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How to Tell You're Ready for a Serious Relationship

1. When chaos is a turn-off, not a turn-on.

Key points

  • Are you really ready for a serious relationship?
  • If you aren’t ready for the serious relationship you want, nothing will work out.
  • You can be taught relational skills, heal your relationship with yourself, and learn to be in a healthy relationship.
Jakob Owens/Unsplash
Source: Jakob Owens/Unsplash

Do you ever ask yourself, “Am I really ready for a serious relationship?”

A lot of people want a healthy, serious relationship, but wanting one doesn’t mean you’re really ready for one. If you aren’t ready for the serious relationship you want, nothing will work out. Either you won’t date at all, or you’ll get into short-term relationships, or, you’ll end up in a toxic relationship.

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.

The following is a list of ways you can tell if you’re ready for the serious relationship you long for, or if there’s more work to be done to get ready:

1. 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 from 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.

2. 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.

3. You let go of control. You learn to be okay in uncertainty, which allows a relationship to either grow or fizzle out. When you try to control things, you end up prolonging something that needs to fizzle out. Or, you cause something that needs time to develop to get bigger too fast and too soon, which makes it end before it has a chance to begin. When you can let go of trying to control things, you’re ready.

4. You look for an equal, not a project. You allow others to offer you care, love, and support, instead of continuing to get into relationships where you give others your care, love, and support and you don’t get much back. When you can enjoy being cared for the way you care for them, you’re ready for a healthy relationship.

5. 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!”

6. 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.

More from Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST, CGT
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