Have you ever been in a situation where you are really feeling all the feelings in the world, but you just can’t let them out because you are afraid you’ll be judged or that your feelings will hurt somebody else’s? I’m sure you have, at some point in your life. An LDR poses a bigger ”risk” for one’s feelings going unexpressed, or masked under happiness or another positive emotion. How do you express your true feelings in an LDR without hurting your significant other then?
It’s important for your own health to be truthful about what you’re feeling. Letting emotions such as anger or sadness pile up underneath can have a rather negative effect on you. This can project into your relationship and make matters much, much worse than you originally thought they could even get. When you collect emotions without letting them out, you risk burning out and just having a breakdown at the most inconvenient moment. We don’t want that as human beings, but often times, we are also too scared to express our feelings truthfully when we are feeling them, without hiding and denying them.
Journey to Openness
Being open should be a crucial part of any relationship, but it’s especially important in a long distance relationship. I always put an emphasis on this in all of my articles because it is that important, at least to me personally. However, I understand that it can be hard to be open with someone. Openness is very intimate; it can take a while before you actually trust someone, especially in the beginning of the relationship, or if you’re coming from rather traumatic grounds. I’m going to try to help you out with this.
First, get to know your S.O. very well. Often this takes a trip to see them or for them to see you, but it is so worth it. Get to know their quirks, understand where they’re coming from and discuss topics to see if you’re on the same level. Accept their flaws, and let them accept yours. It’s important that you do everything in your power to stop doubting their love for you! If this is especially hard for you, seek guidance and professional help. There’s no shame in seeking help from a psychologist or a therapist if you have issues with accepting love, for instance. They’ve gone through years of training to help you out.
After you’ve found out that you can trust your partner, start opening up slowly. We all have things that we find really hard to share with other people, you don’t have to start with those. You can share little bits and pieces: what made you anxious/happy/sad today, why you love that particular mug so much or why you fear heights so much. You can gradually get deeper and deeper, while being aware of your own level of comfortability. Always explain to your partner that opening up is hard for you, they should understand it. If they’re trying to hurry you into anything, discuss it. If they’re not listening to what you have to say, it might be time to re-evaluate your relationship with them.
Expressing Feelings without Being Hurtful
- checkUnderstand your feelings first. It’s important that you understand, even if just partially, your own feelings first. That way it’s easier to tell your SO where you’re coming from. I’ve found that writing in a journal or making mind maps makes understanding my own feelings easier and then wording them to my partner.
- checkBe considerate, when you word things. Try to be empathetic and see how the other person might be seeing it. Don’t straight out blame them about your feelings. It’s not the best way to go and might just make the whole thing a lot more difficult than it actually is.
- checkBe open to questions. Sometimes it’s hard for us as human beings to understand why someone is feeling the way they do. Don’t be scared if your significant other asks you questions regarding your feelings. It’s completely fine if you don’t have an answer for them, just tell them that. You might even spark a conversation about it and start brainstorming together.
- checkTake your time to cool down and try to be calm. We get frustrated. That’s normal, that’s life. But try to talk out your feelings calmly. That way you don’t risk an argument just because you started yelling at your partner right after they ticked you off. Sometimes yelling arguments do happen, and that’s completely fine. But they’re not necessary every single time. We often word things in a much more hurtful way when we are just steaming with emotion. So take your time, calm yourself down, count to ten (or hundred). Whatever works for you.
- checkDiscuss, discuss, and discuss. Discussion is important. If we don’t discuss our feelings, they’re often hard to let out. Be understanding with your partner, and ask them to be understanding with you. Explain to them why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, and don’t mask your feelings. There’s no need to disguise your anger as something else. If you do that long enough, you just become bitter and at some point, a volcano will erupt. You will be in it knee deep and it will be much harder to get up than if you just had told them how their words or actions hurt you in the first place.
I hope this article was helpful to you! Remember that we are only human and can’t always be perfect. Being forgiving (with limits, of course) you can lead a happier life and keep your relationship thriving. May your October go unmasked as far as feelings go.
How do you show your partner your feelings without hurting them? What do you do if you do end up hurting them?