One of the things that many of us grownups struggle with is uncertainty. We can find it difficult to not know exactly what’s going to happen next. We want to be able to move through life with the confidence that comes with knowing that something is definite. If we had our way, we’d be happy 100% of the time and not experience loss, disappointment, conflict, criticism, or rejection. We forget that life ebbs and flows and that we learn what ‘up’ is because we also learn what ‘down’ is. We have to learn how to navigate these so that we can enjoy and maximise those ups and gradually recover from those downs.
What many of us are looking for though, are ironclad guarantees or at the very least, a crystal ball to let us know whether or not we should bother. These would remove the uncertainty that comes with being vulnerable. We wouldn’t have to think or respond.
So we might, for instance, have to commit to following through with our desire to start a business and while we’ll have our idea and plan, we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen from end to end and we don’t have a play by play list of what we’re going to be and do. Instead, we have to make the decision, commit, and then invest our energy towards that commitment instead of looking for reasons to back out or question it.
Same goes for relationships. Before the point where we’re going to commit to something longer term and start talking ‘forever’, we have to give getting to know a person through the discovery phase of dating and then a relationship, a shot. We don’t know how it’s going to pan out hence why it’s a wise idea to do some due diligence, not so that we can avoid anything we find remotely unfavourable but more so that if and when we decide to give a relationship a go and commit, we’re making the commitment with the best of the knowledge that we have at the time rather than doing it without self-knowledge, self-awareness, and a healthy dose of reality about the person in question.
When I hear people talking about ‘casual dating’ – Seriously, what else can we water down? – I realise that what people who are afraid of commitment and vulnerability are looking for, are guarantees.
“I need to know that they’re ‘the one’ before I dare to invest myself emotionally.”
“I need to know that they’re perfect and will basically be exactly as I imagine forever and ever, before I’ll commit.” [Read more…]