You think you might be ready for a relationship, but you’re not entirely sure the time is right.
If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve had some emotional upheaval in the not-too-distant past.
Maybe you broke up with someone fairly recently and you can’t decide if you’re ready to move on.
Or maybe you lost someone you loved or have been having a difficult time of it for any number of reasons, professional or personal.
Either way, you think you might be coming out the other side of it all, but you want to be sure.
After all, you don’t want to get hurt, and you definitely don’t want to hurt anyone else either.
It might be that you’ve already met someone you think there’s potential with…
…or it might be that you’re just considering opening yourself up to the possibility of finding love and aren’t sure whether the time is right for you to put yourself out there.
Whatever your precise circumstances, there are signs that you can look for to see if the time has come to consider getting into a new relationship.
Let’s have a look at some of these signs that indicate you’re ready for a relationship.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but if a few of them sound like you, it’s probably a good sign that the time has come to think about welcoming someone new into your life.
1. You’re happy on your own, literally and figuratively.
Your own company is enough for you. You’re happy in your current state of singleness, and okay spending time on your own, literally.
You can spend time chilling on your own quite happily, and you don’t panic if you find yourself with no plans on a Friday night.
If you didn’t find a romantic partner to share your life with any time soon, you’d be okay with that.
2. You’re interested in more than just one thing.
When you meet new love interests, you’re not just thinking about the physical attraction you feel toward them.
You want to get to know the person underneath all that.
Sure, you crave sexual interaction, but it’s not the be all and end all for you.
You’re looking for a connection on multiple levels, and you’re not afraid to dig a little deeper.
3. You’ve stopped looking.
I’m sure you’re fed up of hearing this, but there’s a lot of truth to the idea that the right person sometimes comes along just when you’ve stopped looking for them.
You’re happy on your own, so you’re not actively out there looking for someone to be in a relationship with.
4. You’re willing to put the work in to find the right person.
This is a total contradiction to the point above, but sometimes the sign that you’re ready to find a relationship is that you’re actively looking for one.
Sure, sometimes the right person just comes along. But often you have to go out and find them yourself, and put the work in.
After all, your dream man or woman isn’t necessarily going to stroll into your life. They’re out there, but you might have to look for them.
Let’s face it, dating is tough, so if you’re willing to put yourself out there on dating sites or ask friends to set you up, and generally go through the rigmarole of it all, that’s a sign that you’re committed to the idea of finding someone to love.
5. You won’t settle.
Someone who’s ready for a relationship is someone who won’t accept anything less than the best.
If you’re ready for love, you know your worth.
You know you’re prepared to give your all, and you won’t settle for anyone who won’t reciprocate that.
You’re holding out for something amazing, no matter how long it takes.
6. You’re open to meeting people who aren’t necessarily your ‘type.’
If you’re sticking very closely to ideas of what you think your ideal partner would look or be like, and are very close-minded about expanding your pool, it might indicate that you’re not yet ready for love.
But if you’re willing to open yourself up to people who are a bit different in your search for love, that’s an excellent sign.
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7. You’re past the rebound phase.
It’s not true that all relationships beginning when you’re ‘on the rebound’ are likely to fail.
But if you do get into a relationship when you’re still rebounding from another one, you need to accept that it will take huge amounts of patience and effort for things to work with your new love interest.
You can never predict when the right person is going to walk into your life, but if you’re still smarting from a previous relationship, you should try to avoid getting into anything serious with someone new.
If you do meet someone, you need to take things slowly.
But if those feelings have faded, it might be time.
For some people that might take weeks, for some months, and some could still be said to be on the rebound even a year on.
You’ll know deep down whether you’re past the rebound phase.
8. You can think of your ex without anger.
If you’ve recently been broken up with or your ex-partner did something that led to the demise of the relationship, you’ll have probably experienced quite a lot of anger toward them.
You’ll know that you’re ready to move on when those feelings of anger start to fade to something more approaching indifference.
No one’s expecting you to be happy about what happened, but you should be able to think about what your ex did and how it all ended without your blood boiling.
If you’ve reached a stage of acceptance, you might be ready for a new relationship.
9. You’re willing to take a risk.
Falling in love is always risky. After all, there are no guarantees in life.
Being in a relationship is about accepting that anything might happen, and that you might get hurt.
If you’re okay with that, you might be ready for the kind of intimacy and vulnerability a relationship involves.
10. You’re willing to let someone break down your walls.
If you’ve been hurt in the past, you’ve probably built some fairly heavy-duty walls around your heart.
Only when you feel like you’d be ready to let the right person break them down should you be thinking about a relationship.
11. You’re willing to make space for someone.
Let’s face it, getting into a relationship will change your life.
If you’re used to being single and doing things your own way, you’ll need to be willing to make changes to create space for someone new in your life.
You need to be conscious that this will involve compromise.
12. You’re willing to put someone else first.
In a relationship, there will be times when you’ll need to put your partner’s needs before your own. Just as there will be times when they’ll need to put your needs first.
That’s just the way it is.
If you can’t picture yourself doing that, it might not be the right time for you yet.
13. But you know where your boundaries are.
On the other hand, whilst you do need to be willing to let your guard down, make space for your new partner, and put them first when necessary, you need to be clear on where the line is, and not allow a new partner to bulldoze your sense of self.
If you think you’re in a place that might mean you lose yourself in a relationship, it might be best to wait until you’re more secure in yourself before you invite someone into your life.