If we believe Nassim Taleb, the mess we’re in right now is caused by a series of highly improbable events occuring all at the same time. More precisely, because the various mathematical models used for computing risk failed to anticipate those events. All of this leaves an important question: is it possible to compute all of the risks? I don’t think so. Who would have thought just three years from now that a bank like Lehman Brothers would have gone bankrupt? Who would have thought that the housing market bubble in the United States was in a bubble, and about to burst at any time? Besides, even if those kind of risks are probably going to get integrated in risk models, who knows what will happen next?
In love too, there are always risks you can’t predict. Some people can’t help evaluating potential risks before getting in a relationship. Sometimes, it’s understandable. Going out with random strangers cannot guarantee you safety at 100%. But sometimes, this quest for safety can turn a little bit into an obsession. If you refrain yourself for taking a step into relationships because you’re too preoccupied about the risks, like a failure for instance, it’s just pointless.
Why do we do this? If we’ve been hurt in the past, we tend to be cautious not to get fooled again. In French, we say that “un chat échaudé craint l’eau chaude“. But if we get too cautious, we also take the risk of never find our significant other, and to end up alone. Besides, when you try to evaluate all the risks in a potential relationship, there will always be one variable you will never get right: the other. You can’t predict how she/he will act with you. It’s impossible, unless you can read in everyone’s mind like an open book, or you thoroughly know the person. But if you see that you’re not going anywhere with him/her, it’s best to stop early the relationship before it hurt you too much. It’s a simple rule, but efficient, to minimize your risk. The key is to recognize when it isn’t working. And that’s not easy. “With B., we really tried to make it work, but it seemed like we never get to satisfied each other. Each time we met, he acted the exact opposite as I would wish for. And he seemed disappointed all the time with my reactions too. We gave a try for three months, but it wasn’t worth it. I felt I’ve lost my time in this relationship, and also, I was really hurt it didn’t work out. I wish I would have seen more clearly and earlier where we were going” L., 34, said.
Falling in love implies taking risks. We should never forget about that. But that’s also part of the beauty of love. It would be a shame to miss that.
So, are you a risk taker?