“No, don’t sink the boat that you built to keep afloat”





Not long ago, a young man in one of my gaming groups called asking for some guidance (unrelated to RPGs).


He’s been dating a young woman recently and, as is to be expected, has developed feelings for her.


However, this has brought him an equal amount of stress as it has joy.


He now finds himself feeling undeserving of the good time he’s been having.


Additionally, he’s frequently struck with the dread of her sudden, inexplicable departure.


She’s given no indication of such happening, he readily admits.


Yet, he still awaits the other shoe to drop.




My response was two-fold and, in the interest of potentially helping others, I’ll share it below:


1} Don’t feel unworthy. Unless she’s with you due to deception or intimidation on your part, then her choices are hers; let her make them. Nothing more need be said.


2} As far as awaiting a heartbreaking ending – think of this as being given a green wristband – with no other markings whatsoever- which permits you to be in an amusement park you really like. It grants you the ability to ride the rides, appreciate the sights and generally just enjoy yourself. The sole downside is that you’ve no idea when the staff will ask you to leave; only they know what duration of visit green bands allow. Understand, also, that green wristband applies to pretty much every relationship – from co-workers to spouses. Things can come to an end at any moment or over any length of time. Whether it’s disagreement or death or a million things in between, life is far less within our control than most care to admit.




Thus, try to be grateful for what you get and appreciate it while you’re there.


Sure, some rides may be disappointing.


Some may be terrifying.


Some may be breathtaking.


But – for better or worse—


None of them will last forever.


5 Responses to ““No, don’t sink the boat that you built to keep afloat””

  1. Cue… She is never yours, it’s only your turn.

  2. May I ask if he ever gave a reason why he fears her sudden inexplicable departure?

    Or how long they’ve been seeing one another?

    If you can’t give specifics, perhaps you could give a range?


  3. The uncertainty is what makes it sweet. Certainty can turn the sweet to bitter in short order.

    • Reminds me of an old Twilight Zone episode where a guy goes to what he thinks is heaven, and there’s a casino where he wins at everything, every single time he plays, and every woman wants to be with him – at first he’s thrilled but then the lack of any chance, of any need for skill or guile drives him mad to the point where he begs to be sent to hell – only to be told that’s where he already is.

      • 1) JD – The price of certainty is never cheap. I have regretted it as a purchase many times. Especially with women, it seems the better attitude is a combination of “if things are not going bad, they’re going fine” and “I make my own luck.” The actually reality on the ground may be different but those two attitudes seem to not lead to self-fulfilling prophecies borne out of timidity.

        2) Thanks for this comment 5k40 – I think of it often.


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