Safety is a word we usually associate with our physical well-being. But what we often seem to forget is the emotional safety that we need so much.
The essence of emotional safety in a relationship is to feel comfortable enough to open up and show your vulnerable side to the person you are with.
That’s the starting point of every healthy relationship. Without emotional safety, we are unable to form a deeper bond with our partner nor build a happy and loving relationship.
If your relationship lacks emotional safety, maybe it’s time to do something about it. But first of all, you have to determine if you feel like emotional safety is lacking in your relationship.
These are the most common signs:
1. You are not quite yourself around them
You should be able to be your true self around your partner, especially when you are a bit deeper in the relationship. You shouldn’t feel self-conscious all the time.
We are all imperfect and we all have our weird, crazy, amazing, good, bad and ugly sides. The right person will love us just because of all of them; they make us unique.
If your behavior shifts, if you have to pretend or act unlike yourself in front of your partner, you are lacking emotional safety.
2. You are making inquiries behind their back
Are you constantly looking over your partner’s shoulder to see who he is texting with? Are you secretly browsing through his phone and social media accounts? Are you investigating his whereabouts and his life before you?
If you are then you definitely lack trust and, by default, you lack safety in your relationship.
3. You feel safest when you are together all the time
When you are together, everything is better than perfection but as soon as he leaves your side, you begin to question things. You fear that something bad will happen.
You fear that he will change his mind about you and your relationship or that he will cheat. You know you are being paranoid but you can’t help it. It’s all because you lack safety.
4. You avoid conflict at all costs
You are simply unable to say no to your partner. You agree to all the things he wants, you stay silent when you should speak because you don’t want to make him upset or get into an argument.
You are probably afraid that any sort of conflict situation will be the end of your relationship. But most couples fight. It’s an integral part of a relationship.
You fight, you solve your problems, you make compromises and make your relationship safer after making up. If you keep it all inside, you are bound to burst from all that accumulated anger at some point.
When there is no emotional safety, you nod your head and you agree to every little thing and do things that you don’t really want to do.
5. You are keeping secrets from your partner
There are parts of your past you like to keep for yourself. As long as it doesn’t affect your relationship in the present then that’s OK. What is important is the here and now.
But if something from your past reflects badly on your relationship then keeping it a secret is a bad thing. Also, if you are doing something now that your partner has no idea about, you are surely lacking emotional safety in your relationship.
6. You don’t enjoy the passionate aspect of your relationship that much
While sex is definitely not the most important part of a relationship, it’s definitely just as important as all the other parts. If you are unable to relax, climax or enjoy those intimate moments with your partner, something is off.
If you lack emotional safety, you won’t be able to focus on your passion and you will dwell on other things. Maybe you are too self-conscious about your body or distrustful of your partner.
7. You can’t shake that feeling of loneliness
Even though you are in a relationship, you still feel alone. Maybe it’s the nature of your relationship that’s making you feel that way. Maybe your partner isn’t as involved as you would like him to be.
If you attend all the family gatherings and get-togethers alone, if you can’t confide in him about your problems or talk about everyday stuff, you are bound to feel emotionally neglected and unsafe in your relationship.
The worst kind of lonely is when somebody is physically by your side but emotionally miles away.
What to do if you lack emotional safety in your relationship
If you genuinely love the person and truly want the relationship to work, the first thing to do is have a brutally honest conversation. Tell them everything that’s on your mind without placing the blame on them.
This is a mutual problem you have to solve so that your relationship can progress. You should look at one another as a team whose love is greater than all obstacles.
Make them see how all of this is affecting you and why you find it difficult to open up and truly let them in. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and put your emotions out there but if you want your relationship to grow, something must be done.
Find ways to bond emotionally. Learn to trust one another and communicate freely—that’s the only way your relationship will stand a chance.
Leah Lee – Writer. Dreamer. Adventurer. Eternal Optimist.
I am an English language and literature professor and writing came naturally alongside that. It was something I did for me until I decided to share it with the rest of the world.
I write about love, emotions, relationship issues and ways to solve them and most importantly about empowering women to become the best versions of themselves.
My inspiration comes from all that I’ve been through in life, and it was a bumpy road but full of valuable lessons. I hope that my experience will do some good to all of those who like to read my work.