One thing that most of us want is connection with other sentient beings. These can be friends, acquaintances, lovers, teachers, family, or pets.
Many “relationships” are maintained strictly for worldly gain. Business contacts, partners in crime, and members of the same political party associate with each other in order to gain money and/or power. Some “friends” merely use each other to gain or maintain social status. Some intimate partners use each other for wealth, sex, or security. These are arrangements of convenience wherein people view others as vehicles via which to obtain something, to get rather than give, to stagnate rather than grow. Since false selves are involved, these relationships cannot be anything but false.
True relationships are based on spiritual connection. They involve giving without trying to get, and wanting nothing from someone other than their company. What makes these relationships true is that true selves relate to each other.
We have all been part of false relationships. We’ve associated with acquaintances and dated people that we didn’t care much about and/or who didn’t care much about us. As we go through the trial-and-error process that this life entails, we learn about ourselves and others, and use what we learn to develop deeper relationships. We might leave a trail of temporary contacts in our wake, but if we’re lucky, we find a modest number of lifelong loved ones.
Sometimes we discover that people we believed cared about us really don’t. Maybe they borrow money that they don’t pay back, or seem to never be there to help us in our time of need, or make no attempt to get together with us socially except for parties where lots of other people are invited. Many people ignore these red flags because they don't want to entertain the painful idea that their “friends” aren’t true friends. But it is much better for growth and ultimate peace to realize who our true friends are and to weed out the deadwood than it is to keep associating with people who don’t appreciate us.
Even family members can disappoint us. Just because someone is a blood relative, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will love, appreciate, or respect us. Remember, we cannot choose our relatives. They are just as random as people we meet on the street. Most people, related to us or not, live via a false self, which causes them to judge, use, and battle us. We need to find out by people’s actions just what kind of relationship we have with them, and not let blood relatedness exempt them from this test.
The only good relationships are those in which true selves relate to each other. Thus, two or three true friends are much better than a hundred acquaintances because only the former will share their true selves with us.