how to be vulnerable in dating
Vulnerability is one of my favorite topics. Since reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection last year, I have been obsessed with understanding it better and teaching it to my clients.
And the more I understand vulnerability, the more I realize that it is what helped me be successful in my own adult romantic relationships.
In my early twenties, I used to be very hesitant when it came to being myself. I avoided speaking up for my needs and wants because I wanted to please. I thought that the more I agreed to what he likes, the less likely he would leave, right?
Well, turns out the opposite is true.
The more you show up as your real self and are authentically you, the more you connect to the other person. And the truth is, guys, find vulnerability attractive because it gives them permission to be vulnerable too. It’s like you are creating a safe space for him to be himself as well.
But I know that it is easier said than done.
Being vulnerable in dating is terrifying because you constantly fear that you may get rejected if you open up too much. Or you may be afraid that you will be perceived as needy or weak if you share your real feelings.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Emotional vulnerability is the key to a healthy relationship because it fosters real love. Vulnerability is not about winning or losing, it is about having the courage to show up.
And to have real love, you need to show up and allow the other person to see the real you.
So, if you have been wondering how to open up in your relationship, you came to the right place. Because today I am sharing with you 5 very simple steps on how to be vulnerable with a man.
Before we dive in, I think it is important to define what I mean when I talk about vulnerability. Contrary to common belief, vulnerability is not a state of weakness and instability. It’s the willingness to acknowledge your emotions and feelings to yourself and others.
I like to say that being vulnerable means sharing the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that make you feel scared, ashamed, or guilty. Meaning that you allow your boyfriend to see your real self, without hiding it behind a mask.
Unfortunately, a lot of us never learned how to be vulnerable in dating. That’s why I’m excited to share these next 5 tips with you.
1. Ask for help
As women, we like to pride ourselves in being independent and not needing a man. We put on a boss babe persona in the hopes that guys will respect and like it. While every man certainly respects a woman that has her shit together and drives a Benz, showing off that side of you won’t make him open up to you.
If anything it will more likely intimidate him… But that’s a conversation for another day.
If you want to have a deeper connection with your man, then you have to allow him to take care of you from time to time and feel needed. One easy way to do that is to ask for help when you need it. That could be for practical tasks that need to be taken care of or for support with a challenge.
A request for help does not make you seem weak, but it makes you seem like an imperfect human being which we all are.
And by acknowledging that you do not have all the answers, guess what he will start doing the same and eventually seek your help or advice. This creates intimacy and leads to a long-lasting relationship.
2. Say I love/ miss you
Another great and very easy way to show vulnerability is by saying I love you/ I miss you in real-time. I know that saying those magical three words for the first time can be very exciting and scary, especially if the relationship is new and you are worried the interest is one-sided.
However, sharing your love and appreciation for him regularly can help take the relationship to the next level.
Being vulnerable with a man means being honest about how you feel about him, even if he may not yet be there. Of course, I don’t want you telling every man you date for three weeks that you love him. You have to be wise and realistic. But don’t withhold it from him either just so you can look tough.
So, be corny and soft sometimes and let him know that you have been looking forward to his call at the end of the day. Or share your feelings for him when.
3. Share your honest thoughts &beliefs
Number three is what inspired me to go on this vulnerability journey. Like I said above, as a young woman, I used to censor myself a lot to keep a man. But the older I get the more I understand that I am doing myself and the person I am with a disservice by not being authentic.
And as crazy as this might sound to you, sharing your honest thoughts and beliefs is a great way to be vulnerable without being needy.
Being compatible does not mean that you think alike and always agree. Sometimes it means that you agree to disagree. We create intimacy when we allow others to have their own opinions without shaming them for it.
So speaking your truth without shaming him for his opinion or standpoint allows him to feel safe around you. But more importantly, it gives you the confidence to stand up for yourself, regardless of what his reaction could be and will allow you to have an authentic relationship.
4. Express your feelings
This point might be the hardest one for many of us. Even though women are much more connected to their feelings and emotions, then men are a lot of us are taught from a young age to suppress them.
We are constantly reprimanded “to stop crying” or “not be so emotional”. To the point that we avoid being emotional altogether in order to succeed in a highly masculine workplace and world.
But if you want to learn how to be vulnerable with a man you have to be willing to connect and share your feelings. The art of feminine energy teaches us how to be in touch with our feelings and communicate them effectively.
And the way to do that is much easier than many women think. It’s simply speaking them out loud. As you feel sadness, frustration, and hurt you say it. Rather than blaming your boyfriend “for not prioritizing you” when he makes plans with someone else, tell him that “I feel sad because I was looking forward to spending time with you”.
Name the actual emotion you are experiencing and you will see that he will be less defensive and start to acknowledge and appreciate your feelings. And once he understands how you communicate he will eventually realize that the relationship is a safe space for feelings and start to share his own.
5. Apologize when appropriate
Last but not least, of course, you have to be willing to apologize when appropriate. Pride is the number one thing that kills relationships. Pride puts a wedge between two people, which destroys intimacy, trust, and peace.
Therefore, it is so important that you apologize when you are at fault. It shows that you accept and own your mistake, instead of trying to be right at his expense.
As mentioned above, the antidote to vulnerability is trying to be perfect and nothing communicates “I’m better than you” more than not apologizing. It’s the most frustrating trait about people because it makes you feel disrespected and undervalued.
So, you have to learn to apologize if you want to have an intimate and vulnerable relationship with your man.
I hope that this post encourages you to be vulnerable with a man. And remember that if someone rejects you for who you are, it’s a good thing. You want to be with the person that accepts you the way you are. Because the goal is not to get married but to stay married. Ideally to the right person for 10, 20, or even 30 years from now.