Why do we invest (emotionally)?

This is an exact repost from an old blog, originally posted in May 10, 2008. Today’s #ThrowbackThursday . Enjoy reading.

Invest (v)
– To spend or devote for future advantage or benefit
– To devote morally or psychologically, as to a purpose; commit
– To endow with authority or power.
– To endow with an enveloping or pervasive quality

As with financial investments, there is always a risk to spending or putting something of value into anything. We typically invest in something, decide to devote time and energy on something hoping that it would turn out good and productive in the end.

Why then do we choose to invest emotionally? Perhaps it’s like other types of investments. When we see the possibility of something good coming out of something, we choose to take the gamble and put a little of our self into it. We put a stake on something when we start to build an affinity to it.

Why do we invest in romantic relationships? We enter romantic relationships to find out the possibility of being together until the far future. You don’t go into it expecting it to fail or end, although we should admit that it is still always a possibility.

So, the investment is a little of ourselves, our emotions, and our commitment. The payback we are wishing for is a wonderful future. But let’s admit it, we don’t always get what we are wishing for. More than anything else, emotional investments are most uncertain.

The real question is, why do we even attempt to invest emotionally, even on things that has relatively no future? Why do we keep on loving people and hoping that these people who would perhaps not disappoint? Why do we give someone else that power over our happiness?

In the end, life turns out to be one big gamble, especially on the matter of love and romantic relationships. You will never have the chance to win unless you bet on something. Oftentimes you don’t win, cause it’s a million-to-one chance. But if you do win, it would really change your life. It’s just up to you, are you brave enough to bet with your heart?

Emotional Limbo

(http://pulanglangit.blogspot.com/2008/07/emotional-limbo.html ; july 14, 2008)

Limbo – a state of waiting or uncertainty, in which final judgement concerning the outcome of a decision is postponed, perhaps indefinitely.

Emotional limbo is that state when you’ve gotten out of one relationship and have somehow gotten over it, but you’ve not quite completely moved on to a new one yet. Sometimes there is that emotional gap in-between.

Luckily a lot of people do not have to go through that. The luckiest people just try once, and they immediately find a love for keeps — no time needed to move from one to the other. There are others who just can’t live without having a “someone” in their lives — those who sashay from one relationship to the other, leaving virtually no time in-between.

I am not a stranger to emotional limbo. Most probably, I’m in one right now. And I’ve been there possibly a few times before. Let me describe how it goes.

The time after the dissolution of an actual relationship. It doesn’t matter how short or long the relationship lasted, but what matters is how emotionally involved you were during the relationship. The more intense the emotions in the relationship, the harder it is to let go. But after the letting go, what comes next?

Sometimes you end up asking that a million times to yourself, not noticing that months, or even years, have passed. Somehow at the back of your mind, you know the answer. Somehow you know that the real question is “who comes next?”

But you can’t answer that just yet, because your last relationship probably taught you that there was something wrong with the choices you made before, and you need to somehow re-think your criteria. You can’t answer that yet, because part of you is afraid of the possibility of being emotionally involved and being abandoned in the end. Maybe you’re just too emotionally exhausted to move on to a new relationship right away. Or maybe, you actually don’t want to answer that yet, because you’ve found the extraordinarily wonderful satisfaction of being on your own, sans the complications of a commitment.

I, me , mine. There is no other person involved in the equation to complicate any decision that needs to be done. All that is critical is your happiness or your despair. You can spend all the time and money on yourself, pursue the things you’ve been wanting to do for the longest time.

There will still be times you’d miss the old times, that feeling when someone would call you everyday just to know how your day has been; when there’s someone to snuggle up to during weekends that you share doing nothing at all. All that emotional residue will always be there.

Sometimes you look forward and wonder where the real love of your life could be, if you have already met him/her, or how and when you’ll meet him/her and how you would know that the time has come. Anticipation for what is to come.

It’s not at all bad. It’s how you deal with it that can make it worthwhile. A period of waiting could be the best opportunity to do productive things or just absolutely random things. Travel. Learn a new skill. Shift careers. Meet new people. The opportunities are endless.

One nice thing to do is to write “100 things I want to do while I’m in emotional limbo,” or something like that. You don’t have to write all 100 in just one sitting. You can start with 10 and add to it as time goes by. I did that once before, and it turned out to be really interesting. But I didn’t finish doing the 100 things, then a “someone” came along. Maybe I should do a new 100 list now?

But don’t mind me, I’m just making all of this up. The emotional limbo is an abstraction I chose to create.