Do you long for romance, love and marriage? The bad news is that just because you want to be in a relationship doesn’t mean that you are ready to be in one.
Many of my clients who are not in a relationship, present as feeling lonely and unhappy. Often they will have had a number of short term and mostly unsuitable relationships, but they are looking out for a new prospective partner in the mistaken belief that this will make them happy. I have to tell them that they need to consider whether they are in fact ready to be in a relationship. They look at me quizzically, like the thought never occurred to them. Perhaps this applies to you too?
Happiness is an inside job
The trouble with looking for a relationship in the belief that it will make you happy is that it doesn’t work, on the basis that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you have always got. You need to do something different.
The belief that a relationship will make you happy is fundamentally flawed because you are looking outside yourself for happiness. As long as you look outside yourself for happiness, you are a hostage to the vagaries and uncertainty of life.
The secret is to get happy with your self first. Once you become happy with yourself you are on the road to being ready for a relationship
How do you know if you are ready?
Here is a checklist of indicators of your readiness to be in a serious grown up relationship.
- You live independently from your parents, or at least have a plan to do so. This is not essential, but it is desirable. The more you are able to stand on your own two feet and be self sufficient, the more secure you will feel in yourself. You will not be dependent on your relationship for your basic needs to be met.
- You accept that you are responsible for your own happiness and you are committed to becoming happy with yourself before getting into a serious relationship. You are a grown up. You take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally and don’t expect others to do it for you. You know the difference between being cared for and being taken care of. Grown ups take care of themselves, and can enjoy being cared for.
- You are clear about your career-path and hopefully engaged in work that you feel happy with. This is such an important area of life that if you are unhappy in your work you will bring this dissatisfaction into any potential relationship, so best to sort it out first, or at least have a plan.
- You have recovered from your last relationship breakdown and have no feelings of attachment to your last partner. It is over and done with and you are not nursing any hopes that it will ever be rekindled. If you are not at this stage, you are not ready for a new relationship, so make a clear decision to let it go.
- You understand how old childhood feelings get triggered in relationships and that many of your feelings of hurt, loneliness, and the yearning you feel belong in your history. They are old childhood feelings of fear of abandonment, of feeling rejected, unloved and or unwanted, which have been triggered. One of the best things you could do for yourself is to find a therapist who will help you to clear these feelings so that you don’t bring them into your next relationship. In particular, yearning feelings indicate early dependency needs, which have not been met.
- You are clear about your Values, and what matters to you. For example, if Family is a strong Value of yours, there is no point in becoming involved with someone who wishes to be childfree and then the whole relationship gets bogged down in each of you trying to change the other. Emotional intelligence is about avoiding those situations. Don’t get a cat and try to make it bark. Get a dog.
- You know what you want in life. In other words you understand the importance of having a dream. You have a Vision. People who know what they want and have some sense of purpose generally feel happier. They then form a relationship with someone who wants the same thing, so they have joint aspirations. This helps to form strong bonds. If you don’t know what you want, don’t expect someone else to know.
- You have taken time to learn basic relating skills such as Assertiveness and Conflict Resolution Skills. Being able to communicate clearly what you want and need is a great asset to you and your relationships. Also, it is a fact of life that you cannot have an intimate relationship without some conflict arising at some point. Avoiding conflict is no virtue, but being able to face it and resolve matters without it escalating is an important relationship skill.
- You are Self-aware and know the importance of continuous development of your social and emotional intelligence, because together these form Relational Intelligence. In years gone by, we tended to just pay attention to IQ, but now, thanks to Daniel Goleman, are aware of Social, Emotional and Relational Intelligence. Do yourself a favor and start building these important aspects of your personality.
- Your finances are in reasonably good shape. That doesn’t mean you need to be rich, just that you are debt free, and therefore, self-sufficient. It is no fun beginning a relationship with someone who cannot afford to go anywhere or do anything. It gets you off to a bad start. Take stock of your finances and come up with a plan for how to make yourself financially stable.
When you have these aspects of your life in place, not only will you be happy with yourself, you will also become attractive to other happy people. These basic building blocks for being happy, and feeling good about yourself are worth taking time to put in place and can save you a lot of angst on the way!
- The Seven Steps to Plan a Perfect Marriage Proposal. - May 2, 2016
- How Do Men Show Their Love? …If He Never Says The Magic Word - Apr 15, 2016
- Ending Infidelity: 5 Reasons To Breakup With a Married Man - Feb 22, 2016