When it comes to love, often times it’s a bit like gambling—even if we find someone who appears to be “the one” or at least looks compatible enough to spend a good chunk of our lives with, we are taking a risk.
True intimacy opens us up to vulnerability which in turn can lead to us becoming hurt or humiliated. Rare is the individual who hasn’t had this happen at least a few times in their lives.
Many of us are encouraged to take that chance. Hence the popularity of the phrase, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all!”
However, what happens when we take a gamble on love and like a compulsive gambler, we don’t know when to get up from the table and walk away?
To quote Kenny Rogers, “You got to know when to walk away [and] know when to run,” when you’re losing big time. It sounds simple enough, but much like there are few successful professional gamblers, most of us don’t know how to do this or even be aware that we are losing big time.
As someone who has been there and done there more times than I care to confess, I know how hard it can be especially when it seems that you are playing with an unlimited credit line.
In general, women tend to be worse at knowing when to walk away than men. Speaking as one, I believe that some of that comes from generally wanting to see the best in people especially people that we love or believe we are in love with.
The worst situations are with what I dub the hot-and-cold type. Specifically, these are the people who seem to go from being completely into someone and then off them at the drop of the hat. The worst thing about these types is that they usually leave just enough hope to suggest they may come back.
Often times they do, thus repeating the whole cycle. Perhaps there are cases where people like this eventually do work out whatever issues they have and stay hot, or at least warm, but in my personal experience, it never happens. When these relationships eventually do end, the person who was on the receiving end of hot-and-cold’s emotions are usually devastated or at least upset that they wasted so much time and energy on such a relationship.
Much like it’s easy for a spectator who has walked around the card table and gotten a look at everyone’s hands, it’s easy to think we know what someone in these relationships should do. However, the person who is actually in it has not had the same opportunity to see what we have from afar and without the emotional investment.
In that same vein, we never really know for sure how things will play out until the game is done. We can only guess.
It’s because of this reason alone that I have stopped trying to give advice even when I feel it’s in someone’s best interest to walk.
Instead, I believe it’s better to say, “Take a gamble on love, but please know when, or if, it is time to walk away.”
Like cards, we can each only play the hand that we are dealt. Rare are the times we can exchange them for a new hand much less a new deck.
Likewise, the times that we are fortunate to get a winning hand, hold on to it for dear life.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo Credit: Wiki Commons