Have you been going on dates and wondering whether you and your romantic interest should be in a relationship?
Or perhaps you’ve just relocated because you’re working a new job or going to a new school. Since you don’t know anyone and want to build connections, you may be asking yourself, Should I date and seek a relationship? Due to social norms, we may often feel pressured to be in a relationship when we’re single. But entering a relationship is a huge commitment.
Have you been reluctant to try, but not sure why? Psych2Go shares with you 7 signs you may not be ready for a relationship:
1. You care more about finding the “perfect partner” instead of working on yourself.
Are you constantly daydreaming about finding your Prince Charming or Cinderella? When you’re walking down the streets and see many couples holding hands or listening to love songs as you’re waiting for the bus, it’s normal to think about who your ideal soulmate. But when that curiosity spirals out of control, be sure to plant your feet back into reality and ask yourself if relationships are everything.
Love is exciting and fulfilling when you meet someone who meshes well with your personality, but relationships always require a lot of work and responsibility in order to sustain. If you idealize getting butterflies in your stomach as “ultimate love,” it’s important to paint an accurate picture on what relationships actually entail. Sometimes, Prince Charming or Cinderella will let you down, and it won’t be perfect. Don’t spend all your time and energy finding someone who meets every single requirement on your list. Instead, work on being the best version of yourself.
2. You’re still working on your goals and discovering who you are.
Do you want to travel and see more of the world? Or join clubs and programs that help you transform your hobbies into potential careers? There’s nothing wrong with doing you! In fact, soul-searching is an incredibly rewarding experience. That’s when you get to reflect, form connections with like-minded people, and do more of what makes you happy.
I’m no longer single, but when I think about the years I spent traveling, writing my novel manuscript, and making new friends, that was when I did the most risk-taking. When you’re young, it’s easier to block out the voices that feed your fears and hold onto your dreams. During those years, I focused most of my energy nurturing my creativity instead of learning how to love someone deeply and honestly. Both require a lot of time, commitment, and work, and if you aren’t careful, you can burn yourself out swinging both ways. Today, I am still learning the art of balancing both.
3. You want someone to save you.
It’s not romantic to have someone save you from your problems or misery. If you’re unhappy or experiencing challenges and you want an easy way out of them, a relationship is not the answer. You can’t expect someone to be your hero or stop the hurt from hurting. It’s dangerous to adapt the mindset of using relationships in order to distract yourself from your problems. In fact, this can even attract toxic partners who feed off of your codependent behavior.
Often, we give ourselves less credit than what we actually deserve. But truthfully, we’re all capable of finding solutions to our problems and reaching our fullest potential. It’s important to live your life actively and not sit around, waiting for someone to show up. If you need help or guidance, that’s normal and healthy. Having supportive people in your life makes a difference when the going gets tough, but solely relying on one person to make it all better will only deter you from growing as a better person.
4. You want to save someone else.
You can’t change or fix someone’s damage. Remember that you’re not an emotional janitor. When you want to rescue someone from their bad habits or destructive tendencies, you will start to see them more as a project, rather than a person you want to be in a relationship with. Although it is entirely possible to fall in love with someone you want to save, this doesn’t create the best or healthiest relationships. Trying to change someone who meets your expectations will only leave you with disappointment. Everyone has the capability to change—but through their own will, and at their own pace.
5. You still frequently think and talk about your ex.
I’ve been through this one, and oh man! It’s a mistake I look back on and shake my head. You can’t control when or who you meet; that’s why life works in mysterious ways. Unfortunately, that’s how timing can sometimes be off. Just when you think you’re ready to be in a relationship with someone, they may still be recovering from heartbreak and hung up on their ex, or vice versa. I was more of a therapist than a romantic interest to the last guy I dated.
He thanked me for being understanding and supportive, but looking back, all the time I spent consoling him were red flags I should’ve seen. I could tell he was still hurting. If you find yourself in a similar situation, realize that all you can do is be yourself. Healing takes time, and unfortunately, the heart doesn’t follow a straight path towards recovery.
6. You have a hard time apologizing or admitting when you’re wrong.
There’s one word that describes what every relationship needs: compromise. If you have a habit of thinking you’re always right and would rather hold onto your ego instead of making things right, then you may want to re-think about entering a relationship. Focus on learning how to own up to your mistakes and redeeming yourself. Remember, there’s a difference between protecting your individuality and standing up for your beliefs versus feeling a sense of entitlement to everything. Reflect as often as you can and become more self-aware about the decisions you make. Everything has a consequence.
7. You’re emotionally closed off.
If you have a tendency to keep your walls up, then you may want to work on opening up and being vulnerable first. You can do this by practicing with your friends and family or a professional, such as your guidance counselor or a therapist. Being in a relationship means allowing someone to see you for all that you are. It’s the only way for someone to love you honestly. But if you have a habit of holding back, it’s important to work through your fears and trust issues before committing to someone. A healthy relationship is about two people being able to take risks and grow together.