There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t find myself in a discussion in my counseling sessions that consists of someone looking for a little dating advice. After all, if there’s one thing that just about all of us can agree on, it’s that love is an important part of our life’s journey and being in a strong, secure and stable relationship can definitely make the trip just that much more special.
Yet while sitting in couples therapy with some of my clients, something that I see far too frequently are two people who look for one another to complete them when a relationship is actually much healthier when each individual goes into the situation not looking for someone to “fill a void” but to simply add to the quality of life that they already have.
This is why in hopes that you will have the best kind of relationship possible, I wanted to share with you five ways that you can know that you’re ready for one. That way, your next love connection can be a lasting and fulfilling one.
- You are happy as a single person. One of the best ways to know if you’re ready for a relationship is if you are already happy as a single person. Now this doesn’t mean that you don’t have moments when you wish you were with someone. But what it does mean is that you’re not putting your life on hold until they come along. In other words, you’re not sitting at home on a Friday or Saturday night simply because you don’t have a date. You’re not hesitant to call up some friends for dinner or to go to a matinee alone.
- You know what you want. It’s a wise man who, once said that if you don’t have a map, you won’t know how to get to where you’re going. Now some people might think what I mean by that is you should create a list of 50 things that you desire in a mate. For some people, that might work but actually, however what I’m speaking of is taking out some time to think about what’s really important to you. Do you want someone who likes to travel? Do you want someone who enjoys cooking? Maybe you want someone who enjoys the great outdoors. Remember that a big part of being in a relationship is not just about sharing your feelings but your lifestyle too.
- You have healed from your past relationship(s). A mistake that a lot of people tend to make is dating too soon after a break-up. Not only is this a surefire way to find yourself on the rebound but, when you’re emotionally healing, it’s hard to really see another person for who they truly are. Instead, you tend to find yourself using them as a distraction or worse, comparing them to your ex. So how long should you wait to start up something new? When you can think about your ex and know that you are a peace with the breakup and experienced forgiveness and you can honestly say that you’re not afraid to be alone, going on a date is a good idea.
- You are ready to make some compromises. When I do premarital counseling, one thing that I make sure to tell both people is that they have to be willing to make some compromises in their relationship. One of the joys of being single is that you can do almost everything on your terms, so if you’re not someone who likes to be flexible or to share, then you may not be ready. You may want to revisit getting into a relationship at a later time.
- You are not feeling needy. Remember, a relationship is designed to add something to your life far more than it’s meant to fill some deep-rooted void. If you only want someone so that they can make you feel special or because you’re sick of sleeping alone, these aren’t the ideal reasons to start up something serious with someone, mostly because a relationship takes nurturing and work. When you feel you can trust yourself to create the kind environment that a relationship can thrive in. That’s when you’ll really know that you’re ready for a relationship with someone else.
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