3 Signs You Are Ready for a (Proper) Relationship

You want a relationship, but you won’t get it because in reality you are simply not ready. You may be single enjoying your life as it is. You may be thinking it’s about time to settle down. You may feel pressured to by all those couples around you. You might feel exasperated, you really want a relationship but you just can’t seem to find the right person, you meet a constant stream of dead-ends. Where are all the decent people? Regardless of your situation, you may in fact not be ready for the real deal.

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How can you tell? If you put off dating, if you keep finding yourself in short lived relationships or on dates that never amount to more, you could in reality not be ready for a deep loving long-term relationship. I know it sounds counterintuitive for those who really really want a relationship, but consider this. If you are entering a relationship with the aim and expectation of gaining something in particular, be it sex, attention, status, for ‘the sake of it’, ego-boost, to keep others quiet etc., you are very likely to attract poor relationships or find that prospective partners don’t find you attractive. All this happens more or less at a subconscious level, unless of course you have been to therapy or coaching and have gained awareness. The thing is, you will never get a fulfilling relationship unless you are in a particular headspace. So when do you know you are ready to attract the right person into your life?

Firstly, you have made peace with past relationships. When you think back on them, you no longer feel pangs of anger, sorrow, pain or regret. If you do, you may still need to work through mourning the loss of that particular relationship however long or short it was. If on the other hand you think back on past relationships with compassion and forgiveness, as an important life lesson you are grateful for, or some variant of these, you are ready for a fulfilling relationship.

Secondly, you are emotionally and spiritually self-sufficient. You live your life where your work, interests, hobbies, friends, family make you feel loved and supported and ‘fulfilled’. Despite inevitable challenges in life, missing a work deadline, having an argument with a friend etc. you are on the whole able to feel good about yourself. If you feel there is a vacuum in your life, a hunger for love and support, or you have no sense of direction, you might want to address this before pursuing a relationship.

Thirdly, you have something to offer. Your life is full. Full of things ‘going on’, be they personal related achievements and aspirations such as running a marathon, volunteering, or work related, like climbing the career ladder, being on exciting projects or you simply enjoying what is going on around you. You feel excited about life and you want to share this with someone. If you feel life is a drag, feels depressive and difficult, you may want to take a look at what is stopping you from moving forward (and don’t say ‘a relationship’!). It’s your job to make you feel fulfilled, not someone else’s. Sometimes it takes a bit of coaching to help you get back on track, like any great athlete who has a personal coach, you might benefit from having someone there to steer you in the right direction. If you address these issues, you will not only be more open and ready for a good relationship, you will be more attractive to the right person.

Madeleine Mason Roantree

Dating Psychologist, The Vida Consultancy Ltd

Dating and relationship expert, with an MSc and BSc in psychology, pending counselling psychology doctorate, Cert. in Applied Positive Psychology, plus cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), person-centred and psychodynamic training. Madeleine offers personal coaching and counselling sessions as well as seminars and workshops. Having experience in marriage, divorce, dating and relationships, Madeleine is passionate about helping people to understand their own needs and getting successful results in their personal relationships. She was shortlisted for Dating Expert of the Year 2014 and 2015 at the UK Dating Awards, plus nominated best dating expert in the world at the 2016 iDate awards. She has worked with various publications such as TimeOut, Daily Telegraph, The Independent and continues to blog at LifeLabs. In 2016 she founded the UK Dating Fair, an annual event for singles to get dating advice and meet the best dating experts in the UK, she is open to collaboration and idea exchanges within the helping profession.