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25 Sure Signs You’re Really, Truly — Finally — Ready For A Relationship

Some things take time.

The first and most important relationship you’ll ever have throughout life is your relationship with yourself. How you feel about and care for your own mind, body, and spirit sets the stage for all relationships outside yourself — with your partner, family, friends, and co-workers.

From psychological, spiritual and practical perspectives, it’s pretty clear that if you don’t love yourself, it’s harder to give and receive love. So, when you’re wondering “Am I ready for a relationship?” there are certain things to look out for.

Deciding if you’re finally ready to love someone new is never easy — no one wants to get their heart broken again, and love is risky. Even if you’re feeling more secure in yourself and you feel like you’ve thoroughly moved on from your last relationship, it can be scary jumping back in to a new relationship.

We asked experts to clue us into the signs, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that reveal someone loves himself or herself enough to sustain a relationship. And once you read their relationship advice, the point is not that you need to fulfill all the points on this list (no one is that perfect!), but that you can use this list to inspire you and the ones you love to increase love from the place where it starts — within.

Here are 25 signs you’re ready for a relationship, to share and accept the love it brings:

1. You attract a like-minded partner.

When you’re in the energy of self-love and acceptance, it’s easy to magnetically attract a like-minded partner who not only loves himself/herself but is available, interested, and ready for healthy, happy, whole love.

2. You complete yourself.

You know you’re ready for a relationship when you don’t need a relationship to feel happy and worthy, when you want a relationship to share your love rather than to get love, when loving yourself and sharing your love is more important to you than having control over getting love. When you want a relationship to deepen your growth rather than to fill your emptiness, you are ready.

3. You won’t settle for conditional love.

Men and women are ready for love when they realize they deserve to receive unconditional love from a partner.

4. There’s nothing “wrong” with you.

The only person who can complete you is… you. The way to do that is to realize that there is nothing wrong with you; you are not broken, you don’t need to be fixed. The truth of love is found in self-acceptance, and in shining the light of love on those dark places inside of us.

5. You don’t seek constant distraction.

You’re not afraid to be alone — and in silence, even. You like spending time alone and don’t need the television to be on or the phone to be glued to your head. You can be with just yourself.

6. You’re not waiting for someone else to “save” you.

One is ready to manifest healthy, lasting love when they truly abandon the wish that another can “save” or “heal” them. Self-acceptance and self-love are markers that one is fully ready for intimacy.

This state of being allows one to be open to both giving and receiving love in a pure, authentic way — unburdened by notions of healing wounds from the past.

7. You honor your bigger “self.”

When you understand who you are — as a human, in relation to God or your spirituality — and when you are able to consider the “other” without compromising or obsessing about “me,” you are setting yourself up to live a healthy, beautiful relationship.

8. You’ve tossed your list.

People are ready for love when they don’t have a rigid set of expectations and a laundry list of must-haves and deal breakers. They simply want to find someone wonderful to love and share their life with.

9. You’re OK being single.

If you can say “I am OK without a relationship,” then you’re ready for one! You’re OK being single — not in a resigned or defeated way. It’s more about one have a deep knowing of who you are, your purpose and that while you desire love, you won’t allow yourself to be miserable while you’re single.

10. You’ve called off the search.

The old adage is true: the person who is most ready for love is she who has stopped actively pursuing it. Instead, she has been concentrating on developing her own skills, passions, and happiness. A confident, grounded and interesting person is extremely appealing.

11. A relationship is a want, not a need.

Someone is ready for love when they want it but don’t need it. That’s the absolute best place to be: wanting a relationship, believing it would be great, but not needing it for your happiness. Being truly happy without it is often the fastest way to bring it about.

12. You smile a lot.

Notice the next time you see your reflection. No matter what you might be wearing or if it is a good hair day or not, is the reflection you catch a glimpse of is one that makes you smile?

When you catch yourself smiling more than making comments, excuses, or judgment, then you know you accept yourself unconditionally — and are ready to do the same for another, too.

13. You own your energy.

You know that you’re a vibrational match for your real-deal Beloved when you move through your day with access to your own orgasmic energy, whether or not you have a partner. You are sourcing it from within.

Yes, the Beloved will be irresistibly attracted to your beauty, fragrance, and nectar but you are the magnificent blossom.

14. You’re over your last relationship.

Look for signs that anger and resentment are gone and that they have forgiven not only their ex-partner, but themselves. To be angry at yourself is a clear sign that you are not ready to move forward.

If you cannot accept where you are and who you are right now, then it’s time to make a change. You will know that you are ready to go out there and date again when you have given up your “story” and can think about your ex with neutrality, compassion, and understanding.

15. You’re willing to take a risk.

A person who is ready for true intimacy is aware of the risks and uncertainty that comes with falling in love. She knows that the relationship will grow and evolve to something wonderful — or it won’t.

Either way, this person understands she will be better for it since the love and support she has for herself will always be there.

16. You have empathy.

One quality I work hard to promote in patients looking to find and/or sustain a loving relationship is empathy. Once a person can see beyond her desires and needs to what it will take to make her partner happy, she is well on her way to going from “me” to “we.”

17. You’re self-confident.

Self-confidence is the key to knowing that you’re ready for love (it’s also the most powerful aphrodisiac). When you take pride in yourself and you are clear about your own worth — that is when you’ll be able to attract someone who honors you and himself in a healthy relationship.

18. You feel whole.

If you are looking for your partner to fill an emptiness within yourself, you will always remain unsatisfied. True love is all about accepting both your partner and yourself wholeheartedly. Dating is about finding your complimentary match, not your other half.

19. You’re open-minded.

You know you’re ready when you can go off your dating script and discovering a romantic interest as though you were visiting an exotic country for the first time. Throw away your checklist, let yourself be in the moment and open up to the joys and challenges a relationship brings.

20. Fear doesn’t own you.

One sign that tells me you are ready for love is when you show courage. When you are open to taking emotional risk, including accepting personal responsibility, love is in your future.

21. You build memories, not walls.

I know someone is ready for love when they incorporate their match into their life after a few dates, rather than compartmentalizing dating activities. Building memories, not walls, shows long-term potential.

22. You are not a puppet.

The one sign that tells me a person is ready for a healthy relationship is when he or she takes a stand for what she wants in a relationship — without being attached to the other person’s response.

23. You accept change and are ready to grow.

You are “ready” for love when you accept yourself for who you are, right now, today, but are still committed to exploring the yet undiscovered growth of yourself individually and in a relationship.

24. You know your turn-ons.

When you know what turns you on, what brings you pleasure and you aren’t afraid to go after it, it’s a good sign you’re ready to share love with someone else. The key to this is honoring that you are deserving of pleasure whether you are with someone or not and recognizing that all types of sensual pleasure — the foods you eat, the smells around you, a cool shower on a hot day — keep you vibrant and alive.

25. You’re comfortable in your own skin.

Embracing yourself inside and out is a sign you’re reading to fully embrace another.

Am I Ready For A Serious Relationship? 5 Signs You Finally Are

When you ask yourself, “Am I ready for a serious relationship?” what you are usually questioning is whether you have all the resources you need to be able to reciprocally care for someone, and whether the person you have met also has theirs. You can fool yourself into thinking you are ready for a serious relationship when you are actually seeking validation or companionship. These relationships usually do not last very long. That’s why it’s good to approach a serious relationship with some caution and lots of time for introspection.

When you are ready for a serious relationship, your perspective on dating shifts. You know that connection is important, but so is being in the same place. You suddenly understand, more than ever, that so much of whether a relationship works or not comes down to timing. You also understand that previous, perhaps short-lived, relationships were preparing you for something long term. Although you might have been casually dating, you suddenly realize that you are prepared to be there for someone long term and that you are prepared to allow someone to also be there for you. Everyone is different, but when you are ready, it might feel something like this:

1. You Know There Is Room In Your Life For Another Person

When you’re not in a position for a serious relationship, it can feel like it’s because there is just too much of you that you have to deal with already. Taking care of yourself is its own relationship, and when you are still figuring out how to achieve balance in your life, it has to be the main one. Sure, lovers can come and go during this time, but you likely will not be able to fully commit. Even if you do, these relationships will feel like you are overextending yourself. When you are ready for a serious relationship, you know that you can take care of yourself and also be there for another person in a meaningful way.

You understand that a relationship is not an excuse to give up on yourself. You also don’t think that you need a relationship in order to validate yourself; maybe you did seek validation in your relationships earlier in your life, but now, you understand that the best validation comes from within. You know that when you meet the right person, they will enhance your life and the sense of self you have cultivated in the time before you knew each other. You will also understand that your relationship couldn’t have happened sooner, because any earlier and the timing wouldn’t have been right.

2. You Know What You Have To Offer A Relationship And What It’s Worth

When you are finally ready for a serious relationship, you are not looking for someone who will tend to you and improve your life with their selfless care. You know that every relationship involves reciprocal care, and you will be confident that you can provide that reciprocity. You and your future partner have the emotional tools you need to lift one another up.

And while you understand the positive assets you are bringing to a relationship, you also know that you are flawed. You don’t necessarily have to love your flaws, but you are aware that they exist — and that whomever you partner with will have flaws of their own. Even if you aren’t able to love your own flaws completely, you will be able to understand that your partner’s flaws are important. Your flaws are what test your love and prove it to be strong.

You also aren’t holding your future partner to some unattainable standard. You know there is no such thing as having a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner “of your dreams.” Whoever you end up with will be very real — and you will want them that way.

3. You Are Less Tolerant Of Bullsh*t

When you’re finally ready for a serious relationship, you will know what you aren’t looking for. That means you are able to identify red flags early on — sometimes within the first few message exchanges. Do they want you to send pictures before they even know what you do for a living? Move along. Do you feel like you are chasing after someone who didn’t text or call after your first date? You have better things to do.

Because you are clearer about what you want, dating becomes both easier and more frustrating. If you are online dating, there are probably weeks where you feel bogged down by the sheer number of people who are looking for one-night stands or shallow hookups. While you might have been more forgiving before, you feel impatient with bad manners or childish behavior now.

When you do meet someone, it will probably be unexpected: a one-off date with someone you didn’t think that much of from pictures, or a friend you’ve known for years. It will happen when you stop looking, and you might not even notice when, at first, your feelings for them stick. Then, you look up, days or years after you’ve met, and you’ll understand that the right person was there for you all along.

4. You Mostly Stop Having Sex On The First Date

When you are ready for a serious relationship, sex on the first date doesn’t hold quite the same appeal. Sure, you might still go for it now and again, if you find that the physical chemistry between you two is sizzling. When you meet the person you are supposed to be with, you might end up having sex right away — but you will also know you like them. The time of having sex just for sex’s sake, whether or not you wanted to spend time with the person, is over.

You know that sex before friendship can be like leaping to a level of intimacy that will crumble without an underlying relationship to hold it up. You might find yourself proceeding more slowly with the people you are dating, waiting until the second date to initiate touch. You know that a relationship takes time to ripen, and you aren’t in any rush.

5. You Start Looking For A Familiar Soul Instead Of Experimenting With Your Identity

When you are dating casually, you view your different partners as an interesting experiment. When you aren’t looking for someone to be with long term, you realize how many different ways there are to connect with someone. Even if you don’t have anything in common, you can still be drawn to someone for their mystery or strangeness. When you are ready for a serious relationship, though, you start looking to recognize yourself in the other person.

This means that the conversations you have will probably be deeper and more engaged. You will be looking for an emotional connection — one that lasts. It’s this second part that makes finding one tricky. Even though you can feel deeply attached to someone for a few hours, days, or weeks, not every bond builds into one that can last for years.

Perhaps, before you were ready for a serious relationship, you were afraid of finding that attachment. You knew that being emotionally connected made it more possible to be heartbroken. When you can really be with someone, though, you understand that the risks are worth the rewards. You aren’t afraid about what you might lose, because you know you have everything to gain.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

All relationships start from within you. It takes a part of you to be able to connect with someone other than yourself. You need to be emotionally stable to form a relationship. So my question is, are you emotionally ready? Do you think if someone sweeps you off your feet right now, you are ready to get to know the other person?

Take a deep breath. Find your inner self and reassess it. Ask yourself if you have these signs or traits of someone who is ready to be in a relationship.

1. You are happy being single. You are able to enjoy life and make yourself happy on your own because you are strong enough to live by yourself.

2. You know how to put others first before you. Relationships are all about compromises and sacrifice. You know that the other person’s happiness is as much as important as your own and you’re willing to make their interests first before yours.

3. You are comfortable enough with the idea of being with someone else other than your friends and family. That’s means willing to share your time and space with them.

4. You want to be in a relationship, not because you need to. There’s a difference.

5. You are not looking for someone who will complete you because you are more than enough to complete yourself. You want to be in a relationship not because you want to receive love but because you want to share love with them.

6. You have forgiven your ex. You have accepted that it’s already in the past and you can move forward.

7. You are happy and not resentful towards happy couples and people in love.

8. You are not expecting a perfect relationship.

9. You are not looking or waiting. You know it will come.

10. You are confident with yourself because you know your worth and you are not willing to settle for less or conform to what the society expects you to be.

11. You don’t need a relationship in order to be happy because you know that being in a relationship means sharing your happiness with them and not seeking one from them.

12. You have accepted the fact that you might end up with someone you least expected and you’re okay with it because you have practiced the idea of accepting people for who they are.

13. You know what you want and do not want in a relationship.

14. You know there is no such thing as the ‘right’ moment to meet someone. You know it will just take you by surprise.

15. You are not afraid to put yourself out there and you are willing to take risks for it.

16. You are not afraid of being single. You know who you are, what you want and you don’t let fear and loneliness take over.

17. You know that communication is one of the most important factors in a relationship. You can open up to someone and be okay with it. You are also a good listener.

18. You are ready to enter someone’s life and letting someone into yours too.

19. You are willing to try and make it work. But if not, you know its okay to let go.

20. You don’t have a set of standards for a potential partner. You are more than contented with the idea of finding someone to love and share life with.

21. You are ready to get to know someone other than yourself.

22. Change is something that doesn’t scare you. Instead, you take it as a challenge to grow more.

23. You are tired of flirting and playing games. You want commitment in a relationship.

24. You have plans for the future and that you have already thought about sharing it with the other person.

25. You are financially independent. You are not planning to enter into a relationship mainly to have a partner who can buy the stuff you want and need.

26. You don’t need someone who will ‘save’ you. Leave the cliché to the movies. You can only give love if you love yourself. Give and take is what relationship is all about.

27. You want God to be the center of the relationship. Because with God everything is possible and will fall into places.

You should be someone who’s firm and capable of holding on your own before entering into a relationship. It is not easy to give love if you don’t love yourself first. So, be someone who can both love and give love.

ALSO READ: How to be Emotionally Strong in a Relationship

Photo by Asaf R

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Pearl Marie is someone who likes writing rhyming poetries, a cup of coffee and hearing the sound of raindrops while sitting comfortably reading Stephen King novels.

Signs You’re Not Ready For a Relationship

This might be why you’re single

Apr 22, 2019 · 6 min read Katie Dutch — used with permission

We put out vibes, whether they’re subtle or in your face.

People can sniff us out and know more about our own motivations than we do. Some of us are advertising to the world we’re not ready for a relationship.

Here are the signs.

You’re too busy rehashing a previous relationship

Baggage City = Population 1.5

You’re still fully invested in someone who is long gone. It’s hard to get on the right path when you’re hell bent on not getting over it.

You’re too busy being miserable

We all know a shitty attitude and a deep-seated animosity towards the human race lays the groundwork for scores of people to chase us down and beg us to be in a relationship.

Nope. Not in this lifetime.

You’re worried about what your friends think

“My boys will think this chick isn’t hot enough.”

“My girls with think this dude is a total loser.”

You have to ask yourself who’s going to be in this relationship: me or my friends whose opinions really don’t mean anything at all?

You think people are expendable

“I can run out and find another just as quickly and easily as I found this one.”

“I don’t need a man because they’re all the same: worthless, untrustworthy and (insert disparaging remark here.)”

Maybe you’ve set your sights too high or too low. A healthy medium is always good.

You’re too anxious and impatient

“If I don’t get married by the time I’m 30 I may as well choke chug the cyanide and get it over with.”

Slow down. Nothing says “Back the fuck up” quicker than, “I can’t go another day without being in a relationship.”

You’re too picky

I’m picky. But there IS such a thing as being too picky. Especially when you’ve barely got enough wiggle room to be calling the shots.

You get no kudos or sympathy if you’re oblivious to making people run your obstacle course that’s designed to make them fail against your overblown expectations.

You’re far from optimistic

“Woe is me. I’m never going to find a man. I’m nothing in this world without a man. I’m nothing anyway. I guess that’s just how it is.”

Perhaps repeating this mantra to yourself serves a purpose: to keep you from reaching your relationship goals. If you can’t see the finish line, why run the race?

Katie Dutch — used with permission

You don’t trust anyone, including yourself

“I was fucked over to many times I can’t see straight. People are out to get me. As soon as I let my guard down I’m going to get fucked over again.”

Being able to trust people is integral to being in a relationship. Trusting yourself to trust other people is non-negotiable.

You don’t know how to have fun

Sulking, bitchy wallflower? Or maybe you fly off the handle and shit bricks when someone suggests you lighten up.

Being too serious and tightly wound is a turn off. Smile and laugh. It works wonders.

You make excuses

“Who’s going to want me? I don’t have the perfect body, I’m not smart or pretty enough, I have zits and ugly feet…”

You are good enough. You have to believe it before they will.

You’re not willing to be patient

“I must have this guy commit me to RIGHT NOW. I have to have a ring, the perfect wedding, and get knocked up with triplets. NOW.”

It’s no mystery that this stuff takes time. Relax and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that.

You don’t want to be happy

Some people get off on being miserable. They find the darkest corner of the room, mosey on over, cry crocodile tears and eat crow because that’s all they’ve ever known.

If you don’t want to be happy, you do your best to ensure happiness never happens.

You hate being alone

Crying yourself to sleep every night and praying to the relationship gods to send someone to save you from yourself brings about hopelessness.

Being alone or being in a relationship should be workable and OK for you, always.

You play the victim

“Every time I do something, I get kicked in the ass. I’m always the one who gets the short end of the stick. I don’t pick them, they pick me.”

Bullshit. Own up to your end of the deal. It always takes two to screw things up.

Katie Dutch — used with permission

You were burned. Bad.

You were cheated on. To your face. In front of everyone. And they knew about it the whole time. You were the last to find out.

The pain is still raw and fresh, like skinned knees bubbling under hydrogen peroxide. You need another relationship right now like you need a broken leg.

You’re not ready to admit you’re not ready for a relationship

“But I AM ready! I’ve been doing everything they’ve told me I should be doing!”

Except being 100% honest that I’m not ready for a relationship because I’m guilty of doing one or more of the things on this list.

You don’t like the person you’re dating

This may be the only palatable, justifiable reason on the list.

“I don’t want a relationship with YOU.”

This is permissible and understandable. Just make sure you’re not leading them on.

You’re a relationship martyr

“I’m going to run out and find the emotionally bankrupt guy, the married guy, the guy who doesn’t call or show up, and the guy who told me he doesn’t want a relationship with me, and I’m going to love him with all my might!”

If you’re constantly chasing relationships that belong in the dead zone, you don’t want a relationship.

You want more than what most people can give

You want the fairy tale. You want to be rescued and carried away from the burning flames of relationship hell. You want the perfect guy to write your name in the sky and give you gold bars etched with “I love you” next to your picture.

Hint: that sickening, whimsical, head in the clouds romance novel stuff isn’t real. It doesn’t exist. Down to earth is the way to go.

You’re not in the right frame of mind

“If I can just be in a relationship everything else in my life will fall effortlessly together. I’ll have everything I want and life will finally be amazing.”

It’s actually the other way around. Get in the right frame of mind first and that amazing relationship will find you in no time.

You don’t want someone who treats you right

Being attracted to assholes serves its purpose: to keep you from having the relationship you want and deserve.

If you want someone who doesn’t know how to treat you right, you don’t want a relationship.

Katie Dutch — used with permission

I’m guilty of most of these things. Pretty sure they had something to do with me remaining single for 11 years. The jury’s still out on that one.

You can keep focusing on finding a relationship instead of fixing your issues, like I did. Secretly hoping, wishing, and willing that to be the cure to all that ails you.

It’s not. It won’t.

It’s OK to not be ready for a relationship. This might have been a wake-up call to you that you’re not. Congratulations on your new found self-awareness! Time to focus on some attitude adjustments that will put you on the path to ready.

Signs You’re Ready To Make Your Relationship Official

When you’re fresh out of a relationship, being single can be scary. But then when you’ve been single for a while, being in a relationship can feel scary.

What if they’re not the one or there is someone better out there? What if they’re a dirty cheat or a bad partner or you’re not ready to be in a serious commitment right now?

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If you’ve been dating someone for a while, there are signs you’re ready to settle. To become exclusive. Official. Boyfriend and girlfriend.

I’ve been single a long time, and before that, I was in a relationship for an even longer time. I’ve been on dates, dated, had fuck buddies, flings. Basically, I know my shit.

Here are the signs you’re ready to settle down with someone.

1. You’ve thought about becoming official.

One of the biggest signs you’re ready to settle down is it’s something you have started to consider. Maybe you’ve wondered about referring to someone as your boyfriend when talking about plans with them, or had a serious internal chat when someone’s asked how it’s going between you two.

Either way, thinking about settling down is a sign you’re probably ready to settle down.

2. You’ve stopped going on dates with other people.

Dating may be a minefield, but it sure is fun. Being single and dating gives so much perspective, so many stories and more than a few hangovers, and when you’re very much single, it’s something you should find fun.

When you’re dating someone and the idea of finding someone new and going on a first date again seems shudder-worthy, it’s probably because you think what you’ve got is better than what’s out there.

3. You’re happy just spending time together.

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One of the best things about casual dating is the constant entourage of drinks, events, food and activities that you get to embark on with different people.

When you start looking forward to seeing the person, not doing a thing, you probably really like them. Choosing lazing in bed on a Sunday with coffee and someone you care about over cocktails with a stranger on a Friday is a sure sign you want to settle down.

4. You’ve stopped checking Tinder.

Would you rather text your guy than see who your latest match is? Or only check Tinder to pass time and judge people, rather than find matches and meet them?

Similar to swearing off dating, a disinterest in Tinder suggests you’re happy with what you’ve got – so probably time to make things serious.

5. You’re mentally planning future events with them.

If you two haven’t made it official, talking about the future can be daunting, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking about it.

If you’re planning on asking them to an event in a few months’ time, or wondering what you’ll get them for their birthday, you definitely want them to stick around in your life.

6. You tell them everything.

They’re the first person you go to with both good and bad news, and you can’t wait to tell them about your day. And you enjoy hearing about their day (even if their job is dull AF). Wanting to confide in someone shows you trust them and care about their opinion, something you probably wouldn’t feel with just a fuck bud.

Going ~official~ is scary – even scarier if you’re not sure they feel the same way. But it’s definitely worth doing if that’s what you want. There’s nothing better than a relationship with someone you get along with, fancy and want to spend all your time with.

These are all signs you are ready to commit, but deep down you already knew that – or you wouldn’t be reading this!

How to Tell If You’re (Really) Ready for a Relationship

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Think you’re ready for a relationship? Now is the time to check in with yourself and determine whether you really and truly are ready for a relationship. Although you may tell yourself you’re ready and willing to settle down with someone, you first have to look at your behavior. Ultimately, your behavior-not what you say-is the truth-teller.

A recent session with a client of mine in his late ’20s perfectly reflects the push-pull between what we think we want versus what we actually want. Jake sat on the green corduroy couch in my office and played with the zipper on his hoodie. He talked about his erratic love life and had just finished recounting yet another experience he’d had, this time with a woman he met the previous Saturday night. “I just really want a girlfriend,” he proclaimed, looking out the window and letting out a big sigh. In one quick sentence, he summed up what he thought he wanted.

Simply put, I saw things differently. Jake didn’t really want a girlfriend, as much as he tried to tell himself otherwise. How did I know? Because his behavior told me what he actually wanted. He spent most weekends hitting the bars with his buddies and having hookups that never went anywhere. Did Jake’s behavior show that all he wanted was to hookup? That he was in total denial when he said that he wanted a girlfriend? With Jake, as with most people, the reality is not so black and white. The truth is that Jake was conflicted: A part of him wanted real intimacy with a girlfriend, while the other part enjoyed the highs that came with hookups.

RELATED: Calling all single ladies! We scanned the stats to compile a list of the top 10 locales where it’s great to be a girl. Did your hometown make the cut?

In short, Jake’s behavior showed that he was not truly ready for a healthy romantic relationship. In order to get there, he would need to become more discerning in terms of who he was intimate with; self-medicate less with the highs of alcohol and other exploits; and mix up his weekend routine with more diverse activities than going to the same ol’ bars and clubs. What’s more, Jake is not alone. I know and work with many men and women who say they want a real relationship while their behavior clearly indicates otherwise.

When it comes to you and your love life, your behavior is the first place to start when asking yourself if you’re really ready for a relationship. The only way you’re going to find and maintain a healthy romantic relationship is if you start it on a reasonably solid foundation, which means that you need to have your (bleep) together.

When you’re truly ready for a good adult relationship, your behaviors will reflect how balanced you are. Take a look at some of the requirements for being ready for a relationship below.

1. Your church is not a bar or nightclub. Going out to bars or nightclubs isn’t necessarily a bad thing or a deterrent to finding a good relationship. The issue is more about how you feel and act when you’re there which indicates whether you’re really ready for a relationship. If you’re drinking a lot when you go out, you’re not in a position to start a good relationship. Sure, you can meet someone, but it’s not your best self you’re putting forward, so you’re going to end up with someone who’s not good for you. If you love to go out but want a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with it: Introduce yourself to people and, when you meet someone you like, make plans to see them in a different environment.

2. You’ve reflected on why your past relationships didn’t work. There’s no riper time to play “the blame game” than when you end a relationship. Everyone loves to point the finger at the other person, but it takes two people to mess up a relationship. When you’re really ready for another relationship, you can look back on past relationships and see which behaviors you engaged in that were unhealthy and counterproductive. What’s more, when you look back at those relationships, you don’t feel-wait for it-bitter. You might feel angry at your ex for good reasons, but you don’t feel bitter (a feeling that’s a mix of anger and hopelessness).

3. You have retired from the drama. Not only can you understand why past relationships didn’t work, you can now safely say-and feel it with emotion-that you have retired from the drama that comes with bad relationships and are ready to calm down and have a real adult relationship. When you hear friends talk about their exploits with so-and-so who stood them up or their fights followed by crazy make-up sex, you sigh and remind yourself that you have no place for that drama any longer in your life. You feel wiser, more mature, and know more than ever before what you want and need from your next partner.

The goal for everyone is to match what they say they want with the behavior they engage in, and that is a lot more difficult than it sounds. However, if you look more closely at your feelings and your behavior, you will be one step closer to a relationship that’s good for you.

More on eHarmony:

The Main Reasons Women Don’t Want to Have Sex

Online Dating Safety Tips Every Woman Should Know

What to Do When He Doesn’t Call

  • By Seth Meyers, phD, for eHarmony.com

10 Telltale Signs He’s Ready to Settle Down

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No one wants to waste their time when it comes to dating and relationships….but sadly, most of us do. The reason is that we let our emotions overrun our common sense and reasoning. We cling to the vision of what could be rather than seeing and accepting what is.

I always know when a relationship is going to fail. It’s a very unfortunate superpower. I know the end just when things begin but I can’t really say anything, and even if I did, it would fall on deaf ears and that friend would probably stop talking to me. I always hope I’m wrong in these situations, maybe this time my Spidey Sense was a little off. But no, it’s usually spot on. (Recommended reading: 5 Signs He’ll Never Commit)

There are a few reasons why I can see so clearly: 1) I’m not in the situation and that makes it easier to be objective. 2) I write about relationships for a living so I know a thing or two and 3) There are certain obvious, telltale signs that a guy is ready to settle down.

MORE: Why Won’t He Commit?

So what are the signs that he’s ready to settle down? I’m going to share them with you below. If your guy is showing at least a few of these signs, he is most likely ready to settle down with you.

Telltale Signs He’s Ready to Settle Down With You:

He puts you first. He puts your needs first, and he really, genuinely cares about meeting your needs. This doesn’t come naturally to most men so it’s a big deal when he reaches that place where he puts someone ahead of himself.

This is just one of those things that you kind of know. You know when you’re a man’s top priority, just like you know when his priority is his job or hanging out with his friends or anything else.

MORE: 4 Ways to Make Him Commit and Want Only You

When a man is serious about settling down with you, he prioritizes you. That means you come first. Yes, sometimes there will be an urgent work matter or a social event he has to go to, but he will always let you know that you matter, that your happiness matters, that you’re the person he wants to be with. So ask yourself: am I just an option or am I his priority?

Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Does He Really Love Me?

2. He Factors You In

He checks with you before making plans. He makes major life decisions with you, he doesn’t make them on his own and then come and tell you about it. You are a factor in his

You are a factor in his decision-making. He considers you and your needs, he isn’t only thinking about and living for himself. He has made room for you and he considers how things will affect you.

MORE: Signs He Doesn’t Like You

Major life decisions don’t only mean huge things, like whether or not to take that job overseas, it can come in smaller forms like deciding to get a dog together. These are the sorts of things that really test your strength as a couple and determine how well you work as a team.

3. He Wants to Bring You Into His World (Like Really Bring You In)

He wants to meet your family. He wants you to meet his family. He wants your families to meet each other! He doesn’t just want you to meet them, he wants you to know them.

MORE: 5 Signs He’s Not That Into You

He wants you to form a friendship with his sister, to hang out with his crazy cousins, to really know what his family is all about.

And he wants the same with your family. He doesn’t just want to meet them, he wants to immerse himself into your world.

4. He Wants to Deepen the Relationship

He is not stalling for time, saying he likes things how they are and why change anything? He wants to take the next step and move things forward. This doesn’t mean he’s racing down the aisle, it means your relationship slowly and effortlessly evolves, it isn’t at a perpetual standstill.

MORE: When a Guy Won’t Call You His Girlfriend

Not only are things moving forward, he’s happy about the direction things are going in. He doesn’t ask for space or say things are moving too fast and he feels pressured. He is happily on the same page as you.

5. He Openly Talks About the Future

He doesn’t talk about the future in an abstract airy-fairy way, he talks about it in a real, practical way.

This doesn’t look like, “We should go to Greece next summer, that would be amazing!” It’s more like, where would we want to live? How would we raise our kids? Will we live together before marriage?

MORE: Signs He Will Never Commit

He takes future talk seriously and really wants to make sure you both want the same things and have the same vision for the future. He isn’t afraid to get real about commitment, he takes an honest, straighfoward approach.

6. He Prioritizes the Relationship

He wants it to work. It’s important to him, it matters, and he wants to see things through. When a guy isn’t ready to settle down, he has a take it or leave it attitude with his relationships. He doesn’t invest too much of himself. If things work out, great. If not, whatever, no big deal.

A guy who is ready to settle down is the opposite. He prioritizes the relationship and wants to make it better. He wants to meet your needs and be the man you deserve.

MORE: Why He Won’t Commit

Now, he may also prioritize other things like his career and such, but you will know that you matter to him.

7. He Discusses Finances

Money is a topic so intimate that even the best of girlfriends who share literally everything about their lives, may shy away. It’s just not something you openly discuss…until you’re in a very serious relationship, that is. When things are getting serious, money talk is inevitable. Life comes chock full of expenses…and how will you go about bearing that load?

MORE: Ways to Make Him Commit

What sort of lifestyle will your combined incomes allow for? How much do you want to save, how much to invest, how much do you want to put away for retirement? And how about your future kids? How are you going to pay for them?

These are all important things to consider before getting married and if a man starts discussing it with you then it’s a definite sign he’s in it for the long haul.

8. He’s Done Sowing His Wild Oats

He’s been there done that with the wild party boy scene and he’s over it. He has no desire to sleep with loads of women, drink to the point of obliteration, and turn back into a frat boy on the weekends.The novelty of going out and picking up girls is wearing off, he’s much more content to stay in with someone he cares about.

MORE: Signs You’re With an Emotionally Unavailable Man

This doesn’t mean he never wants to go out and have fun, he may go out and go wild on occasion, and while it’s fun once in a while, staying in with you holds way more appeal and is what he genuinely prefers to do the majority of the time.

The abandoning of the party boy lifestyle is just a natural shift that occurs as a guy matures and really wants to settle down and enter a new phase of his life.

MORE: Signs You’re Dating a Commitment Phobe

9. He Can be His True Self With You

He can be his authentic, true self with you. He takes off the “mask” shows you hidden parts of himself, the sides he hides from everyone else, the sides that only a privileged few have access to. He can be real with you, no fronts and no facade. He opens up to you, confides in you, and trusts you fully.

MORE: Signs He’s Ready to Settle Down

Guys know how rare and valuable it is to find a woman they can enjoy this kind of security with. It doesn’t come around every day so when it does, he will treasure it and hold it close.

10. You just know

And now for the clearest sign of all that he’s ready to settle down…you just know.

You just know he’s serious about you. You feel totally secure in the relationship. He cares about you and meeting your needs. You don’t have this underlying feeling of fear writhing in the pit of your stomach warning you that he’s just going to leave. You can relax and just be.

You know the feelings I’m talking about. They are the same feelings you’ve ignored and pushed to the side so many times before.

You thought maybe it’s just your insecurities flaring, or maybe things will be different as soon as he…calls you his girlfriend…tells you he loves you… asks you to move in. But it won’t be different, your gut is warning you that something is amiss. You just don’t want to listen because you really want things to work out even though deep down you know he isn’t on the same page.

MORE: How to Know If He’s Ready for Marriage

Bonus Signs

I’m including these as bonuses because they aren’t 100% guarantees, but they are still pretty strong indicators that he is ready to settle down.

Bonus Sign #1: His Friends Are “Settled”

I was once friends with a group of guy friends who were all serial daters. These guys would tear through women like toilet paper. Then something happened. One of them met an amazing woman, a one-of-a-kind gem, the kind of woman you don’t just throw back into the sea. And soon enough they got engaged!

It was shocking! A few months later, one of the other guys started dating an amazing woman, and things started getting very serious…Meanwhile, another guy connected with a great girl who he casually knew for a while but didn’t really think of dating until he did…. and then another one met a girl by strange happenstance, he almost wasn’t going to pursue it but something in him nudged him to give it a shot…long story short, all those guys are now married to all those girls.

I think the reason this happens with guys is that seeing your buddy happy and settled causes you to adjust your mindset. It forces you to consider an alternate means of happiness, you realize that maybe dating and living the bachelor life isn’t all that fulfilling and maybe it’s time to take things more seriously and find someone to settle down with. I think it happens on a very subtle level, it’s not an outright mindset shift that forces a guy to marry the next woman he goes on a date with. It’s a slight shift in the way he sees things.

The point is… you are the company you keep. If his friends are hard-partying animals who think they’re still living in a frat house… chances are he’s not ready to get “wifed up” anytime soon. If he has at least some close friends who are married or at least in serious relationships, then chances are he is looking for that too. The more married friends he has, the higher the probability that he isn’t just dating for the sake of dating, but rather dating for the sake of dining someone to spend his life with.

** Caveat: this rule isn’t an absolute because.. well someone has to be the first in the group of friends to jump ship. This sign needs to be looked at in the context of the others that will be provided in this article. Also, there is often that one token single guy in every group of friends. The one who dates and dates and claims he really wants to settle down, but no one is ever good enough and he leaves a trail of broken hearts in his wake. Don’t date that guy!

MORE: Top Signs He’s Ready to Settle Down

Bonus Sign #2: He Is Happy With His Career

Most men, not all men, but most, need to have their career before they will consider settling down. Careers are important to most men. Careers are important to women as well but most women won’t hold off on getting married until she establishes herself in a career (however, this is a reason a woman might hold off on having children once married, but separate topic!). Most men need to feel like winners, this is a concept we talk about a lot on A New Mode. A man needs to feel like he ’s pursuing his mission. This doesn’t always translate to having a successful career, but often it does.

If a man doesn’t feel like a winner, he won’t want to be “seen” and there is nowhere to hide in a serious relationship so chances are he won’t be ready to settle down until he gets his ducks in a row.

Most men want to be able to give their partner emotional and financial security and will hold off on marriage until they feel they are in this place.

I hope this article gave you a better understanding of how to know when a man is ready to settle down. But there is more you need to know if you want a committed relationship that lasts. At some point in your relationship, a guy will ask himself: Is this the woman I want to commit myself to? Do you know what inspires a man to truly commit? Do you know what makes him see a woman as “the one”? If not, read this next: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman

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In summary…

These Are The Signs He’s Ready To Settle Down With You:

  1. He Makes You a Priority
  2. He Factors You In
  3. He Wants to Bring You Into His World(Like Really Bring You In)
  4. He Wants to Deepen the Relationship
  5. He Openly Talks About the Future
  6. He Prioritizes the Relationship
  7. He Discusses Finances…
  8. He’s Done Sowing His Wild Oats
  9. He Can be His True Self With You
  10. You just know

BONUS

  1. His Friends Are Settled
  2. He is Happy With His Career

Ready to settle down

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