Determining "Value-Add" In Relationship

I've had a lot of discussions with people lately about relationships.  And I must say, people, there seems to be confusion as to how to know when you are wasting your time with someone, or if they are indeed a "value-add" to your life.

A"value-add" is someone who - by my definition - gives you your space... Doesn't pressure you into things... And basically helps you feel empowered overall.


You aren't reliant on them for anything, because you have and are all you need. They are a sounding board of sanity for you. They don't just tell you what you want to hear. They encourage you. And having them in your life just enhances everything.

The opposite of "value-add' is "bullshit." This is someone who either smothers you (because they want you to need them badly) or who is too distant in their affection and feelings (and make you feel as though you're just great company to pass the time with because nothing better is going on in their lives).

I think we've all taken turns at being both of the "bullshit" types. It's that nicely tuned middle-ground where the "value-add" lives. And it's not easy to get to... Because it means focusing on you. You first and foremost. And that can make one feel guilty.

And this doesn't extend to just romantic relationships. This goes for friendships as well. Friends should add to your life, never take away. Otherwise, you're likely not to be friends with them. Or at least you limit the amount of time you spend with them.

But when it comes to romantic relationships, that's when we tend to give a little slack, one way or the other.

I've been asked quite a bit lately why I don't want to date anyone right now. Well, I have too much going on in my life that I am trying to pursue. When I did have a boyfriend, I was going from working over 50 hours a week ad exhausting myself to going straight into weekends where I had to run errands AND then figure out how spend "couple time" together that never felt like a seamless fit. It was always an effort for me.

I joke that the next person I date will have to live far away from me, so that I only see them every few weeks. That way I can have my time to get things done. But I could actually see that happening. It makes sense.

I don't want to live a life where I have anything weighing me down. Especially the energy of others. The only relationships any of us should allow are ones that add to us.

And if you feel obligated to that person - then you're not in a "value-add" relationship.  And if you find yourself - after a few weeks - trying hard to win a person over to feel more for you than they seem to, then you're not in a "value-add" relationship.