2 Brutally Honest Ways To Know If You're Truly Boyfriend-Ready

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Being ready for a relationship is nothing more than being willing to go for it.

And "going for it" means you are willing to be in the foxhole with your partner. It means that you maintain a relationship where you are equals, that is collaborative, and where there is a consistent attitude of fairness, justice, and sensitivity.

But you can't do that alone. Your partner must be on board with you completely in this matter. Otherwise, it’s just the sound of one hand clapping.

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Two brutally honest ways to know if you are truly boyfriend-ready:

1. What is the perfect relationship for you?

Forget the usual Mr. Right or Mrs. Right fantasies or any similar idealized version of a person that exists in your head.

If you look for someone tall, blonde, or with this feature or that feature you think you need, you may end up with the person you like, but that does not prepare you to have a great relationship. You might as well be throwing darts at photos of people and choosing them randomly.

When reading about a relationship, the wise thing to do is to think about what the relationship must be. Not just for you but for the other person as well. Yes, the one you haven’t met yet.

That means that instead of making a "best features" list, make a list of what the relationship should be, not just for this time ... but for all time. For instance, once you are together, you might agree that the relationship comes first above all other matters if that is important to you.

Or let’s say you believe in putting the relationship first above all other matters, and you find someone who disagrees. Would that be a deal-breaker for you? And if not, why not?

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2. Are you being realistic about your deal-breakers?

All people are annoying and difficult and burdensome. That goes for you and me, too.

But that doesn't have to be a problem. The truth is, in a love relationship, you are both supposed to accept each other as one another’s burdens. Otherwise, you may ask yourself, why do it at all?

If you’re going into a relationship for good sex, passionate love, common interests, or physical appearance, prepare yourself for disappointment because nobody will always meet those expectations.

But if you are going into this with open eyes and a collaborative heart (and your partner is doing that, also), be prepared for a great relationship.

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Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, teacher, and developer of A Psychological Approach To Couples Therapy (PACT). He specializes in working with couples and individuals who wish to be in relationships.