Here’s a piece from my book, WIN: Simple Insights to Help You Win the Game of Life.

During a conversation about love and relationships, a friend of mine said, “I’d rather avoid the likelihood of hurt than to experience the possibility of joy.“ That is a choice that many people make.

I’m sure you know by now that pain in a relationship is inevitable. Even the most loving companion is not perfect, and will do something at some point in the relationship that causes you pain. Sure, you should be discriminate about who you grant access to your heart. However, you can’t spend your life in a “love bubble” trying to avoid getting hurt.

Love requires taking a risk. Love requires being exposed, vulnerable, and naked. If you’re ever going to experience love’s sweetness, you must risk tasting its bitterness, as well. That can be a scary thought that forces many to stay out of the love game. Don’t go through life avoiding all likelihood of pain. It may feel safe, but it will be very lonely.

The bottom line is that love comes down to taking a risk.

Remember…the walls you build to protect yourself are the same walls that leave you isolated and alone.

Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.   – James Baldwin