1. You hear the -tick, tick, tick- of the inclining roller coaster and you know that any second you are going to plummet down, down, down and then be whisked back up into seven consecutive loops.
2. You and several other people are on a raft. The water is getting choppy. You aren’t sure, but you think a waterfall may be ahead.
3. You’re in an airplane and you’ve reached the correct altitude. You and a few others are getting ready to jump. You walk to the door with your parachute on your back, feel the wind in your face, and then you juuuuuummmmmpppppp!
These mental images probably evoke one of two emotions: giddy excitement or extreme discomfort. Some of us are naturally risk-takers; whereas, others of us are not. Once, I took a quiz to see how much of a risk-taker I was and I scored two out of thirteen. So, I guess you could call me a homebody of sorts. ~smile~
The older I get, the more interested I am in certain “risky” activities (e.g., ziplining, parasailing, etc. – if you could even call those risky); however, on the whole, I like to stay near a familiar place, standing still, or in the driver’s seat of my own car. Maybe it has something to do with getting motion sick on the majority of our family vacations. I guess that could sour my love for adventure. ~smile~
Are You a Risk-taker?
My friends? They love to travel. Don’t ask me how they got stuck with a friend like me! They love new experiences. They enjoy pushing themselves and learning new skills, even if they look foolish in the beginning. When I turned thirty, suddenly I felt this urge to do something different… something mildly risky. ~smile~
I told my friend, Lauran, over frozen yogurt that I really wanted to go ziplining. She looked shocked… and excited. “Do you know how long I’ve waited for you to want to do these kinds of things?!?!” We will plan a trip eventually, La… we will. ~wink~
Friendships between risk-takers and non-risk-takers can work – it can. There are many ways friends can connect. Lauran and I bond over a love of the beach and frozen desserts. Just because jumping out of a plane sounds fun to her and ridiculous to me does not mean we cannot be just as good of friends as we ever were.
Marriage, on the other hand, can be quite complicated if one partner is a risk-taker and the other person is highly conservative. Let’s say John wants to wrestle crocodiles. He has always wanted to try this, but all Jennie can think about is how they would make it financially if he lost an arm or suffered a severe injury. The more they talk about it, the more verbal Jennie gets about her concerns. So, either John ignores her wishes and does it anyway, leaving her feeling pushed aside, or John decides not to do it so Jennie will stop worrying, thereby sacrificing something he wants to do and likely blaming her for it. Can you see how the union of a risk-taker to a non-risk-taker could spell long-term trouble?
Is Your Sweetie a Risk-taker?
It would be rare for two people in a couple to have the same amount of energy for adventure and variety. Someone who is typically considered quite the dare devil may pale in comparison to his or her spouse’s need for adrenaline pumping fun. So instead of simply asking, “Is my boyfriend or girlfriend a risk-taker?” perhaps better questions are, “How much of a risk-taker am I? And, how does he or she compare to me in this area?”
Since I am not into risk with money, friendships, career changes, or adventures, I would consider an average risk-taker to be a mad man. “You want to go on the log flume and ride the teacups three times in a row? Have you taken leave of your senses?!?” ~smile~ Whereas, the average adventurer might think repelling off of a mountain is fine, but jumping out of a plane is crazy.
Couples typically go into marriage expecting their spouse to have fun with them. If your future spouse loves adventure, he or she will be looking forward to having you along for some of these “fun times.” Are you prepared for this? ~smile~
Can You Live with a Risk-taker? A conservative Observer?
We don’t like thinking about it, especially when we are in love, but every couple is not a good match. In retrospect, I can see that even though I cared for certain guys a lot, we would not have been good as marriage partners. If your sweetheart’s risky behavior has concerned you before, take a long look at what the future may hold before you make the decision to move towards a lifetime covenant. If you are prone to worry, would you be at peace with a spouse who was always jumping off of cliffs, dumping large sums of money into risky stocks, or changing careers every few years?
Now, let’s flip this scenario. Let’s say you love taking risks. Without them you don’t feel alive and invigorated. Would you find it stifling to live with someone who always questioned your next quest? Would you feel bitter and frustrated if he or she constantly guilted you out of trying something new by saying “It’s best for the children” or “think of all that could go wrong!” Would you go against your spouse’s wishes and do what you wanted or would you acquiesce and feel bitter? Can you think of some possible compromises?
Find out How Much Risk You Want or Need
Take some time and think about how much adventure you really need in your life. Honestly assess what you like to do, how often, and what you would like to try, and then write these discoveries down. Ask your sweetie to do the same and discuss the ramifications of your differing needs. Many couples are can work through differences in this area, but some are polar opposites. The super-practical, rule-following, status-quo-loving spouse and the grab-life-by-the-horns, no-guts-no-glory spouse is a match made in… somewhere not in Heaven.
I’m sure such couples could make their relationships work, but there will be challenges. The worrier will have to let go and hope for the best sometimes and the adrenaline junkie will have to back off considerably and consider the needs of his or her family. On a happier note, a risk-taker may be able to bring someone like me out of her shell; whereas, a conservative, rule-follower may help reign in a lover of all things terrifying. ~smile~
As with all areas of difference, weigh the joys against the stresses and decide if you are willing to marry someone who has a completely different view of fun and adventure.
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken? What is the biggest risk you want to take?