Vulnerability is something many people struggle with in relationships. The fear of opening yourself up completely to another person only to have your feelings used against you or ignored can be devastating.
How do you know when it is ok to be vulnerable with your partner?
Is there an unspoken time frame of dating that lets you know it is ok to allow yourself to be vulnerable?
I think it all depends on how comfortable you are with your partner at any stage of your relationship. I certainly don’t think you should bring up the topic of childhood traumas on a first date but sometimes things come up and depending on the maturity level of your partner talking about it just flows naturally between the two of you.
As a writer, I find that being vulnerable is one of the keys to my success. It’s not always easy, telling the truth and allowing other people to pick you apart or judge you but at the end of the day I realize that I am not the only one who has experienced some of the uglier things I have experienced in relationships and I feel it’s an obligation for me to be as honest as possible in my writing in hopes of helping other women.
In my relationship with my fiancé, vulnerability, for the most part, hasn’t been hard. I can confide in him without it blowing up in my face or him using my words against me during an argument. However, sometimes it can be difficult expressing my feelings when I feel that he is not ready to receive them. Perhaps in those moments he is going through his own unspoken emotional turmoil and can’t process my feelings on top of his. During those times I try to remember that as passionately as I may be feeling about whatever it is that is bothering me, he too is feeling deeply about something and I try not to pressure him into taking in what I am feeling, and instead choose to allow myself the time to process my own feelings until we are both ready and willing to listen to what the other person has to say.
Vulnerability is not just opening yourself up to your partner but also to yourself. Allowing yourself to feel, to cry, to laugh whatever you need to do in that moment. Vulnerability means accepting whatever feelings are coming to you and allowing yourself to truly feel them. Despite what society, friends, family and strangers may tell you, it is ok to feel. It’s ok to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Though sometimes in the moment it can be downright terrifying, in the end you almost always feel better because of it.
-By Ashley Renee (Relationship and Love Specialist)