At one time, I wanted so much to be in a relationship and find my happy ever after that I never considered that maybe I shouldn’t be dating at all. That maybe I wasn’t really ready to be in a relationship. So I kept dating, and kept getting into failed relationship after failed relationship, without understanding why.
Many people are so busy focusing on finding someone to be in a relationship with that they miss the fact that they’re not actually ready to be involved with anyone right then. It may seem like anyone would realize that they don’t really want to be involved with someone, but that’s not always true. There may, instead, be a sort of craving to have someone in your life and someone that you can share things with. That’s not, however, the same thing as being ready to be in a relationship.
So what are the signs that you’re not ready for a relationship?
The people you’re attracted to
One sign that you’re not ready for a relationship is in the guys/girls that you keep being drawn to. Time after time, the guy you’re attracted to is in no way the one that you need to be with. Even though you’re warned that he’s a huge player or a loser, it doesn’t stop you from latching onto him. It also doesn’t take very long to realize that you’ve made a big mistake. And yet, each time you go looking for someone new, you’re still drawn to that same kind of person.
Someone who is ready for a relationship can recognize the bad patterns they’ve been playing out and stop playing them out. They gain an understanding of what a healthy, happy, loving relationship looks like and they look for someone who can offer that.
You feel like you need a partner
If you must have a man in your life in order to feel happy, that’s another sign that you’re not ready to be involved in a relationship. When you’re invited to a social event, unless you have a date to escort you, it’s likely that you’ll make up an excuse to not attend. This is never a good reason to jump into a relationship. You need to learn how to be happy with yourself first.
Someone who is ready for a relationship is perfectly content being single. They can take themselves out and enjoy their own company. A partner just improves on an already-happy life.
You want to save someone
Some women feel they’re saviors and will look for a guy that can be their project. What this translates to is that they need drama in their lives so they find someone that’s so dysfunctional that it will keep them quite occupied in saving him. Being a therapist isn’t the same thing as being a girlfriend.
These relationships often become (or start out as) codependent relationships. You find yourself unable to get out of them easily. So while you might be unhappy, you also can’t or won’t leave.
Someone who is ready for a relationship knows they have to work on themselves and bring a healthy self to the relationship and they expect a partner to have done the same. They won’t hold it against a partner if they’ve overcome serious problems in the past, but they also won’t enable their partner to continue to be dysfunctional.
You want to be saved
On the flip side of that, you want someone to save you. If you’re constantly talking about what a mess your life is in, you need to fix all of that before you’re ready for a real relationship. What you’ll most likely do is attract a man with all of your same issues so that neither of you can get better.
Someone who is ready for a relationship is willing to do the work on themselves to get their life together. While they may have things that can’t be eliminated, such as a mental health diagnosis, they seek out the necessary help to get and keep it under control and they don’t expect their partner to make excuses for them.
You want to find your “other half”
You feel you need a man to “complete” you. While this sounds great in a movie or in a book, reality is a bit different. There should be no completing. In fact, you might consider looking for a guy that will complement you. That makes you look a lot less needy.
Someone who is ready for a relationship knows that seeking out their “other half” or “soulmate” or to be completed by a partner is unhealthy. They know that romantic love is deep, powerful, and strong, and that it’s romantic to say things like “he’s my other half,” but they are also fully aware that they are a whole person on their own. If their relationship ended, they would be sad — perhaps even devastated — but they know they would survive and eventually move on. They know they are capable of taking care of themselves.
Your biggest hobby is online dating (or seeking out dates anywhere else)
If you’re spending more time looking for love than enjoying the interests you have, you’re not ready to be in a relationship. Granted, you do need to be out there in social situations if you ever plan to meet the right guy, but don’t plan all of your outings around The Hunt. It’s not healthy. Besides, what will you talk about when you do get a date if all you ever do is hunt for dates?
Someone who is ready for a relationship knows they need to put themselves out there to find someone, but they have a healthy balance between seeking out love and doing things they enjoy. They spend more time doing things they love and less time seeking out love.
You’re still holding onto to past relationships
Maybe you’re still hoping to get back together with an ex. Or maybe you’re still angry at him. Maybe you were cheated on and now you don’t trust anyone else to be faithful. There are lots of ways you might be holding on to past relationships.
Deal with any leftover emotional baggage that you may have before jumping into a new relationship. That’s also known as the rebound effect and is rarely successful. Another man isn’t necessarily going to take your mind off of your ex.
Someone who is ready for a relationship has dealt with their past, made peace with whatever happened, and let it all go. They don’t expect a new partner to pay for the mistakes of a previous partner or to prove themselves worthy of trust before trusting them.
You pretend to be someone else on dates
Last, but not least, if you feel you can’t be yourself around a new man, then keep looking. There’s no need to turn yourself inside out to make sure you’re exactly what he wants. Be more concerned about whether or not he’s what you want, instead.
Someone who is ready for a relationship is ready to be their full, real self on dates and in the relationship. They know that being accepted for who they are, flaws and all, is the only way to have a successful, happy, healthy relationship.
Being ready for a relationship is so much more than just being single and deciding you want a relationship. It’s doing the work to heal yourself, figure out what you want, and bring a full person to that relationship. If you’re ready to do that, then you’re ready for a relationship.
Wendy Miller is a Single Mom Coach & meditation teacher. She helps moms use mindfulness and meditation to create the life they really want. She lives in Florida with her two sons, where she homeschools while solo parenting, while surrounded by what feels like a zooful of animals.
You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. You can also sign up for her newsletter where she offers more insights, tips, tricks, advice, and information to help single moms find purpose, creativity, passion, and peace.
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