It seems like such an easy concept, therefore it is a vastly overlooked one. Don't build relationships with "bad" people and you'll be fine. I think it is safe to say that the majority of us do not set out with the intention to befriend the enemy or date the villain. However, it is also safe to say that at some point in each of our lifetime's we have been involved in relationships that have done nothing but take away from any good in our lives.
With that being said, it seems the issue lies in identifying the negative relationships in our own personal lives.
We've all been there. We'll scroll through our social media sites rolling our eyes at the couple who's back together for the sixteenth time but cheated on each other last week. We'll take notice of the way the girls in the friend group whisper when the other girl turns around. We'll feel sorry for the married couple who are clearly only together for their kids but force themselves to hold hands at all the community football games. We are so capable of identifying everyone else's relationships faults but so incapable of realizing the faults in our own relationships that are right in front of us.
So, why is it so difficult to notice our own negative relationships when they're happening right before our eyes?
Love is blind and being comfortable is addicting. Love allows us to look past the faults and negative qualities of a person and the most difficult truth lies in the fact that love fades the harshness of reality and can manipulate its way into our own character and lifestyle. This love allows us to be comfortable, causing us to open ourselves up to the detriment of the negative qualities that we are no longer capable of seeing.
These qualities, quickly become our own.
It happens quickly at first. First, you'll notice that all of a sudden you don't hate video games as much because you've started to get used to them now. Then, you'll start realizing that they are kind of fun to play and what 's the harm in a few rounds? Then, you'll notice that you spent all your time trying to beat the last level of the new game your boyfriend came home with and forgot that you had a midterm paper due the next day and didn't get your workout in because you've been sitting on the couch all day. 10 pounds later and a few "incompletes" in the grade book and you finally remember why you never liked video games in the first place.
Or maybe, it's something more serious.
You were never able to be a big drinker. You had a few drinks every now and then when you were out, but Alcoholism runs in your family and you never wanted to take any chances. You love Susie, but she can't go two days without going out and throwing a few back and you worry that maybe it's not as innocent as it seems. You've been friends for so long though. She can't go out alone, so you go with her and before you know it your three drinks in on a Tuesday night and it doesn't seem like a such a big deal anymore.
Whether it be a romantic relationship or a friendship, it's affecting you more than you think.
We are who we surround ourselves with. We can try to deny it or let it roll off of our shoulders but it is the inevitable truth. Therefore it is essential that we learn to look past the blindness that love ensues and remain strong against the urge to be "comfortable" with old friendships and relationships that no longer align to what we want our character to reflect.
Look in the mirror. Look inside yourself. Do you like what you see?