Going All In

Human relationships are complicated, there’s never been any secret there. Because each individual person is so unique and complex in so many ways, attempting to bring any two together is difficult enough in itself, let alone attempting to do so for life. Because of that, going all in and fully committing yourself to any one person or relationship is one of the biggest risks a person can take.

In giving yourself over to this person or relationship, whether it be platonic or romantic love, you are giving someone all the tools they need to commit to you and stand with you through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Of course, this has to come with a price; in giving someone all of these tools to love you the way you need them to, you are also giving them the tools to destroy you. You are essentially giving them all of your hopes and dreams, all of your secrets, all of your heart, all of you, not knowing whether they’ll lock those things away and keep them safe or hold them precariously in the palm of their hand until they inevitably fall to the ground.

Knowing this, it can be very easy to let the fear overpower the love. It can be easy to walk away before any feeling gets too deep, to choose self security over love, to forfeit the game and never find out whether you would’ve won or lost had you just grown a pair and played the game. I did the hard thing. I grew a pair, I played the game, and I lost in overtime. The thing is though, when you lose a game like that, a close one where you feel the victory right there at your fingertips, you give it 110%, and you leave knowing that you did the best that you could with no regrets, all you want to do is go back and play again.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about going all in lately (obviously). I’ve gone back and forth with myself over and over again about it, wondering if the way I invest in people and in relationships is worth it, if giving people the opportunity to break you is worth it, and the answer I’ve landed on is yes. Absolutely, without a doubt, going all in is worth it. What I see now more clearly than ever before that I couldn’t see in the aftermath of both of my big losses in this game is that conquering the fear at the beginning of each relationship was the smartest thing I could’ve ever done, not the dumbest. Creating such a deep bond with another person and having someone who shares everything with you and knows everything about you and loves you for every flaw and ever asset (no matter for how long this lasts) is one of the most rare and special things in the world and I wouldn’t give that up for anything.

It’s also true that going all in involves making a lot of plans. Such a high level of commitment involves talking about the future, being friends forever or moving in together and getting married, the whole spiel, and that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. Is it scary? Absolutely, but it’s also one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced. Loving someone so much that you can see a future with them far down the line and you can envision spending a whole lifetime with one person through thick and thin is an amazing thing and it’s not something I think anyone should ever shy away from if they have the chance to experience that kind of love. I’ve been lucky enough to experience it twice, once in a close friendship and most recently in a romantic relationship, and I have to say that as painful as both endings were and as hard as it was to go from being all in to being out with no real say in the matter one way or another, in the end I’d always do it over again every day of the week and (forgive the modification of the expression) twice on Tuesday.

So, to make a very long story short, my advice to anyone going back and forth between succumbing to the fear and taking the risk is go all in.


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