Two mistakes to avoid
Conformity occupies one end of the psychological spectrum. The opposite side is occupied by non-conformity, which often boils down to blind loyalty to some rebellious idea or lifestyle. For instance, non-conformists prefer to practise dangerous sports instead of spending their holidays on the beach.
The hobbies of non-conformist may include playing exotic games instead of watching films. These are the kind of people who seldom go for a walk in the park, but they might spend a fortune on a tour of the tropical forest. The clothes of non-conformists, instead of being clean and well-ironed, tend to be messy and torn.
Whether you choose conformity or non-conformity as basis for your relationships will make little practical difference. In both cases, your years will be filled with colourful or predictable souvenirs, but not with happiness. Imitating distorted pictures is not the way to create a great painting.
Adopting values that make no sense will not move you towards success and happiness. The exaltation of inconsistencies will not render your feelings more intense. Walking a downtrodden track leads to a dejected spirit. In the field of love and friendship, thoughtlessness is not a workable path.
Elements of wisdom
Rational values are the key to satisfactory relationships. If you embrace logic, you won't need to spend your days wondering which sub-culture to join. Wisdom consists of identifying the universal principles of human relations, applying them in our daily lives, and correcting mistakes when they occur.
Seeking out thoughtful persons as friends (or when choosing a spouse) plays a crucial role in attaining happiness. Sound choices are the result of a rational evaluation of people and events. Achieving success and happiness requires deep involvement with human beings who respect logic and consistency.
In order to develop happy relationships, we must allow our minds to filter out the noise of fashion. We need to stop believing in myths. Neither specific clothes, nor gadgets, nor living in a specific location can provide the basis for good personal relations. Only individuals who share rational values are really able to communicate, understand, and appreciate each other.
The importance of consistency
Large number of people have no moral standards, but you are not obliged to imitate their foolishness. As your friends or spouse, you should seek out exclusively individuals who can think for themselves, and who can choose a good course of action, and follow it consistently.
You also need to abandon contradictory goals yourself. Do not get involved with persons whom you know to be erratic, since they are unable to maintain good personal relationships. Unpredictability is synonymous of inconsistency. False ideas inevitably conflict with facts and with each other. People who pursue contradictory goals condemn themselves to a life of high stress.
Perspective is essential
Anxiety is the mark of people who move at random, people who have no destination. Animals do not need perspective, but humans do. In order to achieve great personal relationships, you need to determine your direction. A wise person cannot be satisfied with short-term relationships and short-term goals. Superficial personal bonds and superficial goals take a disproportionate amount of time, and cannot provide the pleasures of deep psychological involvement.
Rational values embody principles that are common to all thinking human beings. Those values are distilled from reality by means of observation and logic. In contrast, irrational people cannot establish steady relationships because their behaviour continuously clashes with facts.
The law of cause and effect, the fundamental principle of existence, also governs the relations between men and women. The relations that you build today will determine how your future plays out. Your choice of friends and spouse are going to play a key role in your happiness.
Reason is the best tool to live our lives effectively, to decide whom to befriend, and who is worthy of our love. Use reason to establish your priorities also in the field of human relationships. Other approaches (such as blind conformity or non-conformity) can provide short-term contentment, but not real happiness.
Taking the long-term view
Superficiality tends to add much expense and deliver little value. Do not fall into that trap. Shrug your shoulders at short-sighted advice. Ignore invitations from irrational people. Do not associate with them, neither as friends nor as love companions. If you steer away from fools, you will spare yourself enormous costs and trouble.
In your choice of spouse, do not sell yourself short by giving up your rational values. Adopt logic and consistency as your only criteria for love and friendship. Happiness calls for steady purpose and continuous action. Choose the way of reason, and adopt a set of consistent values. Developing relationships with other rational individuals can be a slow process, but it is extremely rewarding. It will enable you to lead a successful life, and enjoy the company of the best of humanity.
Image by Ian Sane under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us
For for information about rational living, I refer you to my books