How To Be More Open In A Relationship (11 Vital Tips)

In healthy relationships, the normal thing is to give and receive. You give attention and get the same in return. You give your time to be with the one you desire and expect that they will spend as much time with you as possible. You reveal your own emotions to your man just as much as he allows you to peel back the layers of his personality. 

Being open in your relationship isn’t the same as having an open relationship. In open relationships, you may or may not share feelings and emotions with your partner because you are allowed to see other people.

Depending on the depth of your feelings for the man and the number of years you’ve been with him, being open might not be a big deal for either of you as long as your partner feels comfortable.

However, if your relationship is exclusive and you’ve promised to be committed to him, then you owe him openness and honesty. If you cannot share your deepest desires, aspirations, needs, and even secrets with your man, you might as well stay single or have only flings.

At the same time, it can be hard for you to be open if you’ve never had to be before. If you’ve never been in a committed relationship before, you might still handle the relationship as though you were single. 

11 Tips For Being More Open In A Relationship

If you fall into this category, how can you become more open in your relationship? Are there steps to take to achieve effective open conversation with your partner that make you feel emotionally safe and completely comfortable? 

This article offers tips if you have a hard time opening up. The tips will help you communicate better and overcome boundaries if you struggle with certain situations concerning intimacy with your partner. 

1. Why are you normally closed off?

The first step to achieving openness in your relationship is to confront the reason why you are closed off in the first place. Why do you shy away from creating an emotional connection with the guys you date? Why do you avoid important talks or get testy when your partner asks you something personal? 

The key to having a healthy relationship through open communication and conversation is to address the reason you avoid it. If you’ve always opted for an open relationship with little to no commitment in the past, you cannot magically become an open person. 

Now that you have decided to try a serious relationship, you need to understand what triggers your distrust in people. Is it a particular opening statement? An offhand comment that most people don’t pay attention to or, an action that represents something hurtful from your past?

While coming to this understanding will not automatically make you trust your man, it will help you know what problem to focus on and how to talk to him better. 

2. Accept that it might take a while to really open up

accept that it might take a while to really open up

Knowing that you can’t reveal everything to the man, you can start working on yourself. Having a lightbulb moment in your reflective mood can make you want to get things over and done with, especially if you’re a control freak. 

However, your process from point A to point B might require a lot more than rushing through your healing. The relationships that last long are usually the types that thrived despite challenges, not for lack of them. 

If you think your relationship deserves the opportunity to thrive, then you need to be patient with yourself. If you don’t, you’ll crash and burn, while taking yourself back to square one. 

3. Take small steps to open up

Most healings happen gradually because the body is trying to adjust to normal after undergoing disruption. Similarly, you have to take baby steps to repair the damage to your emotional health. If your relationship is to go beyond surviving day-to-day challenges, you need to try honest talking and openness. One of the baby steps to achieving this is to carry your partner along.

If you’ve been used to being in an open relationship it might take you a while to master openness with just one man. When you begin, talking openly about yourself will feel uncomfortable because you used to keep your feelings and secrets close to your chest. Heck, you might not succeed at opening up with the first man you try it with. 

The most important thing is that you’re trying by having a conversation. It might be difficult at first to cope with the heartbreak or fear that comes with being open with people, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually and will feel safe. 

4. Listen to your partner more than you speak to him

Breaking boundaries and being open leaves you exposed, but it has its benefits. When you open your thoughts, mind, and feelings to your partner, you get to see all the parts they hide from everyone else. If he is a good guy who cares about you, he won’t hide his feelings from you and will feel comfortable with you opening up. 

Being with a guy who ensures that there is a balance between his good and weak sides is the best any woman can hope for in a relationship. 

However, you need to talk less and if you have been trying to cover up his attempts at being open with mindless chatter, it is time to deal with things differently and actively listen to what he has to say. By listening, you will absorb new information about him, which will better break any fear or boundaries and initiate interesting conversations between both of you.

5. Offer your partner unsolicited information

When you practice active listening, you really have no choice but to reciprocate. If you act too sensitive or are feeling uncomfortable, he would know that you’re still struggling with openness, so he won’t push you. It is his way of saying, you’re in charge and can proceed when you are ready. 

Relationships, where the other person isn’t sensitive to the other’s needs, will only make the emotionally unavailable partner more closed off. Being in a relationship with someone offering you a blank emotional check is good, so you should take advantage of that.

You can make use of his understanding by offering him information when he doesn’t ask for it. It could be in the form of telling him stories from your past, or what happened at work today. The information doesn’t have to be huge, it should just reveal a new layer that your partner hadn’t seen before. 

6. Use vulnerable words and actions

use vulnerable words and actions

If you normally avoid showing emotions, you will tend to avoid words that leave you feeling emotionally open and honest. You also skim over important details and pass across your message in basic, toneless expressions. Your past relationships have probably failed because of this fact and now you’re scared this new one will fail too.

You can build a strong emotional connection in your relationship with vulnerable words and actions. For example, replace, “I bought you lunch”, with “thought you might be hungry darling, so I decided to spend my lunch break with you.” This action shows that you care and you were able to express it in words too.

7. Try asking him questions that you’ll have to answer too

Another way to practice openness in your relationship is by asking questions. Conversations start through different means including questions. If the only time you initiate conversations with your partner is when you need something from him, you need to change your approach. Asking questions can be one of those new things to try. 

By asking questions, you give him the chance to turn the same questions on you. Knowing that you will have to answer these questions, try to avoid asking too many questions or ones that will make you or him feel defensive. Keep it simple and uncontroversial for the first few times you try this. With time, you can start asking the tough questions.

8. Be expressive with your body gestures

Opening up is all about communication and how you do it. Nonverbal expressions and your body language are all part of effective and wholesome communication. You can use your facial expressions, body language, and even sexual language to practice openness in your relationship. For instance, if you want your man to push beyond your sexual boundaries without being overly vulnerable, you can use your gestures to let him know.

Except you’re in a non-monogamous relationship or open relationship that doesn’t call for fidelity or exclusive intimacy, you can decide to express openness with your partner through sex. However, if both of you are committed to each other, both of you should be able to learn what the other person is saying with body gestures only.

9. Express your desire with clear words

express your desire with clear words

Some people in open relationships pretend they are okay with the arrangement, while others have no problem with the way things are. Such people have no issues lying to their partners because neither of them hardly expects sincerity in that kind of relationship. 

However, it wouldn’t be fair on your committed partner if you hold back on him when he is as open as he can be. One way to be more open is to say what you feel exactly how you feel it. Avoid sugarcoating or oversimplifying how you feel just because you don’t want to appear mushy. 

If you feel like hugging or kissing him for no reason, tell him, then do it. It doesn’t make you less of an independent woman. 

10. Is your partner closed off too?

It is one thing to have one emotionally unavailable partner in a relationship, it is another thing for both partners to be closed-off. If both of you find it hard to be open, the problem in your relationship is bigger than something you can resolve with your efforts only. 

Yes, you need your partner to help you become more open, but if he is struggling with the same issue, both of you have a lot of work to do.

If it is a new relationship, it is good that you discover this at the beginning when you feel ready. This way, you can decide if both of you can work on yourselves. Then, ask him if he is willing to be more open too. If he says yes and takes steps to do so, your relationship has potential. If he doesn’t make attempts to try, you might want to consider backing out.

11. Don’t be alarmed if you relapse in the process

Like every recovery process, there is a chance of relapsing and going back to old habits. Instead of writing yourself off as incapable of being open, just talk things through with your partner and get back on track.

If the relationship is to excel, you have to master the art of vulnerability and openness. The best time to do both is when you think you’re weak, especially during your relapsing period. 

FAQs

Why is it hard to open up to someone you love?

If you are finding it hard to be open with the person you love, it’s probably because you don’t trust them. And if you don’t trust them, it means you don’t know them as much as you would love to.

Why can't I open up emotionally?

You aren’t emotionally open in your relationship because someone or people have burned you in the past. You’ve entrusted your feelings to them, but they mishandled them. So, you decided it’s better to avoid emotional exploitation.

How do I get him to open up emotionally?

If you’re in a relationship with an emotionally closed-off man, you can make him open up more by asking subtle questions. When veiled properly, these questions will give you an idea of what’s going on in his head.

How can I get better at opening up?

You can become more open in a relationship by first deciding to do so. You most likely know what you’ve been missing by being closed off, and you know you can only get the best out of your relationship by practicing openness. Once you decide to be more open, it will be easier to take steps toward achieving it. Talk more to him and as you talk, listen to him carefully.

How do you fix emotional distance in a relationship?

You can bridge the emotional distance between you and your partner by making both of you see that there is a problem. If both of you acknowledge that there is a distance tearing the relationship apart, you can try to work it out together or get professional help.

In Conclusion

Opening up in a relationship isn’t impossible even if you’ve had the most horrible experience with honest communication. Once you have a partner who is willing to get through the difficult process of opening up, both of you will reap the benefits of an open relationship. 

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