The Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Your Partner To Open Up More To You

There's nothing wrong with wanting to pursue open communication with the person you're dating. When you're in love with someone, it's easier for that bond to grow with candid dialogue about looming thoughts and feelings. It often feels like there's a block of separation between you and your person if you're unable to talk with them about heartfelt and emotional topics.


At the end of the day, though, you have to keep in mind that you can't force anyone to talk about things if they aren't ready. Communication goes both ways, and they have to be on the same page as you. Instead of getting increasingly frustrated about a lack of solid communication with a partner who's struggling to open up, consider trying a few of these suggestions to make things easier for both of you.

Keep in mind that you can still have a healthy relationship even if your partner has a different communication style than you. However, if you've exhausted all efforts to get them to open up and this is a total dealbreaker for you, it becomes your decision to reevaluate the relationship as a whole.


Don't be visibly disgusted by your partner's truths

When your partner opens up to you about things that make them uncomfortable, you shouldn't display any visible disgust from their truths. If your facial expression showcases that you're disgusted by what they've just shared with you, they will instantly feel regretful about opening up to you. No one wants to feel shame after opening up in a manner that makes them completely vulnerable. 


It's possible your partner will share information that actually does make you feel disgusted! Still, they don't need to know you feel as repulsed as you do. Refrain from making any faces that indicate how turned off you are, and hold back from saying comments that would make them feel worse. You might get the ick from whatever they reveal to you, but if you want them to continue opening up to you in the future, don't make a big deal out of it.

Don't laugh at what your partner reveals

One of the worst things you can do to your partner when they're trying to open up is laugh at whatever they reveal. When someone's opening up to you about uncomfortable truths, it puts them in a vulnerable state. They don't want to be laughed at or made to feel like the butt of a joke. It doesn't matter how hilarious their secret might be, either. It's your job to bite your tongue and hold back any rumbling laughter to keep your partner feeling heard and validated. 


If you've laughed at your partner's truths in the past, it's going to take some serious effort on your part to undo that damage. They want to feel they're being taken seriously. If what they have to say isn't funny to them, it shouldn't be funny to you, either. You might think what they're telling you is comical in the back of your mind, but you certainly don't have to publicize that.

Avoid applying too much pressure

You must avoid pressuring your partner when it comes to communication. When trying to get someone to open up, applying too much pressure can actually lead to the opposite effect. Many people prefer making choices independently without being persuaded heavily by others. If your partner feels you're forcing an issue by pressuring them to talk about a specific topic, they might shut down more than before. Once that happens, it becomes even more challenging to move forward. 


You could feel tempted to apply a bit of pressure after gaining some curiosity about what's going on with them, but try your best not to give in to those temptations. If you squeeze someone too tightly, they'll suffocate and try to escape from you. If you obsessively chase someone down, they'll do their best to outrun you and avoid capture. Keep these metaphors in mind before pressuring your partner to open up.

Don't obsessively overshare your own secrets

You might believe that opening up about all your own secrets will get your partner in the right headspace to open up right back to you. At the end of the day, you're putting yourself at serious risk by doing this. Just because you're an open book who's willing to lay it all out on the line doesn't mean your partner matches your energy and will do the same. 


If you obsessively overshare your own secrets, your partner will then know every detail about you from head to toe. You still won't know everything you want to know about them in return, though. Be as open as you're comfortable being with your partner without going above and beyond to prove something to them. Your partner isn't going to emulate every action you make in your relationship — that includes oversharing personal secrets — if they aren't ready.

Respect your partner's boundaries

It's vital to respect your partner's boundaries in the same way you would expect them to respect yours. Healthy relationships are built on solid foundations with clear boundaries in place. If you and your partner don't have any boundaries with each other, it's easy for things to get murky and messy pretty quickly. If you're fully aware of your partner's boundaries and you still choose to neglect them, you have to understand that you're in the wrong. Your partner might have up walls to express that they aren't ready to talk about certain topics with you at this juncture of your relationship. 


If you truly love and respect your partner, you won't give them a hard time about the boundaries they've put in place. Even if you're not a big fan of the walls your partner has put up right now, keep in mind that they're allowed to alter and tweak those boundaries at any point in time. They will potentially change their mind in the future and open up to you much more. If the roles were reversed, you'd want your partner to honor whatever boundaries you have.

Don't snoop through their phone for answers

It would be a huge mistake to look through your partner's phone for answers based solely on your own curiosity. You may desperately want them to open up to you, but that doesn't mean you should violate their privacy by going through their phone to get answers. Though there are certainly plenty of ways to snoop through your partner's phone without them ever finding out, you'd be stuck living with the guilt of what you've done. 


Plus, if you look through their phone and find something you want to confront them about, you'll have no way to bring it to their attention without telling them you violated their privacy by looking through their phone. It's probably even worse if you get caught red-handed snooping. If this happens, you won't have a chance to explain yourself or apologize because you've already been caught doing something super messed up.

Don't ask your partner's friends and family about them

Your partner will feel betrayed if you go behind their back talking to their friends and family members. While it's true that your partner's friends and family might have answers to your looming questions, you don't have the right to go straight to them with your burning questions. If your partner finds out you spoke to them, it will be harder for them to trust you in the future. 


If you go to their close friends or family members, this might even create a sense of paranoia in them about how often you go behind their back and have conversations they wouldn't be comfortable with. If this is a route you choose to take, your partner's friends or family members could even inform them of what you've done. This puts you in a horrible position in the eyes of those closest to your partner if they don't consider you to be a trustworthy person for their loved one anymore.

Refrain from gossiping about your partner to mutual friends

You shouldn't expect to have open and honest conversations with your partner if you spend time gossiping about them to mutual friends. The issue at hand is that whenever you gossip about your partner to mutual friends, you don't know where those details will end up. It's possible your mutual friends will bring those details back around to your partner who will end up feeling betrayed by you. 


It's easy to get caught up in the allure of gossip, but this is never something you should do about a person you're romantically involved with. As soon as your partner catches wind of your actions, they'll have a hard time opening up to you about anything in the future. They'll likely grow paranoid that anything they share with you will be repeated to mutual friends whenever you're not in the same room.

Never compare your current partner's communication skills to an ex

No matter how frustrated you might be with your partner, you shouldn't compare their communication skills to those of your exes. In an exasperated moment, you might want to tell your partner you wish they would open up to you the way your last partner was capable of doing. This would leave your current partner feeling inadequate and aggravated. 


No one wants to be compared to others, especially when it comes to our romantic relationships. When you shed light on something your ex-partners did better than your current partner, it could make your partner question the status of your relationship as a whole. They might wonder why you don't reconcile with your ex to make it work since they were so much easier to communicate with. Bringing up exes (in any capacity) just isn't a smart thing to do.

Don't try to guilt your partner into opening up

Guilt-tripping someone to get your way is conniving. Guilt is a horrendous emotion most people would rather avoid experiencing altogether. It's manipulative to use the tactic of guilt to force your partner to open up in a moment when they're not ready. An example would be telling your partner you feel like a terrible match for them since they haven't been able to open up to you about what's on their mind.


When you say something like this, it puts you in the position of a victim and allows you to sulk in your own pity party. It makes your partner believe they must open up to you to save you from feeling bad about yourself. In reality, you already know your partner's struggles with opening up have nothing to do with you. By spinning it around on yourself this way, you're guilt-tripping them into talking about topics they're not ready to share.

Break free of a judgmental mindset

If your ultimate goal is to make sure your partner is comfortable opening up to you, you have to break free from a judgmental mindset. A lot of people are way more judgmental than they even realize. Some ways you can remove yourself from this mindset are by asking yourself why you feel the need to judge in the first place and determining what triggers your judgmental thoughts as they come to mind.


Next, put yourself in your partner's shoes to consider the reasons for their behavior. Try to understand why they're acting the way they do to keep your judgmental opinions at bay. Last, but not least, do your best to reframe your thoughts in a positive manner. For example, you could be annoyed by your partner's indecisiveness and inability to trust themselves with decision-making. Instead of carrying on with those annoyed feelings, realize that your partner simply takes their time with decision-making because they don't want to make any serious or long-term mistakes.

Save serious topics for private moments

It's always easier to talk about serious subjects when you're in a private setting. For this reason, you should save the heaviest topics for moments when you and your partner are alone. You might notice that getting your partner to open up becomes a lot easier when there aren't any outside distractions or possible eavesdroppers to mess with the environment. 


It's perfectly fine to talk about easygoing and lighthearted topics whenever you're surrounded by friends, enjoying dinner at a restaurant, or strolling through your local park in public. When it's time to sit down and talk about things that could impact both of your lives in a significant way, however, you should reserve those conversations for private moments at home when no one else is around. If your partner struggles to open up because they're scared of showing their vulnerable side, making sure you aren't diving too deep with certain topics until you're alone together is the best route to take.

Express your reasons for wanting your partner to open up to you

You have your reasons for wanting your partner to open up to you, and an opportunity to share this with your partner will give you the chance to express those reasons as genuinely as possible. Though your partner might not totally understand why it's so important for the two of you to communicate on a deeper level, as soon as you make your reasons known to them, it could help them shift in the right direction. If your reason for wanting your partner to open up revolves around your desire to build a greater sense of intimacy, they deserve to know that. 


If you want your significant other to open up to you so you can better understand their triggers, past trauma, and emotional responses, that's something they deserve to know as well. If you simply want the relationship to continue blossoming with a sense of promising longevity, get comfortable letting your partner know this. After all, long lasting relationships require solid communication.

Showcase your accepting and compassionate side

An important step to take when you have a partner who struggles to open up is learning how to showcase your accepting and compassionate side. There are plenty of ways to do this to help your partner start feeling more comfortable with the prospect of having deeper conversations with you. Plus, whenever the two of you hear a story about a mutual friend going through something difficult, your response will speak volumes in the eyes of your partner. 


Instead of saying something negative about your mutual friend, respond with something gentle and encouraging to show your partner how accepting and compassionate you can be with others. When your partner notices positive responses coming from you in regard to other people, they'll start believing that you're capable of doing the same thing for them, too. This is important if you've gotten into a pattern of sharing negative feedback when talking about other people in front of your partner in the past.

Reevaluate whether to stay in a relationship with someone who won't open up

It wouldn't be fair for you to waste years of your life in a relationship with someone who's proven themselves to be incapable of open communication. You're worthy of a relationship with someone who desires a steady and fulfilling amount of dialogue flowing between you. If you're the one always handling the emotional labor in your relationship, you'll undoubtedly grow resentful at some point because emotional labor is supposed to be shared between both parties in healthy relationships.


If you're always tugging at your partner to open up and are the one comfortable speaking your mind, the imbalance is only going to get worse. It's up to you to reevaluate if it's worthwhile for you to stay in a relationship with someone who's not going to get on board with you about healthy communication. It's scary to start over, but sometimes this is the most loving thing you can do for yourself. Your partner might struggle to open up, but that doesn't mean future partners you date will be the same.