riding the wave bethenny frankel

Riding the Wave: Risk, Balance, and Surrender in Your Relationship

Dating is like surfing. If you don’t want to fall, you need to pay attention to the natural rhythms of your relationship. Watch the waves coming in so you know which waves to let fall over you and which waves to catch. Then you have to feel how to balance yourself on the board, which way to lean, when to ride a wave all the way to the beach, and when to bail. Once you’re in the right wave and you’ve got your balance, then you let go and enjoy it. You don’t fight it. You relax into it and allow it to take you.

Riding the Wave is about risk, balance, and surrender. You take a risk when you catch a wave — when you take a chance on someone and decide to see where it will go. You learn to balance by determining when to lean out and when to lean in to a relationship. Maybe you make your own plans, but make it seem like the other person’s idea: “Hey, you mentioned recently that you want to hang out with your guys more. Why not have a guys’ night out next Saturday?” At first, this might seem great to him, and he’ll probably do it, but he also might think, But wait a minute… I thought we were going to spend the weekend together, and before you know it, he’s leaning back in.

Sometimes, you need to be the one to lean in. If you try leaning out and the other person leans out, too, thinking that you are getting distant or uninterested, lean back in so the other person feels connected to you. If you leaned out too far, the other person might still be a little bit hurt when you lean back in again. You might even get pushed away for a while, but keep leaning in. Maybe you need to be a little more loving, a little more snuggly, a little more focused on the other person, in order to reforge that connection until the other person leans in, too.

Finally, you need to let go. When things are in sync, when it’s all working, then surrender a little. Stop trying to control everything. Be easygoing and have fun. Ride the wave and see where it takes you. You’re in the sweet spot, and this is the payoff for your hard work.

This is an excerpt from I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After by Bethenny Frankel, available on