On being emotionally fearless

I said in my last post:

When I talk about wanting a man who is emotionally fearless, it’s because I need him to hammer down those walls and throw himself into the fray over and over and take whatever hits are coming.

And I got a really smart question from the original asker:

“But don’t you think its possible that being emotionally fearless maybe difficult for someone not because they are afraid of stepping into the fray but because they don’t want to put someone they care about/serve in a situation where they are being ‘hammered’.”

Yes, absolutely. And boy are there ever nuances in all of this, so my summary is really unclear. I only ever give the readers’ digest version or we’d be here forever.

Firstly, I’m making the assumption that I like him and want to be in a relationship with him. I’m also assuming that he knows me and can read me. So none of this is ‘random stranger’ related.

Secondly, I threw out some words that were, on reflection, completely misleading. “Hammering” is totally the wrong word for describing what it feels like.

With my last, what it felt like was this: He would be so open and vulnerable with me that he created this amazing space into which I could safely step. He would shyly reveal himself, offer small things, or bigger things, reassure me that he wanted it, was ready, was waiting for me. Each time he did that, he was saying “Here’s another piece of me” and I could either pick it up and step into that space towards him, or I could hold back because I still had a million walls up. He was the fearless one: I was reluctant and fearful. He was the emotional one, I was (as always) rational and reserved.

If I didn’t step up, he didn’t withdraw, he didn’t sulk, he didn’t close down: he licked his wounds and went ‘okay then’, and he took the hit with grace and sweetness. Then he would shyly try again when he felt ready. And all of this happens in a relationship where he knows I enjoy him and want him. I’m not playing at pretending I don’t. But he also knows that there are walls he has to break through and he is willing to keep going there.

It’s a gentle and terrible and wonderful thing, and I feel like what I put into that space is not nearly as valuable as what he does. But when I’m ready and I pick up what he is offering, I know from the way he reacts that this is how our dance works. That if I picked up all the pieces when he offered them, it wouldn’t feel the same. I give him an immovable object and he is like an emotional warrior that keeps coming at it, and in some way, he needs to be that emotional warrior. It’s strange and lovely and when it works, it works.

A long winded way of saying: If it’s right, then no, he won’t be afraid of ‘hammering’ at me. He will know that I need that safe place to be bigger before I will step in, and he will work hard to create it for me.

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4 Comments

  1. Ahhhh… emotional fearlessness is such a huge turn on for me. I’m pretty emotionally fearless. I prefer the same in a partner. I don’t fear being hammered by anyone’s emotions. Rather I fear that the choices I make by being true to my own nature will batter *him.*

    Yes, I’m open and vulnerable with my partners. I want to be their safe haven and offer them that safe space to be vulnerable with me too. But my very nature is to make giant emotional leaps off some very steep cliffs. And they have to be prepared for the occasions that we can’t quite manage to fly. It isn’t easy for me when that happens. I can’t imagine it’s any easier for them. But it’s who I am and I’m not interested in changing that.

    So even the emotionally fearless might well need that warrior!

  2. Hi Ferns

    I have only recently found your site so haven’t read too much.

    I can honestly understand what you are saying. My partner is unsure of the leadership role. She expresses reservation about taking It on. I have only very recently become more emotionally fearless. She is seeing things, experiencing things and hearing things about me I’ve kept hidden. It is confronting but your explanation of creating a safe space into which she can grow is so wonderful. Thank you for helping me understand this and giving me the encouragement to continue to be fearless. DtBHC.

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