The people you “hook up” with can change your life forever – literally. Now, the term “hook up” can mean different things to different people, but know this: if you don’t choose your friends wisely, the drama can take you out!
Let’s talk about friends first. There are basically four levels of friendship: the acquaintance, the associate, the close friend, and the intimate friend. Notice the word “friend” doesn’t even come in until level 3. If people prove themselves to be thoughtful, kind, and encouraging, over time we can develop lasting friendships. I am blessed to have friends love me, encourage me, challenge me, and are there for me – in spite of me! Unfortunately though, if we’re not careful when choosing who we hang with, we can let crazy in before we realize how toxic they are. Crazy people steal your time and energy – you can’t get that back. Crazy people borrow money and “forget”. You can’t get that back either. If you’re living on purpose, you MUST slow down before you make the mistake of treating an acquaintance like a close friend (we’ll have a post on the friendship levels soon). You have too much to do to have to constantly rescue and pacify needy, immature people. Ouch!
On a more serious note, relationships with men can also change your life forever. A good man can positively impact the course of your life. You can thrive in your career, raise healthy, productive children, minimize debt, enjoy vacations, and build a legacy together. However, a relationship with a bad man (who is inconsistent, constantly unemployed, irresponsible, disrespectful, or abusive) can BLOCK your success for years. Some bad relationships leave you with a broken heart – but some leave you with a broken life. Having to deal with his crazy family for 20 years because you have a baby together gets old by year two. Trying to fix your credit (or trying to recover from bankruptcy) after you signed on something for him can cost you 7 years and thousands of dollars. Trying to cover for his illegal activity can cost you your license, your job, your children, your freedom, and/or your life. Not being able to trust another man because of what you’ve been through: priceless.
The point is, relationships can change the course of our lives forever. For better or worse. The good news is, we get to choose our relationships – they don’t choose us. We can choose which level of importance people will take in our lives, and for how long. If someone comes along and we’re not quite sure about them, we have every right to keep them at arm’s length. Question: How have you done with choosing your relationships so far? It’s never too late to make adjustments…