I think that most people (unfortunately) misunderstand transparency in a relationship. The point of transparency isn’t just to be honest with your partner.
Of course, it’s one of the ways to define a transparent relationship, but trust me, there is so much more to it than honesty. The fact is that transparency is a huge step to a healthy relationship.
To edge forward, the aim of this article is simple: to expand your knowledge about this aspect of relationships and help you improve and make your relationship more successful and healthy.
What Does Transparency Mean In A Relationship?
In short, transparency in a relationship is when both partners feel free to share their deepest thoughts and emotions. They share their hopes, their biggest fears, and some deeper concerns or things that are bothering them with one another.
Most importantly, they know for sure that the other side will accept, understand, and appreciate it. They’ve freed themselves from judgment, which is definitely one of the keys to relationship success.
Moreover, radical transparency is when you give your partner full access to your outer, as well as your inner life. It means that both partners need to get completely emotionally naked in front of each other.
They need to feel free to talk about everything with each other. Even if it’s something that may endanger their relationship or something they think the other side wouldn’t like or accept so easily.
The psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Douglas LaBier Ph.D., also provides a great definition for a transparent relationship: “Radical transparency is a way of relating to your partner in which you reveal your inner self and your internal experiences when you’re talking with each other about personal matters or conflicts.”
Why Is Transparency So Important In Relationships? 5 Key Benefits
Truth be told, there are many ways in which transparency benefits relationships. I’ve written the most important ones below, and I hope they’ll change your perspective and motivate you to start taking transparency more seriously.
1. It leads to a healthier relationship
One of the most important benefits of radical transparency is that it strengthens trust between partners and moves them to be more accepting and understanding.
It blocks any form of miscommunication between them, which is very important for building a better romantic relationship.
2. Connecting on a deeper level
Radical transparency also allows couples to bond on a deeper level. They get to meet both the good and the bad sides of their personalities.
The more transparent they’re with one another, the better their bond will be. The more their bond deepens, the more their relationship will become stronger.
3. Building an emotionally safe environment
It’s important to say to your significant other that you understand them, but it’s more important to show it in real life. It’s way more important to provide a safe emotional environment for them.
That’s what radical transparency does. It allows both partners to feel secure in their relationship and encourages them to open themselves up to sharing and accepting.
4. Transparency strengthens the trust between partners
If both partners are being honest and direct with each other all the time, it’s completely normal for it to improve their trust.
There won’t be any space left for doubt, suspicions, and secrets between them. They’ll know that they can rely on one another no matter what and that they can count on each other’s support despite everything.
5. It destroys all barriers and breaks all guards
It’s normal for us to have our guards up when we engage in a new relationship with someone. We don’t know them well, which also means we can’t trust them enough to put those guards down.
That’s why we should start cultivating radical transparency in the early stages of a relationship. It’ll enable us to build trust, healthy boundaries, and standards, all of the things that lead to a better romantic relationship.
How Do You Show Transparency In A Relationship?
It’s of huge importance to start cultivating transparency as soon as you start a new relationship with someone. It’s always a surefire path to building a better romantic relationship.
Here are a few helpful ways to improve and share radical transparency in your relationship. Whether it’s a relationship with a family member, a close friend, or your significant other, these tips will definitely come in handy.
1. Always be direct and honest with each other
If you’re aiming for a better romantic relationship, if you want to build a healthy and successful relationship, I think it’s needless to say that you need to be honest and upfront with each other, no matter what.
I know that some say that white lies are allowed in a romantic relationship, but, trust me, they’re not, especially if you want your relationship to last.
Trust is built through honest communication, and the only way for a relationship to thrive is through trust. You see, you can’t have one without the other.
2. Open up about your inner lives
Your outer life is what everyone can see. It’s the first impression people get when they meet you.
However, that first impression is so superficial and overvalued. The important thing is what you carry inside, your inner life, and those are the doors to your lives you should open to one another.
Share the events in your inner lives more often. Expose and share your feelings, no matter how good or bad they are.
3. Give each other full access to everything
I really mean everything. If it’s a healthy relationship, if you truly love each other, then you don’t have anything to hide from one another.
So, to show your partner how much you trust them and that they should trust you, give them full access to your phone, social media accounts, your apartment, and stuff like that.
When we speak about financial matters, it’s also a great way to be transparent with your loved one. Meaning, your partner should have access to your bank accounts too.
4. Be transparent when fighting, too, but filter your words
Being transparent in a relationship doesn’t mean you can be disrespectful to your partner when you disagree about something and hope that they’ll forgive you.
If you feel bad for suppressing all those negative feelings and unsaid words, you can start journaling them. Just imagine that your journal is your loved one and start writing everything you would say to them when they make you angry.
That’s how you’ll prevent yourself from doing something you may regret later. Know when to stop and pull back from such situations because acting in the heat of the moment could really harm your relationship.
5. To understand and be understood is everything
A healthy relationship isn’t just about loving someone. It’s also about being loved, being able to feel that your love is reciprocated.
It never should be a one-way street. If you feel that you’re doing your best to understand your partner and all of their needs and that they don’t even try to understand yours, it’s a clear sign they don’t care for you in the same way you do for them.
6. Don’t let transparency turn into controlling
Just to be clear, radical transparency isn’t about controlling each other. It doesn’t mean that you should report every step or decision you make to one another.
It simply means sharing your thoughts and feelings to build a more secure relationship environment.
If at any moment, you start feeling that your partner is trying to use it to control you, you should put an end to it. Don’t let such a great thing like transparency make your relationship toxic. Remember, there are and need to be boundaries in everything!
7. When going through a hard time, try couples therapy
Seek help from a relationship expert who will undoubtedly remind you and your significant other of the importance of transparency in a relationship.
Just because you need expert help doesn’t mean that your relationship has hit rock bottom. You have an opportunity to overcome those hard times – it’s up to you whether you’ll use it or not.
Is Transparency Good In Relationships?
It most definitely is. It allows a couple to talk to each other about every little thing without feeling that they may be judged by the other side.
The most important thing that comes from a transparent relationship is that there are no trust issues. Both partners know everything about each other and don’t have any reason to doubt or mistrust one another.
Transparency in a relationship also helps a couple to create a telepathic connection. Soon they are able to feel each other’s emotions and read one another’s thoughts.
As you can see, it’s obvious that transparency in a relationship is one of those make it or break it factors. It really can determine the future of your relationship.
In my opinion, a transparent relationship is nothing but a synonym for a healthy relationship.
Partners know each other’s strengths and love one another because of them. On the flip side, they also know their flaws and imperfections and still choose to love one another despite them. If that’s not true love, I genuinely don’t know what is then.