CoachesPH | How Can You Tell If You’re Ready For A Relationship Emotionally? | I wish someone had inquired if I was ready for a relationship three years ago. The last thing I needed after breaking up with an abusive partner was to get into another relationship a month later.
But I used to think that love was something that had to be pursued all the time. And that I’d miss out if I didn’t take every opportunity I had to meet someone special.

Regrettably, all I accomplished was to postpone the inevitable work I had to perform on myself. I wasn’t going to modify my bad dating practices while repeating them because a relationship couldn’t address my inner dissatisfaction.

You’ve come to the perfect place if you’re debating whether or not you’re ready for another relationship. It takes self-accountability to even contemplate the possibility that you aren’t ready.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide if you’re ready to start a new relationship:

Are you aware of your personal boundaries?

Boundaries in a relationship are the limits you set for how you expect to be treated and what you will and will not tolerate. They’re essential for a happy relationship, but many people struggle to achieve them.

So, my question to you is this: do you know where your limits are? Do you think you’ll be able to speak up about them?

If you answered no, take some time to figure out what limits you need in a relationship to feel comfortable. Is it necessary for you to have X amount of time off during the week? Or have you always felt disrespected in the past and want to avoid it in the future?

Reflecting on what you didn’t like in previous relationships might also help you figure out what you’re prepared to put up with in the future.

For the most part, I stayed with people who didn’t respect me or make me feel protected. I should’ve established a boundary right then and there, stating that I would not tolerate behaviors such as my partner making fun of me at my expense, but I didn’t. Instead, I felt constantly violated and as if my needs were unimportant.

If you answered yes, congratulations! You’re on your way to developing relationships that make you feel fulfilled and valued.

Do you know what your unsatisfactory dating patterns are?

If I had to summarize the last ten years of my dating life in one statement, I would say: The men I picked to hang out with were all the same guy with a different face. What exactly does that imply? Allow me to explain.

Because it was comfortable to me, I decided to date cocky, rude, emotionally disconnected men. It wasn’t until I paused to think about whether or not this pattern needed to alter that I realized I wanted a partner who was the polar opposite of the folks I had previously dated.

But the only way I could achieve that was to become aware of and alter my dating habits. Have you followed suit?

If no, get down with yourself and make a list of everything you didn’t enjoy about your previous relationships. Take note of any themes that are similar or overlap.

This can help you figure out what hasn’t been working in your love life.

If you answered yes, and you have a strategy for changing them and checking in with yourself during your interactions, that’s fantastic! You’ve taken another step toward a brighter love life.

Do you still want to rekindle your relationship with your ex?

It’s natural to have flashbacks regarding your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Even I occasionally daydream about a former boyfriend or remember about nice recollections.

Are those sentiments, however, a sign of anything else? Do you miss your ex so much that if they called you up and begged you to get back together, you’d drop everything you’re doing for them?

If you answered yes, you’re most likely still not over your ex. The question isn’t whether this is a good or terrible thing. What you want to think about is what’s still unsettled and has to be straightened out.

If you’re unhappy with a decision you made and miss your ex, it’s time to talk to them. If they crushed your heart and you never got closure, it’s time to make it happen for yourself.
When your heart is elsewhere, jumping into a new relationship won’t work out well for you or the person you’re dating.

If you answered no, it appears that you’ve moved on. In that situation, instead of dwelling on the past, you’ll be able to channel your energy into a new connection.

Do you believe that being in a relationship makes you feel complete?

Is there something missing from your life? Perhaps happiness, meaning, or purpose? Do you believe that a relationship will fill the void you’re experiencing?

Then I have a hard truth for you: no one, whether a child, a friend, or a romantic partner, will ever “complete” you. It’s a cute notion, but it belongs in the Disney movies from where it came. You’re complete in your own right. But I understand that not everyone thinks this way about themselves.

If you answered yes, can you identify which aspects of your life do not yet feel complete to you? If that’s the case, it’s time to start making changes and focusing your efforts on those aspects of your life instead of (or in addition to) dating.

If you said no, you won’t fall into the trap of believing that your spouse is everything to you. Outside of your relationship, you’ll most likely continue to invest time in your life.
Which is an excellent indicator that you’re ready for a relationship.

Do you get claustrophobic just thinking about being with one person?

Do you believe it’s foolish to choose to be with one person out of all the possibilities available in the world? Or does the idea of commitment terrify you?

If you answered yes, a relationship might not be right for you. Or, at the very least, it’s not what you’re looking for right now. A committed relationship is not for everyone. At the same time, not everyone who will someday be ready for one is ready now.

If you think you want love but are afraid to commit, consider whether it’s the idea of a relationship or a fear of becoming close to someone. In a relationship, not everyone is naturally susceptible. It will be frightening if you are not one of those folks.

If the response is no, that’s wonderful. Make it clear from the start what you want out of dating. Find someone who shares your vision for the future.

With another person, can you communicate, compromise, and be vulnerable?
When clients come to me with relationship troubles, the issues are usually obvious: communication, expectations, or emotional connection are all issues.

All of the aforementioned, however, necessitates self-awareness, maturity, and patience. Do you think you’ve got these?

It’s completely fine if your answer is no. These kinds of interpersonal abilities are acquired over time. I’m not saying you can’t learn them while in a relationship; nevertheless, it will be more difficult if another person is involved.

In either case, it will assist you in being more aware of your emotions. Whether it’s writing down your thoughts in a journal or practicing talking about how you’re feeling with those closest to you, it’s important to practice talking about how you’re feeling.

If you answered yes, you’re well on your way to establishing a solid relationship. You’re probably ready for a relationship if you can let these attributes drive your decisions with your spouse.

I wasn’t emotionally prepared for a relationship until I took a year off to focus on myself. I realized I was ready when I was able to set boundaries with individuals and felt like dating was a complement to my life, not half of it.

It’s difficult to acknowledge you’re not ready for a relationship, especially in a culture that continually urges us to date. Taking a vacation from dating, on the other hand, can be just what you need to discover a successful relationship later on.

Because when a fantastic person enters your life, you’ll be glad you put in the effort to prepare for them.

Originally and Adapted from Kirstie Taylor