Gain From Loss: Why The Person Who Cares More Actually Wins

by Dan Scotti

They say “the person who cares less always wins.”

I mean, from a mathematical standpoint, yeah, I guess this statement holds some validity.

With regard to relationships, the person who puts the least amount into a given exchange will walk away with more once the relationship ends (and everything is in pieces on the floor).

But, in reality, that all hinges on the relationship’s ultimate demise.

Think about it: If you’re preventing yourself from giving something your all – in fear of walking away less hurt if sh*t goes wrong – you’re pretty much already preparing for failure.

In other words, it’s really a loser’s mentality.

I’ve never believed in doing anything half-assed. If I was going to do something, I was going to do it 150 percent. And if that meant falling flat on my face in front of all my peers (I don’t know any of this from experience) – well, then I was going to fail at 150 percent just the same.

You can’t worry about the aftermath of a plan before actually giving yourself a fair turn at trying to execute it first.

I’m a sports fan, so please, pardon the sports analogy, but like with most of life’s virtues, I can relate it back, somehow, to Michael Jordan.

Seriously though, just think about all the game-winning shots he took throughout his career.

If he really thought about all the negative headlines and press that could have sprung up the next morning had the ball clanked off the back iron, I’m sure he would’ve thought twice before pulling up (and possibly pushing off) in Bryon Russell’s face.

Relationships aren’t really much different. In order for anything to work out, you need to invest yourself fully in it – like Jordan did with winning rings.

To attain any sort of success in life, you must first accept failure as a plausible option. With that said, it really shouldn’t change the way you go about things.

You may think holding back from a relationship – or keeping certain people at bay – will prevent you from heartbreak if ever things went sour, but you must also realize you’re limiting your currently active relationship in the present (and probably for the future, too).

At the end of the day, you need to stop and ask yourself, “What do I truly want?” If the answer to that question is to find love or a positive relationship or anything that will provide benefits down the line, you’re going to have to let your guard down. It’s really the only way.

At the same time, if your intentions are really only geared toward “damage control” or to avoid getting hurt by anyone at all, then maybe keep striving toward apathy.

But your end game won’t be any more fulfilling than the relationships you will make from the sidelines.

Like most things in life, when it comes to relationships, you’ll always get what you put in.

Your last relationship could’ve went up in flames, and you might still be feeling the residual heartbreak, but you’ll always be able to carry the lessons you learned from it with you for future ones.

You’ll never know how you react to intense emotion if you never have the chutzpah to invest it into something in the first place.

Life is about the failures; I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but it’s one of those clichés you need to constantly remind yourself.

Sure, the person who “cares less” might look like he or she is walking away from a smoldering relationship more “scot-free,” but that’s a shallow impression to make.

With most relationships, the person who walks away with the most scars is usually the true winner. At least in virtue.

The only way to become a better person in life is to constantly strive towards progress.

With everything, with yourself, with your work, your fitness – all aspects of your life. And your interpersonal relationships are a staple of your overall health.

In order to make any progress in life, steps backward – before going forward – are sometimes inevitable. I’ve always viewed stagnancy, or not moving anywhere at all, as worse than moving backward.

At least when you take one step back, you’ll usually find a bit of extra ambition that you can use to propel yourself forward.

After all, when the sh*t hits the fan, you can either bounce back or bounce backwards.

With stagnancy, however, comes complacency, and that’s the enemy of progress.

The person who cares more about a relationship will always win, regardless of what anyone else might think.

It’s not about who saved more face among peers or who walked away as the “right one” when all the dust settles.

The only thing that’s important after coming out of a relationship is experience.

Those who actually devote effort into their relationships will learn how it feels to care for something bigger than themselves and ultimately lose it.

This experience will allow them to take certain aspects of their former relationships – those that didn’t work – and use them for progression, to one day find a relationship that does finally work.

Leave the rest to fate.