Great Relationships Include Safety

When you think about what makes a truly amazing relationship, what comes to mind?

You might think of:

  • Compatibility. The two of you are alike in the ways that count.
  • Chemistry. You’re physically attracted to each other.
  • Communication. You can talk about things.
  • Compromise. You can find mutually satisfactory solutions.
  • Conflict management. You fight fair.

But there’s one important ingredient many people forget:


Why Safety Matters

Of course you should feel safe from harm in a relationship.

But psychological safety goes beyond that.

A psychologically safe relationship is one where you can make mistakes, be imperfect, try things that don’t work, and still feel loved and accepted anyway.

Psychological safety holds space for us to be a work in progress.

Instead of demanding perfection, it gives us room to mess up, learn, and grow.

One area where psychological safety has gotten a lot of press is in the workplace.

Research has found that safe workplaces help people be more creative, motivated, and engaged.

Imagine going to work each day in a place where you can:

  • Learn from your mistakes instead of getting in trouble
  • Speak up even if you might be wrong, even if you’re saying something others don’t want to hear
  • Try new things and take risks
  • Feel supported and valued for your unique gifts
  • Feel comfortable asking for help

Now imagine that you don’t just feel that way at work. You also feel that way every time you’re with your guy.

You know that he won’t leave you just because you messed up. He expects you to mess up from time to time, because you’re figuring out this “love thing” together.

Does that sound like a world you’d want to live in?

Signs That Your Relationship Needs More Safety

Now, a safe relationship isn’t one where you never get hurt.

You don’t want to tiptoe around each other, carefully avoiding anything that might hurt the other person.

Rather, a safe relationship is one where you learn and grow from your mistakes. You don’t expect perfection; you know love is a process.

In a relationship that lacks safety, you worry about making mistakes. You don’t want to make your partner mad.

Other signs that your relationship needs more safety include:

  • Being afraid to talk about certain things
  • Worrying about how your partner will react
  • Thinking he might break up with you if you mess up
  • Feeling like you can’t give each other feedback
  • Blaming each other for mistakes
  • Changing who you are to please your partner
  • Being hesitant to share new or different ideas

In relationships like these, it can feel like you’re always being judged, and one mistake could end everything.

Building Safety Into Your Relationship

When you start a new relationship, it’s natural to worry about messing up.

But over time those worries should fade. You have a history together. You’ve come to trust and rely on one another. You’ve set the foundation for psychological safety.

You can build greater safety into your relationship through:

  • Making a commitment to stay together, even when things aren’t perfect
  • Practicing emotional self-regulation, so you’re not so reactive when things go wrong
  • Building trust through sharing and validating each other’s thoughts and feelings
  • Giving each other the benefit of the doubt, even when mistakes happen
  • Understanding that making a mistake doesn’t mean you’re a bad person
  • Separating how you feel about him from how you feel about his behavior
  • Focusing on improvement rather than perfection

By making psychological safety a priority, your relationship can become a place where both of you feel accepted, supported, and loved… no matter what.

Not Sure How to Talk to Your Partner about Safety?

But perhaps you see the problem here…

If your relationship doesn’t feel safe—because your partner is resistant to criticism and quick to anger—then it’s unlikely he’ll be open to hearing about it.

One way you can approach the topic is by having what the Gottman Institute calls a “State of the Union” meeting.

Each week, set aside some time to check in with each other.

During the check-in, each of you should:

  • Tell the other person 5 things they did last week that you appreciated
  • Mention what’s going well in your relationship
  • Share any concerns you have regarding things that happened during the week
  • Let your partner know one thing they could do in the following week that would make you feel loved

By using this format, you frame your relationship as a work in progress.

You create a safe container for feedback that’s buffered with loving appreciation.

You send him the message that, whatever happens, you can fix it together.

Have you been in a relationship where you felt this kind of safety? What was the best thing about it?

Trigger His Desires - Free Report By Luke Pendleton Get Your Free Report
Get It Now