Reward over Risk

23 04 2008

A few days ago, I got somewhat emotional- the girly overdramatic kind where you’re mind starts playing tricks on you and makes you freak out about situations that may or may not be accurate. My boyfriend and I had just booked a flight to Miami- our first weekend away together. Big deal? Sure, if your insane, girly voice-over starts a self-menacing debate on the girliest introspective question ever: “What does this mean?”

She wonders if his commitment to Miami could mean more than just sun and fun. After all, without much hesitation, he decided to spend an entire weekend with me. We’ve never done that before, and even I am second-guessing whether 36 hours of boyfriend-girlfriend time will be alot to handle. The trip is 3 weeks away, and that seems to be the biggest commitment. Our relationship has crazy ups and downs, and while we’ve been on a steady high for over a month now, part of me is scared that its going to take an ugly nose-dive before we land in Miami.

“If things are going good right now between us, why can’t you let things just happen?” -The Boyfriend

All this over-thinking freaked me out to the point where I couldn’t sleep. It made me realize how much I wanted his commitment to Miami to equate to a commitment to me, or at least an acknowledgment of the closeness I felt we had grown over the last few weeks. It made me realize how scared I was of the threat of a possible nose-dive. Just thinking about the possibility of being hurt again flooded me with the lingering pain of my barely recovered heart.

I realize there are necessary risks to everything in life. I can’t worry about a plane crash when there’s turbulence no more than when its a clear and high-flying day. I know that I have to get beyond the fear of getting hurt if I am ever going to truly enjoy being with him.

But at the same time, I know that my fears are trying to protect me from getting hurt again, and that seems perfectly valid to me. Its the same as why you know you will never risk eating a gas station burrito again. Enough said.

Seems that getting over the fear requires increasing the ratio of reward to risk. I guess growing our relationship is already doing that right now. I don’t think he owes me anything for causing me pain. I don’t think a person could ever truly “make-up” for it, even if he tried. Done is done. Yet, the risk has now increased in value after already sampling the unexpected intensity of the pain. So that means the reward has to increase its value, too.

The last few weeks of our relationship have been so good that I ought to be celebrating. But now that I feel we’re back on track, my expectations jumped up again. It seems unfair, and I should just be “go with the flow,” but my common sense knows that the stakes are higher this time, because the reward has to increase for me to stay in the game, for me to continue to allow myself to risk getting hurt again.

Wow. Thankfully, I finally understand where my stupid-emotional-girl impulses are coming from. My girly-girl freak outs have actually resulted in a logical explanation that even I can understand. I wonder if it’ll make any sense to him. Aside from understanding where I’m coming from, there’s not much else he can do other than be himself, and see where this relationship goes. As for me, I need to be patient enough to let the relationship grow.




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