Can I be vulnerable with him?

As a therapist, I often see a pattern of self-destruction in clients: they refrain from expressing their true selves: their true feelings, desires, and needs to a relationship partner.

What’s wrong?

What happens is that by not communicating in a way that respects who we really are, we lose the kind of relationship we long for. We get frustrated when they don’t understand us, we don’t meet our needs, and we don’t know what’s going on in the other person’s mind. Open communication tends to foster a more satisfying emotional and spiritual relationship.

The following story shows how to hold back, because we are afraid of being hurt, it can hurt a relationship and how to speak from the heart, kind and respectful, can help you connect with your partner and also with others in a more meaningful way. satisfactory.

The story of Elizabeth

Elizabeth came to see me because she wanted to get married. A successful and powerful entrepreneur who had set up her own software company, she found the dates confusing. “I know men and many of them seem interested. But sometimes I’m attracted to a man and I spend time with him and it turns out I only like him as a friend. “After seeing Bill a few times, Elizabeth said to me,” She said, ‘M ‘like it, but how am I supposed to know what that means?’

“Why don’t you ask? I suggested.

Elizabeth looked surprised. “I couldn’t do that,” he said. “I don’t know what to say.”

He could say to Bill, smiling, “Thank you. I like to hear you say that. I also wonder, do you mean platonic or …?” With the words she chose, politely asking Bill what she meant, she would be vulnerable because her answer might disappoint her. She wants a romantic relationship that leads to marriage. When he asked Bill what he meant, he was likely to be clear about whether to spend more time with him. It also lets her know that she is open to hearing him talk about his true self and revealing his true self to her.

But Elizabeth hadn’t learned that it’s okay to be so direct. She said she didn’t want to put Bill in place that way. But maybe she didn’t want to risk him breaking her romantic fantasy bubble. As long as her intention remained vague for her, she might think Bill might be “the only one.”

Is it worth the risk the vulnerability?

Being vulnerable means communicating our true feelings, thoughts, desires, and needs. Yes, doing so can be risky. If Bill had told Elizabeth that he saw her as a friend, business partner, or client, and that she was expecting something different, he would have felt disappointed, rejected, or hurt, feelings that neither of us would want to endure.

But being vulnerable with Bill would pay off for Elizabeth, but he responded. If he said he wanted to go out with her and she found out that he wanted to marry her, she would continue to meet him and see where things were going. If she had said that she only liked her as a friend, she would go on to find someone with more potential to get married.

Another way Elizabeth avoids being vulnerable is by insisting on paying for herself on dates. Most men prefer to pay, at least for the first date, according to my research with men of all ages. “Let me treat you, at least for the first time,” I suggested, “if offered.”

Being vulnerable means giving up trying to control

For Elizabeth, allow a man to treat and thank her for her own vulnerability. She believes she is protecting herself. She believes that many men think that paying for her dinner entitles her to have a romantic or sexual opening and wait for her to accept it. Paying for herself is her way of trying to control the relationship, to make sure what happens is on her terms, not hers.

Controlling behavior is the opposite of being vulnerable. Elizabeth would be true to herself in acknowledging that most men do not expect the reward she imagines they are doing; that it’s okay for a man to treat him, and that his “thank you” is all he expects. If she expects romance or sex to turn out, she can say, “No, thank you!”

Benefits of vulnerability

Being vulnerable means taking control of yourself, no have control of the relationship. Yes, it may feel safer to be with a man (or woman) that you think you can control. You can avoid having to deal with uncomfortable situations, disagreements, and hurt feelings. But think about what you may be missing out on: the opportunity to connect meaningfully with a potential or actual spouse. By being vulnerable, you are more likely to have a relationship that is emotionally and spiritually satisfying and lasts a lifetime.


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