Risk aversion in relationships isn’t a new thing. In fact, it is probably something that plagues most people around the world. Because relationships are scary! Relationships, especially romantic and intimate friendships, require you to be vulnerable. They require you to place your trust in the hands of someone else. This is with the hope and expectation of believing that they are going to protect and honor that trust.
Now as you may or may not know, I have been married before and it didn’t work out. It didn’t work out for several reasons and I won’t go into those here. But in that relationship, I lost myself. I was trying desperately to fight against my introverted nature and become the person I knew my spouse wanted me to be. Not just my spouse, but who society wanted me to be. Who I thought I needed to be. That process and recovery from that reality and that version of me has been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.
In Fact, it Affects My Relationships With Many of the People in My Life to This Day.
Perhaps you can relate? I know that many of you have loved, lost, and are even looking for the person, or people you are meant to be with next. It’s scary. I was recently watching a popular show on Netflix called “Sex/Life”, and there were a couple of stand-out moments in season 2 including when one of the characters says something like “The day after you blow up your life is often the best day of your life.” That made me think of this concept of risk aversion in relationships. In that particular context, one character was talking about divorce and another was talking about a big, risky career move.
If you think about it, honestly, these things are all intertwined. Because when you make a big career move it affects your relationship and when you make a big relationship move it affects your career. It goes hand-in-hand. Many of the characters this season are dealing with the decision of taking risks or not. But also the potential or now-lived fallout of those risks. What are those consequences? What are the next steps and what does that look like? Of course, this is simply a TV show. It’s carefully scripted with dramatic moments peppered in for our entertainment.
However, We Don’t Live in Hollywood.
Well, maybe you do, so shout out to my LA people and my LA introverts. Are there any of you out there? Anyway, we don’t live in the movies. We don’t live in a scripted tv series. Our lives are not neatly wrapped up where we can move on. It’s real life. We have to live with these consequences day in and day out. That knowledge, makes these risks feel not worth it all the time. It can feel better to maintain the status quo. Because at least you know what it’s going to look like! Do you know what I’m talking about?
When you have the choice between what is and what could be, you know what could be is limitless. The possibilities are endless. It’s the unknown! That can be beautiful or can be pure chaos. I have a friend who frequently says, “Because I choose chaos this…” but it’s really beautiful to me to see how she and her family live their perfectly chaotic and wonderful life in a way that goes with the flow. They have made that choice and continue to make that choice together.
As a sensitive introvert, I hope you have those people around you to make those big decisions with or to use as a sounding board when you’re making those big decisions.
However, I know for many of us these decisions are quietly living inside of us. They are internal. They are rolling around in our heads and our hearts as both our deepest desires and our deepest fears. Perhaps, the risk you are considering is trying to make your marriage work. It may or may not work out. It may or may not be what is ultimately best for you both. But you have made that decision deep within yourself to see it through. That decision is huge! But it’s also risky.
It may seem like a safe choice because you’re not blowing up your life, as they say, but the risk there is what if your spouse isn’t all in? What if you’ve gotten to a point where it’s no longer worth it for them? That’s a huge risk. The vulnerability there is that you’ve shown your hand. You’ve stated that you’re all in and if they’re not? Those feelings of rejection can be really hard to get through.
Maybe You Are On the Other Side of That.
You’re the partner who knows it is time for that relationship to end. Whatever work needed to be done has been done. It’s just not what needs to be at this point. The risks there include feeling like you made the wrong choice and that self-doubt; Wondering if this relationship is the best you can get. Along with the additional fallout that comes with blame, shame, and all of the things that come with it.
Then for my singles out there, if you have been partnered or if you have never had a partner before, putting yourself out there is exceptionally scary. I have written before about dating while HSP, and I’ve written before about finding new friends. There are lots of things that go into this, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
The idea of putting yourself out there and feeling like you could be accepted, or rejected for whoever you are is difficult! It’s not for everyone, quite frankly. But if you decide to, the risk is that you could be vulnerable and open yourself up to being judged. However, the reward can be finding someone who loves you for exactly who you are.
It’s hard to take risks and make decisions when we feel like there is so much to lose. We all have our fears and anxieties, but the rewards can be great if we take that chance and make that decision! Being vulnerable is scary and all the feelings that come with it can be overwhelming at times, but don’t forget to take the time and focus on what you could gain in the process. Just know that whatever decision you make, I am here to support you in the process.
ARE YOU A SENSITIVE, INTROVERT LOOKING FOR PERSONALIZED COACHING AND SUPPORT?
As an HSP coach, I would love to talk with you about relationships and dating from the inside out. I truly believe that understanding yourself is key to finding the connections you are looking for in life. Let’s have a conversation and see how we can work together! Let’s talk!
You can learn more about my radical introvert coaching program with this free, Radical Introvert Audio Training “How to Find Peace in This Fast-Paced World”. When you’re ready to take action, I make it simple to book a free, 30-minute consultation call with me. I can’t wait to hear from you!
About the Author
Enid DeJesus is an HSP coach who understands the unique struggles of introverted, sensitive women when it comes to relationships. As an HSP and introvert herself, Enid knows the challenge of balancing authenticity with societal pressures. That’s why Enid created a coaching program designed specifically for women who want to live life on their terms. With Enid’s guidance, you can embrace your sensitive nature and learn to navigate relationships in a way that feels authentic to you. Let Enid help you create a fulfilling relationship and live your best life, no matter where you are in the world. If you’re ready to take the first step, let’s talk!