I have found myself wondering which would be worse, fantasy or vulnerability. Living a fantasy life would be pretty amazing if we’ve got a good imagination. Then again, if we can master the vulnerability side of this, we wouldn’t need the fantasy.
The fantasy I often think of is one in which I move to a remote deserted island and shut myself off from society. I dream of a white sandy beach hot under my feet, palm trees swaying in the breeze, the sun beating down on me as I open my eyes in the mornings and quiet—no one else on this island with me.
Days consist of searching for berries or other edible plants. Maybe whittling a stick into a spear and teaching myself to fish, spending my day standing as still as I can be in the ocean while waiting for just the right fish to be curious enough to swim up to me so I can spear it for dinner.
I must also build a shelter to keep me safe from the elements and so I use part of my day seeking out the materials I need in order to do this.
The evenings are cold and of course magically I have a fire. Maybe I taught myself that whole rock on rock thing to get a spark or I managed to sneak a lighter in on my fantasy (hey, it’s my fantasy!). Either way, I sit by the fire, eating my catch of the day, warming myself from the coolness of the evening all the while thinking this is bliss; this is all I’ll ever need.
For many days and evenings, I occupy my time in this fashion. I talk to the birds or the reptiles that scurry away from me as I search for food or materials for my shelter. I manage to keep myself sane by imagining they talk back, I even give them names. Over time, once my shelter is complete and I have got this whole spear fishing thing down pat, I come to realize one thing…
We are not meant to be this alone. We are not meant to talk to birds and reptiles to keep ourselves from going clinically insane. We are not meant to use our imaginations to create communication. We are meant to interact with other beings like ourselves.
So while this fantasy sounds of a utopia, if I do say so myself, I often have this reoccurring thought when I am struggling emotionally. If I remove myself from society then I don’t have to face the ups and downs of trying to figure out just what the fuck is wrong with me that I don’t seem to be able to maintain a relationship.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am really good at the initial part of a relationship. I especially excel at the part that comes complete with the rose colored glasses and the feelings of butterflies fluttering in the soul. I believe it is a part of some kit you get when you first enter into a relationship. It’s the part that happens about three months after you have been wooed and have done the wooing that I keep getting stuck at.
I tend to bring a whole lot of me into a relationship. Okay, all of me. You get all of me from the start. I truly know no other way than to offer everything. I tend to be fairly independent in my thinking, yes I have bought into the whole “you have to be single for a while to understand what you want line of thinking.”
So I have done the soul searching. I have cried the tears. I have dug deeper into myself and discovered things that I am not quite happy with and am trying to work on those parts. I am not afraid to open the communication up if something needs to be discussed, with myself or with others. I am blunt in my honesty, which I am told is actually refreshing.
I attract men that find my strength intriguing. They don’t see me as needy. They don’t view me as someone that needs to be entertained and coddled. This has all been said to me with an admiration in their voices. I say this not to boast my ego, but to expose the reality in which I live in. However, enter the “three month mark” where the guy I am dating decides he does indeed want to feel needed and the very thing that attracted him to me, now threatens to send him running. So he runs because he doesn’t feel needed.
Sure I have made him feel wanted and appreciated. I have made him feel attractive and sexy and desirable but I seem to struggle with the part where I make him feel needed. So as another relationship dies, I bring my fantasy back to life.
Me, myself and I on that deserted island because being alone will be far easier than going through whole heart break thing time and again. Right?
Wrong. So very heart shattering heart breakingly wrong.
I want to be with someone. I want a man that can see all this in me and come running. I want a man that is not afraid to let his guard down and let me in. And truth be told, I need it.
So I ask myself, “why I can’t give a man the one thing they seem to need, that feeling of being needed.” I have come to the conclusion that I am scared as fuck to say those words out loud. Once I admit those words out loud to him then I have just given him the ticket to break my heart. Once he discovers I am indeed in need of him my shield will fall to the floor, my protective armor will be lost and I will be just as human as the next person.
I know I am not alone in this thinking. I see it in my friends. I see it in the articles I read. I see it all around me, that message that says, “we don’t need you, we want you.” I think it is based off of a fear of responsibility, because once we show someone that we do indeed need them, all of a sudden we are vulnerable.
It’s a scary place to be; that damn vulnerability spot. So how do I just come out and tell him I need his emotional support when I’m scared? That I actually like leaning and relying on a man but I’m scared he can’t hold me up? And then what? How do I protect my heart once I say this need out loud? Seems to be a lot of pressure to put on someone to let them know that they are indeed a need.
In the back of my mind this crazy thought keeps resurfacing. This word keeps jumping out at me as I think about all of this; trust. We have to trust that when we throw our vulnerability out to them, it will be just as attractive as our strength and independence.
I am still grappling with this concept, and may continue to do so for quite a while as I wonder if that deserted island wouldn’t just be easier. But I know that it won’t be and I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I do indeed need the security and love that only a romantic partner can offer me if I allow them too. The trouble always seems to be finding the one worth risking my vulnerability for and someone who will be equal to my strength and my ability to love. For it is the intense passion and reciprocity of a deep emotional connection I seek. One to rescue me or join me on my island.
The deserted island is a fantasy, but I would prefer a real man to step up and take on the challenge of matching the ferocity of passion and love that is in my heart. I am a real woman, as real as it gets. To all the real men out there who have similar burning desires, do not be afraid to be real, vulnerable and love unconditionally. Those are the real men that I desire. The real men that I need.
Author: Debbi Serafinchon
Debbi Serafinchon is a passionate lover of life. Most of her writing comes from personal experiences that she takes the time to try and understand through her writing. A natural questioner of life, she often tries to fit the pieces of what is happening in her world together through writing. This divorced mom to four older children, finds she now has the time to follow her dreams. She loves to travel, learn and interact with people. Her life is summarized by her favorite quote by Douglas Adams: “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” You can find more of her writing on her website and follow her on Facebook.