I say this from personal experience of being in my ideal relationship now, after moving through a handful of heartaches and rejections over the span of a decade:
Being vulnerable is both necessary and well worth the panicky discomfort—EVEN IF YOU’RE REJECTED FOR IT by a few Mr. or Mrs. Wrongs along the way, before attracting someone you can create a bond with that goes beyond giddy feels, chemistry, and fun.
There are no guarantees that someone will stay if you reveal some kind of “ugly” truth, but at the end of the day, if there’s a part of you that you need to hide out of the fear he’ll leave, you have to ask yourself if this is the kind of partnership you want to be in for the rest of your life.
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Below are six steps on how to implement more vulnerability in your relationship, but keep in mind that if you’re newly dating someone, take your time with exposing so much of yourself. Think of sharing your deepest fears and secrets as a privilege to the person on the receiving end—not a burden you need him to take on, or a tactic to force the relationship to go at an unnecessarily rushed pace.
1. Own your feelings and fears before divulging them.
2. Name it to tame it.
3. Write it down.
4. Let the flood gates open!
5. Just say it.
6. Enjoy a vulnerability hangover.