bitterly on some occasions. When his son Absalom died, he wept bitterly (2 Sam 18:33, 19:4). When his and his soldiers’ wives and children were kidnapped, he and his men wept until they had no more energy to weep (1 Sam 30:3-4). David and his men did not arrive to see his city burnt down and the women and children taken captives, and get up in anger and say, “What nonsense?! Let’s go after these people at once!” They first wept their eyes sore and their voices hoarse. In fact, they were only able to think clearly because they had no more energy to weep. If they had a little more energy to weep, they would definitely have wept some more. Being a Christian does not mean that your humanity is taken away. As a matter of fact, the Bible commands us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and grieve with those that grieve (Romans 12:15). These are simply examples from so many in the Bible. It’s stupid to rebuke a person for grieving simply on grounds that they are Christian.

Authentic Partnerships Empower

What is an authentic partnership? While we form many partnerships throughout life, some are just temporary, some fall apart over time, but the most valuable ones, the essential partnerships are constructed for the long-term, based on mutual respect and personal regard. How important are authentic partnerships in your life?

I recently attended a presentation, “Bravo Zulu”. Dr. Jennifer Carson shared vast information about the relationships we form and how we value each. While she originally focused on the military, examining the various branches and what partnerships might mean to each, I found that every bit of her information was vital for any and all relationships. The more we share and care, the stronger the bonds created.

Certain elements make for a empowerment, equality, and collective capacity. These include having a genuine regard for oneself as well as other members of the partnership, focusing on shared goals and processes, and constructing interconnectedness that builds energy and trust. A shared vision, a belief in one another, decision-making that reflects the wants and needs of all, and using perspectives of self and others to determine the best steps forward.

Some of the requirements to expand relationships include regular reflection and dialogue. Think about a movie you have watched where the characters are mired in confusion and mistrust. As viewers, we have often seen the multiple sides of the situation, however, the actors appear oblivious to external events. Imagine if they just talked? They might then connect and commit to a direction that could solve problems. With conversation comes the idea of a safe place: “I shared and it was accepted; now I can speak once again.” Or the opposite: “That was horrendous – time to cut and run!”

When we value perspectives, ideas, and ideals, relationships grow. Diversity is respected just as commonality is enjoyed and revered. Once the communication gates are open, partners can work to keep them open, or to close them slightly or temporarily when going forward is too painfully, too close to the heart. What a difference one-on-one time makes in designing strength and extending connections.

As mentioned, relationships come in many forms: parent or guardian 1 to parent or guardian 2; parents to children; sibling to sibling; extended family to other family members. Those within this realm are often the toughest, referencing the old adage, “You can choose your friends, but your family has already been chosen.” Like it or not, family is yours forever. Even moving, cutting people off, slicing the ties while adding distance, do not make individuals less related. So why not just talk? Why not try to communicate? Why not consider a relationship? Why not some authenticity?