A Dialogue: Are We Scared of Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones for Love?

12 03 2014

“Tell me this,” he said. “If Simon and Schuster told you that a book deal with them was contingent on you moving to New York, would you do it?”

“Well yea, in a heart beat,” I responded.

“So what’s the difference?”

“The difference is one has to do with my career. It’s my livelihood; it’s what I was brought up to cherish. It would be about me standing on my own as an independent woman and going full force into my goals. And the other is…”

I paused. We both knew what I was going to say. That the other was something less stable. Less sure. Less everything but frightening. I didn’t want to admit that to this friend though, seeing as I’d just finished telling him how I was coming to the point where I was realizing that my career without love wasn’t as fulfilling.

“The other has to do with what you’ll do for love,” he finished for me.

“Yea, but c’mon, that’s a horrible comparison,” I suggested. “You know how I feel about my book(s). It’s a passion of mine I’ve had for years now, so of course I would do almost anything to make that happen.”

“And being with the person you love isn’t a passion of yours?”

“Don’t do this. Don’t act like this is as simple as you’re trying to make it sound. That’s a scary concept – moving to make things work with someone. Who does that?”

“Plenty of people!”

“And how many of those people looked stupid afterwards? No one wants to be in that number. That’s scary!”

“Of course it’s scary,” he said. “But when is doing something out of your comfort zone not scary? Do you think it wouldn’t be scary for you to up and move, even if that meant you’re getting an amazing book deal? No – it’s still scary, but you go into it with a different mindset.”

He continued.

“It’s not just you, though. It’s our generation. We have no problem taking risks and doing what it takes for our careers, scary stuff be damned. But suggest that we put that same action into our love lives and we clam up. We start to focus on what could go wrong as opposed to what could go right. Now, we don’t ever do that in any other area of our lives. You don’t take a job and think to yourself, ‘what if a month into this job I hate it? And now I’ve given up my other job and I can’t go back.’ NO – you think, ‘this may be scary as hell; I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know if I put my all into it, everything is going to work out like it should.’ Why don’t we do that when it comes to our relationships?”

“Well because the fall out from relationships seems so much more devastating. You move to make something work, and it falls apart, and now you’re the girl or guy who moved for someone, and it didn’t work out. You’re that cautionary tale of stupidity. Of thinking love solves all.”

“Sure, that could happen. Or you move and you find out that you all work perfectly together. And it’s something you would have never known for real if you hadn’t taken the risk. I think it’s just deciding what’s more important to you – the chance that it could go wrong, or taking the chance that it could go very very right?”

“Yea, I see what you’re saying,” I said, looking down at my plate for help in this discussion. Like it could actually help. “But it’s just so hard. Logically it’s easy to say, even if it doesn’t work out, God’s got my back either way, and at least I tried. But…”

“But fear holds you back,” he interrupted. “And we know just how beneficial that is.”

What do you all think? Is our generation one that gets weary when it involves stepping out of our comfort zones for love? And to be clear, stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to mean moving to another location. It could mean trying online dating, giving that guy/girl a chance who you never thought you would, deciding to abstain from sex until marriage when that’s the opposite of what you’ve been doing before — basically I’m talking about anything that makes you just slightly uncomfortable about doing it, but for reasons that involve things like how you’ll look to others and what happens if it doesn’t work out.

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2 responses

12 03 2014
taliabuford

I think it’s not just our generation, it’s people in general. If you take a generation or two ago, going out of your comfort zone might have meant pursuing a career instead of finding a husband (hello “Masters of Sex”). I do think that we’d all do better to just live fully in everything we do — career, love, selves, spirituality — so that you don’t have regrets. All that to say, there’s a difference between overcoming fear (for something you actually want — you know that feeling) and ignoring your gut (not saying that’s the situation here). But you get me. 🙂

12 03 2014
dbaham

Great points Talia! I wish you had been there to help me out lolol… but I do agree with you that living fully in everything you do is the best way to go. It’s the most fulfilling that’s for sure.

Also completely agree with the difference between overcoming fear and following your gut. But I also think it takes being in tune with yourself and for me, prayer, to discern the difference sometimes.

To be clear though, this was a hypothetical conversation he and I were having lol. I just thought it would be interesting to explore the pause I had when he even brought it up. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it, if we are speaking in the hypothetical, but the initial pause when there wasn’t one for my career made me want to explore the why.

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