Romance, sexuality and attraction are all great BUT here’s the key: If all those feelings don’t have a foundation of friendship and respect for the other person’s character then take that as a warning sign.
The only way to have a real and lasting relationship is to first build a friendship.
If you think about it, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person and as one of my clients said about choosing her mate: “He was someone I knew I could grow old with. I liked spending time with him and he made me laugh.” She also shared many values with him that were important to her – family, spirituality and respecting each other’s need for alone time – just like she did with all of her other friendships.
The best boundary you can have in your relationships and dating life is to begin every relationship with an eye towards friendship. I’ve witnessed so many people rush into romance and drop all their boundaries physically, emotionally and otherwise so they could experience the (short lived) high of romance.
As with any friendship, taking time out to get to know them is so important. Hanging out with each other’s friends and observe how well you fit in and they fit in can give you many clues to a possible future with this person.
I remember many years ago dating a guy and noticed how I could easily hang out with his friends but would NEVER introduce him to mine. Deep inside I knew he wouldn’t get along with them and would judge them heavily – BIG warning sign for sure. All my friends represented values that I cherished. My fear of introducing him (and knowing the outcome of that) represented a part of myself that I had to keep hidden from him – knowing he would judge ME heavily.
An easy way to tell if you’re in the “fantasy” of romance is to ask yourself the question: “If there was no romance between us, would I still want to spend time with this person?”
Your answer will help you easily snap back to reality and get clear on whether or not your making a healthy choice in a long term partnership – or you’re being blinded by romance.
• Don’t assume that someone who has no character will magically develop one just because you want them to.
• If being attracted to the wrong person is a pattern, don’t blame it on external circumstances. Start taking personal responsibility for being the one with the issue and get help (you’re the one common denominator in all these relationships, yes?)
• Face the hard questions about the person your with. With the help of friends, be honest about whether or not you really “like” the person as well as having chemistry with them.
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