Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 05-08-2018 Comments: 0
We all crave intimacy and love; it’s a natural part of life. Who doesn’t like the heady feeling of being with another person who makes you feel special, giddy, joyful? Being in love is intoxicating – this is why we endure date after date, searching for the elusive “one.” We also crave deep connection – we want to share our lives with someone who knows and embraces who we truly are.
Finding that kind of connection with someone is amazing, but here’s the hard truth: being in a partnership also requires work. You are different people, with different experiences, knowledge, and emotional tendencies. There will be conflict in any relationship. You can’t just skip over rough patches and get to the good parts. Relationships can be messy and challenging as well as rewarding, which is why some people fear commitment.
Relationships require courage to make that leap into the unknown, which can feel overwhelming to those who are dating and wondering if they are ready to take things to another level. It’s easy to be casual and distant, but committing to a relationship requires vulnerability; it requires showing your weaknesses and being faced with the threat of rejection. It’s not for the faint of heart, but sharing your life with another person can be an amazing experience.
So how do you know if you’re ready for a relationship? How do you know if you’re willing to take the risks to allow love into your life?
You make time for dating.
This might sound simplistic, but it’s absolutely true. If you don’t allocate time to meet people, date, and really get to know someone who interests you, then you are sending signals to potential dates that you aren’t willing to commit the time to a relationship, either. If you find yourself canceling at the last minute or letting messages go unanswered, you won’t make much progress. If you are serious about being ready for a relationship, then dedicate your most valuable asset to it – your time.
You don’t fall back into old patterns and relationships.
When we feel lonely, it’s easy to revert to old, familiar patterns, even if we know they aren’t good for us. This is why so many people reach out to an ex on a Sunday night. Or why they continue to date that elusive guy who won’t commit. They fear what’s new; they fear making different choices that might fail. Here’s where the real test lies: move beyond your fear to make different choices, to get outside your comfort zone. If you tend to be lonely, spend some time alone to explore those feelings. If your tendency is to pursue unavailable guys, try stepping back from the pursuit. If you are afraid of making the same mistakes in your next relationship, ask yourself what you could do differently. We all have choices to move beyond our patterns and fears so we can embrace and experience something better.
You make physical space in your home.
If you’re truly ready for a relationship, then you must also be ready to cohabitate a space together. I don’t mean go out and buy a larger house; instead, make room in your current home for another person. Clean out your closets instead of stuffing them full of unused items. Get creative and change up your space to get romantic energy flowing – whether it’s with new artwork or new bedding. Space is important in relationships, so be willing to play and to envision sharing it with someone else.
Your behavior reflects your intentions.
It’s easy to profess your frustration with dating and meeting people, but what are you doing to make the experience better, to find more quality matches? Sure, dating is challenging, but it also requires that you be serious about your intentions. If you say you want a girlfriend but continue to message a lot of women and hook up at bars because you like the chase, then you might want to reconsider your approach. When you’re ready for a relationship, you get to know your date beyond the initial attraction. You ask questions and invest your time and attention, rather than just flirting and keeping your distance. Instead of keeping your options always “open,” you are ready to be taken seriously.
You’re willing to let your guard down.
When you’re ready for a relationship, it’s ultimately an internal release of your own expectations. Let me explain: you have let go of trying to be “perfect” – nobody is – and you’re willing to let your freak flag fly a little. Here’s the thing: people connect when they are allowed to be themselves, and this includes you. When you’ve stopped trying to impress your dates and instead you admit your weaknesses, expose your vulnerabilities – you allow your date to be himself/ herself too. This means you have a greater opportunity to truly connect. You’re relationship-ready.