Am I ready for a relationship? How to find out and be sure
The first date’s gone well, and so have the ones after. You like the person you’re with, you’ve maybe even met his or her friends and family, you can tell it’s getting serious… but the question’s still on your mind: am I ready for a relationship? It’s a major commitment and worth putting some thought into before you take the plunge. Read on for tips on how to know if you’re ready for a relationship.
Table of contents
7 Signs you are ready for a relationship
1. You understand the importance of communication
Good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship and it’s important to learn how to communicate effectively. Once you’ve figured out your communication style, how to express yourself clearly, how to listen and even how to argue, you’ll be a in a much better place to start a serious relationship.
2. You’re not looking for someone to ‘complete’ you
One of the biggest myths of modern life is that you need a romantic partner to be ‘complete’. That couldn’t be more untrue; in fact, that line of thinking means you’re likely not ready for a relationship. You are a whole person just by yourself and it’s only after you’ve acknowledged that that you can say yes, I am ready for a relationship.
3. You’re not beholden to a checklist
We’ve all done it: a long, detailed checklist of the ‘perfect’ partner, especially as teenagers. However, part of realising ‘I am ready for a relationship’ comes with being ready to ditch the checklist, or at least, being open to a wider range of partners. While you shouldn’t completely let go of your standards, or ignore any dating red flags, being willing to go beyond your list shows you’re ready for exclusive dating.
4. You’re ready to compromise
Being in a relationship involves some amount of compromise. While it’s important to stick to your guns on the important things, being with someone also involves being ready to meet them halfway. Compromising means valuing the other person’s opinion – perhaps you let them decide what’s for dinner, or do an unpleasant chore so they don’t have to. Either way, being willing to compromise is an important part of the ‘Am I ready for a relationship?’ question.
5. You know how to be alone
It’s important to know why you are in a relationship and wanting to escape loneliness shouldn’t be a reason. And yes, there’s a difference between being alone and lonely – with the former, you enjoy your own company, you are happy being single and don’t need others to feel fulfilled. When you know how to be alone, it’s much easier to answer the question ‘Am I ready for a relationship?’
6. You’re not hung up on an ex
We all have pasts, and former partners. The important thing is to leave those exes in the past where they belong. If they’re still on your mind and you’re not getting over your ex, the answer to ‘Am I ready for a relationship?’ is a solid ‘no.’ While there are circumstances where contact with your ex is unavoidable – shared custody, for instance – as a general rule you’re ready for someone new if you have handled a break-up, gone through the grief and come to the terms with your past.
7. You’re ready to open your heart up
One of the biggest indicators of whether or not you’re ready for a relationship? How you feel about the prospect. If the idea of a serious relationship excites you, if your answer to ‘are we compatible?’ is an unequivocal ‘yes!’ then the odds are that you are indeed ready to take the leap to an exclusive relationship.
5 Signs you’re not ready for a relationship
On the other hand, sometimes the answer to ‘Am I ready for a relationship?’ is ‘no.’ It’s important to listen to your instincts in cases like this. If any of the following signs seem familiar, odds are you’re not ready for a relationship.
1. You have baggage that needs to be unpacked
We’re not saying you have to be perfect in order to be in a relationship, but it’s easier to settle down with someone if you’re not also dealing with your own issues. An important part of the answer to ‘Am I ready for a relationship?’ is if you are good with yourself, since that’s who you’ll spend the most time with over the course of your life.
2. You’re looking for someone to save, or to be saved yourself
While saviour narratives are a staple of old-school romance, in real life they’re unlikely to lead to a happy ending. If you want to be saved it’s better to seek ways to do so yourself rather than depend on a romantic partner. If you want to be the one doing the saving, it’s worth noting that a relationship that starts with that kind of power imbalance isn’t likely to be healthy, or end well. Either way, starting a relationship shouldn’t be on your radar any time soon.
3. Everyone else is in one!
Peer pressure, unfortunately, doesn’t end at school. It can be really hard, especially in the age of social media, to see photos or videos of happy couples with cutesy captions and not want the same thing for yourself. It’s made even worse by a society that doesn’t seem to be built for one, from single rates in hotel rooms to pressure from well-intentioned family. But it’s important not to let the pressure to be coupled up get to you, and to only enter a relationship when you feel ready.
4. You’re not willing to change… or too much so
If you’re willing to change everything about yourself to get a relationship, it indicates you’re not ready for one. The opposite, however, is also true. Relationships, especially serious ones, involve some level of change and compromise. It might be as simple as cutting down the time you spend with friends or as complicated as moving cities for a long-distance paramour. If the prospect isn’t a fun one? Yet another reason you may not be ready for a relationship.
5. You’re generally unhappy
While relationships can often make your life better, they aren’t in and of themselves capable of fixing deeper issues. If you’re in a bad place to begin with a partner isn’t going to fix that and might in fact make it worse. Or you might doom a relationship that might have otherwise succeeded. Either way, it’s better to work on being able to love yourself than to depend on someone else’s love to fix you.
Knowing when you’re ready for a relationship is half the battle won
There are a lot of factors that go into a successful relationship and your emotional state is the most important one. Which is why it’s critical not only to ask yourself ‘Am I ready for a relationship?’ but to be aware of the signs behind that question. It’s important to not only know yourself, but to be happy with who you are before embarking on a relationship. If you are content with yourself, great! If you’re not? You need find yourself first. eharmony is a great starting point: You can take the time to find yourself first and get to know a compatible partner to form a deep and meaningful connection with.