Vulnerbility

Braving The Wilderness of Modern Dating

I was tucking into Brene Brown’s latest book today, ‘Braving The Wilderness’ and this passage, really hit home and inspired me to write to you all today.

“We have to step outside the barricades of self-preservation and brave the wild.

Huddled behind the bunkers, we don’t have to worry about being vulnerable, or brave or trusting. We just have to toe the party line. Except doing that is not working. Bunkers protect us from everything except loneliness and disconnection. In other words, it leads to the worst heartbreak of all.”

Photo by  Bryce Evans  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bryce Evans on Unsplash

 

I have seen this play out in so many different ways with my clients.


  • Swiping left on people they think are ‘out of their league’.

  • Putting off meeting someone from online in real life, to avoid what feels like inevitable disappointment.

  • Not letting people really see them, the real them, on those first few dates.

  • Going on a few dud dates or a series of go nowhere messages, and just coming off online dating all together.

  • Not seeking out the ways and means to meet people in the real world, hiding behind being ‘too busy” and ‘I never meet people in real life’ and ‘I don’t even know where to start’ as their personal bunkers to keep a safe distance.

  • Allowing past heartbreak and bad experiences in relationships, colour their experience with new people, letting one red flag, send them for self-preservation hills.

  • Leaning into work, travel, friends, and other toing the party line of adulting , ensuring those things take priority over their love life, every time.



Hmmmm self preservation running high on anyone else’s to do list, when it comes to finding love???

 

The worst heartbreak of all, is feeling lonely and disconnected. See, we human beings, are hard wired for love and connection.

We can absolutely get love and connection outside the romantic arena of partnership, and yet, let’s be real here, most of us consider relationships and love to have a major effect on our overall well being in life. Think not? Ask someone who is in a hellish relationship! It’s very hard to not allow that segment of our lives, spread sickness to other areas, too.

And, why hell yes, spending time alone, and being comfortable on our own is so very necessary, however THAT is not loneliness.

Here’s the truth bomb about love. It’s both riskyAF and the most secure emotional connection we can ever experience.

It is NOT without risk, and it is also NOT without great reward.  Joining dating apps, or going to single events with your best halfhearted, self-preservation, giving zero f@cks, little black dress on… is not the bravery, vulnerability and trust that is required for love.

Photo by  Mick Haupt  on  Unsplash

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

 

We must build up our courage and self worth, no matter the cost. And we must surrender ourselves to the wild, to the great unknown of the modern dating jungle. 

Yup, it could go wrong... but my darling, it also could go so very right!

This is where someone like me, enters stage right, in your life.  Not only have I been where you are, hopelessly single, caught in the wild fires of dating, gasping for air... I have spent years studying and learning the expertise needed, to help women just like you, get out of that valley and onto the mountain top, so very loved! 

I am so passionate about helping fierce strong women out in the wilds of the dating jungle, find love... that I offer a FREE 45 minute BREAKTHROUGH TO LOVE call! 

If we haven't chatted yet, let's spend some time getting some real clarity around where you have been, where you are at, and where you want to go with love +++ the very next steps you can take to create real transformation in your love life. 

BOOK YOUR CALL SLOT HERE

 
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The Fallacy of the 'COOL GIRL' and why playing it cool, rarely gets the love

The Cool Girl.  She's so easy breezy, drama free, roll with the punches, always up for a good time, ride or die chick.   She is available for fun, whenever, wherever.  She doesn’t make demands on her new love interests.  She doesn’t inquire about messages that go unanswered, dates that are canceled last minute nor does she pay any mind to the fact they are still on dating apps, 3 months into seeing each other. 

 

The Cool Girl always has their back, and will support you through it all, whilst never expecting any acknowledgement or commitment in return. 

 

You need a cheer leader for that new job interview? Give me a ‘C’! 

You need a cheerleader to get over your Ex? Give me a ‘O’! 

You need a cheerleader for your sick mom?  Give me an ‘O’!

How about a cheerleader for that redundancy you didn’t see coming?  GIVE ME A ‘L’!! 

What does that spell?? COOL! COOL! COOL!

Yup. She does it ALL whilst never asking for much in return.

giphy.com

giphy.com

 

The COOL GIRL never say’s I LOVE YOU, first.  She never has the big relationship ‘talk’.  She never say’s their behavior is unacceptable.  Rush? What rush? There is no rush from a cool girl!  Cause’ she is WAY TOO COOL for all that. 

She is both too cool to care and too cool to make waves, whilst simultaneously being their BFF, with so many benefits.

 

And that nonchalance? That uber coolness… is why people fall madly in love with her, right?

WRONG!

 

giphy.com

giphy.com

 

We think, by playing to cool… by being a consummate bad ass support, by not challenging others to meet our needs, to love us and to show up for us, that will ‘make’ someone want to stay. HOWEVER, time and time again, that is not how that story ends. 

 

This is the fallacy of the Cool Girl. 

And it is most certainly, a cautionary tale!

Now, here is an all more common bed time story.  Girl does all of the above, and possibly so much more.  She blends into the walls, being all laughs and good times.  She NEVER says she want’s something serious, yet she is fulfilling all the boss ass roles of the perfect girlfriend.  She helps them through some of the toughest times in their life, she is a barrel of laughs, drinking beer with the boys, no pressure, no drama perfection… and then, THEY LEAVE.

 

Uh oh, the Cool Girl is a hot mess, now. 

WHY?, She laments.  I did EVERYTHING for them! I was sooooo easy, breezy, calm and collected!  I NEVER ASKED FOR ANYTHING and I DID EVERYTHING for them!  How could they not SEE what an amazing partner I would be????

 

Ready for a psychology truth bomb?  Take cover!

giphy.com

giphy.com

Making a commitment involves dedicating yourself to a person, its obligates you to DO something.  Committed long term relationships, ARE WORK.  Hard work. Worthy work.

People make commitments to other people based more from obligation, then from passion. 

They feel it is the right thing to do. AND, they feel they are a better person for doing so.  They have experienced some of the ‘work’ and they have experienced some of the reward, from that work.  Psychologically, we are driven to commit, because it is being required of us to continue on the path, to attain more of what is giving us the sensory of accomplishment and appreciation.   

In hetero normative relationships, add in a healthy dose of gender socialization for, um, millennia, and you have MEN who have an overwhelming need to provide.

 

The Cool Girl?  She did all the providing.  She required no sense of obligation.  She never gave them the chance to do any of the work, so they never experienced the reward.  They also never truly experienced reward, accomplishment and appreciation based on that work.

 

PLUS, she never truly showed her cards, she was TOO COOL to express the deep emotions she felt for this persons, TO BE VULNERABLE.   When we are vulnerable, we do indeed open ourselves up to the possibility to rejection and hurt, HOWEVER it is through that very same open space, that void of need, that someone can step in, AND PROVIDE LOVE!

 

The reality is, the more instructive you are about what you want and need, the more clearly defined the role is for someone to actually, FILL IT!

giphy.com

giphy.com

And don’t even get me started on how, even when we do ‘get the partner’ the devastation that follows when you do, drop the cool girl persona, and start truly showing up as you, does to a partnership.  ‘They were SO different when we first met!’ becomes a battle cry that couples have a very, VERY hard time getting out from under.

 

Any pennies dropping for you, dearest one?

Feel like I am telling your story?  

Are you a COOL GIRL?  How’s that been truly serving you?  

What will YOU do to drop the cool and make them WERRRK for it?

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Putting the cart before the horse, in LOVE.

What's love got to do, got to do with it.
What's love but a second hand emotion.
-Tina Turner

 

 

Um, what’s a Relationship and Love Coach posting THAT lyric from Tina Turner, for?!?!   Well, firstly, cause... Tina kinda got it right!! 

We focus so much of our attention, time, energy, and despair into LOVE… however CONNECTION is the true key!


I hear it all the time… from my relationship coaching clients...
“The love is gone!” or “I’m not sure if I love this person anymore, or at least I’m not IN LOVE with them anymore.

From my Love Coaching clients...
“I’ve never properly been in love!” or “What if LOVE never happens for me?” 



Ever hear that old phrase...   You can’t put the cart before the horse?  

image; pixabay

image; pixabay

Well  darling,  LOVE is not the horse, it’s the cart.   CONNECTION is the horse, and love is the amazing cart we pile an entire life’s work into, like marriage, children, homes, holidays… even in laws!

However, without connection, that cart will stop moving. And without movement, there is no growth… and without growth, LOVE WITHERS AND DIES.


So how do we connect with others?  how do we feed the horse, connection, to pull the grand cart of love?

image via Pixabay

image via Pixabay

 

  • We connect with others through clear open communication.

  • We connect to others by inquiring about them with genuine curiosity.

  • We connect to others by listening to what they have to say. 

  • We connect with others, through sharing of ourselves. 

  • We connect with others by allowing them to see us, truly see us, warts and all. 

  • We connect with others by asking for help.

  • We connect to others by making ourselves vulnerable.

  • We connect to others through taking the quality time, to hold eye contact.

There is a very well know, and quite fascinating a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.


The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.



A very poignant part of this study and the many spin off articles written, is that these questions have to be done, without distraction. AND, the two people must stare into each others eyes form 2-4 minutes.  Two minutes, is admittedly, awwwwkward, however if you can push to 4 minutes, wowza some real magic starts to happen!

image via Pixabay

image via Pixabay

Doing the above can be super scary, when we are out and about dating. What if they don’t like me back?!?!   WHAT IF THEY DO??????  No risk/vulnerability, NO REWARD, babes!

Doing the above, after being in a long term committed relationship for some years, can feel like a distant memory. Often, cause it has been a long time, since we have truly tried to connect with out partners. 


We blame time. Life is so busy! 

We blame them. Why should I bother, when they aren’t?!?

We blame our jobs,. Right after this project is done, THEN we can steal some time to connect, just the two of us.  THEN I will focus in on meeting someone!

We blame having kids. I’m too bone tired to even think straight after chasing them around all day!   

 

Blame, is never very helpful. 


This isn’t about justice. This is about love. This isn’t about who’s right, this is about being happy!  This isn’t about playing it safe… and yet, LOVE offers some of us, the safest space we have ever experienced!




So, how’s that horse of yours?  I bet it’s hungry, and in need of some brave quality time. 



What will you do to feed the connection in your relationship today?


What brave vulnerable acts will you do this week in your dating life?

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