Let’s be honest, just because you want to be in a relationship it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for one. Relationships are a huge commitment — it involves a lot of your personal time and emotional energy, so you have to make sure you have the necessary time and energy to commit to one. Also, it requires you to be in a certain “place” in the development of your own life to be able to make it work, or else it will merely serve as a distraction from important work that you need to be doing for yourself first. If you don’t wait until you have your ducks in line, or are in a life place when you can take on that sort of emotional responsibility, then you will just take someone else down with you as you try to sort yourself out. You have to become whole as an individual before you become part of a couple. That way you actually know what you’re looking for and what sort of person is going to be a good compliment to who you are and the type of lifestyle you want to lead. So before you think about getting involved seriously with someone, it’s important that you really look at yourself and ask some honest questions that will help you figure out if you are ready for it.
Before walking into a relationship, it’s important you read these 15 signs that show you’re likely not ready for a relationship, to help determine if you are in the right personal space to welcome a romantic relationship into your life.
15You Aren’t Happy
This is probably the most important point in this entire list, thus it is going first! But if you can’t learn to be happy by yourself, then how could you be happy with someone else? If you only know how to be happy when your part of a couple, then your happiness is going to be fleeting and hollow. What happens if it doesn’t work out? Love can never be healthy if it’s the whole piece of both of your lives. Of course your SO is going to be a major source of happiness in your life, but they should not be the only thing that brings you happiness. Wrapping all your happiness into someone else is a breeding ground for unhappiness and disaster. So until you’ve learned to cultivate real peace, happiness, and contentment as an individual all by yourself in the world, then you won’t find happiness with someone else. Plus, you will be so much stronger for your partner when you’ve created such joy within yourself, which will make you such a better suited partner when you do find a relationship. Once you stop looking at love as the thing that is going to save your life and save you from yourself, then you start focusing inward on improving the relationship with yourself, which is the necessary switch people have to make if they want to begin cultivating true gratitude and happiness in their life.
14You Hate Being Single
It’s the old saying, “you always stumble into your next relationship when you least expect it…or if you find someone when you aren’t even looking.” In my opinion it’s because love attracts love. So when you’re loving yourself and living in harmony with yourself, you will attract those things into your life in abundance. If you’re focusing and obsessing over the fact you’re single and alone, your status probably won’t change. And even if it did, you’re so desperate it will probably be with someone who’s below what you need and deserve anyway. Until you’ve learned to make the most of your single status and revel in all your “me time,” you won’t attract worthy things into your life. So stop feverously looking for just “someone” on crummy dating apps, and instead take your time as a single person and bask in it. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and one day when you are in a relationship you will probably draw back on all this time you had to yourself and miss it, so live it up. Invest in your hobbies and passions, meditate and become an expert in self-care, take that trip you’ve always wanted to go on but could never find the right time, start that business you’ve always dreamed of, focus on family and friends, and make your life as whole as humanly possible with the one exception of romantic love. If you do that, you stand the best chance to find the healthiest and best suited type of love for you.
13You Don’t Have Your Sh*T Together
It’s really hard to know what you’re looking for in a romantic partner when you don’t even know where you’re headed as an individual. That’s a recipe to end up with someone that is entirely wrong for you. That’s why it’s important you have your sh*t together and have some semblance of a plan and direction for your life before getting involved in a serious relationship. That way you can better know what things are meant for you, and what things you should leave behind. Besides, if you get involved in something serious before you have your sh*t together, you will just end up taking the other person down with you as you try to figure your sh*t out. Not only will your self-development and growth as a person suffer, but your relationship will suffer as well. This is why you need to make sure you give yourself enough time to put yourself into a position that gives you confidence and self-esteem that you’re actually doing something worthwhile with your life. If you aren’t happy about your life and where you are, then it’s probably best you forget about dating for a while until you begin creating a life you can actually be proud to bring someone into.
12You Are Broke
I’ve always said, “if you can’t even afford to buy someone dinner, then you have bigger problems than dating to figure out.” Being broke is definitely part of the “you don’t have your sh*t together” point. But seriously, is it not super embarrassing trying to date when you can barely keep your head afloat financially? I mean, you by no means have to be rich, but you do need some sort of financial stability so you can properly date and feel like a functional, contributing member of society. Trying to date when broke is just flat out soul crushing and breaks down all of your confidence. That’s why it’s best to just focus on you — apart from the odd one-night stand with someone you meet at the bar or the club — when you don’t have any money. Being broke is a sign that it’s just not your time for love, and you should focus on gaining some stability in your life before introducing a romantic prospect to your world.
11You Aren’t Over Your Ex
If the idea of your ex having sex with your best friend right in front of you brings you to a jealous frenzy, then it’s safe to say you probably aren’t completely over your ex. Until you find some sort of peace inside yourself about your breakup with your ex, it will be tough to move onto someone else. Furthermore, if you’re still pinning for your ex and afraid to move onto someone else because you know that will close the door on your ex for good, then you should not be getting seriously involved with someone new. Getting involved with someone new when you’re still clearly carrying a torch for someone from your past is just unfair to the new person. Also, still being in regular contact — other than necessary contact for civil reasons — is not fair to the new person as well. If you’re still tying up loose ends with your ex, then you should not bring someone new into your world yet, either. It’s important that everybody takes some time after one relationship ends to process the breakup, figure out what lessons they learned and what they need to change for the next relationship, and also to spend some time alone to heal and move on from that relationship. If you’re recently out of something and thinking about dating again, it’s important to have an honest conversation with yourself about where you’re at with your feelings about your ex.
10You Haven’t Faced Your Shadow
We all have a dark side. Or a part of ourselves that we’re desperately avoiding that can play a huge role in how we behave in intimate relationships. Someone’s shadow could be a variety of things — trust issues that stem from some traumatizing event during childhood, a drinking problem, commitment issues because of fear of abandonment, being closed off from intimacy and having trouble connecting with loved ones as a result, or just some other personal situation that has made functioning in a romantic relationship difficult. The truth is we all have parts of ourselves that we’re afraid to face, and so, we run in the opposite direction because we’re afraid of what we might find. But only when we face our shadow, when we dig deep into our self-growth and overcoming areas where we’re weak and broken, do we begin to truly heal and really arrive as a whole person. Those who’ve faced their shadow, who’ve truly gotten to know all parts of themselves on the deepest of levels, who can sit in their own skin with complete peace about who they are as a person, are the types of people who are ready to arrive in a romantic partnership and find true, healthy love in the best way possible. If you’re someone who has done this type of self work, then you deserve someone who has done the same. Only when you truly know yourself, in your full capacity, both great stuff and bad stuff, can you begin to know your full capabilities as a romantic partner.
9You Aren’t Aware Of Your Relationship Patterns
We all have patterns in relationships — often we get into the same types of relationships, with the same types of people, and end up making the same mistakes in love because we aren’t aware of our patterns. For example: sometimes I can shy away from emotional confrontation in a relationship — playing it a little passive — which leads to a break in communication and potential problems in the relationship festering below the surface. So I’ve had to learn to be more upfront with communication early on, to avoid staying in the wrong relationships for too long. So many of us have certain patterns that we keep following in love. It’s important that you really take some time away from relationships and look at your past relationships and the people you’re choosing to invest time in. Truth is if things keep not working out, and you continue to be unhappy in your romantic life, then there is likely a certain pattern that you keep following that is preventing you from finding the type of love and relationship that you really need.
8You Haven’t Spent Time Alone
Piggybacking off the previous point — it’s essential you spend some time alone for a variety of reasons. Firstly, you will never learn to be happy on your own if you’re always in a relationship. You will become dependent on romance, partnership, and love to fulfill you and make you feel whole. You need to be whole on your own before you find a romantic partner. Secondly, you’re going to continue to get involved in the same types of relationships with the same types of people if you don’t take some time away to figure out why you keep making the same mistakes. It’s important to step away from love sometimes to reassess and figure out what you really want, as everything can become clouded if you continue to fall back into relationship-after-relationship. In my opinion: it’s a red flag if someone has never spent a period of time without being in a relationship. It shows emotional strength if someone is able to voluntarily choose to not have love in their life in order to build themselves up, so that they can eventually bring more to a romantic relationship. People who can’t be without love often don’t know their true value because they need to feel someone else’s love for them to feel their own worth, which is not a healthy dynamic to bring to a relationship if you want to create healthy love.
7You Have Unresolved Baggage From Your Past
Baggage can mean a variety of things — bad relationship patterns you haven’t broken, loose ends that haven’t been tied up with your ex, or personal issues you haven’t dealt with that keep creeping in and affecting your relationships. Personally, I’ve tried to date people who are still carrying a lot of baggage from past relationships, and their past in general. And it’s nearly impossible. For example: someone may be broken from a past relationship, perhaps there are things going on inside of them that they haven’t faced and tried to resolve. And until someone faces their brokenness (shadow) then they’re going to continue to seek love and relationships for selfish reasons. For reasons to distract them from the work they really need to be doing. So, this is an honest conversation you need to have with yourself to figure out if you’re holding onto excess baggage that needs to be removed before you bring someone else into the picture who is inevitably going to have to help hold the weight of your baggage as well. That’s not fair to bring to another person — particularly if you allow them to fall for you while you try to manage the weight of everything you’re holding onto.
6You’re Negative And Bitter About Love And Relationships
Perhaps you had a bad experience the last time around? So now you carry a chip on your shoulder when it comes to love and relationships. Truth is if you carry that type of attitude into dating then you will never find happiness. Even if you do get involved in something, you will probably just end up sabotaging it because you have this super pessimistic attitude about the whole thing. If you’re bitter about love, you will have your guard up and come across as standoffish to potential suitors who are going to be turned off because of how closed off you are. You have to be open to love in order to find love — if you build walls around your heart and walk around with a guard up, you never give love a chance to break through. This is why you have to figure out WHY you’re so closed off to love, relationships, and intimacy. Clearly something happened that made you put your guard up, so it’s important you figure out what that experience is — whether something from your childhood or a past relationship that turned sour — in order to move on in a healthy way so you can allow yourself to be vulnerable again. Also, just because somebody hurt you in your past doesn’t mean the next person is going to do the same thing — not every person is built the same — so it’s important you’re in a place where you can give people the benefit of the doubt and be open to putting yourself out there and taking a risk.
5You Are Too Busy
Relationships are a time commitment. If you actually don’t have time for one, then there’s no point in even going there. People can get in period of their life where they’re feverously selfish and working on themselves, or when they want to put their career before anything, or just a period when they want to be free to roam around and do as they please. Not only do you have to ask yourself if you actually have any time, but you have to consider what you prioritize at a given point in time — the truth is nobody is ever actually so busy that they can’t be in a relationship — it’s just a matter of what they prioritize at that given junction in life. So, if you are in space where you simply aren’t willing to give up any of your time to invest in someone and build a partnership together, then you have to be honest about that with yourself so you don’t waste anyone’s time or frustrate someone by being so unavailable.
4You Haven’t Created A Strong Self-Identity
You need to know where you’re going in your life. You have to know what path you’re headed down and who you are as a person before you get romantically involved with someone. That’s why taking lots of time to create a strong self-identity and individual life for yourself before getting involved with someone is important, as it allows you to better know what things are meant for you and what things aren’t. If you get involved with someone before you’ve created your own identity as a person, then you will just end up molding and accommodating yourself to whomever your partner is, which could lead to resentment down the road or troubles when you suddenly want to get out there and create your own identity, which could actually put your relationship in jeopardy because you may feel you can’t do so while constrained to your relationship. Of course you build an identity as a couple and intertwine your lives to create something together, but a relationship is so much stronger when two strong, independent, and happy people come together to create something even better. If only one person has a strong-identity in the partnership, there could be an uneven balance that has potential to create problems down the road. Do your work, create a strong self-identity and direction for your life as an individual before you think about joining forces with a partner.
3You Are Looking For Someone To Complete You
Stop looking for someone to complete you. Stop looking for a person and a relationship to save you. No matter how great a relationship may be, if you aren’t complete as a person first, you will never feel complete within that relationship. This is why you need to stop chasing people, stop searching for something to fill you and make you feel whole, do the work on yourself and make yourself a whole person. Stop relying on someone else to make you feel whole. Only two whole people coming together can make a strong relationship. This is why people should take on a dating mentality: stop chasing and start attracting. The way you attract the right things into your life is by completing yourself as a person and focus on building yourself up first. When you keep endlessly chasing love you enter into the wrong relationships, for the wrong reasons, which just leads to a vicious cycle of unhappiness.
2You Have Major Trust Issues
Trust issues are one of those things that make relationships extremely rocky and difficult to maintain. Particularly in the early stages of a relationship — you will shy away from getting involved with someone because of those underlying trust issues. Your expectation is that you will just end up getting hurt in the end, so what’s the point in getting involved anyway, right? Trust issues lead to people being majorly gun shy about relationships. This is why you have to figure out what your source of so much insecurity stems from. It’s something you need to try and work through on your own, as it can lead to a very tumultuous experience if you don’t confront it. It can lead to things like being irrationally jealous for no reason, accusing someone of things you should not be, or being frustratingly insecure about someone when the person you’re with has given you zero reasons to be insecure about anything. Trust issues stem from an irrational insecurity and fear that was created by a past tumultuous experience — so if you don’t work through it by yourself then you will just project it onto someone else, which won’t end well for either of you. You need to build your self-worth on your own and focus on the relationship with yourself, so you can stronger and more secure when someone else enters the picture.
1You Are Completely Fixed In Your Habits And Lifestyle
The problem when we’re single for too long is we become totally fixed in our lifestyle and favorite way of living. To the point that we’re not flexible to accommodate our lifestyle to incorporate someone else. This makes it tough on the other person because we aren’t willing to give up any of our set habits we’ve grown so used to over the years of being single. This creates an inherent selfishness (which is good in the right amount) but if it becomes too set then you just end up pushing away people that would have been amazing people for you. So before you think about dating you need to be prepared to be more easy going, and less obsessive about the things you do all the time so you can make room for a romantic relationship. It’s great to be a strong person and be an individual, but if you never need to rely on anyone, then you will never allow yourself to be open enough for love to enter your life. So make sure that you don’t work so hard being strong that you block out everyone else. This inflexibility is a common problem for a lot of long-term single people that have grown so accustomed to living one way — doing their favourite activities on their own terms all the time — that they never open up enough to try new things with someone else, or share their way of living with someone else.