Early Writings of Evan Bailyn

Vulnerability In Love

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 comments

I have wavered on the question of whether true love really exists since the first time I told a girl I loved her nine years ago. Up until recently, I thought love was an elusive feeling, more of an ideal than a reality, something that could be felt in fragments during a beginning-of-relationship fascination but never achieved in the way shown in novels and movies. With all of my long-term girlfriends, I thought I was in love during the relationship, but then questioned the feeling afterwards. I wasn’t able to say with certainty that I had experienced love. In retrospect, I think the “love” I felt in the past was actually a sum of physical attraction, a strong fondness for the girl’s personality, and a desire to be within the security of a relationship. What I have learned is that true love requires one ingredient more powerful than any of those factors: vulnerability.

Realizing the connection between love and vulnerability has given me a clearer perspective on my past relationships. As a teenager, I partook in some of the usual defense mechanisms acquired at that time: holding in my emotions, projecting a feeling of confidence greater than what I had, and hiding my insecurities so that no one would ever be able to really affect me. Those defenses limited me in relationships. I couldn’t be fully honest with a girl because I wasn’t ready to reveal my true self. I feared that she might misuse the knowledge to hurt me. Who, after all, deserved to have the ultimate power of knowing what drives me, what desires and fears move me on the deepest level?

In my last relationship, I finally realized the importance of allowing yourself to become vulnerable. As uncomfortable as it can be to tell someone the things you are self-conscious about, doing so is the only way to demonstrate real trust of your significant other. Giving them that special insight into who you are is the final ingredient to falling in love.

I did not realize I was in love until I got “figured out”: until someone was able to tell me what I was feeling even when I didn’t quite realize it, and wanted to cater to my inmost needs simply because she cared about making me feel more complete.

I can’t say what exactly brought the importance of vulnerability in a relationship to the forefront of my mind. It may have been the natural result of growing older and desiring real companionship free of pretense. Or, perhaps I realized that I was slipping too far into a programmed adult life and needed to return to the openness of childhood. But regardless, the feeling of being able to believe in love has given me much more to look forward to in life.

Evan Bailyn is a serial entrepreneur, search engine and social media expert, celebrated author and child advocate. His company, First Page Sage, is a leader in search engine optimization and social media marketing - vastly increasing business for its clients through high SEO rankings, targeted Facebook advertising and viral videos. Evan is also the founder of the Evan Bailyn Foundation, a foundation dedicated to teaching emotional awareness to children and adults. 

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