Embracing vulnerability in a relationship means revealing to your partner your true self, including your fears, dreams, and emotions. Vulnerability deals with the willingness to truly be ourselves — to expose a softer side that we could otherwise have hidden behind our defenses.

Vulnerability is an essential tool in enhancing close connectivity in relationships because it gives us the courage to bare ourselves before others. However, not everyone is comfortable showing vulnerability in relationships. This can be as a result of the fact that most of us have unfortunately been trained from a very early age not to be vulnerable. We’re taught that the best defense against pain is a good offense.

Naturally, the human is a social species; hence we all desire close connections, but ironically, we resist vulnerability-which is the very trait that makes that close connection possible in relationships. We live in a society that revels in being strong-minded and unemotional; as a result, vulnerability is considered a weakness. In truth, however, vulnerability is a strength that helps us to build strong bonds in our relationships.

The lack of intimacy in relationships today can be attributed to the inability of people to be vulnerable. Most of us, unfortunately, do not know how to be vulnerable. An excellent way to learn how to be vulnerable is by being honest about how we feel, about our fears, about what we need, and asking for what we need.  When we resist vulnerability, we deny the people the opportunity to be close to us by not allowing them to know us fully. We fear we will be hurt or rejected, but vulnerability can draw people closer to our lives than chasing them away.

Vulnerability should, however, not be misunderstood. After learning what vulnerability is, we must know what vulnerability is not. Vulnerability does not mean oversharing and offering every detail of your life up for consumption to everyone you meet. It is all about intention. There are those you hold close or want to, who are worth taking a risk for.

There are many benefits of vulnerability in relationships. Among them is the ability of vulnerability to foster growth. As you reveal yourself to another person, and they treat you with respect, love, and dignity, your trust in that person expands. And as you reveal more of yourself, you invite the other person to be vulnerable as well. And when you treat the person with the same amount of love, respect, and dignity, their trust for you grows as well.

Vulnerability also helps in building confidence. As you are expressing your feelings more and more, reveal your flaws, and admit your fears, you will realize that the art of vulnerability increases your confidence, not only in yourself but in your partner as well. You know you can expose yourself without dying or becoming less of a person. Vulnerability also strengthens your relationship in other ways by creating bonds, fostering love, revealing realities, heal wounds, and so on. The benefits of vulnerability in relationships are inexhaustible. One thing is sure; however, the importance of vulnerability in a relationship is not something to take lightly.