Life lessons

On being vulnerable

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photo credit: DeeAshley via photopin cc

I have been trying to find the words to write this post. But words are hard to come by. As you know, I have been on the dating scene a bit this year. I’ve gone on a few dates. Some have had no chemistry whatsoever. Others have been a  bit better but then gone nowhere. But all this dating does my head in. Particularly when I am really interested in the guy and I can sense there is chemistry.

I don’t know what happens but my mind starts to go mental. Sure, it will let me enjoy the moments when I am with the person. But when I am not, it agonises me no end. Between every text message I can feel the anxiety build. The tightness in my chest. The butterflies in my stomach. Will he reply? Or will he just go the silent route? I’m not that crazy that I send a zillion texts in an hour. Or even a day. I can control my behaviours. But my mind? That’s a whole different kettle of fish. Then there’s the worst-case scenario. Of course he won’t be interested in me. That’s why he hasn’t replied to my message. Or my phone call. I automatically seek reassurance from friends. My friends at work have had to put up with my craziness on an almost daily basis as has my housemate.

Why does this happen to me?

I have been in one serious relationship. And funnily enough, I didn’t have these insecurities back then. In fact, it was the Ex with the insecurities. You would think that growing older and wiser would make me more secure in myself. I think though, after that relationship, I learnt some unhelpful ways to protect myself from hurt and pain. Even though I was the one to end it. Add to that my fear of being let down probably doesn’t help too much either.

I don’t like playing games. If I like someone, it’s pretty obvious and I will tell them I like them. If I’ve felt nothing, I have told them about it. But then apparently, not everyone is like that.  

I know I have to put myself out there. My feelings. My emotions. Myself.

Being vulnerable scares me.

You don’t know if the person will be scared off by what you say or do. You wonder if it’s better to hold it all back to protect yourself. But at the same time, putting up that barrier does nothing to further any kind of relationship. I wish sometimes I could work harder to cease the anxious thoughts. I could take the easy way out and just stop dating. After all, there will be no pain! But then again, who said life has to be easy?

I guess it’s a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In order to live my life, I have to be brave. And to be brave means I have to be vulnerable. I guess if I can remind myself that all I am doing is living according to my values and loving life, well then, there’s nothing lost.

From every date and every guy, I can take a little lesson. About myself. About relationships. About dating. And well, about life.

If things don’t work out this time around, well, I just have to pick up the pieces and move on.

And remind myself that even though it is fucking hard, I have tried. And I was brave.  And that there are still some lovely memories I can keep.

***Linking up Jess for IBOT***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Lee-Anne
    3 December 2013 at 8:01 am

    Your poignant post gave me pause for thought 🙂 The dating game is a cruel one, full of insecurity and angst. Being cool about how you really feel about someone, in case you come across as too keen (sub-text ‘desperate’) is awful.

    Good luck with it all 🙂

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Welcome here Lee-Anne! I agree with you…I don’t understand why sometimes keen equates to desperate. Why can’t keen be seen as a good thing? Sigh. Thank you for your wishes…

  • Lee-Anne
    3 December 2013 at 8:01 am

    Your poignant post gave me pause for thought 🙂 The dating game is a cruel one, full of insecurity and angst. Being cool about how you really feel about someone, in case you come across as too keen (sub-text ‘desperate’) is awful.

    Good luck with it all 🙂

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Welcome here Lee-Anne! I agree with you…I don’t understand why sometimes keen equates to desperate. Why can’t keen be seen as a good thing? Sigh. Thank you for your wishes…

  • Janet @ Redland City Living
    3 December 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Funnily enough, I was thinking earlier today about my dating days, and the agony of liking somebody and wondering if they liked me back, and all the rest of it … needless to say I don’t miss that part! But moments like the first kiss are pretty special and not something that happen when you’re an old married woman!!! LOL

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT xxx
    Janet @ Redland City Living recently posted…Surprisingly Stylish: Crocs Concept Store Cleveland & Comp!My Profile

  • Janet @ Redland City Living
    3 December 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Funnily enough, I was thinking earlier today about my dating days, and the agony of liking somebody and wondering if they liked me back, and all the rest of it … needless to say I don’t miss that part! But moments like the first kiss are pretty special and not something that happen when you’re an old married woman!!! LOL

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT xxx
    Janet @ Redland City Living recently posted…Surprisingly Stylish: Crocs Concept Store Cleveland & Comp!My Profile

  • Bake Play Smile
    3 December 2013 at 8:03 pm

    You are very brave! Keep your chin up! Someone amazing is hiding out there just waiting to be found! xx
    Bake Play Smile recently posted…Quinoa TabboulehMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks Bake Play Smile! 🙂 I’m not too fussed being single. It’s when you go on dates and really hit it off, that’s when the anxiety sets in.

  • Bake Play Smile
    3 December 2013 at 8:03 pm

    You are very brave! Keep your chin up! Someone amazing is hiding out there just waiting to be found! xx
    Bake Play Smile recently posted…Quinoa TabboulehMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks Bake Play Smile! 🙂 I’m not too fussed being single. It’s when you go on dates and really hit it off, that’s when the anxiety sets in.

  • Emma Fahy Davis
    3 December 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine how tough it must be to put yourself out there in the dating world, putting your heart on the line every time! Having been with hubby pretty much exclusively since I was 19 (we separated briefly along the way) it’s not something I’ve had to do and I don’t know if I’d have the guts for it! Big love to you, I hope you find the right one soon and all the angst is over.
    Emma Fahy Davis recently posted…8 reasons why I’m not weaning my toddlerMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Ah Emma…welcome here and thanks for the hope! 🙂 I’m not desperate to find someone but by enjoying life this year, it has meant I have gone on more dates than ever before. It scares the shit out of me each time and honestly, sometimes I wonder why I do it! 😛

  • Emma Fahy Davis
    3 December 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine how tough it must be to put yourself out there in the dating world, putting your heart on the line every time! Having been with hubby pretty much exclusively since I was 19 (we separated briefly along the way) it’s not something I’ve had to do and I don’t know if I’d have the guts for it! Big love to you, I hope you find the right one soon and all the angst is over.
    Emma Fahy Davis recently posted…8 reasons why I’m not weaning my toddlerMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Ah Emma…welcome here and thanks for the hope! 🙂 I’m not desperate to find someone but by enjoying life this year, it has meant I have gone on more dates than ever before. It scares the shit out of me each time and honestly, sometimes I wonder why I do it! 😛

  • Tegan
    3 December 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Ugh I don’t envy you trying to navigate the dating world. I have enough trouble making new friends!
    Tegan recently posted…Keeping it realMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Oh Tegan, I have been doing that too. Funnily enough, I’ve successfully managed to make a bunch of new friends this year and yes, that involved being vulnerable too but the anxiety was nowhere near as bad as when it comes to dating. A friend of mine always tells me when I go on dates to think of it as if I were going out with a friend…which means I won’t stress out. Problem is, I don’t kiss a friend and feel as intensely about them the way I might a date! 😛

  • Tegan
    3 December 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Ugh I don’t envy you trying to navigate the dating world. I have enough trouble making new friends!
    Tegan recently posted…Keeping it realMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      4 December 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Oh Tegan, I have been doing that too. Funnily enough, I’ve successfully managed to make a bunch of new friends this year and yes, that involved being vulnerable too but the anxiety was nowhere near as bad as when it comes to dating. A friend of mine always tells me when I go on dates to think of it as if I were going out with a friend…which means I won’t stress out. Problem is, I don’t kiss a friend and feel as intensely about them the way I might a date! 😛

  • Zita
    3 December 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I can totally sympathise with you here! It almost feels as though I could have written this blog post myself! Hate putting myself out there, it’s when it becomes so glaringly obvious what an introvert I truly am! Good luck!
    Zita recently posted…to discuss my profession…My Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:28 am

      It’s scary isn’t it Zita? But then again, we do this when we are trying to make new friends too and somehow, that doesn’t seem as scary. I wonder whether somehow subconsciously we attach a lot of meaning to a potential relationship thereby resulting in the excessive anxiety.

  • Zita
    3 December 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I can totally sympathise with you here! It almost feels as though I could have written this blog post myself! Hate putting myself out there, it’s when it becomes so glaringly obvious what an introvert I truly am! Good luck!
    Zita recently posted…to discuss my profession…My Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:28 am

      It’s scary isn’t it Zita? But then again, we do this when we are trying to make new friends too and somehow, that doesn’t seem as scary. I wonder whether somehow subconsciously we attach a lot of meaning to a potential relationship thereby resulting in the excessive anxiety.

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    3 December 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Oh gorgeous girl you could have written that for me! That was me for my ENTIRE dating life, well until I finally collapsed in a heap of sadness and got SO over the anxiety, worry and just decided that I didn’t get a shit. I was in it for me. I gave up worrying, over analysing (which is VERY VERY VERY hard) and just threw myself under a non-existent fate bus and decided to just ‘screw’ everyone else and live for me. Do what made me happy. As soon as I did this, I became so much happier. Live for you, not the you you want to be. Hugs and strength, I’ve been there, lived it and am living proof you will find ‘the one’! Em xxx
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    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:30 am

      Thanks for the lovely words Em! I thought I’d turned a corner a few months ago but the anxiety has resurfaced in the past few weeks. I was doing well and enjoying my life making new friends and doing things I loved. I just need to work on the over-analysing aspect of things I suppose.
      Psych Babbler recently posted…How to stay sane when you travel for workMy Profile

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    3 December 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Oh gorgeous girl you could have written that for me! That was me for my ENTIRE dating life, well until I finally collapsed in a heap of sadness and got SO over the anxiety, worry and just decided that I didn’t get a shit. I was in it for me. I gave up worrying, over analysing (which is VERY VERY VERY hard) and just threw myself under a non-existent fate bus and decided to just ‘screw’ everyone else and live for me. Do what made me happy. As soon as I did this, I became so much happier. Live for you, not the you you want to be. Hugs and strength, I’ve been there, lived it and am living proof you will find ‘the one’! Em xxx
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted…Do you feel pigeonholed by your blog title? Or is it just me?My Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:30 am

      Thanks for the lovely words Em! I thought I’d turned a corner a few months ago but the anxiety has resurfaced in the past few weeks. I was doing well and enjoying my life making new friends and doing things I loved. I just need to work on the over-analysing aspect of things I suppose.
      Psych Babbler recently posted…How to stay sane when you travel for workMy Profile

  • ns
    4 December 2013 at 6:07 am

    You know you do a great, brave thing by talking about your insecurities and personal concerns. Give yourself a pat on the back on that..
    ns recently posted…Life In PicturesMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:31 am

      Haha…thanks NS…it took me ages to decide whether or not to write it up here. One of my friends kept insisting I do because he reckons a lot of people go through similar things. And well, I guess in a way he was right based on the few comments I can see…

  • ns
    4 December 2013 at 6:07 am

    You know you do a great, brave thing by talking about your insecurities and personal concerns. Give yourself a pat on the back on that..
    ns recently posted…Life In PicturesMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:31 am

      Haha…thanks NS…it took me ages to decide whether or not to write it up here. One of my friends kept insisting I do because he reckons a lot of people go through similar things. And well, I guess in a way he was right based on the few comments I can see…

  • EssentiallyJess
    4 December 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Oh it’s hard isn’t it? So glad I’m not in that position, though I never dated a lot. I hated finding the line though between what was being too into them, or too aloof. I was always very obvious I think, and then must have scaled back cause Boatman says by the time he showed up, he had no idea I was interested in him back, which I most definitely was!
    Good on you though for fighting the fear and keeping on trying. That’s something a lot of people just can’t do xx
    EssentiallyJess recently posted…Looking Forward, Looking Back #IBOTMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:35 am

      I never dated much before this Jess…have just been with the Ex and 2 other dates. So this year is a whole new thing for me and well, there’s a part of me that is over it. I think that’s my problem — finding the balance between too keen to too aloof. I don’t want to come across as a cold wall either but oh well…

  • EssentiallyJess
    4 December 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Oh it’s hard isn’t it? So glad I’m not in that position, though I never dated a lot. I hated finding the line though between what was being too into them, or too aloof. I was always very obvious I think, and then must have scaled back cause Boatman says by the time he showed up, he had no idea I was interested in him back, which I most definitely was!
    Good on you though for fighting the fear and keeping on trying. That’s something a lot of people just can’t do xx
    EssentiallyJess recently posted…Looking Forward, Looking Back #IBOTMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      5 December 2013 at 5:35 am

      I never dated much before this Jess…have just been with the Ex and 2 other dates. So this year is a whole new thing for me and well, there’s a part of me that is over it. I think that’s my problem — finding the balance between too keen to too aloof. I don’t want to come across as a cold wall either but oh well…

  • Viji Venu
    6 December 2013 at 4:52 am

    Finding good and interesting people out of dates is a biggie. And more over when you place yourself with that feeling, being anxious around them is another side. It makes you impatient, cranky and do all weirdoo….It is annoying to different levels. But it makes little sense to wait or rather waste a good deal of time over it. Life is short and has to be relished to the fullest. Really appreciate you being brave and moving on. That is the right thing to do!….
    Viji Venu recently posted…Good-Bye FriendMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      6 December 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks Viji…it does take a lot of courage but I guess at the end of the day, what’s the worst that could happen? The best that could happen is that I could meet someone…if not, it will still teach me lessons! 🙂

  • Viji Venu
    6 December 2013 at 4:52 am

    Finding good and interesting people out of dates is a biggie. And more over when you place yourself with that feeling, being anxious around them is another side. It makes you impatient, cranky and do all weirdoo….It is annoying to different levels. But it makes little sense to wait or rather waste a good deal of time over it. Life is short and has to be relished to the fullest. Really appreciate you being brave and moving on. That is the right thing to do!….
    Viji Venu recently posted…Good-Bye FriendMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      6 December 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks Viji…it does take a lot of courage but I guess at the end of the day, what’s the worst that could happen? The best that could happen is that I could meet someone…if not, it will still teach me lessons! 🙂

  • LiFi
    6 December 2013 at 2:02 pm

    A very honest post PB, wishing you all the best. Being in few relationship and as married (I have an awesome husband) I still feel I was better off when I was single. When I was single I too went through similar emotions, can totally understand all that emotions you are experiencing. Good luck to you.
    LiFi recently posted…Travel Thursdays- Monument ValleyMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      6 December 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Thanks LiFi…I must admit I’m perfectly happy being single and am not actively seeking out guys. But when I do get asked out by a guy I am attracted to, I’m not going to turn it down! 🙂 But yeah, that’s when all the shit in my head begins… 😛

  • LiFi
    6 December 2013 at 2:02 pm

    A very honest post PB, wishing you all the best. Being in few relationship and as married (I have an awesome husband) I still feel I was better off when I was single. When I was single I too went through similar emotions, can totally understand all that emotions you are experiencing. Good luck to you.
    LiFi recently posted…Travel Thursdays- Monument ValleyMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      6 December 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Thanks LiFi…I must admit I’m perfectly happy being single and am not actively seeking out guys. But when I do get asked out by a guy I am attracted to, I’m not going to turn it down! 🙂 But yeah, that’s when all the shit in my head begins… 😛

  • Raindrop
    6 December 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I’m not in the dating game, but I find corollaries to this post in the friendship scene. I always put myself out there when making new friends, I’m open, wear my heart on my sleeve…but when I’m coldly received, I wonder if I’m letting myself be vulnerable?
    But you know, I can’t fake my behaviour, or be aloof when I don’t want to. I loved the last bit of your heartfelt and brave post. I think it applies to friendships too.
    Raindrop recently posted…A thank you letter to my babyMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      6 December 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Oh totally Raindrop! Any relationship requires needing to be vulnerable. I had mentioned a bit of it in a post about trying to make friends as well. It’s scary as. But the funny thing with me is that my brain goes more crazy when it’s a potential relationship as compared to a friendship. Go figure! I’m trying to treat it the same way as I do with friendships…
      Psych Babbler recently posted…11 thingsMy Profile

  • Raindrop
    6 December 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I’m not in the dating game, but I find corollaries to this post in the friendship scene. I always put myself out there when making new friends, I’m open, wear my heart on my sleeve…but when I’m coldly received, I wonder if I’m letting myself be vulnerable?
    But you know, I can’t fake my behaviour, or be aloof when I don’t want to. I loved the last bit of your heartfelt and brave post. I think it applies to friendships too.
    Raindrop recently posted…A thank you letter to my babyMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      6 December 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Oh totally Raindrop! Any relationship requires needing to be vulnerable. I had mentioned a bit of it in a post about trying to make friends as well. It’s scary as. But the funny thing with me is that my brain goes more crazy when it’s a potential relationship as compared to a friendship. Go figure! I’m trying to treat it the same way as I do with friendships…
      Psych Babbler recently posted…11 thingsMy Profile

  • Epiphany | Over Cups of Coffee
    6 December 2013 at 8:31 pm

    […] that had been recommended to me by my friend A ages ago. I think after having written a post about being vulnerable, I remembered him mentioning this talk on ‘The Power of Vulnerability’. And to say I had an […]

  • Epiphany | Over Cups of Coffee
    6 December 2013 at 8:31 pm

    […] that had been recommended to me by my friend A ages ago. I think after having written a post about being vulnerable, I remembered him mentioning this talk on ‘The Power of Vulnerability’. And to say I had an […]

  • iSophie
    7 December 2013 at 8:40 am

    Oh I don’t envy you at all and I totally get those feelings. It’s not an easy time at all, and I wish you every luck! #teamIBOT

  • iSophie
    7 December 2013 at 8:40 am

    Oh I don’t envy you at all and I totally get those feelings. It’s not an easy time at all, and I wish you every luck! #teamIBOT

  • So I’m still around | Over Cups of Coffee
    12 May 2014 at 8:40 pm

    […] to share just yet. Let’s just say, it has to do with me trying to be really brave, showing my vulnerability and taking a chance and not having regrets. Apart from that, I have visited a physio for my knees. […]

  • So I’m still around | Over Cups of Coffee
    12 May 2014 at 8:40 pm

    […] to share just yet. Let’s just say, it has to do with me trying to be really brave, showing my vulnerability and taking a chance and not having regrets. Apart from that, I have visited a physio for my knees. […]