Taking Relationship Risks Makes You Smarter?

Taking Relationship RisksWhich kind of person are you?

The kind to charge in when something scares you? Or the kind to back away from risky situations?

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess. You’re BOTH.

Most of us are. There are times when we embrace risk, and times when we run from it.

My friend, Kendra, is a great example. She was insanely courageous when her mom was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. At a time when most would freak out, she rose to the challenge, supporting her mom with fierce strength. To this day, she still runs races to raise money for research.

But the very same friend panicked when her boyfriend started talking about the future. Marriage, kids, and buying a home – they all seemed like such big steps! She spent weeks avoiding those topics because she just couldn’t handle them.

Not an ideal response.

Running from something that scares you isn’t a great strategy. I’ll give you one reason that may surprise you.

Embracing risk makes you smarter.[i]

When you tackle an uncertain situation, it forces you to learn. You learn things you would’ve missed if you waited anxiously, trying to figure out the right answer before actually diving in.

When you tackle something risky in your relationship, the only way to reduce uncertainty is to increase your “relational intelligence.”

What’s relational intelligence? It’s the kind of wisdom and insight you use to make your relationships stronger.

Embracing risk improves your relational intelligence. Let me show you how.

Increasing your relational intelligence isn’t complicated. You just have to be willing to do a few things that sound intimidating.  Here are the three steps…

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Why You Should Be Taking More Risks in Love

dating risksNo one wants to get their heart broken.

Which means there’s nothing more dangerous than liking someone. If you like someone, you’re taking a HUGE risk.

He may not like you back.

He may seem to like you at first, only to stop calling. Even worse, you may fall deeply in love, only to crash and burn a few months or a few years later, reducing all those beloved memories to ashes.

But there’s one thing worse than taking the risk of liking someone:

Playing it safe.

If you play it safe, you never get the chance to have your heart broken. Playing it safe means you’re less likely to meet someone AND less likely to set off sparks when you do.

Here’s how.

There are two big ways in which men and women alike play it safe in love.

  1. We try to predict whether a person will be a perfect match before committing to their company.
  2. We censor what we do and say in hopes of impressing the other person, especially when we meet.

Unfortunately, both of those strategies can backfire when it comes to getting a committed romantic partner.

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One Relationship Risk You Should Take

taking risks for a relationshipsLet’s talk about the risks you take in your romantic life. I’ll start with a quick story…

Jill just finished a one-on-one review with her boss. She’s venting to a friend in the break room.

Her boss gave her some criticism. He said she’s not “applying herself.” But she’s frustrated because she simply doesn’t know if putting in extra effort will pay off.

“I would work a lot harder if I knew it would guarantee a promotion or a raise,” she tells her friend.

Lance, a coworker, is pouring a cup of coffee within earshot. He understands completely. “Yeah, and I’d ask you out if I knew you were going to say yes,” he thinks to himself.

Jill and Lance are both wrestling with a common problem. We all struggle with feelings of uncertainty. No matter how brave or bold you are, it’s hard to commit when there’s no guaranteed payoff.

There’s a word for that. Risk. And if you deal with a risk like Jill and Lance, you’ll miss out on a lot of life’s rewards.

That’s especially true in relationships.

Of course, in a committed relationship the stakes are a little different. The temptation to avoid risk in a relationship goes more like this: “Prove that you’re really into me first, and then I’ll be more selfless, giving and transparent.”

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