How Vulnerability Makes Men Fall In Love With You

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As a smart, strong, successful woman, you have a full single life, filled with work, friends, family, and hobbies. Yet this isn’t your primary strength when it comes to dating. If you don’t let men it’s hard for them to make an emotional connection. Listen to this deep Love U Podcast to learn how to stop your insecurities from running the show and how it takes a lot of confidence to be vulnerable.

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Do you often talk about what an amazing life you have? Do you make it clear that you don’t need a man to be happy? Are you wary of letting down your guard because you’re afraid of getting hurt? If so, this podcast is for you. Stick around.

I’m Evan Marc Katz, Dating Coach for Smart, Strong, Successful Women, and your personal trainer for love. Welcome to the Love U podcast. Stay to the end of this video to learn why it takes confidence to be vulnerable and how the only way to get the love you want is to be vulnerable. When we’re done, I’ll let you know how you could apply to Love U to create a passionate relationship that makes you feel safe, heard, and understood.

So, it’s gonna be a long one. Strap yourself in. I’m kind of excited about it.

I’m a Dating Coach for smart, strong, successful women and I have been for 17 years. I don’t like to lump everybody together, but there’s definitely a certain type of woman who comes to me. You’ll see it when I launch my new website. It’s the woman who has everything but the guy. And if you’re the woman who has everything but, the guy that phrase may mean something to you. You are bright. You’re accomplished. You look at your life with pride and joy, at the things that you’ve created, the career that you have. Your friends, your family, your possessions, your hobbies, your travel. You filled up your life because you’re single and you’re independent. And you have the means and you’re driven. And that’s something to be applauded. No one’s suggesting you should sit around waiting for a man.

The problem is that when that becomes your whole source of identity, one can become defensive about not having it all. You spend so much time pursuing your work because it’s more remunerating that you don’t end up getting love. And then the story becomes, I’m happy. I don’t need a man to be fulfilled. And that’s the face that you put on to the world. And it’s a brave face that you put onto the world because you’re preparing for the possibility that you might never get a guy. So you better be OK with being alone and it becomes a bit of a stance.

The problem is when that stance shows up in real life and men don’t necessarily respond to the woman who doesn’t need a man and thinks her life is perfect without one. There’s an inherent contradiction in that that’s worth exploring. So, I’m going to explore it the best way I know how, which is to tell you personal stories. And I’ll tell you stories about clients, too. But I really want to get into the personal aspect of it, because I understand this vulnerability confidence piece really, really well.

And so, I want to bring you back to 15 years ago before I met my wife. I took a class called the Landmark Forum through Landmark Education. I don’t want to send you down that rabbit hole. But basically, it’s a large-scale group therapy, really intense. Three days right from 8:00 in the morning to midnight in a room with a bunch of really smart people in the front of the room. Who are kind of walking you through a group therapy process, getting you to look at yourself. Take responsibility for your failures, etc. And a lot of it’s really challenging.

And I remember being in this course and not being that receptive. I felt like a lot of it didn’t apply to me. I felt like I was different than some of the other people there who had bigger problems. My big problem was that I felt lonely and disconnected from my friends and family in my early thirties.

The reason you’re here is because you don’t have it all together.

So, I’m in this class and the professor, a teacher, tells me to stand up, chooses me. And again, there’s one hundred fifty people sitting down. Calls on me. And he said, what’s your deal? You look like you’re above it all is what he says to me. You look like you’re above it all. And I said, I don’t mean to sound in a way that I don’t want to sound, but a lot of this stuff, people who have really broken relationships with their family where they don’t know or they were sexually abused or kicked out of the house through serious drug problems or, you know, really disastrous relationships with the most important people in their life, I feel like most of that doesn’t apply to me. And again, I’ll never forget it, he said. And he goes, that’s your problem. And I’m kind of like cocking my head. And he goes, you carry yourself like a guy who’s too good for everything. You carry yourself as I’m smarter than you, my ideas are better than yours, and I don’t need this. You act like the guy who has it all together. Now, the reason you’re here is because you don’t have it all together. You might not have the same problems as everybody here, but there’s something that’s lacking in your life. That’s what caused you to reach out. So how can anybody contribute to your life if you are perfect, where you put on the illusion that you’re perfect to the world? That’s what you want everybody to see. I have it all together. What does anybody now have to contribute to you?

I’m pretty sure I started bawling. Right, because it was so spot on. So close to home. Right. I felt disconnected from my friends and family because I was putting on some confident facade. Even though I am confident in many ways. I was putting on a facade without any vulnerability. Without any humanity and I was wondering why people weren’t responding to me. That was really painful to feel shut out because I was having trouble making emotional connections with people. And I’m an emotional, self-aware guy. So, they hit on something that I’ve never forgotten. That’s why I’m sharing it with you today.

And so that was an interesting evolution because I’ve always been the sensitive guy. My mom was always telling me back when I was a writer, you should be a writer. You should be a psychologist. You should be a shrink. You should talk to people. That’s your gift. I remember a story and I’ve alluded to it in previous podcasts, but maybe 20 years ago I had a girlfriend. And on the first date, I remember crying to her. This is how vulnerable I was. I remember telling the story about how my father died. It was like, you know, less than a year later. And I remember telling the story about how my father died. I was 26 or 27 years old. And the story bringing me to tears. And instead of sending her running in the opposite direction, she thought it was beautiful that I could talk about my father in such a loving way and that so many guys don’t. All right. I didn’t turn on the waterworks to impress her, but I also didn’t care that the waterworks were gonna scare her away. I was just being myself. And who I was, was a guy who was reeling from his father’s death. That did not stop me from hooking up later that night or making this woman my girlfriend. That’s what I’m talking about is the confidence to be vulnerable.

I’m not recommending crying on dates. We need to understand that confidence and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive. And a lot of times we make it seem like it is. If I let down my guard, if I show someone my humanity, if I show any perception of weakness, then I’m feeling I’m going to be desperate. I’m being taped. I’m going to be taken advantage of. He’s gonna run fleeing from my emotions. And these are things that women believe and it’s the overcorrection. Are there guys who flee from women’s emotions? Sure. Are those the guys that you want? No. Period. Exclamation point.

Think of the best conversations. Think of a conversation I’m having with you right now. You on the Internet. You on the podcast. I am being, these are buzzwords so they almost lack meaning, authentic, vulnerable, and it takes confidence to put oneself out there and do this. Insecurity is what drives people to be invulnerable. If you’re insecure, you’re afraid of letting down your guard. If you’re insecure, you’re afraid of speaking your truth. If you’re insecure, you’re afraid that everybody’s going to judge you or everybody’s going to leave you. If you’re confident, you put it out there and you know that people really respond to confidence, authenticity, vulnerability.

I’ve got a client. I remember the story this year back. She was 60 and she was telling me her story and she was telling me about a source of her dating anxiety is telling someone on a first date that she had a child out of wedlock 40 years ago. She had an accident when she was 20. Kept the child. Forty years later. Her son is 40 years old. He’s a man and she is still carrying this like it’s a badge of shame, like some 60-year-old guy is going to care about something she did 40 years ago and judge her for it. That’s fascinating to me that people carry that shame and have trouble reconciling that years and years later.

I have my own, you know, embarrassing stories. I try to tell them publicly as a service to you. My most prominent problem is that I’ve got a history of anxiety. Not so much depression, but definitely anxiety. It came on in my late 20s. I was dropped out of college and then, it surfaced again while I was a screenwriter and had trouble getting it together in my twenties until I kind of figured out my career. And once I had some stability, I landed. But I was really anxious that I didn’t know what I was going to do for a living and how I was going to make money and how I was going to live up to my potential. And so, there was a big source of anxiety for a portion of my life that was debilitating. You know, shrinks, antidepressants, that kind of stuff.

Contrary to what, you know, what some people might do in that situation, I never really hid from that. I didn’t put it in my dating profile. I didn’t tell people on the phone, hey, I just dialed down my Zoloft prescription to a half a milligram. Everything was great. It wasn’t bad. But when you’re having a conversation with someone that has any depth or meaning in who’s going there, I don’t see any point in hiding from your stuff. All right. We have to walk it back later.

I did a Love U coaching call this week. I love these calls. We really, really go deep. We spend two hours on the phone every week and sometimes these themes emerge. These unintentional themes. And I had like four or five women as some version of the same question. When a guy says why are you still single, what do you say? When a guy is asking you about sex, how do you react? when a guy asks the almost predictable questions about your ex? You know what happened in your relationship or how did you join Match.com? And my clients get this sort of deer in the headlights moment. I don’t know how to answer that. There’s absolutely no way to answer that. And it’s the truth. People love the truth.

Someone said if my wife said to me when we’re dating, Hey Evan, you’re a 34-year-old dating and relationship coach, you’ve never had a relationship for more than eight months. How do you explain that? I don’t like that question. It’s a little bit too directed on the spot, but it’s a very reasonable point of curiosity. I better have a good answer to that. That’s not driven by insecurity or vulnerability. So, the best way to answer that is to speak your truth. Well, honestly, I was not in any position to get married in my 20s. I didn’t have a career to speak of. I was a struggling screenwriter doing odd jobs. I was depressed and anxious. It was a really rough decade. And since I dropped out of film school and wrote a couple of books and started to do this, dating coaching thing. Things have been really good. And since then, I’ve had much better relationships and getting a lot closer to what I’m looking for. And I’ve always wanted to fall in love and get married and start a family and feel like I’ve never been in a better place than I am right now.

You see that? That’s it, that’s the answer. I didn’t lie. I didn’t have the bullshit like that was the answer. It told the truth. I took ownership. I didn’t go down some deep spiral of shame talking about all the mistakes I made in my 20s when life and love and with my father dying and my terrible screenwriting career and emotionally abusive relationships where I got my ass kicked. I didn’t have to do all that.

So, again, I want to bring this back to the original subject. It takes confidence to be vulnerable. It takes confidence to speak your truth and know that your truth is going to be warmly accepted because of your relationship to the story. You can tell it at a remove. You can tell it at a distance without it turning in or blowing up or being held against you in some way.

So, I really want you to try this idea on for size. The idea that your insecurity around being single, around wanting a man, being scared, being hurt, being vulnerable, having made mistakes could actually be a strength. Men would love to hear the truth. They would love to hear you take ownership. Yeah, I spent most of my 30s working hard and didn’t spend too much time thinking about love. I probably walled myself off from it because I got hurt in my last relationship. And then I looked up and realized I wanted this whole thing. I wanted to find a relationship. And now I’m ready. So much better than I don’t know, I just haven’t met the right guy. Which is kind of a non-answer.

So, think at this moment about yourself, how you project to others the masks you wear, the stories you tell to yourself. I’m fine. I don’t need a man. The stories that you tell to your friends and men that you meet, the facade that you put up, and ask yourself, how can a man contribute to you? How can he feel connected to you? What is the universal humanity that you show on your dates? If you’re so busy telling everybody how perfect life is, how perfect you are, how busy and happy you are, how you barely have room to do anything else. How you’ve never made any mistakes, how you never had any regrets, what can someone grasp on to as humans?

So, the answer to this question is what makes you you and what makes a man fall in love with you is not your impressive job or your education or your cool hobbies. It’s your hopes and your dreams and your desires. And, yes, even your failures.

I’m Evan Marc Katz.

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Join our conversation (11 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    GABRIELA RODRIGUEZ

    Thank you for highlighting this and for reminding us of this pivotal thing. I’ve noticed in many dating profiles now, people are making sure to specify that they don’t “need” someone, but that they’d like to be with someone. As if to say, “see here, I’m not needy.” It’s been drilled into us that we mustn’t be or even appear to be needy. Thus it’s a fine line and balance between being vulnerable and holding back so as not to appear being needy. Many of us women fear being vulnerable bc we don’t want to be labeled as being needy, emotional or anything like that so of course we show that we are all ” in control.” I’ve noticed with age and experience that I’ve been more real and have let go of many preconceived ideas. Thank you for driving home this point about showing vulnerability because you’re correct it just shows our humanity and makes us that much more real and reachable.

  2. 2
    Maria

    Thanks for encouraging vulnerability Evan. My question though is- most people don’t know how to respond to vulnerability. They either pretend they didn’t hear what you just shared, or they look at you with that deer in the headlight look that you reference to in your podcast. I’ve not been one to shy away from being vulnerable and sharing my truth, but it gets discouraging and tiring when I’m not emotionally met, leaving me feeling raw and exposed. What would your advice be in this situation, or any points of encouragement/perspective?

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      The guy who cannot handle this is not your guy.

    2. 2.2
      jo

      Maria, if I’m reading between the lines of Evan’s advice rightly: being vulnerable isn’t the same thing as being emotional when you share your stories with someone else. The way he described his 20s sounds as though he was just sharing facts of his life, not crying, angry, or deeply angsty about them. When you can share your stories in that offhand, objective manner, others will relate to it more. If there is a lot of emotion attached, that can have the perverse effect of pushing others away because they are unsure what to say or do.

      So what I’d add to Evan’s advice is: Yes, share, but do it from a position of strength – believing that your stories are valid, simply sharing the facts, and trusting that others will understand and accept even if you do not become very emotional. Sometimes, that may require a little distance and time from the situation.

      1. 2.2.1
        Jeremy

        Exactly Jo. I think both genders are a bit blinkered by our expectations of each other. Men find vulnerability in women to be very attractive, in general. But we hate what we perceive of as hysteria. That’s a fraught word, but it’s the right word to describe mens perception. Irrational emotionality, the likes of which we can’t deal with, and frankly don’t want to deal with. As opposed to a genuine sharing of experience by an emotionally healthy individual who has done her own emotional work and isn’t looking to be saved from her situation or herself. There is extending one’s hands in trust, and there’s wringing ones hands in helplessness. Not the same. And the timing matters too.

  3. 3
    Maria

    Thanks for all the comments, and I appreciate all the insights. Point noted about the balance between vulnerability and hysteria. I’m able to discern between vulnerability and being emotional/hysteria etc. I think the very notion of vulnerability includes a degree of emotion and still coming from a place of strength, rather than being offhanded and simply factual.

    Perhaps there is truth to Evan’s comment. Anyway, food for thought as always.

  4. 4
    egle

    Evan, I really Love your stories, advices and you – such a genuine wise and warm guy!!!!!!

  5. 5
    egle

    and Jeremy, spot on!!

  6. 6
    Bbq

    GABREILA RODRIGUEZ

    There are few bigger red flags for men (outside than a mouthful of missing teeth or meth sores) than a woman who talks about not needing someone/a man/a relationship, or how “independent” they are. Like awesome, nothing is a bigger selling point to me than how independent their girlfriends or wives will be from them, or how little they’ll be needed lol.
    What in the hell are women thinking when they say stuff like that when they’re trying to get a man? Hell, hearing “I can be needy or a little clingy” is far less of a deal breaker than that.

  7. 7
    Lucy

    I broke up a two year relationship with a guy last year who didn’t feel quite right for me. He didn’t apologise for hurting my feelings and I didn’t feel safe. I was vulnerable with him but it just didn’t work. When I dumped him, he chased me down, wrote me lots of letters but I stuck to my guns through all the pain. It was horrible. I’ve met someone new and while I’m barely out of the honeymoon phase, I‘ve never felt more loved. It’s easy to be vulnerable and there’s literally nothing I can say that would scare him away. He’s 34 and had never had a relationship longer than several months but he’s by far the best bf I’ve ever had. I don’t have to sit anxiously by the phone because he’s always there when I need him. Being vulnerable has paid off with him. If I want to cry he just holds me in his arms and it’s a wonderful feeling.

  8. 8
    LBCC

    Any time I’ve ever been vulnerable with any man, including my father, he’s used it against me to hurt me. Recommending women make themselves vulnerable is telling women to give men the ammo to hurt them whenever they want to.

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