Settling down can be a scary thought. Spending your life with the same individual, until the day you die, is frightening for anyone.
What if you pick the wrong person? What if he or she changes over time? What if there's someone better out there waiting for you?
Settling down and finding The One is scary for anyone, but it's especially terrifying for men. But here are eight signs that show he's ready for the future, even if the thought of forever scares the life out of him.
1. He finally understands what it means to be lonely.
Everyone understands the concept of feeling lonely -- it’s what we feel when we're scared there's no one who'd care if we went missing, if we disappeared or if we never existed in the first place.
For most, loneliness is only a concept we’ve heard about or pondered over. Most people aren’t lonely, and it’s not so much because we're surrounded by true friends, but because we believe we are surrounded by friends.
The older we get, the more we accept most people that claim to be your friends, claim to care about you, don’t care nearly as much as we thought they did.
Everyone is a friend when it’s convenient to be a friend. When being a friend means inconveniencing yourself, most of our so-called friends vanish into the woodwork.
Understanding, feeling and knowing true loneliness means you've realized you don't have someone to turn to when you need a friend the most.
2. He’s no longer interested in adding notches to his belt.
There comes a time in every man’s life when he realizes every notch just creates another empty hole.
Sex is great. Sleeping with a good assortment of individuals is also a very great time -- for a while. Eventually, you get tired of the hunt. You get bored feigning interest in someone you know you aren’t going to see again, much less spend your life with.
It's important to explore your sexuality and other people to get an understanding of what you are or aren’t missing. Eventually, you'll realize more notches in your belt isn't making your life any richer.
3. He has a difficult time enjoying meaningless sex.
The problem with booty calls, friends with benefits and hook-up buddies is that the sex, although better than with a one-night stand, is still fairly meaningless.
Getting to know what a person likes in bed takes time, and with a no-strings-attached partner, you're not taking the time to figure out what he or she wants -- just what you want.
And if the sex feels meaningless, it can’t be nearly as good as meaningful sex with a person who means the world to you is.
It’s like Woody Allen says:
Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go, it’s pretty damn good.
4. He needs love in his life.
All people claim they want love in their lives -- but not until you need it, are ready for it and are craving it, will you be ready to settle down.
It's not until we feel we need true love -- a kind of love that truly cares, nourishes, forgives and gives -- will we be ready to dedicate our lives to another individual.
5. He wants to put your needs ahead of his own.
This is usually harder for men to do than women, and it's not because they don’t wish they could put the needs of their partners ahead of their own. Instead, it’s because his ego and his upbringing make doing so incredibly difficult.
Women have it more difficult because society often dictates they be more "submissive" to the needs of others -- women, men, parents, children, etc. Because women are inherently seen as givers, they’re often more mature, more realistic, more in touch with reality and less ego-driven.
There are plenty of men out there who wish they could put the needs of their partner ahead of their own, and although they sometimes manage to, in the end, their relationships fall apart.
When you truly understand the importance of being selfless in a relationship, you're ready to take the plunge.
6. He’s already thinking about the prospect of having children.
Children aren’t for everybody -- but it doesn't mean all men want to be child-free.
Of course, you don’t need to be ready to have children before you decide to settle down with the person you love, but if you plan on having kids one day, you should be OK with contemplating such things.
Moreover, you should be all right with discussing it with the person you love.
7. He’s no longer lost.
A loving partner is not the answer. He or she is not the end-goal or the solution. If you don’t know yourself and don’t understand what you want from life, you aren’t ready to settle down.
You may feel like you are, but you aren’t. Too often, people believe finding someone to love will fix all their other problems. It seems realistic... until it doesn't. A loving partner doesn't immediately fix you.
Romantic love makes us forget about all our problems, but over time, they resurface, usually causing more problems. Do yourself a favor and fix yourself first.
8. He meets the right mate.
You can be ready for the works -- marriage, children, waking up next to the same person day after day -- but if you don’t have the right person to share it all with, "the works" seem unexciting. And depressing.
Meeting the right person isn’t easy. So, at the end of the day, when you do meet the person you want to spend your life with, you can be ready to settle as long as you decide to be.
I know how enticing it seems to stay single, meet and sleep with new people and have endless freedom, but if you decide to let go of the right person, don’t expect to find a replacement any time soon.