By KRISTINE FELLIZAR
One of the best ways to build a stronger bond with your partner is to share awkward things together. Having the ability to laugh with each other or overcome uncomfortable situations together means you have a love that’s built to last. But what does it mean for your relationship if your partner can’t seem to embrace the awkward and uncomfortable things in your relationship? According to experts, your relationship may not last.
“If you or your partner are walking on eggshells and pretending to be the perfect version of yourself, the relationship [likely won’t work],” Laura Richer, relationship expert and founder of the Richer Love program, tells Bustle. “To be in a loving and accepting relationship, both partners must be open to being their true selves.” That includes, being open about all the awkward and uncomfortable things about yourself.
When you can’t share uncomfortable things with each other, couples therapist Jason Platt, PhD, tells Bustle, it means you’re stuck at the first level of intimacy. “We all start at this level where we’re presenting our best selves,” he says. “But there is an entirely different level of intimacy possible when you’re given access to the vulnerable realities of each other’s lives. Having someone know all your complexities and to love you is profoundly meaningful.”
If your partner isn’t openly sharing things, it can lead to insecurity and distrust. So according to experts, if your partner doesn’t share the following “awkward” things with you, your relationship isn’t going to work.
1How They Really Feel
Talking about your feelings isn’t always easy. It puts you in a vulnerable spot. If you know your partner isn’t going to like what you have to say, it can put you off from speaking up at all. But if your relationship is going to work, it’s essential for you and your partner to be honest with each other about your thoughts and feelings. “When you share your true thoughts with someone and that person accepts you, it will only bring you closer together,” Richer says. “A person who can authentically share themselves with another can be incredibly sexy.”
2Their Fears And Insecurities
“The ability to be vulnerable requires a certain amount of trust, safety and closeness in a relationship and that can take some time,” relationship coach, Melissa Snow, tells Bustle. If your partner can’t open up about their insecurities, it shows they may not completely trust you. This is something you may want to discuss further, perhaps with the help of a couples therapist.
“Oftentimes, my clients say the most uncomfortable things to talk about with their partner is their needs in all important areas of their lives,” psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, founder of Hello Goodlife, tells Bustle. Many expect their partners to know what they want and end up disappointed when they don’t get it. If your partner isn’t open with their needs, it can leave them feeling dissatisfied with the relationship without you knowing. “Learning to be expressive and direct in what we need can be very uncomfortable,” Latimer says. But it’s a skill many of us need to learn.
4Poor Spending Habits
Money is one of the major sources of problems for long-term couples. “Most people are not well-trained on how to handle their personal finances, so we often keep secret our current spending habits, debt level or fear around money,” Robert Kandell, relationship expert and author, tells Bustle. It’s hard to plan a life with someone when they’re not honest about their finances with you. If your relationship is going to last, you’ll need to create a space where both of you can be upfront about your current financial situation.
5Their Sexual Fantasies
Sharing fantasies with your partner can be sexy and eye opening. “You both may have reluctance about sharing with the fear of what your partner may think, but you shouldn’t,” Mackenzie Riel, a sex and wellness educator for TooTimid, tells Bustle. When it comes to sex, there’s really no such thing as “normal.” So as Riel says, you should both feel comfortable enough to express what you find pleasurable or “what lurks in the depths of your fantasies,” in a way that feels safe and nonjudgmental.
6Life Experiences That Were Hurtful
We all have past experiences that may have been painful and awkward. But when you’re in a relationship, it’s important to trust your partner enough to share those experiences with them when you’re comfortable to do so. For many, this can be scary on many levels. But as Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author, tells Bustle, “If a person is unable or unwilling to share their vulnerabilities, it’s a sign that the partner may not feel safe in the relationship or that the partner is too afraid to delve into the realm of unsettling or painful memories.” If it’s the latter, therapy may be beneficial so they can clear out any emotional baggage that prevents them from connecting with you in a deeper way. But remember to be patient and support during this process.
7Family Issues That Are Difficult To Talk About
Nobody’s family is perfect. But if you’re going to build a life with someone, you should have a good idea about what their family is like and the type of relationship they have with them. As Dr. Manly says, “To hide or ignore family issues is to deprive one’s partner and the relationship from a very meaningful and relevant aspect of their history and current world.”
When you’ve been together for some time, you should expect for your partner to open up and share things with you. However, always remember that some people need a little more time to do so than others. So, respect your partner’s boundaries. If they’re uncomfortable with something, don’t push. Be patient. But if you’ve given it time and they refuse to be more open about their true selves, you may need to think about whether or not this relationship is going to work.