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To be truly ready for a relationship, you must be physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to give and receive love fully. Many people aren’t able to do this because they are either currently in a relationship, carrying the dead weight of emotional baggage, or unable to commit the time and energy necessary for sustaining a good relationship. Oftentimes receiving love can be just as difficult as giving it because so many of us have become accustomed to dysfunctional relationships. Our perspectives become so skewed that poor treatment, unmet needs, and the cycle of relationship drama seem normal.  However, everybody deserves love and has the power to give love in return if they dig deep enough to find it.  So how do you know if you’re ready?

Consider these 8 signs to determine if you’re prepared for a successful relationship…

1. No More Clubs

When you start observing the foolishness that happens at a club, as opposed to being a part of it, it is truly a sign of change. Pay attention. Six months ago you might have been planning your nightly make-out session, but tonight you’d rather be snuggling on your couch watching a movie with a boyfriend.  At some point in our lives the allure and glitz of late nights out and one night stands fade and become more and more unfufilling.  This is a natural progression and is meant to lead you into the next stage of your life, a relationship, marriage, nesting and eventually a family.  Of course not all timelines go as planned, but if you are the perpetual dater and generally the single girl of your friends, you might soon feel a desire to engage in a mature relationship.

2. No Insecurities

Insecurities only make our relationships worse and our lives full of sadness and pity. You will always have those situations where arguments and problems blow up because of insecurities. In some cases women actually seek out relationships because they are too insecure and co-dependent to be alone.  You need to evaluate why you want to be in a relationship and be sure that there are no “fix-its” on the list.  Don’t think that a relationship is going to fix problems you have with yourself or make you feel more confident once you are desired by a man. Insecurities will find you whether you are in a relationship or not, and typically they are magnified by your significant other.

3. Responsible For Your Actions

To fully commit to a new partner, you must take responsibility for whatever part you played in the failure of your past relationships. We always hear people say, “it was not my fault” or “he did this and he did that” when the truth of the matter is that we are all participators in our pain; there are no victims. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and ask the question, what did I do wrong and how can I improve to make my life better? I think we rarely see this type of deep introspection, but we often see the victim mentality. Whether your past relationships ended well or were a mess from the start, you can come out the other side a better person if you allow those experiences to inspire growth. If you can think of the past and feel mostly gratitude for what you learned, you have reached a very mature outlook.   If you can explain what you learned, how you contributed to the cycle, and how you will proceed differently you are plenty ready to start a successful relationship.

4. You Are Healed

It’s important that you’ve fully healed from past pains or bitterness. When we refuse to heal and forgive we allow the person in our past to have control over us. When you forgive you release that pain and the control it has over you. Holding anger from a past relationship will only make you bitter.

5. You Love Yourself

Often people don’t understand what this truly means. Loving self doesn’t mean, “ I am doing me” or “It’s all about me”; that is simply an immature and selfish thought process. Loving self means you understand your self-worth and you do things daily to improve who you are and the lives of others around you. When you love yourself, you treat people kind and you seek a mutual connection with them. When we seek relationships without loving ourselves, our self-worth is tied to the connection of another person. Our self-worth goes up and down depending on how the person with whom we’re connected feels about us.

6. You’re Selfless

Selfish people can’t love unconditionally, period, so this is something you must be mindful of.  If you are selfish, you only love in the moment and once that moment is over, you are gone. When things are hard, difficult, or not your way, you abandon ship.  Part of this selfish mentality is based on pride and the need to be in control. When you enter into a relationship, you are automatically part of a pair, a duo, a partnership.  Yes you are still an individual, but compromise will become your best friend necessary to keep your relationship afloat.  You will want your partner to be happier than yourself and sacrifice anything for him to feel no pain.  If your partner wants to do something that you could care less about, you will forget about your desires and want to enjoy the experience with him, because it’s being with him that matters most. That should be enough.

7. You Are Happy Alone

The ability to be happy alone is a prerequisite to being ready for a relationship or marriage. If you’ve been on your own for at least 6 months and you no longer feel like you need a relationship just to survive, you might just be ready to find a worthy mate.  It can take more or less time, depending on your last relationship and the roots that remain there, but once you feel confident being alone, and content with your own decisions, a man could fit nicely into your life.

8. You’re Ex Is Gone

Don’t pursue relationships with people if you are still dealing with your ex.  Many people jump into a “rebound relationship” immediately after a break up.  Emotions are still raw on both ends and there is no time to heal.  Don’t involve a new man in your old drama.  Chances are he wouldn’t even hang out long enough to get to know the real you, and will run when he sees how much drama and unnecessary issues that still weigh you down.  Break off all ties, even if that means erasing phone numbers and deleting emails.  Until you break free from the clutches of your ex-hurricane, the waters will remain too rough for a successful relationship to survive.

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