He Said, She Said: Why Do We Find Vulnerability Attractive?

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He Said, She Said: Why Do We Find Vulnerability Attractive?
Why being vulnerable in a relationship should never be a sign of weakness.

Both men and women find vulnerability attractive in a partner, for many different reasons.

"She said," from Dr. Lisa Kaplin:

Women truly do find vulnerability in men attractive for so many reasons. When men are vulnerable they allow their partners into their lives. Their partner feels closer to them, which then leads to improvement in every aspect of the relationship.

Vulnerable men teach women something about themselves that allows women to understand them better and to be available to them in a way that isn't likely without that vulnerability. If you are looking for a truly compassionate and intimate partner, let her into your emotional life. 

When men are vulnerable women find them more desirable both emotionally and sexually. Women don't want men to be vulnerable to "get" sex from them, but to be vulnerable so that they can be closer, which ultimately turns most women on. When women feel closer to men emotionally they want to be closer to them sexually and are more likely to feel safer and more adventurous because of it. 

Women can't read men's minds either, so when men open up and tell their partner what's going on the likelihood of long-standing arguments and misunderstandings reduces dramatically.

Being vulnerable will not hurt men's masculinity: just the opposite. Women love boyish charm, periodic machismo, and vulnerability. Emotionally well-rounded men are more desirable to more women and are ultimately likely to be emotionally stable and better long-term partners than men who are closed up and unwilling to share intimate parts of their lives.

Here's how to get your man to be more vulnerable with you: Don't push! Some men are very uncomfortable with emotional vulnerability, so you need to create a safe place for him. Pushing him is likely to backfire on you, but being open when he is sharing something personal is the best thing you can do. Don't judge what he says, don't pity him, but rather acknowledge what he's saying and validate his feelings.

For example, if he tells you that he really cares about you but it scares him to be so serious with someone, don't say, "Don't be scared, tell me more!" Instead say, "It sounds like it's hard for you to get serious with someone and to be so open. I really understand how you might feel that way. Is there anything I can do to help you be more comfortable with it?" A safe, open space will help your man feel more open and vulnerable. Keep reading...


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Article contributed by

Dr. Lisa Kaplin

YourTango Expert Partner

Dr. Lisa J. Kaplin is a life coach and psychologist you can reach her at:



Location: Chicago, IL
Credentials: CPC, ELI-MP, MS, PsyD