Surround yourself with people who want the best for you and the people you love (Zig Ziglar).  Using this standard, it would be fairly easy to determine which relationships are positive and which ones are not.  No one who truly cares about you would want to be benefited by anything that causes you or those you love harm or distress.  Love, by its very definition, is unselfish.  If it’s selfish then it’s not love.  Love requires us to put another first and if the love is mutual neither would want anything that hurt or distressed the other.  Could we even so much as enjoy going to a movie with someone if we knew they did not want to be there (for whatever reason).  It’s hard to understand how anyone who is supposed to care about us would not only want something that hurts us but often demands it.  Think of the countless times you’ve been talked into doing something you clearly said you did not want to do.  When you finally gave in and went along then the other person is so happy they have won.  Sometimes (most of the time) we make the best of it and do manage to enjoy something from the situation–it does not mean we’ve changed our mind and wanted to go.  It only means we gave in because we put another person’s wants ahead of our own.  But really, who would coerce someone they “love” into doing something they said they did not want to do?  It’s OK to agree to take turns (we will do this for me and that for you) as we can’t agree on everything.  It’s just those relationships that truly revolve around one while the other is simply a tool to meet the other’s wants and needs–that’s the kind that’s not about love at all.

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