6 Ways to Be Vulnerable in Love

Being courageous is not synonymous to the absence of fear. In fact, being brave always holds a degree of doubt and uncertainty, but it’s about taking the leap anyway. The same principle applies to relationships. Just because you decide to be involved with someone romantically, doesn’t mean you necessarily stop being afraid, but when you practice being open to failure, heartache, and growth, you allow yourself to build something worthwhile and fulfilling. Are you having difficulty opening up? Psych2Go shares with you 6 ways to be vulnerable in love:

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1. Admit and own up to your mistakes.

Relationships often suffer because pride is prioritized more than admitting and owning up to one’s mistakes. When you practice vulnerability, it’s about being self-aware and exposing your flaws and quirks openly and honestly. Often, we may focus on being superior because we’re afraid of letting our guards down. So, we hold onto our pride and ego instead of admitting our flaws in fear that our partner will judge us. But, this only causes us to hold back instead. To break through the walls that we create, it’s important to have a healthy perception of ourselves and leave room for growth and improvement.

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2. Listen to your partner’s needs and difficulties without quickly trying to problem-solve.

It’s important to figure out effective solutions to problems instead of letting them consume you, but it’s hard to obtain the mindset of problem-solving when the emotions initially hit you hard. When your partner is struggling with a situation, it’s essential to be mindful about the pain or distress they’re experiencing. Although you may have good intentions when you want to help them move forward by recommending solutions, sometimes what they may seek is just a shoulder to cry on. Being vulnerable means not only being in touch with your own emotions, but the emotions of your partner, too.

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3. Learn to let go of your control.

There’s nothing wrong with being headstrong or being a leader if that’s naturally who you are. But if you’re used to taking the lead and often make decisions for both you and your partner, then you’re not demonstrating vulnerability. Perhaps your need for control comes from your fear of things not going the way you want them to.

If you have difficulty giving up the reigns and allowing your partner to take the initiative, then you may be carving a one-sided relationship. It’s important to learn how to let go every once in a while. This shows that you trust your partner, but when you can’t give up control, it can make you seem dismissive or hard to approach during times of disagreement.

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4. Hold onto who you are without allowing shame or embarrassment stop you from being real.

Sustain a strong sense of self and never feel as though you have to dumb yourself down or worry about being too nice. If you like reading certain books or enjoy doing random acts of kindness, then do what feels right and natural for you. Pretending like you don’t have specific interests that you are actually passionate about will only keep you from finding someone who believes in nurturing and respecting your true self.

Know that it’s okay to have opinions or perspectives that are different from your partner’s. You should never have to compromise who you are to be with someone. Nor should you always rely on your partner to pick yourself up, because that’s exercising codependency, not vulnerability. Recognize when you need to assert yourself and realize that your partner can’t be vulnerable either if they’re not seeing your authentic self.

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5. Check in with reality.

Geraldine Piorkowski, author of Too Close for Comfort: Exploring the Risks of Intimacy, writes, “Rather than invalidating what you’re feeling, it can help to have a different perspective on whether your emotions—and the actions that follow from them—are in line with the facts of what’s actually happening.” When you’re feeling insecure, it’s easy to distort reality with self-deprecating thoughts. This is why it can be refreshing to ask your partner to help you figure out whether or not what you’re seeing is, in fact, true.

When we get caught up in our emotions, it’s hard not to be absorbed and set in our perceptions. Ask yourself whether or not you may be reading too much into a text or how often you think your partner is cheating on you is affected from your past experiences. Make sure to always check in with reality before trying to determine what it is without actual evidence.

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6. Help your partner feel safe.

When you express vulnerability, it’s not just about being open with your own thoughts, needs, and emotions. It also means being receptive and empathetic to the thoughts, needs, and emotions of your partner. If your partner has difficulty being vulnerable, let them know that you are willing to go at a pace they are comfortable with.

It’s important to establish communication that feels safe for the both of you to talk things out, rather than bottling your feelings up because you’re afraid your partner will dismiss them. Encourage them to let you in, but do it in a non-pushy, non-aggressive manner. Love can’t be forced nor rushed, but it can always be welcomed.

What is holding your heart back? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!

 

References:

Schreiber, K. (2016, January 14). Yes, Being Vulnerable Is Terrifying—But Here’s Why It’s So Worth It. Greatist. Retrieved December 28, 2017.

Seltzer, L. (2015, October 7). Courage in Relationships: Conquering Vulnerability and Fear. Psychology Today. Retrieved December 28, 2017.

Weber, J. (2017, September 30). Can You Be Vulnerable in Love? Psychology Today. Retrieved December 28, 2017.

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