When it comes to dating, I’m starting to learn that being vulnerable is an aspect that is required. Non-negotiable.
For the longest time I would retort to that with anything along these lines ‘I’m not vulnerable, I don’t need anybody, I’m self-sufficient, what’s a man gonna do that I can’t?’ ….etc etc etc.
But the truth is, being female, which has long been termed as the weaker sex, means that from an evolutionary perspective, men need to feel needed. They need to feel like a man. They want to provide. They want to be our ‘hero’.
And I have absolutely no way of figuring out how to adapt my mindset. I often respond to questions about my love life with ‘I’m too content being on my own’ or ‘I don’t see how I can find time for someone’ or ‘I value the freedom that comes with the single life’ which are true enough but there’s a bigger more vulnerable truth behind them:
‘Because being content and alone is better than potential heartbreak’
‘Because giving up my time means I have truly found someone special (who could break my heart)’
‘Because being tied down with someone is scary and risky and my freedom is my protection’
All the above underlined with ‘ultimately, I’m just not worthy of love’ which my brain and heart know isn’t true but my past experience’s have taught me.
And it’s these past experiences that have taught me that being vulnerable is why things didn’t work out. Being needy is unattractive. Wanting passion and desire was too much. A simple life is what it’s all about and needing to be challenged and wanting a partner to mentally spa with made me high maintenance. And so I stopped being vulnerable.
But on reflection, when I have met these partners I was vulnerable. I met SD when I was 16 and needed somebody to love me because I didn’t feel it from anywhere else. When I met the Captain, I needed somebody to love me and infuse me with passion because I didn’t feel it from anywhere else. When I met my last boyfriend, I was so low I felt I had lost everything and needed somebody to love me because I didn’t feel it from anywhere else, not even myself.
There is a theme here that when I meet somebody it’s because I need to feel loved, which in itself is being vulnerable. Problem right now is I have an abundance of love in my life and so I don’t need a man to love me, I love myself, I have the love of my friends and family and maybe that is a vibe I am giving off and despite what all the I’ve doctors, magazines, podcasts claim about how you must love yourself first, maybe I should seek to love myself less. Or perhaps I’ve missed the point and loving myself is about giving me the confidence to say what I feel without fear of being rejected because I know I’ll be OK if I am?
So instead of saying:
‘I’m content on my own’ I should start saying I’d love to meet somebody who is independent as I am but who also want a connection. I want to find love. But if I don’t, it’s ok as I am fulfilled in so many ways’
I don’t see how I can find time for someone’ I should start saying ‘I have all the time in the world for someone special who invests in me as much as I do them’
I value the freedom that comes with the single life ‘it’s risky and scary lowering your guard and letting someone else in, but that’s the whole point of finding love. Nothing comes easy’
And by being vulnerable you show you are emotionally strong and in touch with your thoughts and feelings. Women are sensuous and emotional and despite what has come to pass over the course of evolution, that is what makes us the stronger sex. (Even if we aren’t yet still represented in such a way by society). And perhaps because men don’t have the emotional strength, they need us to be that way to make themselves strong and powerful? The physical vs the emotional.
So, is showing vulnerability to a potential mate a form of confidence and self acceptance? Knowing that you have emotions and you don’t care because that’s how you are made is exactly what is needed. Being feminine and soft is really going to take a major break-through for me, it doesn’t come naturally. But if I’m ready to love someone, and they happen to come along in 2021 then I need to at least be open to the idea rather than completely closed off because vulnerability leads to intimacy.
Brene Brown said ‘’Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”