The vulnerability in love and relationships is a given.
The cost we pay for opening up is often also the benefit of being known, something every human being strives for.
U. Galimberti starts his book on love saying that intimate relationships are on the one hand the only place where one can really express their true self, and on the other they have become a place where individualism has radicalised, where people seek “me” through “you”.
What he suggests, instead, is to revert this need to find ourselves in the other, this compulsion to realise ourselves through the relationship. This intention blocks any transcendence, any excess, any otherness that can happen with human relationships.
What loving does is open a wound in the protected identity, a break of the self so that the other can pass through us.
The relationship becomes the place where becoming other than ourselves, something beyond ourselves.
He says: “love can’t be the search for the self that exploits the other, but has to be the unconditional delivery of the self to the otherness, that cracks our identity, not to evade from our loneliness, nor to melt with the identity of the other, but to open it to something we are not, to the nothingness of us”.
What these complex words are saying is: love is not the safety net, the space where to satisfy our needs to bloom, to be, to manifest ourselves.
Love is the place where we question, even put in danger, ourselves. Because it opens us to transcendence, and this opens us to harm.