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Dear Dolores, Am I Being Too Cautious In My Friendships?

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Dear Dolores,
I have recently become single and have been trying to re-discover myself. It’s been nice being able to hang with people who have been like family with me, but at the same time I feel like most of them have an ulterior motive to do these outings with me. Am I being too paranoid after breaking up with my other half or am I right to trust my gut and tell all of them to back off?
– Questionable Friendships

Dear Questionable Friendships,
It sounds to me like you are still feeling vulnerable after your breakup and are not yet ready to become intimate with someone again. This is fine and good and normal. Relationships are all about boundaries. At this point for you, you might consider stating your boundaries plainly to new friends or friends you are spending more time with. If you get the feeling that someone is after your attention or time as more than a friend, you are well within your rights to tell them how it is right off the bat. A real friend will be able to handle that, weaker relationships will fall off.
If you feel like you are being more cautious about your relationships, examine why that might be. Have you been manipulated in the past? Are you noticing some of the same behaviors or signs in your current relationships? On the one hand, forming new relationships is an important step to moving on. On the other hand, you want to listen to your instincts and feelings after coming out of emotional trauma. I don’t think it’s paranoid to keep certain relationships at a distance, just try to keep an open mind while looking after yourself.
Love, Dolores

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