Grown Zone

Seven Tips: Don’t Just Leap Into Love (Part II)

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In the Grown Zone, we constantly remind you to make access to your body (sex and powers of procreation), money (financial stability), home (personal safety) and heart (emotional security), the last things you give up to get a relationship or keep one going. Unfortunately, we are taught the opposite—to surrender one, more or all of these things to either prove our love or to secure love from others. This “conventional wisdom” is the single biggest driver of unhealthy, adult-and-messy relationship choices.

Newsflash: The point of dating people is to learn exactly who you are dealing with—not just what they look like, what they have or what they can do, but who they are. Your job: to decide who is safe for you—defined as ready, willing and able to engage in healthy relationships—and who is not. The time to find this out is before you put your body, money, home and heart at risk. That way, if the relationship proves to be unhealthy—and the vast majority of relationships will—you can end it with a minimum of damage and long-term negative consequences. You don’t find out who people are by taking their word for it. In case you haven’t heard, people will lie to get into your pants, your bank account and your bed—especially if they know what you want to hear. The key to not being fuquitable—vulnerable to deceit and manipulation—is to not just trust, but to verify. What you don’t know can and will hurt you.

What do you need to know? Before you open your legs, your checkbook, your heart or your home to a relationship prospect, there are 13 things you must know about them. We’ve already covered the first “6 Things To Know Before You Leap Into Love.” Here are the other seven:

Employment Status: Does he or she work? Where? How long have they been employed there? What do they do? Do they have a stable and consistent employment history, or are they frequently unemployed? If he or she is an entrepreneur, what business are they in, and how does it make money? Are they above getting money illegally? In a nutshell, how do they support themselves—especially during periods of unemployment or when they experience downturns with their business? Do not grant requests or give in to the temptation to offer financial assistance (including co-signing) to get them past a rough patch, get them back on their feet or take advantage of a “great” opportunity. You do not know each other that well.

Read the rest in the Grown Zone…