When you choose your friends, you choose your goals. This is true whether your goal is to win an Olympic gold medal, to get an A in Spanish class, or to eat healthy every day. And it is especially true when it comes to romantic relationships.
The people you surround yourself with say an incredible amount about you. Yes, people judge you based on who you are with. Beyond the visible association, you personally are also affected by what others are doing around you.
A recent studying indicated that teenagers that were in romantic relationships were less likely to drink and do drugs. The reason was that they spent more time with the person they were dating than with their peers. It is their peers that brought them in close proximity to drugs and alcohol. The study also indicated that teenagers were also more likely to drink and do drugs if the person they were dating was doing them as well. Again, being in close proximity to people who do certain types of things, whether it is your friends or the person you are dating, increases your chances of doing those things too.
Evaluate the people you spend time with. Would you want the new person you are dating to meet your friends? Are your friends going to get along with the person you are dating (or want to date)? Hopefully the answer is yes to both of these questions. We all know what can happen when that is not the case.
[Photo is of me (on the left) with my good friend Joe. Besides being a champion arm wrestler, he is a good friend to have with you at the Kentucky Derby when people try to cut in front of you.]