What does it mean to be vulnerable in a relationship?
If you look up the word vulnerability in the dictionary, the results don’t look all that promising. You’ll end up seeing expressions like, “capable of being wounded or hurt” or “Susceptible to attacks.”
We can all agree that nobody in their right mind wants to be hurt or feel weak, especially not in front of someone they love.
The good news is, being vulnerable in front of your partner isn’t a weakness at all — it’s actually something that will strengthen your romantic relationship.
To be vulnerable with a partner means showing them your true self, including your fears, dreams, and emotions. However, not everyone is comfortable showing vulnerability in relationships — that’s why we’re here to help!
Keep reading to find out how being vulnerable will help your relationship and 6 ways to make it happen.
Why Is It Important to Show Vulnerability in Relationships?
Being completely open and honest with your spouse or partner can be a little scary at first.
After all, you want your partners to see the best in you. You don’t want them to know what keeps you up at night or point out your insecurities. However, there are many benefits to being vulnerable with your significant other.
Here are some of the ways that vulnerability in relationships can help strengthen them.
When we are in a relationship with someone, we want them to see the best in us. We want to seem absolutely perfect. Perfection is great when you’re filling out a job application, but not when you’re trying to connect with a romantic partner.
Perfection is boring, unattainable, and may just leave your partner feeling bad about themselves. On the other hand, the more vulnerable you are, the more relatable and “human” you become to your partner.
Boost Partner Intimacy
Intimacy is both a sexual and emotional bond you share with your partner, and you cannot have satisfying intimacy without vulnerability in the mix. Showing your vulnerable side to your spouse means giving yourself to them wholeheartedly.
It’s easy to have empathy for someone’s thoughts, feelings, and problems when you know who they are deep down. The more willing partners are to share vulnerable moments, the stronger their empathy will be for one another.
Embrace Your True Self
As you open up and connect with your spouse or partner, you start to build trust in one another. Your significant other knows you’ll always be honest with them, and you know that your partner will never judge your thoughts or feelings, which can help you begin to let go of some of your self-judgment.
Open up to True Love
As cheesy as it might sound, it’s true! The walls you’ve built up in your heart were put there to protect you from getting hurt, but they are also preventing you from fully loving and committing to someone new.
How to Show Vulnerability in Relationships
For some, showing vulnerability in relationships is awkward, emotional, and sometimes downright uncomfortable. So, how do you do it?((Huffington Post: How To Be More Vulnerable In Your Relationship (Even If It Scares You))) Here are some simple tips to help you learn how to open up and share your inner self.
1. Take Baby Steps
You can’t learn to run until you learn to walk. Being vulnerable with your spouse doesn’t mean you have to share your every insecurity right off the bat. Start small by opening up about little things.
The longer you practice opening up about the little things, the easier it will be to start sharing bigger parts of your life with your partner.
2. Be Open About Your Struggles
If you’re someone who doesn’t naturally share their feelings, be honest about it!
Let your partner know that you struggle with vulnerability and reassure them that your feelings on the matter have nothing to do with who they are as a person.
Tell them this is something that you’re working on and ask for their patience as you go through this journey together.
3. Get to the Root of Your Discomfort
If you’re not crazy about opening up with your spouse or partner, it can be helpful to ask yourself why. If you love and trust your partner, why wouldn’t you want to take your relationship to the next level?
It could be that you’ve been burned in the past by a friend, romantic partner, or family member, and now you’re reluctant to trust someone new with your heart.
Whatever the case, getting to the bottom of your refusal to share can help you work through past problems.
4. Be Honest
We’re often so caught in what we think our partner wants us to be, especially at the beginning of a new relationship, that we sometimes forget that the person we are deep down is pretty awesome, too.
Practice being honest with your significant other. When they ask for your opinion, give it. Don’t tip-toe around the question or give the answer you think they want to hear. Be uniquely you.
5. Ask for Help
If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask your partner to lend a hand/a listening ear/whatever you need at that moment.
The more willing you are to ask for help, the easier it will be to express your worries, insecurities, etc. with your spouse. In turn, you will learn how to communicate and build emotional security.
If you’re not sure how to go about asking for help, this article may be able to help.
6. Practice Self-Love
The more you love yourself, the easier it will be to open up to other people about who you are. You have to be able to look in the mirror and say, “I’m not perfect, and that’s okay!”
This isn’t an overnight journey by any means, but loving your good qualities and being okay with the ones that still need work will help you feel comfortable sharing your truths with the one you love.
The Bottom Line
The thought of being vulnerable in relationships may make you queasy at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it will feel. Strengthen your relationship, build trust, and establish empathy by showing your partner your real thoughts and feelings.
More Tips on Vulnerability
- Why Showing Vulnerability Actually Proves Your Strength
- 5 Reasons to Embrace Vulnerability
- Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable
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