How safe are you to be with and to be around? I am specifically talking about emotional safety today. How safe are you to be with? Have you thought about this? Being a place of safety for your partner is of the utmost importance in your relationship. This will make or break your trust and connectedness, physically and mentally. Allowing your partner the space to come to your open, honest and feel a sense of safety will determine how your relationship will unfold.
You see, some people do not understand why their partner has shut down and stopped opening up to them in certain areas or at all. This has to do with how safe they feel with you and around you with their deep thoughts about themselves, what they experienced in life and what they want to gain from life whether in the form of a new experience or a new career.
When you make snide comments about your partner’s ideas and if he can do it or not determines how much he will share with you in the future. If you are relatively positive and express your support you will hear a lot, if not all of his ideas and life plans. If you are constantly negative about his ideas, call them stupid or tell him he cannot do it, then your man will limit the amount of details he shares with you in the future.
Below are my seven tips to think about so you can start to become aware and more conscious of how you are showing up so you can be your partner’s safe space. What is a safe place? It is a place where your partner can feel like he can let down his guard, be extremely vulnerable, where he can cry, if needed, and ask for help if he needs to.
Below are 10 ways for you to decide how safe you are to be around and in a relationship with. Try not to judge yourself but make a mental note regarding what areas to improve on. Then start improving these areas.
1. Can your partner share his innermost thoughts with you?
Can your partner share their inner most thoughts with you? How is he with opening up to you and showing his vulnerability? For example, he started sharing some of his greatest ideas with you and then you started to shoot it down or say
“That is stupid.”
“This is dumb.”
“Why would you think that you can do something like this?”
As time goes on, more and more examples like this occur. You have consistently shown you are not a safe space for him to talk about his innermost thoughts, ideas and goals. After a while, he will stop sharing this side of himself with you. He believed, before speaking with you, in his ideas and that they were going to take him and you both to the next level. This does not mean he is not sharing them. It just means that you are not hearing these things. You are not the person he is sharing his ideas and goals with anymore. He is over the criticism so he finds someone to talk to about them who does not judge him or his ideas.
2. Are you usually positive or a negative?
The next thing to think about is, are you usually positive or negative? When you hear or witness something do your thoughts automatically drift towards a positive outcome or a negative outcome? Are you a half cup full or empty kind of girl? Is the grass greener on your own lawn or someone else’s? Seeing the negative or being pessimistic can leave a bad taste in your partner’s mouth. If you’re not aware which side of the coin you are on, start to pay attention to your thoughts and what your first thoughts are in general so you can pay attention to the words that come out of your mouth. Words can totally tear your partner down and it can rip your relationship apart.
3. Be honest but speak with love.
The next thing to think about is to be honest when you speak your truth to your partner but definitely do it in love. I totally believe that you can say any and everything you want to say. It is all about your delivery. When was the last time you paid attention to how you are delivering your message? Speak what you need to speak but say it in love and truth.
4. Can your partner discuss their baggage with you?
How often can your partner discuss their baggage with you? All of the crap that we carry around that happened to us when we were children or young adults affect how we show up in our romantic relationships today. Most people do not realize how the past is still plaguing their current life and love life due to your background and the baggage you are carrying with you from relationship to relationship. Now you put everybody in the same box because you have felt pain before and you do not want to feel pain again. You do not realize this wall of defense you have built is keeping you from the very thing you seek and say you want. . . To be loved and to be able to fully love someone else. Your belief system is telling you everyone is going to do the same thing to you. This is not true! Everybody is not the same, we are not all going to do the same thing to you. However, if you believe this, you will definitely attract it.
5. Take responsibility for your share of the issues/problems.
Taking responsibility for your share of what happened to create the issues or problems is a big thing I hear people struggle with. It’s like owning up to their part and saying I’m sorry is too much for some people. Is this hard for you as well? I have clients who cannot or will not take responsibility for their actions. No matter what happened it was their partner’s fault. They never seem to recognize that they played a part in how the conversation turned into an argument or why things went downhill. You cannot worry about how your partner responds because you only have control over you. Blaming never helps the situation. It distracts from the real issue and then you two are focusing on yet another issue when the first problem never got solved. This adds to the frustration and also why conflicts do not get resolved.
6. Be consistent
Being consistent is the determining factor in how you and your partner will fare in your relationship. How consistent are you? Do you check in with your partner just to see how they are doing? When was the last time you asked any of the following questions?
“How are you doing?”
“How have you been feeling?”
“What are you working on that I can help you with?”
“Where can I be a support system for you?”
“Tell me about your next venture.”
Being consistent is you asking about your partner and getting past the pleasantries. Allowing him to open up to you. Being consistent is being there when he needs you the most whether emotionally, spiritually, financially or the like. Being consistent means him being able to call you at any given moment and if it’s feasible you drop what you are doing for him. Being consistent means doing the things you say you are going to do.
7. Be positive and give positive affirmations.
How often are you giving positive affirmations? How often are positive? Does it take you a long time to adjust to waking up in the morning where you do not want anyone to speak to you without you having your first cup of coffee? Do you tell your partner that he looks good? Smells good? He got this? He’s a good man? A good father? How often are you feeding life into your partner and into your relationship? Or are you always taking away from it and your partner?
Being positive can make all the difference in your mood, in your partner’s mood, in your environment, the way you feel about yourself and how you look at different situations in life. Learn to be more positive. Look for things that make you want to smile. Focus on the things your partner does right.
8. Don’t tell outsider‘s about every detail in your life
This next thing is a big thing because a lot of us need to vent and I get that. However, do not tell everyone, the outsiders, about every single detail, especially the ugly stuff that goes on in your relationship. Now, let me make a disclaimer. If there is some type of abuse, I’m not speaking about that. I’m talking about the things you noticed and even addressed but you have not gotten your partner on board with you yet. There’s no need to spread things about your partner to other people when you have not decided to walk away from him. Talking with your partner is the only way to get what you want from him. The outsiders can do nothing for you but judge you and your partner. Also, when you are over it and you and your partner are back on good terms, guess what? This is when the gossip begins about what’s happening in your relationship. You will be over that thing but your family and friends are not going to be over it. Some of them will not let you live it down. It is counterproductive to tell everything that is not going right in your relationship to people who cannot help the situation.
9. Is it safe to share his sexual fantasies with you?
Are you a safe place to share his sexual fantasies with or does he have to talk about this outside of you with his friends? Can he share his sexual fantasies with you? Has he asked you to do something and you were not open to having the discussion? Do you shut down or shut the conversation down and never hear him out. Does trying new things scare you? Were you told good girls don’t do ‘that’?
If he’s not able to have this conversation with you then who can he have this conversation with? Would it be better for him to explore this outside the relationship? Just because you are not listening to his fantasies does not mean he is not sharing them without another open ear. When you listen, it does not automatically make you obligated to perform said acts. What it does do for him is allow him to express himself. It allows him to see you as a safe space. It allows him the opportunity to lean on you even if you do not agree or ever try it out. Sharing your fantasies with one another opens the door for more connection, comfortability and intimacy with each other.
10. Can he discuss his insecurities and fears with you?
Can he discuss his insecurities and fears with you? How much are you being a safe place for your potential spouse? Are you giving him the space to cry or be ‘weak’? I say ‘weak’ because most men believe by letting down their guard, sharing what he is not good at or how he was taken advantage of or how he was out of control in some manner makes him look weak. This is the farthest thing from the truth but after being groomed this way most, if not all, of his life, it can be hard for him to look at being vulnerable any other way. Allow him to cry if need be with you. Allow him to feel safe with you. Support him in every way possible. When was the last time he shared his vulnerability with you?
Take inventory of where you are at today and all the things that I just mentioned. Take inventory of what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong, because the wrong you can correct. The right, just continue doing it and getting better at doing it. Correct the wrong so you can increase the chances of attracting a better partner for you.
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All the best,