Learning what it means to be vulnerable

It’s been a while since I posted.  I guess the Summer was just really great and I was pretty busy!  That’s not what I’m here to talk about today though.  I want to talk about letting down your guard, and re-learning what comes with it.

In October I met a girl.  Well, actually I met a lot of girls over the course of August through October.  Pretty much none of them made it past two dates, the majority didn’t make it past one.  I decided to subject myself to the world of online dating, and meet as many new people as I could.  I had a theory that if I met many,  many women, I’d be able to narrow down what it was I was looking for and maybe meet someone special.  I learned that there are a lot of broken people out there in my age group.  I kinda tend to think I’m one of them, but maybe I’m pulling away from that stereotype and moving into a good place.  Anyway, I digress…

I met a girl in October, right as I was getting ready to shut down all my dating apps.  I had met enough people that I felt like it was time for a break.  She popped up a couple days before, but we hadn’t started chatting until the day I was literally about to shut down my profiles.  We got along really well.  We had the same sense of humor (immature).  We liked a lot of the same things.  Oh, and I found her to be really beautiful as well.

We had our first date, which went really well.  We didn’t really want it to end.

A week later, we had a second date.  It went REALLY well, and I was excited about someone for the first time in a really long time.

We proceeded to date regularly, which led to spending a lot of our free time together.  After a couple months we met each others kids.  Eventually the kids met each other.  We spent a good part of the holidays together.  I started to imagine a future with this woman.  We went on a vacation together.  Then, a few days after we got back, things started feeling weird.

She started creating distance between us.  She was cancelling plans, or making other plans instead.  I was receiving really short responses that were unlike her.  A week (and one or two hang sessions) later she broke up with me.  It all felt very sudden, and the reasoning behind it vague.

At first I took it with stride, “I’m okay, just gonna not think about it and move along”.  Then I started to feel sad, along with some other feelings I couldn’t quite pinpoint.  After some self reflection I realized that I was heart broken.  Now I remember why I didn’t let girls I date get too close.  Now I remember why I didn’t let myself be vulnerable… It hurts.

This pain I’m feeling was something that I subconsciously never wanted to feel again.  I felt it for a long, long time in way higher doses during my divorce.

A week after the break up I gathered the courage to ask WHY things didn’t work out.  I also told her exactly how I felt during AND since the break up.  I pushed down my fear of being seen as needy, because keeping my feelings and emotions bottled up made me even more uncomfortable.  I essentially made myself EVEN MORE vulnerable and it somehow helped me feel better.

It’s been 5 hours since I shared these feelings with her, and now I’m here writing this blog.  I wanted to document how I felt in the moment and share what I’ve learned.

Try hard to let your guard down.

When you start to date again, these people are not your ex.

It’s probably going to hurt at some point, but it’ll get better.

My thoughts, feelings, and emotions are right sized.  I’ve felt emotional pain on a much higher level, so while things suck right now my definition of rock bottom is MUCH MUCH lower.

This still sucks.  I’m hurt and sad, but I know I’ll be fine.  I’ve been through MUCH worse.

–Chris

P.S.  I need a fucking hug right now.

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