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What is Transparency in a Relationship and How Can You Bring It In Your Relationship? 

What is Transparency in a Relationship and How Can You Bring It In Your Relationship? 

Updated on Sep 11, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

What is Transparency in a Relationship and How Can You Bring It In Your Relationship 

Transparency in a relationship is extremely essential if you want to achieve a happily-ever-after.

However, most people don’t know transparency’s real whats and whys.

If you wish to know that, along with actionable ways how to achieve it, then this think piece will give you all the answers you need. So come on, let’s start!

What Is Transparency in a Relationship?

Transparency in a relationship is when you and your partner can share your opinions with each other without feeling suffocated or scared.

It ensures healthy communication and boundaries. Moreover, when you feel that you are transparent with your significant other, you feel more confident about the relationship. You see a future together, one that is filled with honesty and love.

Transparency in romantic relationships is very important because it lets you trust your partner with your eyes closed. After all, this is when you both can be completely vulnerable with each other.

No matter how weak or afraid you feel, you know you have someone to guide and support you. You both can even share your wildest ideas and fantasies without feeling embarrassed.

How is Transparency different from Honesty?

A lot of people believe that honesty and transparency are the same. While they are used interchangeably, there are many differences between the two.

In short, honesty is a part of transparency. This means that transparency in a relationship goes much beyond being honest.

For example, if your partner asks you something and you answer it directly without misleading them, that’s honesty. But if you explain honestly and actively share your thoughts and feelings about the situation, that is called transparency.

What does Transparency NOT mean in relationships?

Okay, now that you know what transparency means in a relationship, it’s important to understand what transparency is not. Yes, it means you should be open and honest, but not to the point where your partner finds you rude and adamant.

Transparency doesn’t mean that you blurt out whatever you think. You might feel that you’re just being honest, but too much honesty can become toxic in many cases.

It all boils down to how you frame your sentences. If you keep saying everything that’s on your mind, your social interactions will become difficult!

What is the connection between trust and transparency in a relationship?

All successful relationships have trust as their foundation. There won’t be transparency unless two people trust each other enough to open up completely to one another.

Therefore, the amount of transparency you have in the relationship is related to how much you trust each other.

It’s a complicated cycle. In the beginning, you want to trust your partner enough to open up to them and make the relationship transparent. But then again, you also want to ensure there’s enough transparency in the relationship so that you can trust each other.

Regardless of the connection between trust and transparency, you must know that trust isn’t forever. Every day, it has the potential to increase or decrease, depending on your actions and words. That’s why you might see someone dating for a year, trusting their partner a lot more than someone who has been married for 10 years.

What is the importance of transparency in a relationship?

Transparency is crucial to building any healthy relationship. If your relationship with your partner isn’t transparent, you won’t enjoy long-lasting love. However, transparency can’t be built overnight. Both you and your partner have to work on it actively.

Sometimes, transparency means taking a bold step and telling the truth even when you have the option to hide things.

During a fight or moment of hurt, being upfront and respectful is important. If you decide to dump all your anger at once, it can be overwhelming for your partner to digest all that.

What are the advantages of transparency in a relationship?

If you want to know how and why transparency can benefit you in your romantic relationship, then here are some major reasons!

1. Your relationship becomes healthier

This, of course, is the greatest benefit of transparency. You know your relationship is flourishing because you and your partner can fearlessly open up to one another. It blocks all kinds of miscommunication, ensuring that you are each other’s best friends!

2. You can resolve conflicts properly

Instead of accusing each other of hiding things, you can sit down, open up, and tell each other why you have different viewpoints.

3. You connect on a deeper level

Romantic relationships aren’t always about sex and cuddles. If you truly want a fulfilling relationship, you both have to connect on a much deeper level. And that is exactly what transparency ensures. The more transparent you are, the stronger your bond will be.

4. You help each other grow

Personal growth is necessary, not just to sustain a relationship but also to understand life better. If you and your partner have open conversations, you help each other enjoy life. This gives you the maturity to deal with difficult situations.

5. There is emotional safety

Emotional safety is mandatory in a good relationship. Knowing your partner is there to listen to you can be the biggest support. Likewise, your partner should also feel equally loved and respected. They’ll stay with you forever if they know you understand them.

6. You both trust each other

As already mentioned, trust and transparency go hand-in-hand. Once you both have developed a certain level of trust, you can automatically make the relationship more transparent. And if the relationship is transparent, your trust in each other will naturally multiple!

7. You can let your guard down

During the beginning of any relationship, it’s normal to keep your guard up, especially if you’ve been hurt before. But if the relationship is transparent, you can let go of all your fears and break the barriers around your heart.

8. You both become honest

Honesty is the best policy, at least in most situations. If you constantly feel insecure around your partner and keep lying to them, this habit will spill over to other areas of your life. But a transparent relationship ensures that both parties are always honest.

9. You respect each other more

Radical transparency allows you to point out things that bother you but in a respectful manner. This way, you can show your partner that you want them to become a better person and love them for who they are now.

10. You become each other’s greatest supporters

Whenever you do something wrong, you want someone to point it out to you, right? And nobody’s better suited for this job than someone who loves you but knows your flaws!

How to bring transparency to a relationship?

Unfortunately, you can’t bring transparency to a relationship by waving a magic wand. It takes both partners’ determination, patience, and effort. However, these few steps will give you a good head start!

1. Start simple

It can get pretty awkward if you start by blurting out something major or complicated to your partner right in the beginning. Start with baby steps instead. Share ideas that are creative but important to you. Do the same with some easy thoughts and feelings you’ve recently going through.

2. Prioritize honesty

Open up to your partner and tell them how much honesty means to you. Let them know that no matter what, you both will always be truthful to each other.

3. Don’t hide your feelings

This is something most people forget to take into account while making their relationship transparent. If you’re not emotionally transparent with your partner, they won’t be able to become more open with you. So, make it a point to tell them about what you’re experiencing.

4. Discuss boundaries

Transparency can mean different things to different people. While you might believe that it means telling everything to your partner, they might feel that it’s not necessary to disclose (extremely) personal things. To avoid any kind of conflict, it’s best to define clear boundaries right from the start.

5. Be polite and respectful

Again, transparency should never indicate any kind of disrespect. If you feel that either of you is behaving roughly in the name of transparency, you need to take a step back and evaluate where you are going wrong.

6. Sign up for counseling

For many couples, a few counseling sessions can make all the difference! If you and your significant other feel that you’re unable to understand what transparency is or how to prioritize it, a licensed therapist can help you.

7. Be vulnerable

Vulnerability allows you to show the truest version of yourself. So, if you both can do this, you will be able to achieve transparency in no time. For example, if you’ve had a rough day at work, ask your partner for a hug and do the same when they’re going through bad times.

8. Don’t be defensive

Whenever your partner points out a flaw of yours, do you listen to them and take their feedback, or do you get hostile and defensive? If the answer is the latter, it’s time to self-introspect and own up to your mistakes.

9. Accept each other

Honesty means accepting each other. And in a transparent relationship, you accept both the good and the bad. If your partner confesses something uncomfortable, you’ll have to accept their explanation and look at the possible solutions instead of throwing a tantrum.

10. Don’t hide things on your social media

Create fake accounts to stalk your partner or post hidden pictures with your partner. You must let go of these insecurities to build a better future together. Be open about whatever you have on your social media accounts and ask them to do the same.

11. Realize that no relationship is perfect

One major issue why couples aren’t able to truly become transparent with each other is because they feel everyone else’s relationships are perfect while theirs isn’t. If you constantly compare your love story to that of others, you won’t be able to trust your partner.

12. Don’t mistake transparency for control

It’s easy to mistake transparency for control. When you want your partner to be honest with you, you want them to constantly share their location and phone passwords.

However, this only creates a greater barrier between both parties. So, make sure that you both give each other enough space too.

What does it mean to have too much transparency in a relationship?

Believe it or not, there’s actually such a thing as “too much” transparency in a relationship! This occurs when you feel obliged to share every detail of your life, even if it means hurting your partner.

You must keep quiet in many situations rather than speak about it to your partner because you believe being transparent is important. This mostly happens when you’re not really willing to change the mistake that you’ve made but instead want your partner to bear all the burden.

For example, people often start getting irritated by their partner’s quirks or funny habits after dating for a while. Even though you wish to tell them, “Stop putting your feet up on the table all the time!” or “I hate it when you wear that t-shirt!”, it’s important to know when to stay quiet. If you constantly crib and complain about whatever they do, your relationship will turn sour very soon.

What is phone transparency?

Today, smartphones are everything. Both you and your partner will rarely go anywhere without phones in your hands. Therefore, phone transparency has also become a big issue in today’s dating world.

You can find out almost everything about a person just by looking at their messages, social media accounts, and pictures. While some couples are comfortable sharing all passwords with each other, some may feel the need to protect them. There’s no right or wrong here as long as both of you are honest about your digital activities.

Phone transparency isn’t something you should take lightly, but it’s also not something you should nag your partner about.

What to do if your partner isn’t transparent in your relationship?

Yes, transparency is important. But what do you do when you realize that your partner isn’t transparent with you? Do you immediately break up, or do you throw a tantrum? Well, neither!

If you truly feel that your partner is hiding things from you, it’s best to confront them politely. Let them know that their habit of constantly maintaining a distance affects them. Encourage them to share their thoughts with you. Show them that you’re someone who can be trusted.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

So, dear reader, now that you know what transparency is and how to introduce it in your relationship, it’s time to start working on these tips and tricks.

Yes, it might take some time and effort to get there, but once you do, the hard work will be worth it!