Vulnerability in Relationships

being loved is getting hurt

Being Loved Means Taking The Risk Of Getting Hurt

We are all human and we long for closeness and connection. In order to get the love we long for, it requires us to step out of our comfort box, take a risk, and possibly encounter getting hurt from time to time. The photo from the #BeingLOVEDIs campaign, created by Jennine Estes MFT, shows a woman expressing that #BeingLOVEDIs getting hurt.

We are human. We are imperfect. We have the capacity to love but, I repeat – we are imperfect. Because of this, getting hurt is inevitable. Therefore, because we know this, love becomes risky. Because of this risk, the choice to love and to be loved requires vulnerability. And the extent to which we are willing to be vulnerable is the extent to which we will experience the intimacy of love.

As Brene Brown has said before, we often hold back from loving wholeheartedly out of fear that we will get hurt. But then we are hurt by isolation. We are suddenly faced with two options: taking the risk to love and be in relationship or protect ourselves from getting hurt by choosing isolation. But what we fail to recognize in our attempts to protect ourselves is that getting hurt is inevitable. No matter what extend we are willing to go to protect ourselves, even complete isolation results in pain.

Vulnerability is not easy. It requires honesty – honesty with how we’re feeling, what we want, what we need, what we fear, etc. Without vulnerability, a barricade is built between each partner. And though it may be something that is difficult, it will promote an intricate and irreplaceable intimacy. Often we want intimacy but are not willing to put in the grunt work. Vulnerability is hard work but what you gain from it is utterly worth it.




Haley W vulnerability counselingArticle by Haley Westergard, a senior at Point Loma Nazarene University.  Haley is an undergraduate intern at Estes Therapy and accrues hours for her practicum class at PLNU.  She has helped with the #BeingLOVEDIs project and was able to connect with the community and find out what others think it means to be loved.




Bouris, K. (2012, November 1). Brené brown: how vulnerability holds the key to emotional intimacy . Spirituality Health. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from
Tippett, K. (2013, December 5). On Being. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

About Jennine Estes, MFT

Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653