Vulnerability And Trust In Relationships: How To Let Your Guard Down

By: Lori Jean Glass

Being in a relationship means letting the other person in and allowing them to see you for who you truly are, insecurities and all. Unfortunately, not all of us find it easy to share our deepest feelings and thoughts. In fact, for many people, building trust in relationships is one of the hardest aspects of being in one.

Building emotional intimacy with your partner wouldn’t be possible unless you trust them and feel comfortable being vulnerable around them. Naturally, it can be difficult to trust someone who’s dealing with commitment issues but learning how to trust your partner is a must if you want the relationship to work.

Read on to learn how to let your guard down in a relationship and trust your partner.

Can You Be In Love With Someone And Not Trust Them?

We don’t choose who we love, that’s just the way it is. Even if you feel like you shouldn’t trust your partner for one reason or another, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have deep feelings for them. However, a relationship can hardly work unless both parties are willing to show trust. In fact, trust should be the cornerstone of any relationship. Without it, disappointments and conflicts in your relationship are bound to pile up, often reaching a breaking point if not addressed properly.

Why Trust Is Important In A Relationship

Lack of trust is one of the most common reasons for breakups. Unless both parties are willing to build their partnership on trust, it’s likely that they will encounter countless issues later on. Here’s why trust is essential:

  • It’s hard to feel comfortable around someone you can’t trust.
  • Mutual trust is necessary for overcoming relationship obstacles.
  • Trust issues can be a great source of anxiety and stress.
  • Trust enables you to be your true self around your partner.

Is Being Vulnerable A Weakness?

Being vulnerable is hard. We can never know how other people will treat us, and risking showing our true feelings and opening up our hearts just to end up hurt and disappointed is a frightening thought. But just because vulnerability is scary to most of us doesn’t mean that it’s a weakness. On the contrary, being vulnerable takes outstanding courage and is absolutely necessary for building meaningful relationships.

To be vulnerable means to truly feel and let our emotions show. If we approach vulnerability as a weakness, we do the same with our feelings, and our feelings are more than valid. Respecting and embracing our deepest feelings and letting them show is the only way to build genuine and lasting connections with other people. So, no, vulnerability is not a weakness – if anything, it’s a strength and a great one at that.

How To Be Vulnerable In A Relationship

If you are struggling with being vulnerable in a relationship, know that you aren’t alone. Most of us have trouble letting our guard down and admitting that we’re insecure or afraid. Still, putting up a brave front will only distance you from your partner. Luckily, we can all change – it’s never too late to learn how to be more vulnerable.

Make Examining Your Feelings A Habit

Avoiding and suppressing emotions will only lead to deeper insecurities and distance you from your true self. Only if you make an effort to check in with yourself on a regular basis and clarify how you really feel will enable you to understand and accept who you really are.

Face Your Fears And Insecurities

Running away from your fears will do you no good. Instead, you should focus on precisely the thoughts and feelings that cause you distress. By reaching the parts of yourself that are buried deep, you’ll be able to integrate the negative and hurtful aspects of your personality and become more comfortable with vulnerability.

Share Your Thoughts And Passions

Just as you should face the dark parts of yourself, you should also freely speak about anything that makes you happy or that you’re passionate about. Even if you think that your wishes and goals may sound silly or stupid to some, open up anyways and let your partner see what actually moves you in life.

How Do You Know If You Can Trust Someone?

While learning how to show trust in a relationship is extremely important, that doesn’t mean that you should trust everybody. In the dating phase or early in a relationship, it can be hard to know if the other person is trustworthy or not. If you spot the following behaviors, you may want to reconsider the relationship:

  • They accuse you of behaviors they are guilty of. If your partner or love interest gets jealous for no reason and accuses you of being dishonest, they may be projecting their own flaws on you. They don’t trust themselves and, in turn, can’t trust anyone else.
  • They lack empathy. Untrustworthy people don’t care if they’ve hurt someone. And if they do feel guilty, they will rationalize their actions in all kinds of ways, trying to diminish the impact that their behavior has on other people.
  • They are fickle in decision-making. If you’re dating a person who’s volatile and inconsistent in their behavior, don’t be surprised if they turn out to be unfaithful or dishonest. Such individuals don’t seem to know what they want and tend to be untrustworthy.
  • They share other people’s secrets. This one applies to both romantic relationships and friendships. If they gossip and talk about things that were said to them in confidence, rest assured that they will do the same to you too.
  • They lie even to themselves. If you notice that the person you’re with sees themselves in a way that’s wildly inconsistent with how other people see them, you may want to pass on the relationship. This means that they don’t want to face the painful truth about themselves so they create their own reality.

The PIVOT Process: Positive Change Is Possible

If you’re struggling with trust in your relationships, know that things can always change for the better. Learning to trust is a choice – it may take some time and considerable effort, but the results will undoubtedly be worth it. Close relationships are built on trust and overcoming your trust issues is the only way to connect to your partner on a deeper level.

Sometimes, we all need a helping hand when it comes to our relationship struggles. With guidance from PIVOT Advocates, you can work your way towards healthier relationships and a greater understanding of both your partner and yourself.

At PIVOT, we provide help to individuals struggling with a wide variety of problems, including trust issues, low self-esteem, or codependency problems in relationships. We offer effective relationship coaching for individuals and couples, as well as intensive relationship workshops and 5-day retreats at the Glass House. Contact us today!

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