Rethinking Choices

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Choose your love. Love your choice.

I have never been in this much demand and I must confess it feels great. A man’s ego can be such a dangerous thing.

Growing up I felt I always settled when it came to relationships. Whether it be romantic or platonic relationships. Why? It’s simple, my education always came first. Remember the post Girls Its “Our” Turn Now: Jocks vs. Nerds”, it is the final lap and suddenly (or as predicted) I have so many supporters.

Now I can see the finish line. There is however a problem. Let me illustrate this with the following diagram.

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We can take the easy way out and settle for “Decision A”. It’s effortless and no one expects you to work towards reaching “Decision B”.

If you persisted and worked towards “Decision B”, what we are not told is that we are now expected to blindly decide between Options A, B or C, without knowing what each of these Options entail. We are given a choice (which is great) but never told what it feels like to make and live by those choices.

You may say experience comes handy in these situations. Yes, however, we get caught up in working so hard to get from “Startpoint” to “Decision B” that we forget to equip ourselves with the necessary experience to make the right decision when we get there.

Let me pause here and apply this to real life. In high school, you could just date (and eventually marry) your high school sweetheart. In fact, I did. It is easy and convenient. Is she the best you could do? Will the future change your expectations of your partner? Can she adjust to leaving school, attending university and finally managing a 12 hour work day and a loving relationship? To put it crudely, should caterpillars date caterpillars when they know that someday they may become butterflies.

Hopefully everyone is with me so far. Back to the diagram:

Blindly choosing between the three options is the same as accepting Decision A. The only insignificant difference is that at Decision B you are given an elusive choice, but never an informed one.

We need a breakpoint – a point where people are allowed to explore an Option before deciding on it. Some call this “casual dating”. If Option A is not what you want, you are allowed to go back to “Decision B” and consider Options B or C. You might ask why not consider Options A, B and C at the same time? Who has the time to consider one Option at a time? I for one is against such an idea simply because it is only going to hinder your ability to fully explore each Option and only result in you reaching the “Breakpoint” without sufficient awareness about whether a specific Option suits you. I fully understand that the above has several limitations such as:-

  • It is impractical when there are numerous choices; and
  • It assumes that the choices are always available (“all doors are always open”);

But on the positive side, the above prevents situations where people are just waiting for something better to come along. It allows us to make informed choices. Have you ever eaten at a terrible restaurant and proceeded to go back there everyday to experience the same tasteless food? No. The reality is that as humans we make bad choices and we must be allowed to rectify them.

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Changing our mind is human, especially when we did not apply our mind in the first place. Whilst, it is important to stick to your choices, it is also critical to know when to cut your losses and move on. The following is what most people fall prey victim to:

you can’t leave her because you’ve been together for so long.  And of course, leaving her now will just mean all those years spent together were a waste, so the logical thing to do is waste more years!

On a personal note, I feel like all of my life I worked towards reaching “Decision B” and having “choices”. Now that I am finally here, I have forgotten why I wanted to be here. Was it to find true love? Or simply help me justify or reinforce my decision on my life partner knowing that I ‘explored’ other choices. Whilst ignorance may not be bliss (especially in relationships), knowledge and choices may only confuse and distract you from what really matters in a relationship: love.

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