5 Easy Ways To Get A Man To Be Vulnerable With You

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There's nothing more important in a strong relationship than feeling like your partner knows and understands you on a deep, emotional level.

But opening yourself up emotionally to your partner isn't always easy. And why should it be? Making yourself vulnerable to another person is not an easy task for most people. It means sharing parts of yourself with them that even you aren't always comfortable with.

But we do it. Because we know the rewards it can yield are worth so much more than temporary discomfort and the anxiety of taking a risk in the moment.

It's not always easy for men to open themselves up emotionally in relationships. Very often, this has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with how men are treated in our society.

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Men are supposed to be tough and strong, which means keeping their feelings deep under wraps. This means that when they get into a relationship, opening up can feel near impossible, even when you know there's nothing they'd love more.

But where does that leave you? You can't force someone to bare their soul, but you can't be in a relationship with someone who doesn't have the courage to take that leap of faith and start opening up to you, either.

So, here are a few helpful guidelines to help him do just that — without scaring him away.

Here's how to get a man to be vulnerable with you.

1. Let him know why you value your relationship.

Talking about your feelings (the good, the bad, and the uncertain) doesn't come naturally to everyone. So, be the one to set a precedent.

Let him know in clear, simple language what you appreciate about your relationship. It doesn't have to be some grandiose gesture; in fact, make it a habit, so he's constantly reminded of how much you see and value him.

For example, when the two of you are working in tandem in the kitchen to make fajitas, and you can do it like close-knit teammates without saying a word or getting in each other's way, tell him how great you think that it is at the dinner table.

Or make a point of saying a genuine "thank you" every time he performs a chore without a reminder or any complaints grumbled under his breath.

You're setting an example, letting him know that it's okay to say what you're thinking and feeling, to be present in the relationship and how each of you shows up for the other, and that it can actually feel pretty awesome to do just that.

2. Share your hopes for your relationship.

It's normal when you're happy in your relationship to think about where you see it going in the future. Why not? The road ahead, when you've found a person you want to share it with, can be so exciting to contemplate and explore.

However, for him, it may be overwhelming.

Try to hold back from peppering him with questions like, "Do you ever want to get married?" all the way to "Do you want to have kids?" or even "Where should we look for a house to settle down in?" if the relationship just isn't there yet.

There are other ways you can express your hopes for a future together. "I am so hopeful that our relationship will keep growing because of how much fun it's been so far" is a lot easier on him and more digestible to handle than confrontational blows like, "All my friends are getting married — what's your timeline?"

Sharing your hopes, without putting undue pressure on him, lets him know that there is no expectation for him to pour his whole heart out, but that, if he wants to open up, you'll be kind and receptive to him and what he has to say.

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3. Share your fears for your relationship.

When you are in a romantic relationship with someone who is having a hard time opening up emotionally, it can be hard to let down your guard, too.

Resist the urge, however tempting it may be, to keep your fears and insecurities bottled up, for fear he will not be able to handle them. This could cause all kinds of problems down the road, should your relationship continue. Blowing up at him later on about pent-up resentment is near-fatal in most instances.

By sharing your fears with him in a low-key way, before it has the chance to turn into a knock-down, drag-out fight, you'll be exhibiting important exemplary behavior for a healthy relationship once again.

If you’re as open about the bad stuff as you are about the good stuff, in a way that allows him to voice back his feelings without feeling attacked or judged, he will start to be able to feel safe with you, which is key to sharing vulnerability in a relationship.

4. Make him feel truly safe in your relationship.

Taking the steps listed above is a great way to build the foundation for trust and a safe space within your relationship, which is important to continue to deepen your connection with one another. But there’s still more to do to really tap into his vulnerable side.

Safety in a relationship means knowing that every single fight you have won’t be the last conversation the two of you engage in. It means not constantly feeling judged, misunderstood, unimportant, or without a voice.

Make communication about your relationship a comfortable thing for both of you to do. That way, he won’t come to dread “big talks” and clam up in fear of them. When you’re feeling stressed out and cranky, tell him that so that he can separate your feelings from your feelings about him.

Always share what’s troubling you because, in not doing so, you create a tense environment that is a disservice to you and your partner. Vulnerability will be out the window.

5. Let him know that you are partners in this relationship.

A relationship is an agreement between two people. You're supposed to be teammates, fighting for each other on the same side. It’s a balancing act, and it’s a partnership that can be a lot of ongoing hard work.

But when it works, it’s the best thing there is.

Let him know from the beginning that you're there to balance and support him and that you, in return, expect the same. Vulnerability is a two-way street. And sometimes, it starts with you.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a freelance writer and the former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, and true crime.

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