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08 February 2005 @ 12:53 pm
Vulnerability  
The original question was

At what point in a relationship/connection do you feel comfortable being emotionally vulnerable with a lover or partner?

My question is why should I ever make my self 'vulnerable' to another person? What's the benefit?

There’s been a bit of chat on the subject, mostly having to do with trust, acceptance, and ‘letting people in’.

One person commented ‘I feel that any relationship, be it friendship or lover, at some point we become emotionally vulnerable to each other, or the relationship stays superficial.

I'm still missing the entailment between 'vulnerable' and 'emotional closeness' or 'love' or 'caring'. I don't believe that not making oneself vulnerable means that a relationship is superficial.

-the redhead-
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Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on February 8th, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC)
Here's my perspective: If I let you close enough to me to know those things that would allow you to hurt me very badly, should you so choose, then I've made myself vulnerable to you. For me, at least, that's part of becoming emotionally close to someone.
-the redhead-theredhead on February 8th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
Don't get me wrong - if that's what works for you thats lovely. I applaud that people do what works for them.

No one, however, has pointed out what the benefit is to the person who is 'being vulnerable'. I'm also missing the entailment between allowing someone into your life and being vulnerable. Why does this seem to be such a universal requirement?

-the redhead-
Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on February 8th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's not a universal requirement. It just seems to be a very ubiquitous one. If you can love and be loved, and then have your beloved break up with you, and not be hurt by that, perhaps you've found a secret of human happiness that I and others would like to learn from you.
-the redhead-theredhead on February 8th, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC)
I guess you just have to realize and remember (that's the trick - not being lulled into a false sense of... security?) in every relationship (friends, family, lovers, etc.) the other person can leave you (emotionally, physically, or some combination thereof) at a moment's notice. At least for me, I should (again, 'should' is the trick. But it's my issue internally, and doesn't really have a lot to do with anyone else) always maintain myself so that such an event will not be the end of the world or cause a huge crater in my life. After all, when it comes down to brass tacks I can only really depend upon myself.

Not that I'm always successful at this, but I work at it.

'Ubiquitous' is a *very* good term here, is quite true, and does shift the questioning a little bit. But why would so many decide that I'm 'not open' or 'superficial' or what have you simply because I try not to allow myself to be hurt or hand out the weapons with which to do so?

-the redhead-
Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on February 9th, 2005 01:14 am (UTC)
While it's true that death or circumstances beyond control can part me from someone I cherish, the hurt and sense of loss that I'd feel would have a different ... quality to it, I guess, than if the parting were due to a voluntary decision on their part.

such an event will not be the end of the world or cause a huge crater in my life

The loss of a deeply cherished relationship would not be the end of the world for me, but yeah, it almost certainly would leave a profound sense of loss. I'm guessing that is what you mean by a crater in your usage above. I'd be able to get through the days and the weeks, and eventually come back to an even keel, but there'd be a fair amount of grieving along the way.

Are you saying that you're striving toward having a mindset that would permit you to endure such a loss without feeling emotionally wrenched by it? Or are you saying that you would feel wrenched, but it wouldn't ruin your life?

As far as your last question goes, I don't know who they are that have said those things, so I can only speculate. Perhaps they can not imagine being deeply involved with somebody and not feeling that awful sense of loss if the beloved were to be gone, and in transfering their own emotion set to you they conclude that you must be lacking in deep emotion?

Returning to your point about self reliance, that is one I agree with. Even when deeply involved with someone to the point of a good, ongoing interdependent relationship it's still wise to maintain self reliance. Because the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune can strike without a moment's notice.
-the redhead-theredhead on February 17th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC)
and in transfering their own emotion set to you they conclude that you must be lacking in deep emotion?

Could be *nod* Seem presumptuous to me - just because I choose not to bare my soul doesn't mean I'm shallow or lacking in deep emotion. Maybe it just means I'm smarter than the average bear.

I've noticed a very strong correlation between constant 'oversharing' and the inability to be responsible for and take care of one's self. Those who share everything at the drop of a hat seem to be those who always need help in some way or another.

-the redhead-
Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on February 17th, 2005 11:44 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, people with boundary problems. As you note, they often have a hard time distinguishing between what's theirs and what's yours.
-the redhead-theredhead on February 17th, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC)
Nice!

True, as well.

-the redhead-