Written by Kristen Donia – – –

Have you ever heard the thought – you are most like the five people you spend the most time with?

If you’re dating someone (or looking to) holding each other in a way that permits the other to be comfortable in their skin and in their feelings is essential.

Healthy partnerships involve healthy, open, honest communication. Here are four ways to create a body positive environment in your relationship.

Be honest with yourself

The first place we need to start is with ourselves. We can only know what’s truly going on inside our minds and bodies if we’re honest with ourselves.

You can place a hand on your heart and take a few deep breaths, checking in with how you feel in that moment.

You can ask yourself – “What do you need in this moment?” or “How do you feel in this moment?” Asking ourselves in this way allows us to truly ground into an answer rather than assuming how we feel with our thinking mind.

Be honest with one another

Only we know how we truly feel. We can’t expect anyone else to have more than an educated guess at how we feel, what we want, or what we need.

Often, expressing how we feel to those around us can be incredibly difficult. Sharing what’s true about ourselves is vulnerable after all.

In her viral Ted Talk, Brene Brown, shame and vulnerability researcher, says, “in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.”

If we keep anyone, especially our partner at arms length, we are limiting the connection, support, and love we could receive (and give) in this relationship.

Create a safe space for honest sharing

How do we go about creating such a space? Through our own self-awareness and recognizing our tendency to judge the other person.

When we judge, we’re taking our own belief systems and placing them on the other person. Expecting things or people to behave a certain way. When we accept ourselves, we accept others. We are all connected in our human experience together. While life can feel isolating, the next person is going through very similar things to us. We all have stuff we’re working through, and we often forget that, thinking we’re alone in this.

Practice active listening

How often do you listen to speak? Waiting for the next pause so you can get right in there and say what you’re thinking? All of us do to a certain extent. Watch yourself next time you have a meaningful conversation with someone. Did you allow them the space to finish their thought before you started speaking? Did you actually hear what was being said?

These four elements will help us create a safe sharing space for all our feelings. Do you have a way you create a special body positive space in your relationship? Share below!


Kristen Donia is a freelance writer living in a tiny house she built in sunny Southern Oregon. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and has dedicated her life to studying and writing about empathy, vulnerability and enriching the human experience.