Without vulnerability in dating, there is no intimacy. In this video, you’ll hear about my first date with a man who was guarded from love.
This is a cautionary tale about the importance of vulnerability in dating and healing childhood wounds if you want to find love.
I met a man on a dating app. He was handsome, and his profile resonated with me. We started texting, and it seemed we had a lot in common. When I asked about the highlight of his day so far, he said he had a deep conversation with a good friend. A man with good friends who enjoys deep conversation? Those are values I admire. When he asked if I’d like to talk on the phone, I said, “I thought you’d never ask!”
Vulnerability in Dating
(Watch the video to hear the whole story)
We spoke for an hour that night, and it was a really good conversation. We connected in many ways; where we grew up, similar private education experiences, same religion, and it felt like many of our values aligned. He was creative, musical, and seemed like a guy I wanted to meet. We made plans to have a COVID-friendly outdoor walk the following day.
As we were hanging up, he told me he enjoyed the conversation so much, he’d be smiling for the next 1/2 hour. He texted me a bouquet of flowers with a big WOW! Emoji. I was excited to meet him!
The following day, as soon as we met, the yellow flags started to show up.
First, he seemed frazzled, because he got a little lost, and he complained that people in my neighborhood are terrible drivers, especially the truck that cut him off. He had to sit down to calm down before walking.
As we began to walk, he told me he needs to know where he’s going. I wasn’t sure where we’d walk, as the roads are icy and snowy, so I was trying to figure it out as we went. I told him, “Let’s turn right here, and see how the roads are.” A few blocks later, I was bout to turn left, and he started to get very upset. “Where are we going? I told you I need to know! It feels like you are in power now.”
Once he calmed down, he began talking about politics, antisemitism, and the hatred he feels towards certain people. I’m not comfortable speaking about any of those topics, and I began to shut down. He got defensive, telling me he’s sharing what’s important to him, and obviously, I have nothing to say. Ouch!
You may be wondering at this point why I didn’t end the date and go home.
Part of me wanted to walk away, and the curious part of me wanted to see if he was just nervous, and he’d show more of the sides of him I experienced the night before.
He asked me what I wanted to talk about, because I obviously wasn’t interested in what he was sharing. So, I asked about what he learned from his past relationships.
He said he doesn’t like to talk about the past, I should go first.
I said, “I asked you first. I want to hear about what you learned.” He was quite flustered, but he shared some details of his two failed marriages.
Both wives left him, and his takeaway was “women abandon me”.
That told me a lot about him. He asked me to share about my marriage, and when I told him about how my marriage fell apart, he cursed out my ex. Ouch! I am not angry at my ex, and I don’t see people as good or bad. He didn’t seem to have much compassion.
He couldn’t understand why I wanted to get deeper into feelings with him. And he told me real men don’t express their feelings.
“Real men don’t get vulnerable, because it’s all risk and no benefit.”
He was completely shut down to diving deeper into how he could learn from his past. This man was an example of someone who keeps choosing the wrong partners, and he has no idea why women abandon him.
He has never had therapy and was completely shut down to the idea of it.
He is the perfect example of how you can be brilliant, nice looking, fit, and creative, and spend your whole life wondering why you can’t succeed at love.
I’m pretty certain that when I turned him down for a second date, he formed the wrong conclusion; something like, “women lead me on”, or “there are no good women”.
I tell my story as an example of what happens when we fail to take responsibility for our part in why our relationships didn’t work out. If we remain a victim of our circumstances, we will struggle to find the love we seek.
Let me know your thoughts…
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