Are Relationships Worth The Risk?
By Frank Kermit
Given that there is so much risk in getting involved in relationships, or having sex for that matter, is it at all worth it to even bother? After all, a broken heart hurts, you could catch a sexual transmitted infection, you could end up ruining your life if you choose the wrong person, and your financial situation could be massive destroyed through a nasty divorce. So why try?
I will give you three reasons to try.
1-dating and relationships teach you about yourself.
Everyone has lots of theory about what they want in a relationship. Unfortunately a lot of that theory is just that; theory. It may not be until a person gets what they want to realize it was not really for them to begin with. It is important to get as much relationship experience as you can, so that you will learn about what you really can and cannot handle. This will give you the self-knowledge you will need to make a long-term relationship succeed when you get there.
2- you risk getting into relationships because you WILL make mistakes.
In my practice I have found a significant correlation with people who refuse to take relationship related risks and people who have an unrealistic expectation that they need to be perfect. Perfectionists are under such pressure to be perfect, it goes to the point that they try to control every single element in their life, and anything they have no control over (like another human being they could be involved with), the perfectionists find every reason to not even bother trying. The need of being perfect is rooted in fear...the fear of not having control over the outcome. That causes more inaction through loss of time in trying to be over-prepared. Action beats out perfectionist-type-preparation when it comes to relationships. When starting out with dating, whether you are an inexperienced adult, or newly single after the end of a long term relationship, it is important to date as much as you can, and give everyone that shows interest in you a chance to sweep you off your feet. That is how you learn, because it is in dating that you make the mistakes you learn from, in order to know better for every future relationship risk you try again. I find this is common among the adult virgin population that sometimes seeks my coaching.
3-Because without some risk in life, you have no life.
There is a wonderful scene from the movie Mambo Italiano. The main character at the age of 27 is trying to decide if he should break from family tradition and move out on his own unmarried (an insult to the parents in that culture), or stay living with his parents who treat like a child. The main character is a closet homosexual, so he will never be in a position to move out of his parent's home due to a heterosexual marriage. As he is debating whether or not he should take such a risk of striking out on his own so that he can (in part) explore potential relationship prospects, he thinks about an image of his neighbor. There sitting on the porch is Massimo, a 69 year old man still living with his parents who are in their 90s. We see evidence that the parents of the old man have continued to treat their 69-year-old son, like a teenager. That old man never had a girlfriend (nor boyfriend as the case may be). He never moved out on his own. He never had a life of his own. Yes, he never got divorced, or made a mistake related to love, sex, dating and relationships...but he also never lived a full life. He just coasted through it.
And that is the final reason that the risk of relationships is worth it. Never taking risks in life means you never get to live the experiences that life has to offer. You can be safe. You can survive. And you will never suffer the hardships of when risks do not work out.
However, you also will never share in some of the great experiences that life has to offer either. You will never experience self actualization, you will never discover what it is to own your own life, you may not even be able to relate to the people around you that do take risks with relationships and finally you will never experience the kind of intimate love that can only result from the willingness to risk.
What is that worth to you? Only you know.
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