Plus 1 season is upon us, and I know exactly what you’re thinking: “It’s time for a serious relationship.”
You’ve been patiently waiting for your person. You want all of the love, support, and happiness that comes with something real. Hell, you deserve it. But ask yourself: am I ready for a relationship, or just lonely?
Answering that question requires some heavy lifting on our part—we need to examine our own behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs in a brutally honest way. Sure it’s a lot of homework, but it’s much better than choosing the wrong person or dating at the wrong time.
If you or your love interest identifies with one of the warning signs below, MAJOR red flag! It likely means that the person has a lot of growing to do and changes to make.
Here’s 5 clear signs that you’re not ready for a relationship:
You’re unhappy with yourself
I’ll be blunt: You’re no good to anyone else if you’re not good to yourself.
Unhappiness can show up in many forms—a shopping/spending problem, frequent gossiping, abandonment issues, constant fatigue or anxiety, comparing your life to your friends’…the list goes on.
Understand that happiness can ONLY come from within. If you turn to a lover (or anything else external) to fill your ‘happiness hole’, then it’s a glaring sign that you may need to be alone for awhile. Relationships only heighten our deepest insecurities, they don’t fix them. Learn how to be happier on your own, without including others in your misery.
You don’t communicate effectively
You know what’s funny, in a “not funny” kinda way? Many people don’t even know that they’re bad communicators, let alone admit to being one.
Everyone wants to be heard, but that’s just half the battle–do you LISTEN? There’s many ways to tell if you communicate poorly, but everything can boil down to 2 questions:
- Do you avoid conflict (may look like resorting to silent treatment/hiding your feelings, deflecting, venting to third parties etc.)?
- Do you think you’re misunderstood (often)?
If you answered “yes” to at least one of those questions, then you’ll need to improve your communication skills before entering a romantic relationship.
You’re HELLA passive aggressive
This one basically shows itself in the ways above (and more). When we resort to passive aggressive behavior, we’re doing everything we can to avoid direct confrontation.
Understand this: Being passive aggressive ruins relationships, when it’s a pattern that goes unchecked. If you engage in this behavior regularly, then you are certainly not equipped for a healthy relationship.
Also, know that confrontation is NOT a bad thing—it’s necessary if you care about resolving a conflict/preserving a relationship. Now, if you aren’t successful with confrontation, then you may lack tact, which is a much deeper conversation.
Whatever the case, the best way to avoid being passive aggressive is to openly express how you feel. Once we’re comfortable with understanding and expressing our own emotions, wants, and needs [respectfully], then we can encourage someone else to be comfortable enough to do the same.
You’re not over your ex/past situation
Whoever said “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new” was a damn LIE. 0 stars, would not recommend.
Of course, it’s natural to want validation through a new partner (especially if you’re the dumpee), but that’s a selfish, temporary fix to your problem–kinda like a drug habit. If you haven’t done the work to grow from your breakup, then you’ll never be 100% invested into a new relationship, which is unfair to the new partner.
Is it terrible to date someone new when you’re fresh off of a breakup? No. It’s also not a bad thing to show signs that you’re still hung up on your ex. But, the key is to be honest with yourself and others about how you’re feeling (even if you’re unsure, say it).
There’s no magical time period for moving on, so take as long as you need to recover from a breakup. Whatever the circumstances, we make better decisions based on growth rather than reactions, so take the time to choose wisely.
Remember: even when we’re honest, the other person still deserves the right to choose whether or not they want to stick around; don’t steal their choice by lying about your true feelings.
[doing it] Because everyone else is doing it!
Your number of single friends is dwindling, and you’re one engagement and fire-baecation-pic-on-your-feed away from just dating your trainer. Some advice: STEP AWAY FROM THE TL, live life, and just mind your business.
Yes, FOMO is very real and being #relationshipgoals is cute, but don’t force anything in your life, especially a genuine love connection; the best love has a habit of finding us when we’re not looking.
So, with all this free game I just gave you, ask yourself again: are you ready for love, or just lonely? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it IS an important one to find.
Relationships are a never-ending job; we must continuously work to keep them healthy, and evaluate our success/failures with them. Before we include anyone else in our lives, let’s make sure we’re healed enough to handle them with care. Don’t let the fear of loneliness force you into undesirable situations.