You Don’t Have To Be Wonder Woman: The Importance of Vulnerability In Relationships

August 30, 2012  |  


Fall in love, in the literal sense of the word. Afraid of the plummet we, women, avoid the midair feeling.




These emotions are too hard to regulate and these days a semblance of control is everything. We’re matriarchs in power positions, conference rooms, and kitchens. Capes and blazers adorn us.

I’ve got news for you: You aren’t Wonder Woman. She has murdered accidentally, led her comrades astray, and even tried to take on every super villain in the world at once to no avail. Her hunger for marshal law consumed her sensibility. She’s even voiced regret.

Haven’t you been there? Placing a smile a on your face whilst your world is crumbling, building a wall where defense doesn’t belong?

Even the Amazonian DC superhero had her flawed moments.

These moments are to blame for the discarding of susceptibility. Our submission is severed in our darkest hours, rescinding to a place where it could never surface. How many times have we seen our mothers struggle via the faults of their men? Where are the lovers who’ve broken us over and over again? Who will help us eradicate the memories of loss, wanting, and hope?

How are we to trust the world with our hearts when it’s proven that it’s irresponsible and relentless?

No one “falls” anymore. We’re more like to stand, sit, or drift in love.

I’ve sacrificed smiles, lack of anxiety, and orgasms for a façade. I was self-conscious about perception; I didn’t want any brother thinking he’d have all of me. I didn’t want anyone coming to the conclusion that without partnership I’d be nothing.

If you left, I’d be okay.

Don’t you see that I’m resilient?

I don’t need a man, I just happened to have one right now.

& I’m not alone.

It’s something WE’RE learning to discard. Women are so caught up on being independent and fierce that we forget our emotions are our most valuable facet.

I remember meeting a really great guy after a show. (I used to perform spoken word regularly.) We exchanged numbers outside of the venue and, with the most gorgeous set of eyes I’ve ever seen, he winked and said he’d call me later.

We had three long and amazing conversations. He’d come across a magazine spread that I’d done an interview in and was fascinated by my answers. We talked about my beginnings and my growth parallel to his budding writing career. Exchanging dreams became our favorite pastime.

On the fourth or the fifth call I asked, “What’s your main aspiration? I’ve heard a list of them, but what’s priority?”

I could hear him smiling through the phone, “To have a wife and children and be able to provide for them. That’s priority.”

The superwoman inside of me roared. We’d spent hours boasting our callings and goals. At 21, in the prime of my career, I wasn’t thinking about a family.

He questioned my silence, “Isn’t that one of your priority aspirations? Don’t you want that someday?”

My vulnerability tugged. A vision of a little girl with my nose and ears, writing a journal, sat in my dream backyard.

I wanted to tell him.

I swear.

“No, my career is everything right now. Family is far off for me. I’m thinking about that book deal and that salary. I’ll be touring the world.” I laughed.

He asked again, “But you do want a family one day right?”

“I guess.”

The little girl danced between my eyes and slowly faded, retracting back to the place she came from.

“Oh.” He said.

The next time I spoke to Mr. Wonderful he didn’t seem like himself. Our banter was awkward and he’d excused himself before an hour arrived on the cellphone’s timer. A few days later, I received a text:

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  • Dink.M

    My experience has been that even though some men may not be interested in getting married, once you open up and say that it’s something you want, they hang around because they know that you’ll likely be loyal, consistent, and loving. I was in a relationship with someone for five years for that very reason. I LOOOOOOOOOVED this man. I know he loved me, too (he still does). He really liked me around…he loved the relationship…he liked the fact that I was his best friend…and he even wanted to live with me forever and raise our kids together. The minute I cornered him and forced him to once and for all address what his intentions truly were, he finally ‘fessed up: “I don’t really want to get married.” I ended the relationship right then and there. I realized he liked the benefits of a committed relationship, but he had no intentions of following through on the ultimate commitment of marriage. After five years of knowing what it was that I wanted from him (and we even talked about it and planned it a few times), I felt lied to and betrayed. Five years, though? I said, “this crap will NEEEEEEVER happen to me again.” And for this reason, now when I date I always keep the biggest piece of myself quiet because I’d hate to invest in a relationship for that long only to discover he never had the same intentions. Very rarely do I move beyond the superficial with my thoughts and reveal things about myself now. It takes me forever to do that now. That’s not really who I am, but I just don’t want to waste my time and keep getting hurt.

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  • This is a must share!!! I was told by my mate ”you make me feel sometimes like, your trying to take my testicles.. Please let me be the man in this relationship” WOW… Honey I had no idea. Being a single Mother of two young ladies 14 &.11,my main goal is too teach them independence. Mommy gets it done,.with or without a man. Now that I have a MAN,, Yeah my Wonder Woman mantra will never leave. I’ve just learned to let her backup SUPERMAN from time to time…. 😉

  • Elle Royal

    I bet dat behind learned to be honest in dating. You probably aching for a man to ask you that question again. You built all that greatness up and it turned out not to help you at all. Your greatness has turned out to be your downfall. Next chance at love try being human. For being human is God’s place to display his might. It’s like being a Titan(something real) rather than a super being (something imagined).

  • gracie

    Oh wow, definitely an eye opener

  • cheekee baby

    The best article I’ve read on Madame Noire. It is haunting and seems like my life printed in black and white. Since I was a little girl my mother beat into my head like a drum “make sure you get yours” “be independent you can’t depend on on man” “You can’t trust men they only want one thing.” While true, it makes you defensive and cagey and distrustful and unwilling to let your guard down. How do you find the middle ground between “getting yours” and being open and yes vulnerable for a quality guy to actually find his way into your heart?

  • jess

    it takes a lot of courage to truly fall. thanks for the nudge. really needed this.

  • Tash Price

    genuine points taken, and makes the readers self reflect.

  • justsaying

    Well written . I was like that until I finally realized this, telling my date my my intentions to settle, raise family, my believe in God, will lead to 1 of 2 outcomes. He’ll hang around fully aware of my intentions because he is pursuing similar goals or he’ll move on, and it wasn’t meant to be. Either way we have to take some risks in life and I’m mentally prepared for both outcomes.

  • anon

    wonderfully truthful and well stated

  • Tamz


  • Erin

    Great article Erica, real thought provoking.