Everyone gambles at some point. It is a healthy exercise when calculated properly. What can you afford to lose financially and emotionally? Are you prepared to learn the things about that other person, and yourself, which are not perfect? Are you prepared to love someone even when initial bliss gives way to reality? Without a gamble, you cannot move forward through the uncertainties of life.
***SPOILER ALERT: Rachel is packing her bags. When I get home this evening, she will be gone, and our relationship will be behind us.***
I regret having not been more prepared – as a man and as a person – before we started down our path together, but I do not regret the attempt to be with her.
Here’s what I have learned:
Never Regret Anything
If you misstep and do something wrong, or ill-advised, all you can do is learn from it. Regretting having said or done stupid things does not change that you did it. Neither does apologizing. All you can do is learn and move on, and hope you can be forgiven.
One of the worst things I do is blame myself for everything. While there are times in life I have certainly been at fault, relationships are a realm where mistakes are often two-sided. On one side is you doing wrong; on the other side is an inability to forgive. Everyone makes mistakes. Recognizing them and trying to not do them again is what counts. If your significant other won’t forgive you, you have to forgive yourself. Without closure to a spat, it is hard to move forward. Sometimes that closure needs to come from yourself.
We often have goals and plans for where we want a relationship to go. But, sometimes the other person is less concerned with that stuff, and more concerned with just being there. The experience is less about a new couch or a new apartment, and more about the day-to-day joys we are capable of bringing to the table, simply by being ourselves. Don’t overlook this.
You Don’t “Know” Anything
Unless someone tells you how they are feeling, or what they are thinking, you don’t know much about that other person’s intent. Filling in the gaps yourself, from your own worrying and musing, is going to be filtered through your insecurities and the tendencies observed in people from your past. If you want to know something, ask a question. Never assume.
Don’t Deal With Uncertainty
When the ground where you currently stand changes too quickly to give you footing, find a new place to stand. We all get scared, we all are unsure. But, when that uncertainty dictates your happiness, make up your own mind about where things should go. Make a choice. Then live with it. For better, or for worse.
You can’t control anything but your own actions – and even those can often be out of reach, seemingly controlled by primal urge, fear or anger. Taking a moment to breathe and think is necessary. It isn’t easy. In fact, I find the most difficult thing to do is to stand up against an irrational urge, get past it, and see the moment for what it is.