Updated: Jan 15
A lot of people want a healthy, serious relationship. Wanting a serious relationship is one thing but being ready for one is another thing. If you aren’t ready for the serious relationship you want, either nothing will work out, or you’ll get into short term relationships or toxic relationships.
The good news is that you can work to be ready for the relationship you want. You can be taught relational skills, heal your relationship with yourself, and learn to be in a healthy relationship with a significant other. When you do the work needed, all of your relationships change for the better.
If you’re wondering if you’re ready for the serious relationship you long for, check out the following list of ways you can tell if you’re ready or if there’s more work to be done:
Chaos is a turn OFF, instead of a turn ON. Examples of chaos include booty calls, dating someone you know you can't be with, dating someone who's in and out with their interest in you, in active addiction, engaging in dynamics that cause big emotions--high highs, low lows. When someone is distant or playing the game you see it as a red flag, not a challenge. You don't get excited by someone who's been distant with you when they contact you. You have no space for that crap. In a serious relationship we trade that chaos, which can feel exciting, for stability, which can feel boring. But once stability is exciting, you're ready.
You refuse to let anyone cause you any more pain. That includes even an instant of anxiety. That's when you stop accepting less than you deserve.
You let go of control. You learn to be ok in uncertainty, which allows a relationship to either grow or fizzle out. When you try to control, you end up trying to make something that needs to fizzle into something that works...which doesn't work. Or, you cause something that needs time to expand, strengthen and grow into something bigger too fast/too soon, which makes it end instead. When you can let something fizzle or grow, and go with it without trying to control, you're ready.
You look for an equal, not a project. You allow others to offer you care, love and support, instead of being more skilled at giving others YOUR care, love and support. You enjoy being cared for the way you care for them.
Someone liking you feels like a no brainer and feels good. You’re not suspicious when someone likes you. You’re not turned off when someone likes you. You think, “of course they like me!”
You trust your gut to guide you above all else. Trusting your gut as your guide is the ultimate act of self-love. When you’re trusting your gut to guide you, you know you’ve created a healthy relationship with yourself. The healthier your relationship with yourself is, the more able you are to have a healthy relationship with a significant other.
If you’re still wondering if you’re ready for a serious relationship, click here to take the quiz to find out! Are you ready for a serious relationship?
This blog has previously been published on Psychology Today.