Here’s one thing I know to be true about vulnerability: it can’t be conditional or it won’t work. Now that doesn’t mean skipping around being 100% open and raw with everyone. People still have to earn the right to your vulnerability in my book. What I mean by conditional is you can’t be vulnerable and give someone a piece of you with the expectation that the other person will necessarily accept and take care of that piece.
This is especially true when it comes to dating and relationships. In order to really connect with someone, unfortunately you have to take a risk and give them your heart without any guarantee they will take care of it.
Is this something I practice in my own life? Absolutely not. I’m talking to myself here just as much as anyone. I’ve given my heart to a handful of guys in my lifetime, only to have it get smashed into teeny tiny little bits. And it only gets harder every time it happens because each time, I let my guard stay up just a little bit longer so when I was finally able to let it down, the heartbreak felt that much worse. Even with friends, I’ve had trouble showing them all sides of myself because I didn’t think they would understand or might judge me.
Getting hurt by someone you let yourself be vulnerable with sucks. There’s no way around that. It’s totally normal to want that vulnerability to be protected once you’ve given it to someone. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works. We’re all humans and we are all flawed and we end up hurting each other in the process sometimes. And sometimes the people we are vulnerable with just aren’t nice people or have their own issues they’re dealing with. Giving someone our vulnerability doesn’t come with a money back guarantee (which is a huge bummer).
My purpose in sharing all of this is for one reason: to tell you not to be like me. Don’t let years of being rejected in life and love, or even just feeling rejected, because you’re different or a line of failed relationships/almost relationships make you afraid to be vulnerable ever again. Don’t let your guard get so high that you can’t even see over it anymore or know where to being in knocking it down because you don’t think anyone understands you or will treat you well again.
Showing yourself to someone you care about is an amazing thing and it allows you to truly connect with each other, and that’s always worth it no matter how many times that vulnerability may get betrayed. Take it from someone who doesn’t know 🙂