After posting it to my wall, one of my FB friends left a comment saying that no one is ever ready for a romantic relationship. I think the gist of what she meant by that statement was, this ultimate level of readiness is another form of perfectionism, and perfection is impossible. All relationships require courage and have some element of risk-taking, and this idea of “readiness” is a false ideal that no one ever lives up to.
I’ve seen and heard people express similar sentiments, citing the “I’m not ready” line as a cop out used by people who are looking to end a relationship without looking like “the bad guy.”
I think that, for the most part, when a person tells you they aren’t ready, they are telling you the absolute TRUTH!
I think in terms of readiness, there are LEVELS. Yes, there are levels of preparedness that one must achieve if he or she intends to form a HEALTHY, loving romantic relationship. Here they are in no particular order of importance:
1) The first level involves being clear about what you want romantically. While that seems obvious, most people have no clear vision around what the right relationship would entail for them. Often times, our minds are fixed on the superficial aspects of romantic relationships. When we think of finding that special someone, our thoughts turn to hand-holding, cuddling on the couch watching reruns of “Martin” on Netflix, etc. We’re thinking about the pleasurable experiences we want to create and experience with someone. Ladies and gentlemen, that is NOT clarity. Knowing what you want means really looking at the foundational aspects of a relationship that make it function in the long-term. What political, religious, and social views do you want this person to have? Does this person exercise and take care of themselves physically? Is this person gainfully employed, or living upstairs in his mama’s crib working on his Sound Cloud career? Get clear about what you NEED, and not just on what you want.
2) The second level involves being clear about WHO YOU ARE. Lawd Jesus!!!!! One’s emotional intelligence (EQ) determines his or her level of self-awareness, and today’s generation seems to be more Clueless than Stacey Dash in this area. We live in an age where superficiality reigns supreme. Social media encourages this. We live our lives in selfies and status updates which only highlight the good things that are happening around us. We look for immediate approval in the form of likes, follows and shares. Not only are we becoming disconnected from one another, we’re becoming more and more disconnected from ourselves.
Many of us base who we want to be on society’s standards and completely surrender our individuality. This is dangerous in that people are unaware of the aspects of their personality that may be setting them back in life, specifically the area of love. Magazines will give you advice on how to dress to get the man you want, but will offer no advice on how to dress your heart, soul and mind in a way that inspires the man of your dreams to see beyond the physical. This generation is increasingly known for mind games, emotional unavailability, and passive-aggressive behavior tactics. The sad part is many of those who are employing these behaviors are unaware of the inner demons causing them to act out of fear instead of love.
It’s so important to know who you are and to embrace all of your flaws and strengths. How can you really know, not only what you need from others, but what you have to OFFER others, if you don’t know yourself beyond the superficial? You need to know more than your favorite color, clothing store, music band and TV show. Who are you on the inside?
3) The third level involves being emotionally available for love. What does this mean? The long and short of it is being able to act out of love instead of fear. People who are emotionally unavailable are acting out of unresolved fears stemming from unhealed traumas and wounds. A lot of people THINK they’re emotionally available for love, but whenever they find a promising relationship, they find something wrong with the person or search for some way to sabotage it. Often they’re afraid of commitment, getting hurt, or being abandoned. It can also show up as being attracted to all the wrong types of people, because deep down you are afraid that you’ll never really be loved, so you stay with what’s comfortable, and that’s with men or women who are incapable of loving you.
Unless you are really ready and willing to engage with someone DEEPLY; ready to embrace the person’s flaws, as well as ready to allow someone to embrace YOURS, then you are not emotionally available and have little room in your heart for love to take residence.
4) The last level involves being committed to your individual personal growth and development for the rest of your life. Oftentimes, people get into relationships and immediately let themselves go. These are usually the ones who feel validated by a relationship and as a result, begin to ignore their personal and self-care needs. The end result is the other person begins to outgrow you or feel overwhelmed by your need for validation. Something that I have always noticed about healthy couples is how committed they are to improving themselves individually. They inspire one another and are able to nurture each other’s dreams and aspirations. If you aren’t taking care of yourself physically, emotionally or mentally, then you are not ready for a relationship.
Okay folks, that’s all I got! Let me know what you think. Did I leave anything out? Holla at me! J