Leap Of Faith
The first step is always the hardest.
When you jump off a cliff to land in the water, your body screams “what are you doing?” The same thing can happen when you are faced with the choice to commit to someone.
The key consideration in either decision to “jump in” is trust. Much as you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) jump into water that you don’t know the depth of, or that you couldn’t see clearly, you shouldn’t jump into a committed relationship without really getting to know the other person. Your values, desires, and goals should be compatibile. You should know about each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Any potential dealbreakers should either have been discussed and compromised on, or accepted. Most of all, you should feel comfortable and safe moving forward.
Sometimes pressure or fear can push us into an unwise relationship. People who don’t know all of the details can tell you “oh, you guys make such a cute couple.” Maybe your age has been creeping up on you, and you’re afraid of being alone. Or maybe you’re afraid of the confrontation of ending the relationship, and the pain that could cause your signficant other (or you). None of those are good reasons to jump in. If you are seeing warning signs, you need to listen to them. Everyone deserves to be respected, treated kindly, and loved – taking a bad relationship to a more significant level of committment will only make it that much more difficult to escape from later, both emotionally and practically. When the moment comes, and you want to walk away, don’t let anything stop you.
On the other hand, you can also be too afraid to take the next step. Bad experiences, being complacent, or outside influences can all prevent us from moving forward with the person we’re seeing.
When we’re younger, we all assume there’s a magical point in our lives, just beyond the horizon, that, when reached, will tell us everything we’ve always wanted to know. It will explain how to be an adult, and will lead to our perfect lives we’ve been imaginging. Obviously that one moment doesn’t exist – we figure it out as we go. This is especially true of relationships. Every relationship really is a “special snowflake.” It is two people, with two lives, two sets of memories, two hearts, learning to work in unison. No one has experienced the same things you have – and no one knows the relationship you’re in like you do.
You can get advice from a lot of sources, and most of them will be very helpful – seek out your parents, older siblings, close friends, or mentors at school and work, and learn from them. But at the end of the day, it will be your decision to jump in. You will have to listen to your heart, and then apply your logic to that.
If you think you love her, don’t let the fear of what she might say stop you. There is always a chance that things go wrong, and that you get hurt. But in order to truly experience life, you have to take the risks. Much like jumping into water, you can do your best to think it through, and to ensure that you know what you’re getting into. But when the moment comes, and you want to jump, don’t let anything stop you.