In the age of social media, choosing how and what you reveal about yourself is tricky business. It’s a classic example of the uncomfortable overlap of persona; professional, personal and intimate.
Sometimes it feels akin to panties twisted under your well-fitted jeans when you stand up to leave the table; you know it doesn’t look right, but there’s just not a damn thing you can do about it now.
I must admit that revealing myself in the professional arena is something that I find relatively easy. At a certain age your need to be respected by your peers over-rides your need for camaraderie outside the office. In other words; you’ve got all the friends you need, so why muddy the professional water?
Friends, well, friendship at a certain age become easy and more frightening all at the same time. Spending time with a new group of people doesn’t feel much different from when you were the new kid on the playground. You tend to revert; class clown, shy kid, or leader.
Lovers and intimate relationships on the other hand require more savvy, and are likely the most manipulated of all.
Good lovers are hard to find, and if you have the opportunity to reacquaint yourself with one, two, or even a handful (don’t judge me) from your past, it’s a sticky web to navigate without getting your signals crossed. That is, if you can figure out what signal it is you’re hoping to be received on the other end in the first place. This may take some time and hard self-analysis.
Years pass with all of the sunshine and storms life dishes out. Sometimes what once were smooth waters now require careful consideration as the landscape has changed and hard edges hide just beneath the surface. It takes a bloodied up scrape or two before you learn you don’t know what you thought you did, and that the person you once knew so well has changed. It’s odd how shocking the obvious can be.
Then there are other relationships. The keepers, the head-over-heels-make-me-feel-like-a-teenager-again fresh, new and yet uncharted. That’s where we all lose our minds a little bit. In these cases, you should always, without fail or hesitation be yourself, be vulnerable, and allow yourself to be loved. Trust me, I know from experience, it’s easy to say and hard to do.
Vulnerability. Hmm…it’s something I struggle with, and in the past had great disdain for. But more and more now, I’m recognizing it for the treasure that it is. To be vulnerable with another human being is to open yourself up to the possibility of deep and lasting fulfillment.
It may or may not have been a personal experience that I had the good fortune of re-connecting (and I do mean reconnecting) with someone I’ve known for a long time but haven’t connected with for a couple of years. Our last little tryst wasn’t what either of us would refer to as a success.
This time, as we toasted our grand wisdom of planning some private time together with champagne, I noticed that his hand shook just the tiniest bit, betraying a confident exterior. A very sexy, confident exterior.
In the past I would have been turned off. There are very few things I can sexualize more than a confident man. But I guess I’ve changed too, because this time, I thought it was sweet and vulnerable, and facing your fears a-la-mode in the boudoir, takes guts.
Just remember, whatever type of relationship you’re navigating, we all just want to be accepted. It’s not only you in the relationship, it’s the other, and they’re as terrified as you about earning their sea-legs on this ship of love. Take your time revealing yourselves to one another so you can enjoy the many faceted beauty of being beloved and lover.