While we shouldn't spend too much time analyzing the motives of people, you should; however, take careful thought before allowing someone into your life. Friendships and relationships are an investment of our time, energy and often our emotions. Therefore, it only makes sense to do your research to get a better understanding of whether or not the relationship is worth developing. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this person have my best interest at heart?
- Do we share similar values?
- Do I have to pretend to be something I'm not when we're together?
- Is it a healthy friendship?
- Is it balanced?
As you meet new people and establish new relationships, it is important to use wisdom. Enter in the relationship with an understanding that it will be an investment of your time and energy. Would you accept a job offer without having some knowledge about your employer? Well, it's the same with a relationship - get to know your potential mate. Develop a friendship first through effective communication, and fun activities. Observe their behavior and ponder it in your heart. Take mental notes and most importantly be honest with yourself. The most common warning people receive is "don't ignore the red flags;" however, many of us ignore them anyway. If you're not sure exactly what I mean by red flags, below are some examples:
- Do you catch them in small lies?
- Do they lie by omission?
- Are you have things in common?
- Do you constantly have to pretend to be something you're not
- Do you share the same values
- Does he/she drink/smoke/party and you don't?
Dating and developing friendships is a process of elimination. You don't have to settle for anyone. You must be proactive in eliminating negativity from your life. This is a process and this process can often be frustrating, but don't give up. Enjoy the process and don't be afraid to say good-bye.