How many frogs must a woman kiss before she finds a prince? How many women must a man rescue before he finds a Goddess in disguise? Sure, it is largely a numbers game, a simple matter of statistics. Not everyone is compatible.
But, as you weed through the numbers of eligible potentials, eventually you will meet someone – and attraction and chemistry will kick in. Congratulations! You have just entered “The Danger Zone.”
Don’t be deceived
When you find yourself seriously attracted to someone, stupidity is likely to ensue. You know what I’m talking about. Your head is filled with the possibilities, your gut is whispering uncertainties, and you are so preoccupied with playing it right so “this one” can be yours, that your emotions start to rule everything you do. When love is in the air, it is so very easy to toss logic out the window. It feels like the natural thing to do. The allure and fantasy of “what could be” is the door opening to the Danger Zone – the place where signs and signals are overlooked, excused, or justified – all in the name of love.
Most of us like to believe in the good of humankind. We expect the people we are close to – or want to be close to – will think, act and behave similar to the way we do ourselves. We want to believe that honesty prevails, that emotion is genuine and that because we care, they will as well. Sadly, it is this type of thinking that puts us in the Danger Zone, and makes us vulnerable to deceit.
Sad but true
People lie. People lie about their motives and aspirations, past and present. People lie about what they do, what they have done and where they have been. People lie about what they have, what they want and what they believe. If it is spoken, there is a chance that it may not be true. Then there are those who lie by omission, the theory being that what you don’t know can’t hurt you.
Some people lie big, others lie small. There are “little white lies,” and then there are whoppers of deception that are so intricate you may be inclined to believe the story is true. Not everyone is a natural-born liar, and not everyone lies 100% of the time. So, how do you recognize what is fact, and what is fiction? Sometimes you can’t. Other times, you simply don’t want to.
Watch, listen and learn
Even though your emotions may have the best of you, that doesn’t mean you should forge blindly ahead. When it comes to love, we tend to be too trusting – filling in the blanks to our liking, taking things at face value even when our instincts are whispering that something may be wrong. We get so caught up in feeling and romantic fantasy that our personal judgment can be a little off. Sometimes, the desire for a lasting relationship has us navigating with a huge pair of blinders on.
Getting to know a person is much larger than the private, personal interactions. How they treat us is only part of who they are, but it is largely what captures our attention and opinions. How they speak to and about others – and how they treat people in general – holds a world of information, and can reinforce or devalue what we think we know. Observe how they treat their friends, former lovers, mother, sisters, brothers… and the waitress at lunch.
Steps to judge character:
1. First impressions
Never forget your first impression, but as you get to know the person, pay attention to how knowledge and familiarity supports or denies your original reaction.
2. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember the answers, and see if their actions support it. Many times, actions do speak louder than words.
3. Trust your instincts
If something doesn’t look, feel,or sound quite right, don’t dismiss it or rationalize it. This is the time to be questioning everything! It can save you from slapping your forehead, later, saying, “I should have known better.”
4. Set boundaries
Set boundaries for yourself, to make sure you don’t rush into a bad situation. Set and express boundaries for your potential. Anyone who can’t respect the boundaries you have expressed isn’t likely to be respectful of you.
Getting to know who someone really is requires interaction. Go out and do things, get to know their friends and bring them around yours. Be watchful and mindful of how this person is received by, and interacts with, others. The way they treat friends and strangers can reinforce or bring into question how they treat you, and is very revealing of their inner character.
6. Get a second opinion
Friends and family aren’t romantically influenced by your latest potential partner, but they do care about you. Sometimes, they can see clearly what you can’t. Set your defensiveness aside. Really be open to what they have to say.
7. When in doubt, check it out
When someone makes outlandish claims, or even says little things that just don’t seem quite true – ask for proof! No one likes to be doubted or questioned, but trust should be earned rather than blindly given. Do a little detective work on your own (start with Google!). If things are really extreme, hire a real-life private eye. It is better to have to apologize for not trusting enough rather than having to detangle from a bad situation.
8. Follow your heart, but trust your head
Your heart will lead you into the Danger Zone, but your head is what will bring you through, and out the other side. Emotion will bring you to a relationship, but it is intuition and cold, hard logic that tells you exactly what you are getting into… or should be running away from.
So, you think you met someone worthy of loving, possibly even someone to build a life with… maybe you have, or maybe it’s your imagination. Just remember to think before you leap. You know how you feel, but that doesn’t mean you actually know the person who is making you feel that way. Before you jump all in, heart and soul, pay attention to the little things… it is the details that can tell you a lot.
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