Why is it that if you’re successful professionally, you’re probably not successful personally? More than often, once you attain wealth and status, your relationships can compete with rather than complement what you have. At best, most people struggle to maintain the same level of success in their personal and professional lives. At worst, when you finally do connect, how do you know if the other person is more interested in you or what you bring to the table?
Having wealth comes with constantly wondering how can I protect myself from exploitation? After a while, it reaches the point that you’re wondering if wealth and happiness can go together? That’s when you ponder, is it possible to have love and luxury at the same time?
It’s not hard to find great sex (especially if you haven’t been getting any) or someone attractive who validates your ego. But it would be wise to ask the tricky question – are you trading what validates your ego for what facilitates that person’s economic needs? Dating across socio-economic levels is not for the faint of heart.
Although it is rare to see people with both love and luxury, everything is possible if you build the proper foundation!
Let time and pressure reveal all.
Lonely people can be prone to exploitation. Vulnerability is NOT your friend. “Only fools rush in” is more than a great song title. It’s a hell of a warning! Anytime we jump into something because it makes us feel good, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. This is especially true for those who have been single for a long time, the recently divorced or widowed. Being lonely makes even the slightest bit of attention feel great; herein lies the first hurdle – seeing things as truly they are, not what you believe them to be.
Take the time and allow people to reveal who they really are.
Often it’s hard to tell if somebody is with you only because of your money, lifestyle or status. So, before you jump into another in-fatuous relationship, take the time to do some self-reflection. Work on yourself first. Acknowledge where you are in your life and be honest with yourself about who and what you are NOT. Write down what you do and don’t need in a potential mate. Put the needs first, then list the wants. Above all, don’t settle!
When you meet a potential match…
See how the person acts and reacts when the lights go down, and the masks fall off. Pay close attention to the way people show up when:
- they’re angry
- they feel insecure
- they have lack
- they feel threatened
- they’re successful
Things to consider…
Is the other person sincerely living and functioning in ways that align with your core values and beliefs? Do your lifestyles really match? Does this person seek self-improvement and self-awareness on their own, or are you their catalyst for change?
What happens when you’re not around? If the person is doing any of the aforementioned, only time can validate that they are not merely putting on a show for you.
Don’t ignore the red flags.
Learn to spot red flags, first yours, then theirs.
Suppose you live an isolated lifestyle, have a limited social network, are highly introverted, or tend to surround yourself with people who validate you rather than hold you accountable. In that case, this is the right moment to have a deep and honest conversation with yourself.
In the same breath, if you never know what the other person wants. Suppose they become inaccessible when things don’t go their way. To get back into their good graces, do they make you feel guilty until you give them what they want? Do they tend to attack you in ways that depreciate your self-esteem? If any of those things happen, it’s time to stop looking at the person through rose-colored glasses.
Pay attention to how they talk to and about other people. This includes their exes, housekeepers and waiters, friends and especially family. If someone backstabs their “friends,” siblings or acts disrespectfully towards their parents, that says a lot about their character and how they treat others.
How to know if you’re ready for a relationship?
When you get into something, make sure you’re ready for it. Timing is everything. This means taking out your own emotional trash before getting into a relationship.
Hire a credentialed life coach to get clarity about your life; deal with past traumatic issues that are still impeding your day-to-day life by seeing a licensed counselor. Put mildly – get your shit together before bringing someone into your life. Make needed lifestyle modifications like eliminating chemical dependency or addictive behaviors, and start practicing more self-care.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt to become spiritually grounded. These simple changes position you to have a more meaningful, healthy and productive quality of life.
The goal of any healthy and functional relationship is to compliment your life, not complete it.
Work on yourself. Only a fool rushes into anything. There is nothing wrong with being friends first. Lasting relationships are built on great friendships.
Don’t date out of desperation. From day one, have real, no BS conversations. Attack issues in the early stages of dating; those difficult conversations can spare you a lot of heartbreak down the road. Remember – People say what they mean, and they mean what they say. Especially when they try to put humor around it.
Never sacrifice yourself for another person. You may offer some time out of your schedule or compromise and do things for the person you like or love, but anytime a relationship causes you to be anything other than authentically you, it’s not worth it. Time is precious, don’t waste yours.
Dr. D. Ivan Young is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and media personality. Dr. Young an expert on human behavior and building fulfilling relationships, and a Master Credentialed expert on personality type. Dr. Young is an ICF Credentialed Master Certified Coach, Certified Professional Diversity Coach, a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, as well as a Credentialed Master MBTI Practitioner.
His TEDx Talk on Emotional Intelligence: Using the Laws of Attraction, has received over three million views. He combines his knowledge, vast experience, and exclusive theories to help motivate, educate, and energize any audience, understanding how to connect ‘human to human’ even when addressing the masses. For more information visit www.drdivanyoung.com and www.divanyoung.com.