The only people who deserve your time are those who bring out the best in you.
Spending more than 24 hours with someone can teach you a lot about that person. Easily, you begin to adapt to each other to the point you feel you truly know one another.
One Sunday afternoon as I brunched with a large group of female friends, the obvious conversation of men and exes ensued. Constantly I kept hearing similar remarks such as “Well, I learned about football because I dated a football player,” “I was a bitch all the time because my ex was an asshole,” “I was in crazy shape because my ex was a gym rat,” “I’ll never date a musician again, they are all cheaters,” and as I heard these women break down their pasts I realized that I’ve been guilty of it too.
Sometimes it’s not wanting to become like anyone but it’s just something that happens when too much energy is transferred between individuals.
I thought to myself what must one do to ONLY take the positive traits from a person and not be dragged down a destructive path because of LOVE? I started to look at my friends around me. They were all so different. One was a soft-spoken entertainment lawyer with decisive eyes with a history of dating powerful men. Another one was a chic French publicist with the cutest laugh with a designer ex-husband. Another one was a married friend with the kids and white picket fence. The one who drinks a glass of wine every night and calls that hour “Mommy time”. Then there was my immigrant friend who had to get married for papers, and has known enough struggle to know that dating an average guy is against everything she wants in life.
Then there was me. The artist-dreamer who despite how many times I’ve been disappointed by lovers and people I keep on believing I’ll end up with an amazing husband, gorgeous kids, and an extremely successful career.
As I quietly analyzed them and partly admired all of them for their equally amazing traits, I realized that my friendship with each of these women was a CHOICE I had made. Any influence of theirs in my life is something I welcomed because I CHOSE to have them around me.
I then started to compare that ideology with romantic relationships.
So many times we begin dating people because we want to have fun, or because we’re lonely and we don’t always pay attention to their personality traits from the get go. We begin to ignore red flags because we’re busy living the moment, without realizing that we become like the people we spend the most time with. I realized dating should be fun but it should also be thought out.
Time is precious and one should only give that time to those individuals who bring out the best in you. Those people who help you see yourself in a better light, the ones who instead of pulling you down, they help rise you up. Life is short and the person we become is based on the choices we make.
This article was originally published at Latina. Reprinted with permission from the author.