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It’s risky to show up alone – to have no guarantee that others will match our efforts. And so we often play it safe and offer only what the other will also match. But integrity calls us to be all in.

No one wants to appear desperate or foolish in relationships. And even by adolescence, we rarely risk liking someone before some guarantee that they also like us.

Certainly there is an expectation of mutuality in most adult relationships. Few will be completely one-sided.

But mutuality does not mean a perfect 50/50 split, though this is how we often approach many of our relationships. We’ll match whatever the other also gives.

This is understandable. And it seems fair. But likely also compromises our integrity.

It’s hard to wholeheartedly give ourselves to the relationship when our giving is dependent on the other. I’ll give if you give. And if not, then I won’t.

Integrity calls for us to be all in regardless of the other.

This does not mean we turn a blind eye to the other or fail to hold them accountable for their part in the relationship.

However, who we are in the relationship is not dependent on them.

A commitment to be all in is a commitment to give 100% regardless of the other. We offer all we have to the relationship – not holding back or filtering trying to match the other.

This is risky. The other might never match our efforts. But it’s also incredibly freeing.

No longer do we have to worry about managing the output of the other. We just have to show up and give our all.

And as we go all in, we can also live without regrets.

Take the risk. Let being in relationship also be the choice to be all in.

Photo by Laura Margarita Cedeño Peralta on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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