Volumes have been written. Dramas and comedies of errors for film and stage. Blogs and blogs of computer-empowered masturbatory text devoted to the subject. The elusive, maddening, fulfilling, frustrating, joyous quality of that thing, without which we can not live, literally.
If you're reading this (looking at the number of followers I have to date, you're probably not), you've successfully made it through the unadulterated vulnerability of infancy. The mine-field of adolescence is hopefully behind you, which made little sense regarding almost everything, but most especially when it came to love and relationships: struck dumb as most of us were in the presence of our beloveds.
And here we are: head-scratching adults, still trying to figure it out ... .
The dilemma with love and relationship is that I (and you) have got to be willing to be vulnerable for it to have a chance of working.
The other side: vulnerability can hurt ... a lot. Especially if the object of your affection is unwilling or unable to go there. There are countless reasons for this frequently-experienced inequity, but the most likely reason: broken trust(s) in the past.
The irony: vulnerability is the source of that thing we want more than any other.
Most people seem to be mighty uncomfortable with it and see it as weakness. Another irony is that this "weakness", when appropriate, can be a sign of strength. It takes courage to unwrap your soul for another and share those unresolved fallibilities that we all carry with us, like a parrot on the shoulder squawking, "YOIKS! IT HOITS!" (Not a lot of subtlety in parrot-talk, but at least they're honest.)
And then there's the male|female dichotomy, whether you're heterosexual or otherwise, it plays an energetic role, with each person made up of aspects of both genders. Typically the feminine is more comfortable with vulnerability than the male, but it goes both ways girls and boys. Much depends on what we had the opportunity to model as wee babes. That and hormones.
Working toward balance is the wise way of the wise human. Illusive though it may be, we know when it's residing within, and grieve when it departs.
So, here's to the art of balance, vulnerability, compassion, joy, and laughter. May you have them all in abundance.