Brené Brown Shares A Story About What Happens When Saying 'I Love You' Doesn't Go As Planned (VIDEO)

04/30/2014 09:57 am ET | Updated Apr 30, 2014

Dr. Brené Brown has inspired countless people with her popular TED Talk on the power of vulnerability. Some learn to bravely embrace their imperfections, some experience profound healing they didn't even know they needed and some find the courage they need to live whole-heartedly and "dare greatly" -- like one young man who applied Brown's teachings to his love life.

During a taping of "Oprah's Lifeclass," Brown recalls this 20-something man who approached her after watching her speak at an event. "He goes, 'Your TED Talks changed my life... After I watched them, I decided to tell the woman that I was dating that I loved her,'" she remembers.

Brown's initial reaction? Uh oh.

The man told Brown that he took his girlfriend of six months to dinner, eager to profess his love. Halfway through the meal, he said it: "I love you."

The girlfriend looked up. "I think you're awesome," she responded. "...And I think we should date other people."

The man was heartbroken, Brown says. "He said the whole way home -- I'll have to edit this -- the whole way home, he said [he] just drove saying, 'Screw Brené Brown!'" she tells Oprah.

When the young man arrived home, he threw open the door to the apartment he shared with his two roommates. They asked what was wrong.

"I told her I loved her. She blew me off," he said.

One of the roommates responded, "Dude, girls only like you when you're running the other way."

The young man considered this for a moment. "No, man," he responded. "I was daring greatly."

Immediately, the perspective on the entire situation changed. "He said both of his roommates got really teary-eyed and went, 'Right on, man!'" Brown says. "So, I think it is hard, but what is the alternative?"

"The alternative," Oprah says, "is to live a life that's not authentically yours."

Participate in the latest live tapings of "Oprah's Lifeclass" by visiting Oprah.com on Wednesday, April 30, at 11 a.m. ET (with Bishop T.D. Jakes) and on Thursday, May 1, at 12 p.m. ET (with "Conscious Parent" author Dr. Shefali Tsabary).

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