Are You Really Ready for a Relationship?

Love, Self

You need to be in the right state of mind before you become part of a couple again.

No matter how much time has past since your last relationship, you might be thinking about starting to date again. Are you ready to find someone new? Maybe you think you are, but here are some signs that you’re definitely not relationship material yet.

You Don’t Feel Like It
Dating sounds fun and you want a new relationship, but you don’t want to put in the work to get one. You just want to cut through all the stuff at the beginning and get to the spooning and unconditional love part.

Newsflash: the stuff at the beginning is what makes the spooning worth it. You won’t be able to give or receive love unless you work through all of the stages of a relationship and bond with your partner. Emotional intimacy isn’t going to fall into your lap. The only way you’re going to find the love you want is if you’re willing to work for it.

If you find that you’re reluctant to put in the effort with anyone new, you probably miss the role that a significant other played in your life and the benefits you received from the relationship. This kind of attitude won’t lead you to a quality partner. People aren’t just placeholders: you can’t dump your emotional baggage onto whoever comes along and then force them to support you. You need to be ready to accept a new person and the fresh relationship that you can build together (which probably won’t be exactly like your old one). 

You Still Think About Your Ex
Be honest. Do you think about your ex every time a certain song comes on the radio? Or when you buy their favorite brand of crackers? Stop it. Everyone likes Ritz. It’s time to forget the little memories that tie your brain back to your old relationship. The only thing that you should remember about your ex is that they are a person. That’s all. No details, no comparisons and no references to your ex when you’re on a date with someone new.

The more mental energy you spend thinking about your old relationship, the less time you have available to dedicate to a new one. Your new potential partner deserves your undivided attention, without any distractions or huge unresolved emotional fallout from your past.

You’re Sour on Relationships
The least sexy qualities you could ever reveal about yourself are bitterness and negativity. If you roll your eyes every time you see a couple holding hands and hate hearing about your friends’ happy couplehood, you’re not going to be a very good date. Your perspective about dating and relationships needs to be positive and welcoming, or your dates are going to quickly realize that you’re not ready to be a good partner. A negative attitude turns people off. If you’ve got one, check it at the door before you even think about becoming part of a couple.

You’re Not Taking Care of Yourself
Your last break-up was hard, and you took it really hard. It’s one thing to indulge your heartbreak and lay in bed eating mozzarella sticks for a week, but it’s another to still be pajama-clad 24/7 after a month has gone by. Relationships and break-ups can take a lot out of you, stunting your self-esteem and your self-confidence. But without strong stability in those two areas, you’re going to be insecure, needy and vulnerable when you try to open up to a new partner. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Let’s put it this way: If you’ve stopped showering on the regular because you “have no one to impress,” you’re in no shape to be in a relationship.

It’s hard to know when you’re fully ready to commit to a new person. Be honest, cautious and considerate and you’re sure to find someone way better than your ex.

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