My Vulnerability Hangover

I had the worst hangover this week. 

So…recently, I went on a first date with someone I was really excited to meet. The date seemed to be going really well…with flowing, intelligent, vulnerable conversation and connection. I definitely felt a spark and was enjoying every minute with this man. 

Later in the evening, after a couple of glasses of wine and the disinhibition that comes with it, I had a few vulnerable moments with him, completely exposing this very human side of me...you know…the kind of vulnerable moments that make you want to go hide in a cave the next day. As in, “OMG, did I really do that?”  (I won’t share the details here, but trust me, it was a shit show). 

He graciously stayed present with me and didn’t push me away or run away. #thankgodforgoodmen

When I woke up the next day, my stomach was in knots. My mind was racing with shame and embarrassment. I was suffering from what Brene Brown calls a “vulnerablity hangover”. Its that moment of fear and shame after we’ve somehow taken a risk or exposed our true selves, and then we bathe in shame and exquisitely negative self-talk. It’s a bigger shit show than the one I had the night before. 

I was beating myself up, thinking that I ruined my chances with a man that I was really attracted to. I spent the first couple of hours of the morning trying to undo the past and rewrite the future. (I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of insanity. Or is it agony? I can’t remember). 

“I am such an ass!” I must have said to myself fifty times.

My body, mind, and heart took quite a beating.

And then, after awhile, my rational brain came back online and I said to myself, “get a grip, Chelli. We aren’t doing this anymore, remember? You are refusing to listen to the voices of shame, embarrassment, and fear.”

I put my hand on my heart and said in the slowest, kindest and most comforting voice: “You are OK”. 

And then it came out. My power. My love. My willingness to be seen. My self-acceptance. And laughter. I laughed until I almost cried. It was actually a hilarious story (if only you knew it all…but I have to have some boundaries!) And suddenly, I was light again, and I didn’t care what happened.

I chose love. Love for me. Love for my humanity. Love for my glorious imperfections. Gratitude for him and his kindness. 

And I decided that if is the type of man who can’t accept me in my not-so-glorious-moments, then I lovingly release him. I choose to believe that I have something amazing to offer, and only the right man gets the privilege of me. Instead of worrying about being rejected by him, I focused instead on how I would reject him if my shit show of vulnerability was too much for him. 

I became the chooser, not the chosen. 

So you see, even a dating coach struggles with these things (often). It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, the “mistakes” you make. 

You. Are. Human. 

It is ok to be seen, even if it’s with a complete stranger on a first date. Be courageously authentic, and love yourself through your vulnerability hangovers. Love will find you.

#refuseshame #youarehuman #bebravebeyoubeloved