Here's Why Talking About Feelings In Relationships Is Important, Because Honesty Is Crucial
Sometimes it seems like all I do is talk to my partner about my feelings. "It makes me feel good when you say this or do that. It hurts my feelings when you talk to me this way or forget to do that." Our feelings are ever-present in the relationship because it's how we connect express ourselves when our boundaries have been crossed, without going down an accusatory, defensive rabbit hole. But we weren't always good at expressing ourselves, or understanding why talking about your feelings in relationships is important in the first place. It took a lot of trial-and-error and plenty of arguments to figure it out.
When it comes to relationships, Connell Barrett, executive dating coach and founder of Dating Transformation says speaking honestly about your emotions is a crucial part of forging a healthy, long lasting bond with your partner. "Open, honest expression of your feelings is a bedrock of a strong, romantic relationship," he tells Elite Daily. But what if you're worried that, by opening up, you'll make yourself vulnerable or place demands on your partner? Barrett, explains that's actually the entire point. Here's why he says it's time to start talking about your feelings with your partner. Take notes.
Emotional honesty can create a strong bond between you and your partner.
Would it surprise you to learn that being emotionally honest can not only help you feel more secure in your relationship, but it can also do the same for your partner? According to Barrett, talking about your feelings can actually helps your SO feel safer because it gives them more certainty in your commitment. “We all need to be reminded that we’re enough, that we’re special, that we’re loved. So, when a couple is what I call ‘emotionally naked,’ they give each other the gift of certainty that they’ll be safe and loved. And that leads to a stronger connection,” he explains.
It can help you resolve issues and get what you need from your relationship.
Talking about your feelings and making it safe for your partner to do the same can actually help you both grow together, and individually, says Barrett. "Talking about your feelings makes you more self-aware about who you are and what makes you tick, helping you evolve into a better partner and person,” he explains. That kind of honesty also goes a long way toward helping you work through problems as they arise in the relationship, he adds. “If you bury your feelings 10 feet underground, you make it hard for your partner to relate to you, and you make it almost impossible to solve problems. Not talking about feelings can lead to stress, lost love, and breakups,” Barrett says. After all, you can't give each other what you need if you aren't open about what that actually is, right?
What to do if you feel like you can't be open about your feelings.
Knowing that it's healthy to open up to your partner and actually feeling comfortable doing it can sometimes be two very different things. According to Barrett, those concerns are usually founded in fear. “When you say, ‘I can’t talk about my feelings,’ you’re really saying, ‘I’m uncomfortable talking my feelings’ or, ‘I’m afraid to talk about my feelings.’ It may mean that you’re afraid to be vulnerable. It may also mean that what you have to say would hurt your partner,” explains Barrett. In that case, what should you do about it?
“Share anyway, understanding it will feel uncomfortable,” says Barett. “Show courage and decide to be honest and open about how you feel. It may be scary, but it’s all to your benefit, Being emotionally open and vulnerable leads to growth as a person and often to a stronger, more connected relationship,” he concludes.
While it's not always easy to be open about your feelings, the benefits to the relationship make the work worth the effort. Take things at your own pace, and remember you're not in it alone. Even just talking to your partner about why it's hard to talk about your feelings is a great first step.