In certain circles of the web, the phrase that you’re the average of the five people closest to you, has gained a bit of legendary status.
The quote, which was paraphrased a little here, by Jim Rohn, has helped a lot of people improve their business and personal lives. It makes sense that birds of a feather do indeed flock together. They do have shared interests and influence.
Now, looking at this from the perspective of love, it is very true that who you hang out with will greatly influence who you know and what opportunities you have.
The Fabulous Circle
We have people all around us, part of being a social animal, that we have some say over. We don’t get the choice of everyone we know, and that’s the lotto of life.
How one goes about pruning that circle will make a difference in how the circle evolves and what influences it has on you. It is easier for five people to influence you than it is for you to influence those five.
How’s that related to love?
Circle of Influence
In grade school, the teacher and the school district had a great say in who sat next to you and who you ran into. Your parent’s choice in neighborhood influence who you called friend. The place of employment shapes who you deal with every day.
In that short list, who in that circle did you intentionally set out to meet?
Most people fall in love based on proximity biases. Basically, you fall in love with whomever is available to you that you happen to be attracted to. While we love to think that romance is the alignment of the stars, unless you had a deal with the stars, you’re going for whom you know.
Once you’re in a relationship, once you’re in love, the success of that relationship rests in part by the people who are around that relationship.
It is not hard to assume that if everyone is against that relationship, at some point, the seed of doubt will creep in. Especially if those same people have been right about so many other things in your life before that romance took off.
While all this talk may sound a bit of a downer, the flip side of the coin is just as amazing.
We can select our friends. There are people who have very specific wish lists and will select their friends accordingly. Won’t go down that rabbit in this blog post today.
Relationships have to be selective of who they associate with. Are these couples holding similar values as ours? Are they doing the similar interests?
Not saying to have an echo chamber effect of views… like political views. No. Love needs supporters to blossom beyond just a relationship.
Having strong successful romances around to help give ideas on how to keep romance strong is stacking the cards in one’s favor for success.
Nothing erodes the joy of a relationship like another poison soaked relationship. It starts off with harmless commiseration. It evolves to sharing stories about what bad partners one has, and before long, there is a fight on hand that would not have happened.
Just imagine two gals chatting about how love is hard work. One is having a man who isn’t pulling his weight. Worse, he’s spending increasingly more time at work at the expense of his home. As the two gals chat and exchange stories of how men are the worse… the shared sentiments starts to gain animosity.
Later that evening, after the conversation is all but forgotten, the second unsuspecting husband comes home a bit late due to traffic and finds an unusually upset wife who is blaming a lot of marital woes on him. Blindsided, he’s left to backpedal, making his guilt look all the more glaring to the ever increasingly upset wife.
Enough such exchanges can start to erode the joy of a relationship and put it in harms way of failure.
Not everyone is so easily swayed, just for the record. However, the human ability to sympathize as well as empathize puts a person at risk of carrying the negativity over into other areas of their lives.
Many couples know that they have to be selective of the types of couples they bring in as friends. Mainly because the social dynamics are different then when a person is single.
One can just see the conversation going super smoothly if a man asks his woman to be understanding of him going out with another lady just to build a friendship. Even with all the double standards out there, that will just not go well with the majority of woman.
The conversation about what couples to include and exclude from the circle of friends is the first real chat about intentionally selecting friends.
Motivational Monday Tip
Make this year one of intention. Select people intentionally to have as friends. People who add value, challenge you, inspire you, motivate you. Doesn’t mean you have to automatically drop all your existing friends. Many of them are actually good for you.
This is all about being more intentional. Friendships do change naturally over time. Don’t let that process be done via auto-pilot. Change on purpose. Find the influence that will best help you succeed at love. Also, learn to be the type of influence that will help someone else be better at love. That person can by your significant other or friends.
The same way it took work to build and nurture romance, it takes time and work to keep a relationship working brilliantly.
Have a great day and week on purpose. Build intentionality into all your interactions so your love is protected and nurtured this week.
Until next week, cheers to purposeful romance building