As a relationship professional, love seeking men and women constantly ask me for advice on dating, relationships and love. I’d like to tackle one of my most popular questions and hopefully give someone ready some much needed clarity.
‘How will I know when I’m ready for love?’
Instead of limiting something so important into a simple response, I tell my clients to ask themselves a series of questions and use their answers to determine their relationship ‘readiness’. A few of my go to questions are: Am I ready to trust someone? What do I hope to gain from being in a relationship? Am I mentally and emotionally prepared to love someone and in turn accept their love? Have I forgiven myself for events that happened in past relationships?
These are personal, thought provoking questions meant to trigger conversation and reflection about aspects of a relationship many tend to overlook. Everyone wants the perfect relationship, but no one wants to work on themselves before entering one. Successful unions take constant self assessment, trust, forgiveness and compassion; and if you haven’t healed from past experiences it will be extremely difficult to have a successful relationship in the future.
Let me also say that you don’t have to stop loving someone in order to love again. It’s actually a bit unrealistic. As much as we would like to, we can’t turn love on and off like a light switch. Our hearts don’t work that way. Just as it took time to love and be in love with someone, it will take time to stop loving someone. And honestly, you may never stop caring about an ex. Love never tends to really go away, it just fades. This doesn’t mean you can’t find love while loving someone from your past. Your heart is completely capable of loving more than one person. Just be sure to give absolute effort in your new relationship and try not to compare your past to your present.
Dating, being in a relationship and being in love will look and feel different each time it happens. Partially because each man/woman is different, but mostly because with each failed date or relationship, you have grown as an individual and you are better for it. Love will come at different times in your life and it may not look how it looked before, but if you have healed from past experiences you should feel confident in your ability to Love Big.
If you answered the questions above honestly and found that you’re not as prepared for a relationship as you previously thought, don’t be discouraged. There is nothing wrong with being off the market until you have healed from your past. The truth is, men and women should take more time to recover, self-reflect and evolve between relationships. So if you’re not mentally or emotionally ready to date, enjoy time spent becoming a better you and when you’re ready ask yourself those questions again.