“You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” – Michael Jordan
Recently ‘liked’ the NTU Confessions Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/NTUConfess?fref=ts&ref=br_tf).
Reading some of the little stories invoked a sense of nostalgia in me. I felt young, energetic, fun and excited like a student again. Making tonnes of friends / acquaintances, eyeballing cute girls from NBS / HSS as well as lamenting on the shitty food at Canteen B.
Above all though, these kind of messages about relationships struck me:
I kept procrastinating until I lost my chance. I saw you at the steamboat dinner at north spine early this week, and when I saw him feeding you food, I felt very sad. We had no opportunities to talk to each other, but I have had a crush on you since last semester… I wanted to get to know you better, but it seems like it’s already too late. Guys, don’t wait until it’s too late, take action while u can. Don’t be like me, and lose my chance because I kept waiting.
…. it really hurts me because she doesn’t really care about my thoughts and feelings. Seems like her wants in life will always be a priority no matter what happens. I’ve not spoken to my partner about these issues because I don’t wish to hurt her feelings however I’m getting unhappy over the effort I put into this relationship compared to her..
We have all dealt with relationship issues in the past, perhaps currently and chances are, we will have to manage such issues from time to time in the future. No matter whether we are single, attached or married.
I can’t profess to have experienced every sort of shitty relationship issue out there (some are already shitty to read about, much less to experience it). But there are some learning points that I’ve tried to psyche myself to remember when it comes to relationships.
*For the purposes of illustration in this article, let’s refer to the guy who saw his crush getting together with someone else as Bob. The other dude with relationship issues will be called Tim.
We Gotta Seize The Day (Carpe Diem)
Carpe diem is a Latin aphorism usually translated to “seize the day”, taken from a poem written by Horace.
It essentially says that the future is unforeseen and thus one should not leave things to chance future happenings, but instead do all that one can today to make one’s future better.
If Bob could have gone back in time having full knowledge of the eventual outcome, he might have chosen to muster up whatever ounce of courage in his bones to approach his crush the moment he had the chance. Or even better, he might have even CREATED more chances to talk to the girl.
I have procrastinated and passed on opportunities before like Bob and I just thought one fine day – no more. In my final year of University, once the feelings were disclosed between one girl and myself, we told ourselves to just go for it (seize the moment) and see what happens… and we found Mr and Ms Right in each other. Couldn’t have expected nor foresaw that when we first started out.
Tim has a slightly trickier situation to deal with, but the argument is similar. Any unexplored issues in a relationship which has been intentionally buried to avoid confrontation will eventually surface and cause a nastier fallout. While discussing such issues may be difficult with no guarantees of a swift resolution, but then again avoidance and procrastination is a far less viable option. Trust me on that, I’ve been there.
We Won’t Get Better Without Trying
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed“. – Michael Jordan.
Okay, I hope none of us would ever have to go through so many heartbreaks and failed relationships to find our life partners.
Bob can’t expect to achieve a favourable outcome whatsoever simply because he didn’t even approach the girl. And the hard truth is, we won’t get more confident, communicate to the opposite sex better and know everything else about relationships just by virtue of being older or even richer. It takes effort and interaction with the opposite sex.
Similarly for couples in a relationship, barring circumstances where the differences are irreconcilable, keep trying while you can. Sometimes, love ends not because the excitement in the relationship ends, but because the couple stops trying to make things work.
Get Rid Of Self-Defeating Thoughts
If Bob thinks the girl won’t even wanna make friends with him and thus forgets about approaching her, he’s right. He won’t get anywhere with the girl simply because he has doomed himself into failure with his thoughts. If Tim chooses to believe that his girlfriend’s feelings may be hurt and thus not proceed with raising those issues in the first place, it’s gonna seriously hurt the relationship eventually.
Some of us (myself included) spend too much time thinking about the possible outcomes that we never get around to actually doing it.
Just gotta take some action.
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