Is he willing to be vulnerable?

Women typically say they want a guy who is willing to be vulnerable with them, and with whom they can be the same. I’ve dated some men for months who never shared a vulnerable thought, even if I asked about his hopes, fears, dreams and regrets. Nothing.

So I was pleased that a man I’ve been talking to for 3 weeks, but we haven’t yet met, was comfortable enough to cry on the phone with me. The circumstances were extenuating: his mother had just died, it was the day before the funeral, none of his siblings would help with the funeral in any way so everything fell on him. He was stressed over this, grief stricken, getting pressure from his job to return to work. Anyone would have cracked at this — or even less.

He didn’t seem to be embarrassed, nor did he apologize as some men do when they show emotion. Men are typically socialized to not share their sadness, and heaven forbid they cry. “Only sissies cry” seems to be branded into many men’s psyche.

In “Is he a ‘soft place to fall’?” we talked about how important it is for most women to have a man with whom they can be vulnerable. But the reverse is true for some men, too, even if they aren’t a “Sensitive, New Age Guy.” And just like he doesn’t want someone who is so emotionally unstable that you blubber at the sign of a dead flower, so, too, you don’t want a guy who seems to be taking estrogen injections.

How do you feel about men who are willing to show their emotions? Is there a length of time you feel you need to know each other before being that emotionally honest?

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4 responses to “Is he willing to be vulnerable?”

  1. nysharon Avatar

    It’s all about the situation and the subject matter. A crack in their voice or a tear wiped when the trauma warrants it is touching to me. It shows that they have a softness. If it is over the Yankees trading their best player, than I run for the hills.

  2. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    Ditto what nysharon said. If a guy is vulnerable and/or teary for the same reasons I or any other human being would be; (i.e., death, traumatic injury to self or a loved one, losing a pet or dear friend, losing a promotion, losing a house to fire or catastrophe, etc.); that’s fine, but please no blubberers who cry over Lassie, underdone steaks, tearjerker movies, bad haircuts, or similar trivialities. Those are reserved for moi, (especially the bad haircuts). 🙂

    Good luck with your new guy and best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  3. Meari Avatar

    I agree with nysharon and bookyone, too. I don’t think it’s necessary to have a time frame in which he should show his vulnerable side. I do think it’s important to share that side with your significant other.

  4. Sherri Avatar

    it depends. I have to admit that I still wrestle with the image of a “real” man being strong, silent, and capable all the time. Since real life has taught me that the experience is not nearly as positive as the idea, I can say that I’m now okay with a man who, as expressed here already, cries at life’s losses. But in my opinion that doesn’t include not finding the “perfect” job after two days of looking, finding a scratch on one’s car, and yep! I reserve the right to be the blubberer at tear-jerker movies!