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How to Talk about Your Feelings in a Relationship & Grow Closer

It might be hard for you to share your emotions. So, it’s important to know how to talk about your feelings in a relationship and be comfortable with it.

How to Talk about Your Feelings in a Relationship

Whether you are a closed book or a blabbermouth, learning how to talk about your feelings in a relationship can feel so vulnerable. The worst part is that we can’t explain that either. Your tongue gets tied, you sweat, or you just clam up and can’t say a thing.

First things first, this is all normal. So many people struggle to talk about their feelings in a relationship. You are not alone in this. Odds are your partner has dealt with the same thing.

Even the most forthcoming of us can struggle to share our feelings when we’re in a relationship. There is a lot of courage and strength needed to be open and honest with how you feel. It can be scary to share such intimate feelings with anyone, especially the person you’re closest with.

But, learning how to talk about your feelings in a relationship does not have to come naturally. You can learn how to talk about your feelings in a relationship with some baby steps. [Read: How to open up to people – 15 reasons and tips to be vulnerable]

How to talk about your feelings in a relationship when you never have

First of all, we want to say, good for you. Just by looking for this feature and making it this far, you are trying to learn to talk about your feelings, and that is already a big step in the right direction.

It isn’t easy to admit you’re having trouble with something, especially something so delicate, but you did it.

And now that you did, you can learn the next steps to learn how to talk about your feelings in a relationship even if you never have before.

Why is opening up to someone so scary?

Opening up, especially for the first time, can feel immensely foreign. Letting someone into your deepest emotions is a vulnerable thing.

By letting someone know that, you are giving them a special glimpse into a part of you that few people may see. [Read: What does it mean to be vulnerable? 15 ways you can open up to each other]

But, instead of thinking of it as a risk, try to think of it as a benefit. By releasing your feelings to the person you’re in a relationship with, you are growing that partnership. You are gaining someone you can confide in and trust. You are being courageous.

Yes, the first time you talk about your feelings in a relationship, you will be nervous. You might hesitate, stumble over your words, or sweat profusely, but that is okay. Didn’t someone once say nothing worth doing is easy? Or something like that?

You don’t need to sit down and say, “I’m going to share my feelings with you.” It is hard to let something that feels so off to you flow naturally, but you can do it.

Next time you are enjoying your time together and are feeling love, appreciation, sadness or even feelings about something else in your life, just say it. Pull the words out of yourself like ripping off a Band-Aid.

It will feel like a release of so much tension you’ve been holding onto. [Read: How to be emotionally available so you can actually feel love]

How to talk about your feelings in a relationship when you’ve been hurt

Learning how to talk about your feelings in a relationship when you never have is full of fear of the unknown, but doing it when you’ve been hurt is even more of a struggle.

You have opened up before and been burned. It is human nature to preserve oneself. You’ve been hurt by someone you let yourself be vulnerable with and you come to expect that in the future.

Rationality tells you that not everyone is the same and that you need to take a risk to feel the reward of shared love, but it’s not good at convincing someone who has been so irrationally hurt.

And to you, we would not say to release your feelings so abruptly and enjoy the feeling that comes with it, because for you the feeling will likely be dread that that pain will come again. [Read: How opening up to people can give you a much better life]

Instead, take your time. In a relationship, let your partner know you have been hurt so talking about your feelings is not something you feel comfortable with yet. Ask them to be patient with you and take baby steps to get there.

First, talk about your relationship in more practical terms. Talk about your journey together so far. How has that made you feel?

Maybe even share your feelings with someone you do trust just to see how letting them out feels. If you can’t do that, write down your feelings. Just let it all out unfiltered. That will help you build up to sharing them with your partner.

And as you slowly offer more and more vulnerability to your partner, and they continue to earn your trust, you will feel more secure and safe sharing even more. [Read: How to stop yourself from overthinking in your relationship]

How to talk about your feelings in a relationship and be comfortable with it

There is a big difference between learning how to talk about your feelings in a relationship and actually feeling comfortable doing so. And we have some news. You may never feel 100% comfortable with it. But, that is okay.

It is okay not to feel comfortable with everything. If we felt comfortable with everything we did, we would never achieve anything. We would never move out of our parents’ house or get a new job or travel.

Some people are comfortable sharing their emotions. They might even be brutally honest with their emotions and never hold back. Even someone who is open to talking about their feelings as they are, they are still probably scared to do it. They know from experience that there is always a chance they will get hurt. It is always a risk to open your heart to someone. [Read: 41 conversation starters for couples who want to get serious]

Whether you are talking about your feelings in a romantic relationship, familial one, or even a friendship, you open yourself up to a gamble. But, that is okay.

We’re not going to tell you that you cannot have a reward without risk even though it is true. What we are going to tell you is that it gets easier with practice and with trust.

The more you open up, the more the trust builds. And as that trust builds, you feel more comfortable opening up and talking about your feelings.

And eventually, even though it scares you, you won’t hesitate to share your feelings in a relationship because you know how it makes you and your partner closer. You know that sharing your truth is necessary to live an honest and happy life. [Read: How to start being vulnerable in your relationships and build a better bond]

You’ll learn that you are most comfortable when you are 100% yourself and sharing all your real feelings. Eventually, you will wonder why you haven’t been doing this all along.

Specific steps to take to talk about your feelings in a relationship

Now that you have decided that you want to learn how to talk about your feelings in your relationship, you have to have specific steps to follow in order to do it effectively. Here are some guidelines for you.

1. Self-reflect

First of all, you need to think about yourself. Take a good deep dive into your past and think about what has happened to you in the past that makes you reluctant to share your feelings. When you think about them objectively, you can move past them. [Read: 25 self-reflective questions to help stay true to yourself]

2. What exactly are your feelings?

You also need to sort out your feelings and name them. You might just be feeling “upset” but that can mean a lot of things.

Are you angry? Or maybe you are sad? Are you feeling withdrawn? All of those can fall under the category of “upset.” So, sort them out yourself first.

3. Accept your feelings

Sometimes we don’t like what we are feeling. It might be embarrassing to admit that you’re hurt or deeply in love. Either way, you have to acknowledge that you have these feelings and accept them yourself before you share them.

4. What are you afraid of?

Why exactly are you afraid to share your feelings? Is it because you don’t know how the other person feels? Are you afraid of being judged or made fun of?

Try to identify the source of your fear of sharing your emotions. [Read: How to be fearless – 18 ways to set aside fear and live like a champion]

5. What’s the worst that can happen?

Sometimes we don’t actually fear what we think we fear. For example, you say you fear sharing your emotions with your partner, but is that really it? Or is it the outcome that you fear? Maybe you really fear that the person will leave you or laugh at you if your share your feelings.

But what’s the worst that can happen? Once you figure that out, you can accept it better.

6. Be mentally prepared

So, once you have decided to share your feelings in your relationship, you need to be mentally prepared for any outcome.

It could go really well, or it could end badly. You should try to do your best and aim for it to bring you closer, but be prepared if it doesn’t happen that way.

7. Think about what you’re going to say ahead of time

Sometimes people get tongue-tied when they want to share their feelings. They have a hard time translating their emotions into words in a spontaneous manner.

So, you should write down what you want to say ahead of time so you will say everything you really want to. [Read: How to be vulnerable in a relationship and feel closer instantly]

8. Describe your feelings

Just as you had to sort out and name your feelings within yourself, you should do it for your partner too. Say things like, “I feel lonely” or “I feel sad” or “I feel angry.” Be as specific as you can so they can understand you.

9. Practice

It always helps to practice. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” So, practice saying it out loud to yourself or in a mirror. Or try it out on a friend or family member. They might be able to give you some tips and advice.

10. Listen to your partner’s feelings

When you talk about your feelings in a relationship, you should encourage your partner to do the same. Then, listen to them really well.

Show empathy and try to see things from their perspective too. It might not be easy for them to do it either, so you should be a good listener and supportive. [Read: 14 ways on how to be a better listener in a relationship]

11. Visualize the positive outcome

This might sound cheesy, but when you close your eyes and visualize how the conversation will go, envision it going well.

See your partner smiling, hugging, and kissing you. This will give your subconscious the positive feedback it needs.

12. Be proud of yourself

If it’s difficult for you to talk about your feelings, then you should really be proud of yourself for doing it. It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and do something different.

So, even if it doesn’t go as planned, be happy that you made this choice to talk about your feelings. [Read: How to love yourself – the 23 best ways to find self-love and happiness]

13. Know that everything will be okay

You might fear the outcome of talking about your feelings in your relationship. But you have to have a positive attitude and know that everything will be okay in the end. Even if it’s difficult at the moment, in the long run, it will be worth it.

Final thoughts

It can be hazardous to your emotional and even physical well-being to hold back your feelings, especially in a relationship. It can cause stress and tension that lead to insomnia, illness, and even physical pain in some cases.

But, by working on your communication and trust within your relationship, you can feel exposed and happy about it.

[Read: 20 best questions to ask in a relationship and understand each other]

Learning how to talk about your feelings in a relationship takes time, patience, and trust. But with all of that, you can share your emotions in a relationship and feel damn good about it too.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...