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17 tips to help you let your guard down in a relationship (slowly but surely)

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Trusting someone can be difficult, but you can’t have a meaningful relationship unless you do.

Too many people think that being vulnerable makes them weak.

Whereas in reality, it takes a lot of strength to open up and trust someone like that.

To find love, you must be willing to give your heart to someone and let them get to know the real you.

Whether you’re just dating or are already in a committed relationship, it’s important to learn how to let your guard down and trust the other person.

You have to feel safe enough to do so and protect yourself from being taken advantage of, but you can rely on your instincts to keep you safe.

It is possible to overcome your problems and let your guard down if you follow some of the tips from this list.

Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you let your guard down in a relationship. You may want to try speaking to one via BetterHelp.com for quality care at its most convenient.

1. Accept that the risk is worth it.

Trusting someone and opening up to them puts you at risk of heartbreak. People can lie to you, take advantage of you, or betray you.

As true as that is, this is a risk that you must take if you want to find love.

It’s just how things work.

Someone might break your heart, but if you don’t let anyone in, you might miss your chance with a person who’d never betray your trust.

Falling in love is risky, but it’s also beautiful, even when it turns out that it was a mistake to trust them.

So, don’t be afraid of falling in love and building a meaningful relationship with someone.

If you let down your guard, you might end up getting hurt. But you also might end up spending the rest of your life with your soulmate.

You can’t possibly know which one it will be at first, but you can trust your instincts and follow your heart.

If your heart is telling you that you want to see where it goes with someone, let them in on what it means to be you and what’s it like to live your life.

You don’t have to pour all your heart out right away, especially if you just started dating.

But open up bit by bit and get to know each other better to see if there could be something there.

If you’re already in a relationship, the risk of losing it because of trust issues is much worse than the risk of getting your heart broken.

You have to take risks to find love, don’t forget that.

2. Work through the issues from your past relationships.

The reason you find it hard to let your guard down in relationships might be because of the relationships you had before.

If your ex cheated on you or in some other way betrayed your trust, it makes sense that it’s now harder for you to trust that it won’t happen again, even with a different person.

However, remind yourself that you won’t be dating your ex anymore.

The person you’re dating doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of what your ex did, and neither should you.

Don’t let your past stand in the way of your future.

Men and women are not all the same, and your past experiences don’t have to dictate what will happen in your future.

You have to work through the issues from your past relationships and prevent them from ruining any future relationships that you might have.

If you have tried this already and struggled to make progress, you should consider seeking the help of a therapist in overcoming these problems.

Check out BetterHelp.com for convenient online therapy.

It doesn’t matter if people who leave your life hurt you, all it takes is for the one person who stays to keep your heart safe.

Don’t risk losing that person just because someone who isn’t in your life anymore didn’t deserve to stay in it.

3. Listen to your partner when they let their guard down.

Your partner should pay attention and listen to what you have to say once you’re ready to open up, but the same goes for you.

Let your partner open up to you and make them feel safe when doing so.

Trust is a two-way street, and they need to trust you as much as you trust them. So, prove yourself as trustworthy and keep their secrets.

Don’t think of them as weak for showing their vulnerable side.

In fact, they could help you see that there’s nothing weak about letting someone in on who you really are.

When they open up to you, share something about yourself too. Don’t let them do all the talking and give something in return for the trust that you’ve been getting.

4. Be vulnerable, but don’t be naïve.

While you shouldn’t be afraid of being vulnerable, you shouldn’t be naïve either.

You can’t trust everyone you meet, so get to know the person you’re with before letting your guard down.

Learn more about them, and don’t rush to get intimate.

If something’s telling you that you shouldn’t trust them, consider what that is. Trust your instincts.

And if you can’t trust someone, it might be best to reconsider dating them.

You don’t need to rush anything. It’s okay to take your time before letting your guard down when you’re dating.

But if you find yourself in a long-term relationship and you’re not able to open up to your partner, this is something you have to work on.

Try talking to a therapist and opening up to them first (online therapy via BetterHelp.com is a good option to try).

It might be easier to let down your guard around your partner after you have shared personal stuff with a professional.

In fact, you can talk to a therapist together and work on this as a team.

5. Trust your partner.

You’ll have to overcome your trust issues to have a long-lasting relationship.

You must trust your partner for things to work out between you, there’s no getting around that.

Even if you’re just casually dating, for it to progress into something more, you must let your guard down and open up at some point. So, learn to do that.

Think about it, what’s the worst thing that can happen if you choose to trust them? They could betray your trust.

But, if you don’t trust them to begin with, you’ll never find out whether they would do that or turn out to be the love of your life.

It sounds easier than it is, but it’s not that hard either.

Can you live with the consequences of your partner betraying your trust?

What about the consequences of not letting them in to begin with?

You might doom your relationship without even giving your partner a chance.

Give them the benefit of the doubt because, the truth is, people aren’t really that bad.

Not a lot of people will intentionally choose to hurt you, especially if you’re dating.

Sometimes things happen and feelings get hurt. But, it’s highly unlikely that someone will intentionally gain your trust just to betray it.

If someone really has no good intentions, you should be able to see the red flags early on.

If there aren’t any, you just have to think about what’s more important to you: them, or clinging to the trust issues that don’t bring you any good anyway.

When you think about it, would your trust issues really protect you from getting hurt?

The only way they could do that is by making you stay single forever. So, don’t give up on love just because it can hurt sometimes.

6. Be yourself.

If you want someone to love you for who you are, you have to show them the real you. So, don’t pretend that you’re something you’re not when you’re dating someone.

Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to let them see your little quirks and the things that make you unique.

After all, you don’t want someone to fall in love with the idea of you that you’ve planted in their head.

You want them to fall for you and everything that makes you you. So, be yourself around those you want to have a relationship with.

It can be tempting to impress people by pretending that you’re better than you truly are, but don’t you want someone to love you with all your flaws and virtues?

Show them the real you, and you might be surprised. They could like the real, imperfect you much more than someone who tries to hide their true self and act perfectly all the time.

People will like the real you, you just need to let them.

7. Be honest with your partner.

A relationship built on lies can’t last.

You need to be honest with your partner, even if you’ve only recently started dating.

This doesn’t mean that you must tell them everything that’s on your mind. But don’t purposely deceive them, and try to be honest about who you are and what you want instead.

Don’t play games. Try to be straightforward. Set healthy boundaries and learn to express yourself and talk about your feelings.

When you don’t feel like you’re treated right in the relationship, speak up with no shame. The same goes for when you’re feeling happy and satisfied with how things are.

The point is to communicate with your partner and cultivate honesty as a foundation of a healthy relationship.

What good can come out of lying to someone you’re dating? It will just lead to hurt feelings, and isn’t that what you’re trying to avoid?

8. Be upfront about your intentions.

Being honest also means saying what you want in your love life.

What are your relationship goals? What are you searching for?

If you want to prevent heartbreak, don’t do it by keeping your guard up. Instead, do it by being upfront about your intentions when you’re dating.

When you’re honest about what you want, you are more likely to find it.

So, don’t be afraid to tell your date what you’re looking for.

Do you want forever love, or are you just looking for a casual relationship? Anything you want is fine, as long as the other person is aware of it too.

So, save everyone from getting hurt and be honest about your intentions.

If you’re already in a relationship and you’re having doubts about it, this is also something you should be open about.

Your partner might be willing to work on the relationship if they know that it’s in trouble.

9. Share your interests and beliefs.

Letting your guard down doesn’t have to mean sharing your deepest, darkest secrets.

Start by talking about your interests and beliefs.

People look beautiful when they talk about the things they’re passionate about. So, let your partner see this side of you.

They’ll be able to learn more about you, and you won’t have to talk about anything that’s uncomfortable to you.

Your interests and beliefs are probably something that you’re comfortable sharing. So, start with that. When you’re just starting to date this could be enough.

You can also talk about your job, hobbies, the way you spend alone time, your achievements and your plans for the future.

These are all positive things that you shouldn’t be afraid to share with your partner.

10. Talk about your fears.

For someone to truly get to know you, you need to show them your vulnerable side and talk about some dark things as well.

Try revealing one of your fears. Your partner will appreciate this insight into your reality.

In addition, you might become comfortable enough to share more things with them.

Build trust by sharing small things, and you’ll get more and more confident to share bigger things too.

Your partner will probably share something dark about themselves at some point.

When this happens, don’t try to change the topic or even shut down. Let them in on something dark about you as well.

You can even think about what you’re comfortable sharing before you actually talk to them.

Maybe you don’t want to tell them your secrets but there might be some aspects of your life that you’d be willing to share at a certain stage of dating.

11. Talk about your past.

Talking about the past doesn’t have to be about unpleasant memories. Think of the happy memories from your past that you could share with your partner instead.

Maybe it will be a touching story from your childhood or a funny anecdote with your friends.

Get used to sharing things by starting to share those that make you feel good.

Eventually, you might be able to share something that doesn’t feel good as well.

You can also talk about your future and the things you plan to achieve and do.

Don’t forget about the present. You should also learn how to share what you’re feeling at the very moment you’re feeling it.

12. Be patient.

Learning to let down your guard will take time, so be patient with yourself.

As long as you’re trying to make progress, you’re on the right path.

You should also be patient when opening up to someone. You don’t have to tell them everything right away. To prevent getting hurt, take things slow and get to know them better first.

You can share as much as they share with you, but you don’t have to share any more than that.

Let things progress at their own pace and take it one step at a time.

It’s perfectly normal that you can’t trust everyone as soon as you meet them.

Give yourself time to get to know someone well enough to feel safe opening up to them.

13. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

When it’s too hard to let your guard down, don’t beat yourself up about it.

You also shouldn’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to your shortcomings.

You’re not perfect, and that’s okay.

Don’t be afraid to let someone see that you’re not a perfect human being because no one is.

Your flaws and virtues make you you, and you are different from everyone else. Your quirks make you unique, so don’t feel ashamed of them.

Love yourself and practice self-care. Do more of the things that you love doing and talk about it with your partner.

Don’t hide your bad sides from them because they might surprise you. After all, a person who loves you is supposed to love the whole package, with the good and the bad.

So, don’t expect anyone to run away when you show them your bad sides.

In fact, it might give them more reason to stay with you and care about you.

14. Be in touch with your feelings.

Maybe you’re holding back because you’re not sure what’s going to come out once you start.

Try to get in touch with your feelings to eliminate this element of surprise.

Spend some time just thinking about your feelings and the reasons why you are feeling that way.

This will help you understand your feeling better, as well as the reactions you might have to things that happen to you.

Most importantly, it will be easier to share your feelings with your partner once you are acutely aware of what they are.

You can practice this by writing your feelings down in a journal and analyzing them as you write.

Sharing your thoughts and feelings in a journal might make it easier to eventually share them with your partner as well.

15. Give your date a chance.

Be realistic. If you don’t let your guard down in a relationship, you’re not giving your date a chance.

Give them the benefit of the doubt and don’t expect the worst from people. They might surprise you if you just give them a chance to do so.

Your relationship doesn’t stand a chance if you can’t open up to your partner and show your vulnerable side, even if just a little bit at a time.

The truth is, you can never entirely avoid getting hurt.

What you’re really doing by not letting your guard down is missing out on a lot of interesting and fun experiences

Don’t avoid love just because it hurts sometimes because even when it hurts, it’s still somehow worth it.

Give your date a chance by opening up to them and trusting them not to break your heart.

If they happen to break it, you just have to start over until you find the person who won’t ever do it.

That’s just life.

16. Surround yourself with good people.

You need good people in your life to remind you that there are those you can trust even though other people will betray you.

There are a lot of good people out there, and most of them aren’t looking to hurt you.

If you spend your time with people who make you feel bad about yourself and hurt you, it makes sense that you expect your partner to do the same.

So, find kind, loving people instead and open up to them.

Meet new people by going out, engaging in different hobbies, and volunteering. Try trusting new friends if it’s too hard to trust a date or a partner.

Your new friends might show you everything great that can come out of letting your guard down, but don’t rely only on the help of your loved ones.

17. Talk to a therapist.

There are people who have made it their job to help people like you.

You might find yourself trying all these tips and still having trouble letting your guard down in your relationship or generally trusting people.

A therapist can help you overcome this and form meaningful long-term relationships in the future.

BetterHelp.com is a website where you can access a trained and experienced therapist from wherever you are in the world at a time to suit you.

Opening up to a therapist might on its own help you open up to other people. Whatever you do, open up to someone.

And if you choose a therapist, you can rest assured that you can trust them and feel safe enough to share all your thoughts and feelings with them.

Talk to someone about what’s bothering you and find the strength to show your vulnerable side.

It will be worth it, because the reward is love.

Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.

Online therapy is actually a good option for many people. It’s more convenient than in-person therapy and is more affordable in a lot of cases.

And you get access to the same level of qualified and experienced professional.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.

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About The Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.