No matter how deeply you love and care for someone, you can easily grow apart if you stop investing in the relationship. While you may feel strongly about them, you can still make way for complacency and stagnancy without even knowing it.

If you’ve been feeling disconnected from your partner, make sure you take active measures to set things right. Start by having a real, honest, and vulnerable conversation about what caused the rift. Once you have some clarity, begin to undo the damage.

Here are some tips to help you grow with your partner and feel more connected:

Be Attentive

Heather opened the door just as Gabe raised his hand to knock.

“You could have called,” she accused, her mouth tight with anger.


“About being an hour late for our date.”

“What date…?” With a flash, Gabe remembered some talk of catching a movie, but interrupted by Chloe, they’d never finished making plans. He’d blown it again.

“I’m sick of this,” she said. “I’ve had enough of being an afterthought.”

“Wait, Heather…”

In “Lonesome Mountain,” Patricia Hartmann beautifully captures the essence of showing up by narrating the opposite. Sometimes, you don’t have to go all out. The power of being attentive, showing up, and seeing things through is greater than you may think.

Over time, many couples get comfortable and begin to drift apart because they stop paying attention to the little things. This can put a strain on your relationship, resulting in your partner developing feelings of resentment.

Make sure you pay attention to the little things: their likes, dislikes, penchants, etc. Weave this information into conversations to show that you care. As long as you take an interest and consciously try to further your relationship, you’ll manage to grow with your partner.

Continue reading “Lonesome Mountain” to follow Gabe on his journey to learning from his mistakes and becoming a better partner. What does the future look like for him? Does he end up finding what he’s looking for? Or does life crumble around him as he gets caught in the web of indifference?

Be Open and Communicative

Communication is one of the primary foundations of a strong relationship. If you think your partner has stopped investing time, energy, and love into the relationship, discuss your concerns with them. Similarly, if you think you’re the cause of the fray, apologize to your partner and promise to do better.

As long as you maintain an open line of communication, you’ll manage to address each problem as it develops instead of shoving it under the rug. Over time, this will bring you closer to your partner.

Participate in Their Interests (and Vice Versa)

Is your partner passionate about watching period films? Do they love rock-climbing? Perhaps they’re fond of reconnecting with nature, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

One of the best ways to grow with your partner is taking an interest in their interests. Plan a date that may be out of your comfort zone but is right up their alley. As you do things together, you’ll show them how much you care and make beautiful memories.

Gabe pulled the sleigh up in front of the farmhouse. Gypsy pawed the ground, eager for a romp in the snow. Wearing a colorful knitted cap and a devilish smile, Gabe asked, “You up for a sleigh ride this morning?”

She raced down the front porch stairs. “You bet.” It was the stuff of dreams. What girl hadn’t fantasized about a romantic sleigh ride in the woods. “Is this for real?”

“For real and just for you.” Gabe lifted up the heavy lap robe for her to scoot in next to him on the velvet seat.

You get the gist?

In this excerpt from “Lonesome Mountain,” you can sense Gabe’s interest in showing up for a mystery woman. Is this the same woman as before? And what’s the timeline? Did Gabe get his heart broken and shut off the idea of love? Or did he eventually come around to it?

Go ahead and grab your copy of “Lonesome Mountain” this Christmas to discover how the story unfolds. The beautiful narrative will help you find new ways to grow with your partner and strengthen your relationship.

If you’re looking for more historical and modern fiction novels to read this winter, click herefor a glimpse into Patricia Hartmann’s complete body of work.