Are you ready to start seriously dating? How do you know? Sure, anyone can go out on a casual date or two without really impacting your life or the life of the person you went out with. But when things start to get a little more serious, you may need to evaluate if you are really ready to start a serious relationship.
Are you truly available and ready to open yourself up to another human being? Are you getting involved for the right reasons? By evaluating yourself first, you can avoid a lot of tears and broken hearts. And when you are ready, you will start out with a much healthier relationship.
Here are eight ways to tell if you are ready and available to take dating seriously.
When you are happy with your life, you are more likely to enter into a relationship without emotional baggage or unrealistic expectations. You are more likely to take things slow because you know that your happiness does not rely on the relationship working out.
You are already happy, and regardless of the outcome of a few dates, you will still be happy. By being happy on your own first, you will maintain control of your own life, goals, needs and emotions.
2. You Aren’t Bitter About Your Ex Anymore
If your previous relationship ended badly or before you wanted it to, you need to let enough time pass so that you are no longer bitter or resentful towards your ex.
If you start dating again while still carrying hostile feelings, the new relationship will already start off with hurdles to jump in order to last. Sometimes it may feel like the best thing to do after a nasty breakup is to get back on the dating scene, but you need to ask yourself if you are doing so for all the wrong reasons.
3. You Are Excited About Dating
You are probably ready to date seriously if you are excited about the dating part. If you have met someone that you really enjoy spending time with and get excited to see again, you may be ready to take that next step.
If dating is more like a chore, you should probably reevaluate the reasons why you are dating in the first place. Perhaps you should take more time to focus on yourself or look for someone that you have more in common with.
4. You Have The Time To Date
Let’s be honest. Relationships take a lot of time and energy. No matter how much you want to start seriously dating, if you are balancing a full-time job and going to school at night, you may just not have the time right now.
Instead of trying to juggle all of life’s priorities and a new relationship, it might be better to clear some space in your diary first. Dating is a serious time commitment. It isn’t just about going on dates. There are phone calls, texting, and general time spent getting to know each other. Your partner deserves to spend quality time with you, and your relationship will depend on it. Don’t start a serious relationship if you do not have the time to commit to it.
While money does not dictate happiness by any means, being financially unfit will make starting a new relationship more difficult. Going through a bankruptcy or losing a job are stressful enough. It will be better for everyone involved if you overcome those obstacles first before starting a relationship with someone new. And starting a relationship in order to get financial help is a big no-no that will end in disaster.
6. You Are Flexible
Relationships are a lot of work. Two completely different people are coming together, and a great deal of flexibility will be required to make it work. You will have to compromise and cooperate with each other. There will be sacrifices. There are things you will have to give up for your significant other. You may have to give up a piece of your life in order to meet the time commitment of a serious relationship. Are you ready for that?
One of the benefits of being in a serious relationship is having the ability to be completely vulnerable and open with someone you love. Healthy communication styles require practice and hard work. You have to be willing and able to talk and listen before beginning a new relationship if you want the connection to last.
8. You Are Available To Trust
Relationships that don’t have trust simply will not survive the rocky road of life. Love is built on trust. When you trust your partner, you will both have the security to experience the full potential of a loving relationship.
If your ability to trust is not available due to a past relationship or experience, you should not enter into a serious relationship yet. Without trust, you will have fear and insecurity which will result in a broken relationship in the future. Work on yourself first and learn to trust again.
Dating is an important part of adult life. Getting into a new relationship can be scary, difficult and exciting all at the same time. We enter into meaningful relationships that end up shaping our lives and building the people we ultimately become.
While dating can be fun and casual, entering into a serious, committed relationship is something that takes a lot of forethought. Because yours and your partner’s feelings are on the line, you should be completely ready for the experience before starting down this road. Take a step back and evaluate yourself first. By doing so, you can avoid future heartbreak and have a healthier relationship from the start.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.