Think about all of the people you encounter throughout your life. This includes childhood friends, the hundreds of people in high school, the thousands at your college campus, all of your coworkers or clients, colleagues you meet at conferences, and then there are the countless random encounters at bars, coffee shops, the gym, the grocery store or the park.
Any one of these meetings can lead to a relationship.
When you look at all of these people, you realize the person you meet and fall in love and eventually marry is literally one in a million.
Some of these chance encounters do turn into relationships. It’s great if they last, but let’s face it, most relationships fail. They are supposed to. One and only one relationship in our lives is supposed to work and last forever.
We know the odds are not in our favor. And yet, we keep playing the game.
We continue to ante up, knowing that the house almost always wins.
Gamblers are the ultimate optimists. Every time they saddle up to the table, they are hoping that luck, fate, and karma are all on their side.
Romantics do the same thing, hoping to find the King or Queen of hearts in their hands.
With every guy we meet, every time we give out our number, agree for a date, or let our friends set us up, we are hoping that love is in the cards for us.
Sometimes, we’re dealt a lousy hand. There are guys out there who aren’t ever going to be more than a pair of 3’s. If that’s the case, your best bet is to fold and let him make plays for the slutty cocktail waitress.
Though I’m sure we have all done this: even if we know our hand is not that good, we bluff. We pretend that a 6 of Clubs is a Jack of Diamonds. Unlike poker, bluffing your way through a relationship doesn’t help you win in the end. And it is normally our girlfriends who read our poker faces and call “Bullshit” (yes, I know… wrong game).
As we continue playing, we learn the “tells.” We know what to look for. If a guy spends all night talking about his high scores in Call of Duty, I’d start to wonder if he’s playing with a full deck. But also, I learned that talking about all my girlfriends being married and having babies makes me seem more like an Old Maid (yes, wrong game again, I know!).
Odds are, we’ll eventually be dealt a good hand. If we find someone who is charming, smart, caring, and can make us laugh, we raise our stakes. For the right person, we are willing to put more of our hearts and ourselves on the table.
In gambling and in love, there are those who are more cautious. Perhaps they have lost it all before. Or, perhaps they are novice players and are simply taking it slow.
Most of us know a good hand when we see one. An elusive Straight Flush or 4 of a Kind. And when it’s our turn, we go “all in.”
In love, you have to be willing to put your heart out there. Yes, you might lose. But remember, high risk equals high reward.
I think I have exhausted all of my poker and love analogies.
In the dating game, despite the overwhelming odds that we’ll end up with our hearts on the table, we continue to gamble. We do this with the hope that we’ll eventually hit the jackpot.
The odds may not be in our favor, but you can’t win if you don’t play.