To Love Is To Be Vulnerable: How To Open Up

By Robert Porter|Updated August 11, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Lauren Fawley , LPC

Being in love with someone is supposed to feel fantastic. Love is a wonderful feeling and being connected to another person in an intimate way opens up new possibilities in life. Many people see love—and maintaining a loving relationship—as one of their ultimate goals in life. Not everyone has an easy time opening up enough to enjoy love to its full extent, though, which may leave them thinking is love enough?

Find Out How To Open Up Your Heart To Someone New

You might have heard the expression "to love is to be vulnerable" in the past. As British writer C.S Lewis put it in his book The Four Loves, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

This expression is very true as love makes you have to practice vulnerability with the person that you're with. Your feelings for the person that you love are so powerful that they have a certain hold over you. Someone can potentially break your heart just as easily as they can enrich your life. For this reason, some people are very afraid to truly open up to their romantic partners.

If you're the type of person who puts up a wall to keep other people from getting too close, that's going to negatively impact your relationships. You can't love someone completely and not allow yourself to be vulnerable. You need to be willing to show your true self when you're with your lover. Take a look at the advice below to learn how you can try to open up in order to let love in.

Don't Let Fear Hold You Back

One of the biggest reasons why people are afraid to open up to their romantic partners is that they don't want to be rejected. Some people are legitimately afraid that their partners will leave them if they show them their true selves. Typically, this is not going to be the case. The problem is that fear is not always rational and the fact that you don't need to be afraid won't always prevent you from feeling that sense of trepidation.

Conquering your fear isn't necessarily going to be simple. There are people who get so worked up about opening up to their significant other that they start to feel anxiety. This can make things even more difficult and you might even need to get help with what you're going through. If you're feeling normal amounts of fear, then you have to try to take a deep breath and let go of your worries.

Truthfully, your partner is not going to judge you for being open with them. Love isn't something that can flourish when one person is holding back. Your fear is keeping you from being yourself around your partner and your partner just wants to enjoy a deeper connection with you. People understand that no one is perfect. You might have issues and there might be baggage in your life, but someone who truly loves you is willing to accept whatever you have to say.

Try To Be Honest At All Times

Honesty is absolutely crucial in any relationship. If you're the type of person who tells lies or who avoids answering questions due to not wanting to open up, then things are only ever going to get to a certain level. It's hard to build a deep love connection with someone who can't be honest with others. When you aren't able to communicate with your significant other effectively, things will run the risk of fizzling out.

If you love the person that you're with, then you should want to be honest about things. Even telling little white lies will not be good in the long run. When you are truthful about feelings and what is going on in your life, it is going to make it much easier to build the strong connection that you want. It can make you feel very vulnerable to have someone see you so completely, but this is what true love is all about.

Express How You're Feeling As Clearly As Possible

It's also good to be able to express yourself properly. Your feelings are not things that you should keep bottled up inside you. If you don't tell your partner how you're feeling about a certain situation, then they're never going to know what's in your heart. When you can tell your partner what's on your mind, it's going to be that much easier for them to connect with you on all levels.

You've probably heard the phrase "communication is key" with regard to relationships. This is absolutely true, and you want to ensure that you're communicating effectively. People who have issues with being vulnerable often beat around the bush instead of coming right out and saying how they're feeling. Don't be vague about your feelings. Communicate what you want to tell your partner as clearly as you possibly can.

Avoiding simple answers such as "yes" or "no" will be important. Try to go into detail about how you're feeling about a certain topic. You can even practice being open and expressing yourself about small things. Whether you're talking about a movie or about how you felt about dinner, it's going to be best to be open about things.

Tell Your Partner When You're Feeling Anxious

Feeling anxious about opening up about certain things is completely normal. Your partner probably even feels a bit anxious about certain things before they share them with you. Even if they're better at finding the courage to open up than you are, they're still going to struggle with certain things. This is why you really shouldn't be so hard on yourself about feeling this way.

You should tell your partner when you're feeling anxious about things. If you're struggling to tell your partner something, or if you simply are having a tough time communicating with them, then don't be afraid to let them know. Your boyfriend or girlfriend likely loves you very much and is going to want to make you feel at ease. When you're able to express that you're feeling anxiety, your significant other is going to be very understanding.

Some topics might take time to open up about. If you have traumatic things from your past that you'd rather not discuss, then your partner will completely understand that. Over time, you might feel like you can be completely open about everything. If you can try your best to be open about as much as you can, then that's going to be a great start for now.

Try To Resist The Urge To Retreat Inside Your Own Head

Those who have trouble communicating honestly are often somewhat introverted. Millions of people consider themselves to be introverted or shy. You might wind up feeling the urge to retreat inside your own head and stop communicating when you're feeling too vulnerable. You should try to resist this urge so that you aren't shutting your partner out.

People do need alone time, and it's fine to want to spend time away from your partner. Just don't feel like you need to shut down due to feeling overwhelmed with a situation. If you're trying to escape because you're feeling sad, inadequate, or angry, then you shouldn't try to resist these emotions; instead, you should try to talk about them. You should allow yourself to feel and you should know that your partner would be there for you no matter what.

Tell Yourself That You're Good Enough To Be Loved

Another issue that people encounter is feeling like they aren't worthy of being loved. You might not be opening up to your significant other due to feeling like it's all too good to be true. If you aren't feeling worthy of your partner's affection, then you need to stop being so negative about yourself. There's a reason why your partner chose you, and you are definitely worthy of being loved.

Learning to love yourself is important when you want to be capable of loving others completely. Everyone has flaws that they feel self-conscious about. Some people have anxiety due to physical characteristics that they possess, and others might worry about whether their emotional or mental health quirks will be accepted by others. What you're not seeing is that everyone is afraid to be vulnerable at first. Everyone questions their own worth sometimes, but you have people who love you—and you can lead a happy life with your partner.

If you can focus on trying to open up to loving yourself, then you'll be much more comfortable with the vulnerability of romantic love. It might take time and you might need help to work on some issues. There are professionals that can help you. You don't have to face things alone and you never have to feel as if you aren't worthy of being loved.

Consider Online Therapy

Find Out How To Open Up Your Heart To Someone New

Studies show that online couples counseling can be a valuable tool for couples experiencing problems with communication. In a study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of

Family Therapy, the effects of online therapy for both satisfied couples and couples in distress were examined. The report begins by mentioning the treatment gap that exists—only 19% of couples seek counseling due to common barriers, such as high costs, geographical and time constraints, and perceived stigma. Online couples counseling, researchers note, is a way of getting around those barriers. The study states that online counseling can increase communication and relationship satisfaction in couples, in addition to improve individual mental health.

As outlined above, online therapy platforms can be beneficial if you and your partner are seeking to open up to each other. Online counseling through BetterHelp is private and discreet—you won’t have to worry about running into someone you know or discussing your treatment with anyone but your therapist. The mental health professionals at BetterHelp can help foster more expressive communication between you and your partner. Read below for counselor reviews, from those who have experienced similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“David is a great listener and has helped me come a long way in overcoming my anxieties and issues in my relationship. He always makes me feel comfortable and is easy to talk with and express how I am feeling.”

“Pam has been an excellent resource for me and my husband. We truly appreciate her expertise. We feel like she truly understands why we chose to pursue counseling and we work very well with her. We highly recommend her!” 


You might feel anxiety over being vulnerable with someone that you love, but things don't have to remain that way. It's possible to learn how to cope with these fears so that you can move toward a brighter future. Let an online therapist be your ally so that you can find happiness today.


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