Experts say honesty is a crucial building block to a successful and happy relationship. But what exactly does that mean? At what point in your relationship should you be open and honest about everything? How do you know what to share and how vulnerable you should be? Here are a few tips on how to practice honesty in your relationship.
The Time Line
It would probably be a little intimidating if you shared your entire life story on a first date, but when you start opening up to your partner really depends. The time line for when you feel comfortable being more honest and vulnerable may be different than your significant others. One of the best ways to approach open communication is not to think about it too much. If something feels appropriate to share, go for it. Keep in mind that just because you or your partner divulge personal information does not mean that the other person has to reciprocate. Everyone shares on their own schedule.
Is there such a thing as being too open? In a healthy relationship, each person should respect the other’s boundaries. Don’t feel pressured to share when you aren’t ready, and make sure your partner doesn’t feel that way either. Create an environment in your relationship where you both feel safe disclosing information or keeping things private.
Of course, there is a difference between keeping something private because you aren’t ready to share and not communicating your feelings. For example, if you feel anger or irritation toward your partner but find it difficult to be open about your feelings, you may be causing more harm than good. It is unfair to hold something against your significant other that they’re not aware affects you.
A healthy and honest relationship should leave both people feeling accepted and valued. While there are some things you shouldn’t share immediately, openness allows a relationship to progress to new levels.