Emotional intimacy is often touted as the essential tool to building a happy, healthy, committed partnership. But what is it exactly? And how can you encourage it in your relationships?
It’s only natural to ask yourself: ‘Am I ready for a relationship?’ because it pays to be sure. Serious commitment warrants serious thought, and being ready for a relationship is so much more than circumstantial – you need to be emotionally ready too. It’s all about making peace with the past, feeling happy in the present and being prepared for your future to be intertwined with someone else’s…
In fact, asking ‘am I ready for a relationship?’ is one of the key steps to finding a successful match. It’s just this kind of introspection that will tell you what you need and want from a serious relationship (the EliteSingles personality test helps do this for you, too). Ultimately, only you can decide if you’re ready for a relationship, and ‘am I ready for a relationship?’ is just the first of many questions you have to ask yourself to find out.
Dealing with the past
We all have a relationship history. Whether you’re divorced, widowed, separated or you’ve merely suffered through a break-up, the pain of past relationships can take its toll. When you ask ‘am I ready for a relationship?’ your first question should really be ‘how much is my relationship past affecting my present life?’
The past is the past, and you have to leave it there. Make sure you’ve left a suitable amount of time between your last relationship and your new one. And yes, sadly, only you can know how long that is! If you still find yourself dwelling on your own misgivings about your ex, don’t do your future relationship the injustice of bringing that baggage with you. Get rid of it first.
READ MORE: How to get over your ex
Getting ready for a relationship
Focus on you for a moment; to be ready for a relationship you need to be in a stable position in your life and this means being comfortable in your own skin. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true: you need to feel happy as a single person before you can be happy in a relationship.
If you feel like you need a relationship to complete you, or feel all your problems will be solved when you find a partner, then you’re not ready for a relationship. If you’re still asking ‘am I ready for a relationship?’ why not ask ‘am I happy by myself?’ instead. If the answer is yes, then you just might be!
But being ready for a relationship is more than just being happy. Relationship writer James Michael Sama reminds us that ‘it’s difficult to plan a future with someone who has no future plans for themselves.’ It’s good to have your own life goals; not only will they make you more attractive to a potential partner, but ambition also helps to focus you on your priorities. Once you have these set, you’ll know exactly what kind of relationship you want, and the sort of person you’ll want it with too.
Ideally you should have lots of interests outside of your work and family life because – even when you are eventually in a relationship – it’s important to indulge your own individuality. Our advice is this: your social life matters – your friends, your hobbies, these are the things that make you you. There’s nothing more important to your search for lasting love, so before you start dating take the time to enjoy your own company and the things that you love doing.
Am I ready for a relationship of compromise?
The final way of knowing if you’re ready for a relationship is whether you can picture yourself in one – warts and all. Accepting someone new into your life requires an open mind and a generous spirit. No matter how compatible two people are, you and your future partner will have occasional petty grievances. They might do things that annoy you. You will have arguments.
Happiness in a relationship roughly equates to how willing you are to accept someone for who they are. If you deserve to be adored just the way you are, then so does your partner! Relationship, after all, is a byword for mutual openness, honesty and understanding.
Are you ready for compromise too? Relationship expert Evan Marc Katz writes ‘you don’t have to lose yourself in a partnership, but you do have to be willing to give a LOT to be a worthy partner.’2 Being in a serious relationship relies on your ability to share your life, to the point where you won’t know where your life ends and theirs begins. Are you thrilled by the prospect of welcoming someone new into your life whole-heartedly – embracing their life, friends, family and everything else, and vice versa? If the answer’s yes, you’re ready.
There’s no shame in taking some more time for yourself – don’t feel pressured into finding a relationship if you aren’t ready for one. If you’re over your past, happy in your own skin and willing to accept another person for who they are, then it’s definitely the time to consider getting yourself out there and start dating!
For more great dating tips, relationship advice and articles on the pursuit of love, check out the section below or browse our handy online magazine. Ready for a relationship? Sign up for EliteSingles here.