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We often think about jet lag when we are traveling between different time zones and countries, but we can also experience jet lag in our relationships. Feeling jet lag in a relationship occurs when the relationship is out of sync.

There can be many reasons for feeling out of sync in our relationships. Often as relationships experience change it can create feelings of being out of sync or not being attuned like we may have been in the relationship.

Some of those changes can be:

  • time restraints-not being able to hang out as much as we would like due to other responsibilities or personal needs
  • distance restraints-someone is traveling or has had a recent move
  • changes in activities that one of the friends need to do now
  • changes in goals and personal pursuits
  • additional new friends or family needing one of the friend’s time or attention
  • personal growth in one of the friends which could change the existing dynamics of the friendship

What does jet lag look like in a relationship?

  • Struggling to feel connected to the person
  • Feeling distracted and unable to focus
  • Trouble transitioning in the relationship
  • Finding reasons to not engage or get together
  • Misunderstanding conversations or situations that previously would not have been a concern

If you are feeling some of these emotions, there are some ways to work on resolving the feeling of jet lag:

Pay Attention.

It is important to pay attention to our friendships and when something about the relationship feels different, take the time to evaluate what may be going on.


Often, we can become on autopilot in our relationships and when that happens it can become hard to be able to adapt, change and grow in our relationships. We may not always realize we are living on autopilot until someone brings that to our attention.


Choosing to share honestly how we are feeling and what we need in our relationships is crucial to working through jet lags and the natural transitions that come in our relationships.

Take Responsibility.

Taking responsibility for our own thoughts, feeling and actions and how we share those is needed as we work through jet lag and changes that come with relationships.

Be Open.

While it is important to know and understand our self in jet lag, it is equally important to listen and understand what the other person in the relationship is thinking and feeling.

Be Your Best Self.

Continue to work on yourself. Work towards understanding your own thoughts, emotions and needs. Be sure you are taking good care of yourself. Being your best will help you bring a healthy person into the relationship which is needed for the best relationship with someone else.


With all relationships, there will need to be healthy compromise as both people in a relationship work together to have the best relationship for both.

Transitions will happen in all relationships and how we learn to manage them is crucial to maintaining and growing healthy relationships.

Some ways to work through transitions together are:

  • Know the best way for you to work through them
  • Know your needs in times of transitions
  • Be open to the needs of both people
  • Listen and acknowledge what the other person is sharing
  • Work towards meeting the needs of both people in the relationship
  • Be willing to compromise and to try to develop the best solution for both people

If you are struggling with transitions in your relationships, our therapists are here to help. They would love to help you better understand where you may feel jet lag or be struggling in your relationships. For more information please see:  https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/relationship-issues/