The Montfort Group

Why You Should Let Your Guard Down in Relationships 

Can you remember the first time you fell in love when you were young before anyone hurt you? Perhaps you jumped right in with both feet, got hurt, and swore you would never let anyone else have such power over you again. Consequently, you built walls and guarded your true feelings. Moreover, after every subsequent breakup, you made those walls higher.  

Did that sound all too familiar? If so, you are not alone. While becoming guarded might be a common and natural response to emotional pain, it might not be the correct action if you want a loving, healthy romantic relationship. Here’s some reasons why.  

The Significance of Authenticity 

Are you frightened of being your true self and saying how you feel in your relationship just in case this repels your partner? For instance, perhaps someone in the past ran away when you declared your love. So, now you are afraid to tell your current partner that you care deeply and fake a casual attitude. Or maybe someone once said you were crowding them, so now you are pretending you do not mind if your current partner only texts you when it suits them when, in reality, it bothers you because you like lots of communication.  

Though most people would understand your apprehension, it is still vital that you are open about your feelings and relationship requirements from the beginning. You can only hide who you are as a human being for so long. Someday, the person you are with will see the real you. When that happens, they will rightfully feel duped because you pretended to be someone you were not.  

It Causes Problems 

When you avoid saying what you want or how you feel to avoid confrontation, you cause problems for yourself later. You are not articulating your thoughts and feelings. Instead, you avoid discussions you should have to keep your relationship healthy. 

When you do not express your needs, and they go unmet, resentment builds up inside you. If you resent someone else, you will behave in passive-aggressive ways. Passive-aggressive behavior is, of course, toxic.  

What is passive-aggressive behavior? How does it do damage? Suppose you cohabit with your partner and feel you do too much laundry. However, you are scared to confront them. Resentment builds over time, so you decide to teach your partner a lesson indirectly. You let the laundry build up during a week when they work sixty hours. Your partner then gets upset when they cannot find clean clothes. Of course, your original resentment then surfaces, and things escalate.  

Can you see how in the example above, a kind but candid conversation would have eliminated the issue before it had a chance to begin? Always remain honest yet loving about your thoughts, needs, expectations, and feelings, even at the risk of breaking up. It will keep your relationship healthy.  

The Right One Will Not Be Afraid 

Suppose you are your authentic self with someone you love. You are compassionately honest about your thoughts, feelings, needs, and opinions. Then the other person ends the relationship with you as a result.  

In such a situation, you were with the wrong individual. Someone who genuinely loves you and is a decent human being will not run from your love or who you genuinely are as a human being. The right person will adore you for all you are, appreciate receiving your affection, and accept your flaws while encouraging you to work on them.  

You Will Find Out If You Are Compatible 

You will never find out if you are compatible with your partner if you are not honest about who you are and what you need from a relationship. For things to flourish, the couple must be compatible. By staying authentic about your needs, values, objectives, and feelings, you soon tell if there is an incompatibility between you. Thus, there will be less time wasted on the wrong person.  

What Is the Point Otherwise?  

To be inauthentic in relationships to avoid conflict and breakups is to live in fear. Is living in fear enjoying life to the fullest? Will you find out how beautiful romantic relationships can potentially be unless you go all in and pour yourself into it with your whole heart? Is there a point in engaging in a romantic relationship if you are going to pretend to be someone you are not just to preserve it artificially? In your heart, you already know the answers to these questions.  

How Do You Do It? 

How do you let your guard down and risk getting hurt again after the pain of suffering a few romantic setbacks? You start by changing your perspective. Stop seeing breakups as a tragedy and start seeing them as a blessing.  

Do not attach blame to the other person. Understand that they are as human as you are, prone to errors and trying to navigate their way through life. If they end the relationship, it does not necessarily make them toxic. You can potentially remain their friend after you have healed.  

Should a relationship fail after being your true self and expressing your feelings, you will know the other person was incompatible with you at that moment. In that case, it frees you to find contentment with someone better suited. The freedom to find love is something to celebrate, not mourn. 

A Happier Love Life 

Your love life will be happier for being honest about who you are and what you want from a romantic relationship. Finding the right person for you in an authentic, unguarded manner is challenging and often painful. Yet you must be brave because honesty will make getting your needs met more likely. You increase the odds of meeting someone suited to you on every level. Even in the unlikely event that it never happens, you can at least say you never faked it. 

Picture of Cory Montfort, MS, LPC-S

Cory Montfort, MS, LPC-S

I completed my Masters of Science in Counseling from Southern Methodist University where I specialized in working with individuals, couples, and families. I have extensive experience working within the mental health community facilitating groups, conducting assessments, counseling individuals, and performing crisis intervention. I hold an active License in Professional Counseling and am also a board-approved Counselor Supervisor for the state of Texas.

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