Just because you WANT a relationship, doesn’t mean you are READY for one. Being in a relationship is a big responsibility. After all, it is about commitment. It is about dedicating your time and your emotional energy to someone else, to a partnership and to yourself in a new way. It isn’t like buying a new sweater that you can decide you like when you try it on at the store but then when you get it home and try it on with your wardrobe and in different lighting, change your mind and just return it. The sweater won’t be impacted by a change of heart, but a guy can be… and so to can you. The bottom line is that grown folks aren’t relationship fickle – they think before they commit.
So, before you say “I do” impulsively, even if only for a little while, make sure you consider if not only the guy you are dating is boyfriend material, but that you are really ready to be a girlfriend. Essentially… examine your own red flags! Be sure you are ready to do what it takes to be a GREAT girlfriend to your prospective boyfriend, to be a GREAT member of a possible partnership and to still be able to maintain your individuality. Like I said, entering your relationship is not as simple as buying a sweater... there are strings attached.
To get your thinking started, here are 7 signs that you are NOT ready to be a girlfriend:
1) You’ve got relationship fever. If you are considering a relationship because fall has hit and winter is around the corner – because it is getting cold and gloomy outside and the idea of a snuggle buddy sounds good – because the holidays are near and the idea of someone to exchange a gift with sounds sweet… DO NOT ENTER THIS RELATIONSHIP… sign up for a Secret Santa party at work and buy yourself a gift card for unlimited lattes at Starbucks and a snuggly new pair of Uggs instead.
2) You picked a guy because you are the last single girl standing. If you are considering a relationship because you are tired of checking off “1” on wedding invites and being the single girl at dinner parties who everyone is dying to hear fabulous stories that they can vicariously live through but you are out of them, and this guy could be a decent seat filler… DO NOT ENTER THIS RELATIONSHIP… sign up for online dating and fill those seats with delectable new options instead.
3) You foresee a relationship schedule. If you are considering a relationship but you imagine it to be on your terms, meaning that you want to see him when you want to but not when you don’t want to, this is code for ‘you’re not that into him…’ and should NOT ENTER THE RELATIONSHIP… instead you probably need a good ol’ fashioned booty call.
4) You can think of at least one thing you would hide from him. If you are considering a relationship but already know going into that you’ve got either a deep dark secret or something like you are going to keep your online dating profiles up or you will never let him know you binge out on ice cream for dinner 3 nights a week… DO NOT ENTER THIS RELATIONSHIP… instead spend time with people who you can be your fabulous self with, without hiding and keep on dating until you find someone you are so comfortable with you can show all of your true colors around (and of course cancel your online dating memberships for).
5) You’d rather spend time with friends, family, doing work, working out, etc. If you are considering a relationship with someone you don’t make much time for, just the bare minimum… DO NOT ENTER THIS RELATIONSHIP… instead fill your days up with things that you can’t get enough.
6) Your pro list is all about you. If you are considering a relationship with someone and the reasons for it all benefit you and not him… DO NOT ENTER THIS RELATIONSHIP… instead start considering not only what you need in a relationship but what you have to offer as well.
7) You still think about your ex. If you are considering a relationship with someone but thoughts of your ex swirl about in your mind and/or your heart… DO NOT ENTER THIS RELATIONSHIP… instead “hetox” yourself of your ex, freeing yourself of what was so you can move upwards towards something new, cleanly.
If any of the above apply to you, be honest enough with yourself to know that now is not your time for a relationship. And then be honest enough with the guy on your arm to let him go before you break his precious little heart. Although right now might now be your time for partner love, doesn’t mean it won’t be soon… and remember, dating is love’s greatest teacher so enjoy your dating experiences as they prepare you for the great responsibility of a relationship!
Live and love largely,