What exactly is an investment? An investment can be defined as the commitment of resources in order to gain a profitable return. You may think I’m referring to investing from a financial standpoint, but in actuality, we invest different things throughout our everyday life. We invest “items” such as energy, time, knowledge and even love and emotions. With every investment, there come risks. In terms of investing love and feelings, what exactly is being risked?
By pursuing a relationship of any type, the risks include emotions, feelings, rejection and even love. The question is whether or not your feelings and emotions are worth risking. Is the person with whom you have this relationship worth the investment?
When entering into a relationship, a person usually has a good idea of what they are seeking from the relationship, but is probably unclear as to what he/she is willing to risk. This lack of uncertainty may evolve from a person’s own insecurities or past experiences and may even be due to the clear realization of the return on investment (ROI). We can define ROI as the ratio of what you’ve gained or lost against what you have invested into the relationship.
Also, when deciding whether to pursue an emotional investment, the other person’s goals must be taken into consideration. The goals must match up to some degree with your own. Take for example a guy and girl that have known one another for quite a while. Over the years, the guy develops feelings for the girl whose feelings remain only platonic towards the guy. There are two scenarios in this instance. The guy may not know the girl does not have the same feelings (the risk) or he knows the girl has similar feelings, but he is afraid to pursue the relationship (investment). He may choose not to explore the possibility of a relationship both because of the risk of being rejected and because of the risk of destroying the friendship. The guy would then need to determine if a relationship with the girl is worth the investment because of the possibility of no ROI or an undesired outcome.
How does one go about determining if a relationship is worth the investment? How do you invest in a new relationship if you’re “investment leery” due to past relationships? The majority of the time you know when a relationship is a good investment or not within a few weeks. You may even know sooner given you’ve asked yourself the right questions. When contemplating an investment in a relationship, consider the following questions:
- What attracts me to this person?
- What is the sort of relationship I’m seeking with this person?
- Where do I want to be in five years?
- Why did my last relationship (investment) fail?
The above questions can provide great insight in determining if your investment goals match up to your partner’s goals. There are instances when a past investment has put a sour taste in your mouth and you may be gun shy to make another investment or even allow someone to invest in you. Try to avoid this trap as each investment is a new journey and will have very different results. Past investment strategies that did not produce a desired outcome may cause you to delay or even turn down an investment that may have a positive impact on you. Don’t be scared to invest what you have to offer. Resist the urge to make an investment to only gain instant satisfaction
Referencing the definition of investment above, it was stated that an investment includes the commitment of resources. Commitment is a critical part in any relationship, but commitment in this context has nothing to do with being in a “committed” relationship. In this case, commitment means to continuously and without hesitation commit your resources: feelings, emotions or love. It is simply how willing two individuals are to invest in the relationship.
If you have decided to take the risk and pursue a relationship, don’t be lazy and stop investing. A relationship could be looked at like a 401(k). The more you invest, the higher your return will be. If you stopped investing in your 401(k), you wouldn’t be very surprised when you had very little money in it. Relationships require a regular investment of:
Time – All about how much time you actually invest into the relationship. Remember that you can’t save time, you can only invest it.
Commitment – All about how much of your resources you invest on a continuous basis (love, emotions, etc.).
Emotions – All about how you feel when you’re with your partner and how you make them feel.
Esteem – If your self-esteem has taken a hit in the past, it could take years before your investment “breaks even”. Allow the investment to grow your self-esteem which, in turn, will grow your partner’s self-esteem.
Energy – All about how much energy the two of you invest in the relationship. Extra energy may need to be invested when times are rough.
Loving someone is never easy due to the fact that many trials and obstacles will be encountered. The investment (relationship) is continuously at risk and sometimes these obstacles might make you feel like giving up. It will be tested as times passes. Risks will always be present. Always remember though, to love and be loved in return, that is the best result in this kind of investment.