Even though vulnerability makes us look weak and exposed, it is crucial to know how to let your guard down in a relationship. So, what does it mean to let your guard down, and how do you let your guard down when dating? Keep reading to find out more.
What does it mean to let your guard down in a relationship
To understand how to let your guard down in a relationship, you must know what the term ‘guard’ means. To guard is to protect and watch over something keenly. When you let your guard down, you become unprotected and exposed.
It looks like you are in a precarious situation, and any harm could come to you. That’s why letting your guard down seems scary to many people. When you let your guard down in a relationship, you open up and show your vulnerable side to your partner.
All your fears, secrets, guilt, deepest desires, strengths, and weaknesses become known to your potential partner. And that is why vulnerability is challenging for many people. It means you are ready to trust your love interest wholeheartedly without hesitation.
Being vulnerable makes you look weak and exposed, but it takes some strength to open up and trust another human.
When you let your guard down, you say you hand over your life to the person, and they can do with it as they wish. It looks like a huge burden, but you can’t find love without trusting your partner or letting your guard down.
Not letting down your guard means you build a massive wall around yourself, thinking it will protect you from others. But in reality, this prevents others from seeing the real you. It becomes challenging to date others, and if you do, it can lead to a greater relationship issue.
To find true love, you must know how to let your guard down when dating. You must allow someone to know you for who you are. While it’s essential to feel safe around someone, not trusting them can jeopardize your chances of happiness in a relationship.
Knowing how to let your guard down and be yourself can save you from many relationship issues. Learn more in the following paragraphs as they reveal how to be less guarded.
How does one let their guard down?
People who have trouble opening up often ask, “I want to know how to let my guard down. What can I do?” Or “He wants me to let my guard down?”
If you have made it challenging for people to know you due to shame, fear, or guilt, don’t expect them to get along with you quickly. Eventually, what you are protecting will be revealed to your partner.
Meanwhile, you must be careful when you let your guard down. You don’t necessarily have to disclose important aspects of your life on the first date. It also means you don’t need to lie. All you need is some tactics below to guide you to be vulnerable and show you how to let your guard down in a relationship.
1. Be yourself
The trick to letting your guard down is to be real. Don’t present yourself as someone else to make your potential partner like you. They may eventually like you or not, but you are safer being unique and not the image you create in your head.
You can impress by dressing up, making up, and speaking well. However, taking on a new personality entirely is dangerous and may haunt you.
If you seek answers on how to let your guard down, you must trust your instinct. While this seems contradictory, going less guarded may save you from impending trouble. Our instincts work by using actions we see unconsciously to help us decide.
If you sense that you can’t trust your potential partner, then don’t. Being vulnerable doesn’t mean you should ignore some red flags.
3. Be honest
You can’t know how to let your guard down in a relationship without being honest. Also, you can’t build a healthy relationship without telling the truth. Always endeavor to convey your true feelings in a relationship without shame.
4. Take your time
To know how to let your guard down when dating, you must be patient. Only patience can help you make the best decision with your instinct. Besides, learning how to be less guarded completely takes some time to master.
5 important reasons to let your guard down
There are many reasons why you should let your guard down. To start with, it makes you seem lovable. No one likes to be with a partner whom they know little about. When your potential partner knows who you are, your weakness, strengths, and fears, they will learn how to relate with you better.
Another reason why you should let your guard down is that it gives you the strength to embrace all your insecurities and blemishes. We sometimes build a high wall around ourselves because we believe mistakes, shame, and fear make us bad. On the contrary, embracing them means strength.
The following list shows us 5 valid reasons why you should let your guard down.
1. You learn to love yourself
What does it mean to let your guard down? The whole point of learning how to let your guard down when dating is for your benefit. Protecting yourself from others by hiding your fears, weaknesses, and strengths happens because we are ashamed of what others might think of us.
We are scared of being criticized and judged, and we forget that everyone has flaws. However, once you let others know who you are, you appreciate yourself more.
Another valid reason to be vulnerable is that you will find love. Everyone deserves someone who loves them deeply and can go back and forth for them. Besides, life is too precious to prevent yourself from being cared for properly.
When you don’t disclose your true self, your potential partner will only love you based on their perception, which might not be the way you want.
Another reason to let your guard down is that everyone won’t hurt you. You are well in your right to build a high wall for protection because you’ve been betrayed before. Also, many people look for vulnerable individuals to prey on.
However, everyone can’t be the same. You need to give people a chance to love and cherish you before assuming anything.
4. You become happier
Being guarded may shield you from getting hurt or being taken advantage of, but it won’t make you happy. True happiness is felt when you embrace your personality and allow people to love you the way you want.
The statement, “Two heads are better than one,” comes true here. You have a lot to gain when you allow people into your life. Friendship, for instance, will enable you to have someone with whom to share experiences. Similarly, genuine intimate relationships help you heal from your painful past experiences.
Now that you know why you should let your guard down, the following tips will show you the proper ways of letting down your guard.
20 practical ways to let your guard down in a relationship
What are some effective ways to let your guard down in a relationship? Read on to know more.
1. Embrace your blemishes
One of the reasons many people build walls around themselves is that they are ashamed of their weaknesses. They don’t want to get hurt, judged, or criticized. One trick to letting your guard down easily is to accept who you are.
Know that your past mistakes and present weaknesses mold you to become who you are. Besides, these events and experiences with people have taught you lessons that can be helpful in the future.
Another effective way to let your guard down is to communicate your needs freely with your potential partner. Let them know your expectations in the relationship and how you want to be treated. Don’t be ashamed of your personal needs just for the other person to accept you.
You deserve the best things in life. Let them know your values and interests. It will make your date appreciate you for who you are. Besides, being honest about what you want is a way of preventing the past from repeating itself.
Learn how to communicate your needs regarding sex and intimacy in this short video:
3. Start by telling a story from your past
You become free when you let your guard down, but it can’t always be easy. One way is to start with a story from your past. It may be an experience from high school or when you were in university.
This sets the mood for conversation and puts you at ease communicating with your date.
4. Accept the risk of being vulnerable
If you are scared of what could go wrong when you open up to a potential partner, remember that everything in life comes with risk. Starting a business has its risks, and so does working under someone. Relocating to another town is a risk, and staying in your comfort zone is also a risk.
One way how to let your guard down is to accept that trusting someone comes with a risk. They can judge, criticize and blame you. Also, they can hurt and take advantage of you, but to find true love, you must ride along because being protective might prevent a reasonable person from coming into your life.
Another reason you have challenges trusting a new partner is your unpleasant past experiences. For example, suppose your ex cheated or betrayed your trust. In that case, it is natural for you to assume a potential partner will do the same.
Unfortunately, you can’t enjoy your new relationship without making peace with your past.
Your ex is now gone, but your new partner doesn’t have to be the scapegoat for your past experiences. By preventing others from loving you, you are giving your ex the power to control your life, even though they aren’t there physically.
6. Let them know your fears
Fear is an uncontrolled emotion due to a perceived threat. If you want to enjoy your relationship, it is best to be upfront about your fears.
Revealing your fears shows the more vulnerable parts of yourself. It will help your potential partner know you properly and appreciate you. It shows you are more than a beautiful face with imperfections like other people.
If your date judges you for your fears, they may not be the right person for you.
It isn’t easy to love another person without loving yourself. After embracing your whole personality, you must learn to love them. Value yourself so much that others won’t have the autonomy to treat you.
Start by taking good care of yourself. Get new clothes and shoes or go to a spa to enhance your beauty. You may also meditate to relieve stress and get in touch with your emotions and feelings. Doesn’t this make it easy to commit to another person?
8. Validate your emotions
“I think I let my guard down on certain things in the past. Now I’m scared to trust again.” You are right to feel scared, jealous, insecure, and ashamed of certain things in life.
That’s what makes you human. However, you shouldn’t focus on them. Your priority now is to heal gradually. Don’t be too hard on yourself, as good things take time.
9. Be a good listener
As much as you want your potential partner to listen to you, you must also return the favor. When others talk, listen actively from their perspective and not judge them. Trust is a two-way street, and your partner should feel safe enough to open up.
Therefore, prove yourself as trustworthy. Don’t think your potential spouse is weak for showing their vulnerability. Their courageous act might help you overcome some of your insecurities.
10. Accept that people are different
If you want to know how to let your guard down, you must accept that humans are different. The same also goes for a relationship. Don’t project the image of someone who betrayed you on your new date. Give them a unique chance without having unrealistic expectations.
11. Accept that you can’t always control things
“I was hurt because I let my guard down in the past.” Really? Do you think you can change how things would have gone in the past? Of course, not! No one does.
Whether you are vulnerable or not, it doesn’t prevent things from happening. But when you believe life is unpredictable, you won’t be disappointed. Instead, you pick the most important lessons and move on.
Blaming yourself or others diverts your attention from healing correctly. It also prevents you from moving forward. Instead, accept that things happen.
13.Be vulnerable, but don’t overdo it
The point of letting down your guard is to allow another person to love you, but be careful. Being vulnerable doesn’t mean trusting every Tom, Dick, and Harry. You should know your potential partner to some extent before letting your guard down. Don’t rush to get intimate with them. Notably, if you sense that something is off, that’s your cue to leave.
14. Trust your partner
One of the top reasons for relationship breakdowns is lack of trust. You can be conscious and careful for a long time. However, you will still have to trust your partner before having a healthy and long-lasting relationship.
They might betray your trust, and you will let them go. But you won’t know anything until you trust them. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst scenario that can happen if I let my guard down?”
Being too sensitive and always watching out for yourself places so much burden on you. Thankfully, meditation can help you be in tune with your mind, body, and soul. It also allows you to manage stress, increase your tolerance and reduce negative emotions.
16. Be patient
Yes! Being patient is what you can do while things fall in place. Don’t rush yourself into another intimate relationship. Instead, take your time to watch how things unfold. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to see situations from a clearer perspective.
You need to heal from your experience before you know how to let your guard down in a relationship. Healing means letting go of your past and getting better.
Without it, it becomes hard to function in other aspects of your life. If you have trouble doing this, it is best to consult a therapist or counselor to help you.
18. Meet new people
Indeed, people have betrayed your trust in the past. Thankfully, you have learned your lessons and let them go. Now, it’s time to allow new people into your life. It will help provide new perspectives and opportunities for you.
19. Tone down your expectations
Humans are inherently flawed, so don’t expect people to be perfect. As you meet new people, remember that they will make mistakes. As long as they don’t hurt you intentionally, you should give them chances to prove themselves.
Letting your guard down is hard to achieve after many heartbreaks and disappointments. Therefore, you don’t need to be hard on yourself. If you have tried many means to heal and it’s not working, seek the help of a professional.
Therapists and relationship counselors can help you cope with your experience and live a fulfilling life.
Vulnerability is often associated with weakness because it makes us feel exposed. However, you must be willing to share your thoughts, emotions and feelings freely to know how to let your guard down. It is also a way to build a healthy and meaningful relationship.
Nevertheless, opening up to a therapist can help you easily open up to your partner. It also enables you to share your thoughts without holding back. The effective ways in this guide show you how to let your guard down.
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.