So, while we in the media might report on the consequences of poor relationship choices made by business people—a sudden (forced) resignation, a scandal followed by a quiet, yet costly settlement, a string of poor sales quarters, etc.—we often can’t or won’t confirm and report on the relationship choices that are the underlying causes of these outcomes.

The bottom line to all this? As business professionals and entrepreneurs achieve greater levels of success, status and wealth, they must never forget the first rule of healthy relationships: Protect yourself at all times. Withhold access to your body, money, home and heart until you have done your due diligence and are clear about who a person is, not just what they are (i.e., gorgeous, sexy, irresistibly charming and seemingly crazy about you).

Falling “in love” or otherwise feeling an intense attraction to a person, while common (and perhaps, even inevitable) is not the same as knowing that person. Too many careers, businesses, fortunes and even lives are lost because people forget that relationship decisions (especially sex, co-habitation, procreation and marriage) have financial and legal implications as well as emotional ones—until it’s too late and the damage is done.

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