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friends influencing relationshipsImagine a private conversation between the man you are dating and his closest friend. It’s a conversation never meant to reach your ears. Your boyfriend is discussing both the good and the bad of his experience with you so far.

“Don’t get me wrong, I really do like her. I like her a lot, but her friends kind of…”

What do you think would come next if this was your boyfriend talking? How would he finish this sentence? “Her friends kind of…”

Your friends can help or harm your relationships in many different ways, but today I am just pointing out one issue you may want to check on.

Here’s the issue. If you hang out with people who are a lot like you, they will attract guys into your life who are kind of like your friends. Hopefully that’s a good thing in your mind. If the idea of attracting men who fit in with your friends makes you happy, there’s nothing you need to do. You’re set.

However, several different problems can arise if you don’t like the idea of dating a man with similar habits, hobbies, interests, economic status, lifestyle choices, or other traits your friends have.

Which of these two folk sayings is actually true?

•Birds of a feather flock together.

•Opposites attract.

Opposites generally do not attract. If they do, the long-term satisfaction in the relationship will be lower. Yes, birds of a feather really do flock together. The more similar you are to your lover, the longer and more satisfying the relationship will be. I’m not making this up. I’m just relaying to you what social psychologists have discovered when they researched this question regarding those two common proverbs.

If your friends are very similar to you, they can actually help you filter out men who are not right for you. When your friends are very much like you, a guy who is not like you will not enjoy spending time around them, and it will become clear he does not fit in. This will help you make a decision to end the relationship if he does not end it himself.

If you have been spending a lot of time with people you think are fun, but not the kind of people who represent your deepest core values, your lifestyle, or some other important aspect of who you are, you might be accidentally repelling men who would otherwise stick around.

Am I being heartless by suggesting you re-evaluate the people you spend time with? Don’t get me wrong. You should not dump your friends just to please a guy.

What I’m saying is, friendships often come and go with the circumstances of your life. They don’t move across the country with you when you get a new job or decide the air in Arizona would be better for your allergies. If you’re in the dating game in search of marriage, a husband will stick with you through these circumstances.

friends influencing relationshipsJust keep in mind how important it is to attract the kind of person you want to spend your life with. One of the key principles I teach in my courses is that you need to show up in the kinds of situations and places where the type of man you want to end up with frequently shows up. This email represents a minor segment of that concept.

Wishing you all the best!

James