“Vulnerability” is one of those popular buzzwords floating around. But what does that word really mean and what does it have to do with your online dating experience as a single Catholic man or woman?
Dr. Brene Brown, an American research professor, defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” Vulnerability is that unstable feeling you get when you step out of your comfort zone or do something that forces you to loosen control.
What does healthy vulnerability look like?
Vulnerability is a necessity for intimate, lasting relationships. However, there is a fine balance to practicing healthy vulnerability, especially in your dating life. After all, there is a difference between over-sharing and healthy vulnerability when you’re getting to know someone romantically.
At some point or another, we have all probably over shared on something with another person. I know I have. Over sharing can be saying too much too soon. Or, sometimes oversharing looks like being overly eager. Looking back on instances when I’ve shared too much too quick makes me cringe. But I take the time to reflect on those times because they’ve proved to be good learning lessons.
Healthy vulnerability is different. It involves slowly revealing yourself to the other person. It also is the realization that getting to know all the different parts of a person take time. If you share the depths of yourself right of the gate, there is no mystery to be discovered in getting to know each other.
In some ways, a world full of dating apps and online dating platforms can complicate all of this. But with intentionality, you can navigate healthy vulnerability well as a single Catholic.
Getting to know someone in a healthy and vulnerable way
Here are a variety of different questions you could ask when talking to someone online to truly get to know them in a vulnerable way:
- What is something unique about yourself that most people would not know at a glance?
- What are some goals or dreams you have for your life?
- What kind of things are you passionate about?
- Who is a person you admire, respect, or look up to in life?
- What are important lessons you have learned about yourself?
- When do you feel closest to God?
- What are you looking for in a relationship or with your lifetime partner?
- What is special and unique about your family?
- What are some things that define you?
- What do you love most about being Catholic?
- What are specific ways that make you feel loved, seen, and cared for?
- What experiences in your life have helped you grow into a better version of yourself?
- What helpful and not so helpful lessons did you learn from your parents about love, dating, relationships, and marriage.
- If you could describe yourself in a few words, what words would you choose and why?
- Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
Dating and getting to know another human being is not a sprint. It’s more like a marathon. It takes time to develop a relationship that will evolve and last in a commitment of marriage.
Don’t rush into vulnerability in your online dating chats. Don’t start over sharing about all your past relationships one the first or second date.
What kinds of questions do you think are good ones to discuss in time to build healthy vulnerability with the person you are getting to know?