It’s one of the hardest situations to be in: falling for someone when you know your time together has an expiration date. Yes, technically, we all have an expiration date, but the date I’m talking about is a planned day. Like the day you’re scheduled to pick up and move from the east coast to the west coast. And leave behind the new person you fell for, who you’re now accepting that you don’t want to lose.
For someone like me, who hasn’t lived in the same place for more than nine months in the last two years, I’m often encouraged by friends and family not to keep falling into this pattern. A pattern that has consistently left me on the receiving end of heartbreak.
So why do I keep finding myself in this pattern?
Is it worth the risk? Before I answer these questions, I’d like to say that every time we decide to make a decision in life, we are taking a risk. We can choose to make the stakes greater depending on the gravity of the change we’re about to make, or it can be a small risk like choosing to wear a bold accessory with something for the first time. But the greater the risk, the higher the reward or the more devastating the failure.
Being vulnerable is one of the most frightening risks we can take. As a person who’s pretty even-keeled, I can honestly say my biggest fear is being vulnerable. Not public speaking, not being embarrassed in front of strangers, but being vulnerable and showing my honest emotions.
An outsider can observe what a relationship between two people looks like from the exterior. But they have no idea what really happens between those two people. I can ask my friends and family for advice on my relationship with someone, and no two answers will be the same. It’s because they all have a different perspective of the relationship and different idea of what’s best for me.
So, to get back to the original questions of this post, I’ll answer the second question first. Yes, I think falling for someone knowing I’m running on borrowed time in a place is worth the risk. No matter how long you live somewhere, putting yourself out there in anything you do is a risk.
The only way anyone is going to find their other person is by taking a risk. Wherever I may be, and I meet someone I like, I’m going for it with that person. I would rather take the risk, and end up heartbroken, than wonder what it would be like my entire time there, and regretting not taking the chance as I’m driving off into the sunset by myself.
So to go back to the first question of why I keep falling into this pattern: I guess it just goes back to my lifestyle. And that’s not changing in the foreseeable future.
To those who have seen me at my worst when things don’t go the way I hoped they would: know I appreciate your support. Know also that I’m prepared at this point for you to say I told you so. Bring on that tough love. But you also most importantly must know that I’d rather feel the worst heartbreak than go through life wondering what would have happened if I didn’t go for it.
In the end, I’m not on some self-destructive path. I’m comfortable with putting myself out there and hoping for the best. Because in the end, at some point, the risk will pay off.