A safe relationship makes you feel valued, loved and trusted. You have the right to be genuinely happy in any relationship, so feeling safe in a relationship should be a priority.
Safety in a relationship doesn’t only imply physical safety but emotional safety as well. When you feel safe with your partner, thou trust them wholly and better understanding them comes naturally to you. Also, you become vulnerable and comfortable with them, as it should be.
It is important to open up to your partner; you can only do that when there is emotional safety in the relationship.
5 signs of not feeling safe in a relationship
Here are some of the visible signs that you’re not feeling safe in your relationship:
1. You are afraid to initiate affection
You may get tired of reaching out to your partner when you’re the only one who ever makes the first move in the relationship. The situation might worsen when your partner rejects you whenever you try to initiate intimacy.
Once this rejection has happened a few times, you may find it hard to open up to them. If left unchecked, you’ll soon find both of you drifting apart. This shows that there is no emotional security in the relationship.
2. Your concerns are easily set aside or ridiculed
The ability to communicate your feelings to your partner is necessary if you’d end up feeling safe in a relationship. You need to voice your concerns and confide in your partner when they do something wrong or do what makes you uncomfortable.
However, you may find that your partner doesn’t acknowledge your feelings and may not even address them when you share things with them. This may make you feel insecure and unwilling to share your concerns the next time around.
3. You’re afraid to leave your partner alone
If you find it hard to allow your partner to attend parties or go on vacations with friends, you need to look into your depth of trust for them.
It’s okay to desire to spend quality time with your partner, but leaving a little breathing space for each other encourages a healthy relationship.
If you notice that you always want to be around your partner, know what they’re doing, or know where they are when you’re not there, you need to ask yourself why you feel this way.
These might be signs that you are not feeling safe with someone, which could result from something they’ve done to you in the past. It could also result from deep-seated issues that have nothing to do with your partner.
4. Your partner threatens you with a breakup or divorce
Mind games can work in several ways. Sometimes, you might want to communicate something important, but your partner threatens to leave or divorce you anytime you bring it up.
This might be their way of keeping you shackled to them, even when you feel insecure in the relationship.
In an emotionally secure relationship, you should be able to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner without the fear of being manipulated or threatened with a divorce or breakup.
5. You spy on your partner
What does it mean to feel safe in a relationship? Feeling safe in a relationship means that you’re confident that your partner will not intentionally hurt you.
If you’re always going behind your partner’s back to find out what they’re doing when you’re not there, it could mean you’re not feeling safe in your relationship.
People who spy on their partner’s devices do so to confirm their long suspicions. Start by acknowledging the reason behind this act.
If it is because your partner has cheated on you in the past, acknowledge that.
You should be able to confide in your partner since it is obvious that emotional security has not yet been restored in the relationship.
What characteristics make people feel safe in a relationship?
Your partner may show you some attributes that make you feel safe in your relationship. Most times, these feelings and characteristics come naturally to them. Here are some of them.
1. Physical security
Even if your partner is physically stronger than you, they don’t use it against you. However, they make you feel safe in their embrace and warmth.
In a physically secure relationship, your partner doesn’t hit you or use their physical strength to intimidate you.
When you reach for them, they accept you with kindness and will never force anything on you, sexually or emotionally. You also feel safe with them and don’t flinch when they reach for you.
Trust is an important factor in healthy and safe relationships. It is impossible to genuinely trust your partner when they constantly make you doubt them.
When they keep doing things that make you question your place in their lives, try communicating with them. If it becomes uncomfortable for you, confide in your partner because a relationship built on trust will always be a safe space for you.
A safe relationship cannot be formed when you’re dishonest with your partner. Lying about things you could easily tell your partner isn’t the right way to build strong and healthy relationships.
No matter how big of an issue you think it is, it is important to be completely honest with your partner. Being secure in a relationship is almost impossible when you’re with someone who won’t stop lying to you.
You can be completely open with your partner and pour out your fears/insecurities without fear of them being used against you.
When you’re vulnerable with your partner, you eventually learn to feel safe with them. You trust that they wouldn’t do anything to hurt you intentionally, even though they know your struggles and insecurities.
You already know what to expect from your partner and their reactions to certain situations, so you feel safe knowing that you know them well enough.
Nothing jolts you again because you can almost predict how your partner will react in the face of some challenges.
Respect is important in any healthy relationship. Your partner should consider your feelings when making decisions and not only think of themselves. When they respect you, you feel safe in that relationship because you are reminded that they hold you in high regard.
7. Listening ears
As you journey toward feeling safe in a relationship, you must be with someone who gives you a listening ear and makes you feel validated – even when what you’re saying can be likened to gibberish.
Going on and on without understanding your partner’s point of view is not healthy behavior, so be sure to listen and understand your partner before you come up with an argument that could have been avoided.
The longest and healthiest relationships are those in which all parties have decided to harness and deploy effective listening skills.
8. Being real
Being brutally honest may not excite everyone around you, but it makes you authentic. As you figure out how to feel safe in a relationship, you must be yourself and refuse to hold back.
In a secure relationship, you shouldn’t need to hold back or try to be someone you’re not.
An understanding partner is a lifesaver because you know that when you express yourself, you’re not expecting a flare-up as a response.
You also know that your partner isn’t hiding anything of importance from you, and they’re also as honest as they can be.
Your partner doesn’t try to change you but advises or encourages you to become a better version of yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are trying to control your existence; they want the best for you.
They put your well-being in mind before giving any advice. You don’t have to be another person or change your whole being for your partner because you both feel safe with yourselves and commit to getting better with every passing day.
Like in the real world, we instinctively find safety when we don’t feel safe enough. The same goes for relationships. When we feel safe in a relationship, there is room for growth and improvement.
When you feel safe in a relationship, you learn more about yourself and try to be better versions of yourself. Relationships come with different feelings that may become overwhelming if you don’t stop to understand them.
Safety in a relationship and acceptance from your partner are important. When there is safety in a relationship, you naturally feel reassured and have faith in your partner.
When you feel wanted by your partner, you naturally feel safe with them because you know they cherish your presence, so they wouldn’t do anything to hurt you on purpose.
Feeling safe in a relationship means not worrying that your partner will disrespectfully criticize you or be inconsiderate of your feelings.
This way, you don’t drown in self-doubt every day because you’re confident that you’re in a safe space, and you can have the happiness that comes along with this knowledge.
What can you do to make yourself feel safe in your relationship?
Once you’ve spoken to your partner about some things that don’t make you feel safe in your relationship, it is time to address things yourself.
There are several things you can do to improve the situation for yourself. You can try strategy after strategy until one eventually works for you.
Here are some of the things you can do to make yourself feel safe in your relationship:
1. Admit it
First, recognize and admit that safety in a relationship does exist, and you deserve it. Understand that not feeling secure in a relationship is not ideal, and you deserve better.
2. Spend time away from the house
Try a change of scenery with your partner. You can decide to go on a date night or see the movies to learn to feel safer and more comfortable around them in public.
When you’re out with your partner, you tend not to think about the pressures in your relationship. Both of you focus on having a good time together; this respite is necessary for any relationship.
Suggested Video: Couples Bucket List. Fun things to do with your partner.
3. Set boundaries in your relationship
Since you’re advised to be open and vulnerable in a relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should condone disrespect.
If you don’t feel comfortable with public displays of affection or don’t want to discuss certain topics with your partner, let them know and make your boundaries clear.
For example, if you never want to talk about your past relationships, let your partner know and make your boundaries clear.
If they don’t respect your wishes, maybe you should re-evaluate that relationship because it shows that they don’t understand what safety in a relationship entails.
If you don’t like how some things are done in the relationship or want your partner to communicate more with you, you should be honest about your feelings and talk to your partner.
It is only when you’re open with your partner that they understand your feelings because sometimes, they don’t know what’s going through your head until you speak up.
When nothing seems to change after voicing your feelings to your partner, you may want to reassess the relationship.
What do you need to feel safe in your relationship?
Feeling safe in a relationship is the result of the presence of some factors. Here are some of them:
1. Having someone to lean on
Some people come from broken homes where their parents never seemed to keep their promises due to certain reasons like mental illnesses, addictions, etc.
So, they naturally learn not to depend on others for anything other than someone whose sole aim is to provide services like a caregiver and themselves.
They find it hard to depend on anyone, including their partner, and may come off as not trusting their partner enough to confide and share their worries with them.
While you are hooked on having only yourself, you need to let go a bit and give space for your partner to be there for you. Remind yourself right now that it is no longer you against the world. Your partner is there to help you. Let them in.
You may have been told in the past that you need to suppress your feelings or take whatever you see as it is, but you must let go of those thoughts and put yourself first.
This way, you feel safer with your decisions and learn to enjoy your relationships fully.
Remind yourself that your partner accepts you. Feeling safe in a relationship happens when you know you’re with someone who loves and accepts you for who you are, not who they wish you were.
3. Confront problems as a team
You and your partner should share the same visions and goals in a relationship (at least, to an extent). With this in mind, you no longer have to do everything yourself. Your partner is always willing to help if only you let them in.
Confronting conflicts in your relationship shouldn’t be about scoring points but trying to think of a solution together as a team.
When you experience a feeling of oneness with your partner, you naturally feel safe when you’re with them because there is a deep connection between the both of you.
In an emotionally secure relationship, you believe that your partner understands you better because they know all the facets of your existence but still accept you as you are.
You eventually feel more confident, open up to your partner, and share your problems and fears with them.
You can also feel safe in your relationship when your partner isn’t physically close, but you feel assured of their connection and the trust they have for you.
Your relationship can be a safe place to return to after the both of you go out and live independent lives because there is trust and a deep connection between you.
One of the end goals of relationships is safety. A safe relationship brings you happiness and is less stressful.
Don’t be afraid of being vulnerable, and give your partner a chance to know you better.
Speak up when you’re wronged because someday it may become overbearing for you (if you don’t let your partner know how you feel). You can take it slowly or even seek support to achieve a safe relationship.
You can build an emotionally safe relationship by being emotionally available for your partner, listening and respecting their decisions, keeping your promises, managing conflicts amicably and respectfully, and being reliable.
Also, feeling safe in a relationship doesn’t happen overnight. You must consciously work toward it with the help and cooperation of your partner.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.