If you think you’re finally ready to be in a romantic relationship, think again.
Even if you think you are and get into one, the issues that will pop up after a few months or years will give you a definite answer.
The problem is we think we need to work through many issues before meeting our partner. We need to work on our communication skills, we need to love ourselves, we need to get completely over our ex, we need to learn how to be alone, and the list goes on.
So we fall in love and commit to a loving relationship only to discover that we haven’t solved any problems on our own. When we’re in a relationship, we learn together, we walk the path of healing together, and have many, many enlightened realizations together.
That said, there’s something wrong with how we’re defining romantic readiness. I think the real signs that show we’re ready are unconventional and less talked about in our culture.
If you’re a bad communicator, it doesn’t mean you’re not ready to be in a relationship. You may have to go through a great deal of ugly fights and vulnerable moments before you both learn how to express what you want and address important issues.
If you don’t know how to be alone or not sure how to love yourself, it doesn’t mean you have to push people away until you have “worked on yourself.”
In my honest opinion, readiness for a relationship is about adopting the right mindset. It’s not about practices because most of the practices we’re hoping to nail sometimes can’t be accomplished without a significant other.
Do you have the right mindset? Here’s how to know:
1. You’re prepared for the ups and downs. Most of us get into relationships thinking that we should never fight or disagree. We anticipate the good days and stay as far as possible from the things that might trigger problems or disagreements. You know you’re ready for a relationship when you have adopted a realistic mindset that doesn’t deny the existence or reject the idea of problems.
2. You’re not ticking a checklist. You should be looking for compatible values, not perfect qualities. You’re ready for a relationship when you’re ready to let go of what your partner should look like or be like. Values matter, but the color of their eyes doesn’t. Capeesh?
3. You don’t have any expectations. You’re ready to commit to someone when you don’t expect them to be the source of your happiness. When you don’t expect them to change. When you don’t expect things to be perfect and good all the time. A relationship is like a chocolate box; you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get, but you do know it’s going to be good.
4. You’re no longer torn between being in a relationship and staying single. You’re mature enough to understand that every period happens in its own time. You don’t rush being in a relationship but at the same time enjoy the moment you’re currently in.
5. You want to be in a relationship, but don’t need one. Wanting something is different than needing it. You genuinely want a relationship because you understand the good things that it might bring into your life. However, needing a relationship just because you’re lonely, desperate, or curious is a totally different thing that will not reap the same rewards of being aware and genuine.
6. You open your heart. You’re not scared to be vulnerable. You’re not worried about getting hurt. Yes, you still have lots of inner work to do, and yes, you may be a little scared, but you don’t let the past negatively impact your present. In fact, you use your past as a bridge that might lead you to better things. When you’re ready, you open your heart and plunge into uncertainty as if there is no tomorrow.