If You Really Love Someone, You'll Date Him Even If You Aren't 'Ready'

Luke Liable

I was perched at my neighborhood watering hole the other day when I got to thinking about guys from my past. Guys I liked but never gave a chance because I was afraid, guys who liked me but I overlooked because I was restless, guys I just slept with but missed when they left my bed, guys who were friends whom I deep down know could have been more.

I thought and I thought. I thought for so long that the condensation skirting the rim of my drink glass pruned my fingers, and I blacked out a short time after that (I think).

Fuck me, half-blacked-out Sheena thought. If only I'd met Brad* a few years later. He was ready. I wasn't. In every way, he was perfect, and I'm just so... imperfect.

My gin and tonic turned into a melted mess. I pushed it aside and asked for another. I don't remember much else except that later that night, I stumbled home and fell asleep somewhere in the midst of beating myself up over not giving Brad and the others an honest chance.

Time and time again, I've pushed men away because I've told myself I wasn't "ready." I wasn't sure where it was going to lead with them, or where I wanted it to lead, or if I was willing to get deep enough to open myself up to the possibility of getting hurt.

And I let that uncertainty fuel my isolation. Even in times when I so badly needed love, I've chosen to stay isolated in my hot mess of a life, despite being handed the opportunity to be loved. The opportunity was just sitting there, like food on a fucking silver platter, and I refused, even when I was starving. All because I thought I wasn't "ready."

First of all, there's no such thing as being ready for a relationship. We are all floundering around, wildly unsure of ourselves, even the ones who look like they've got it all together.

I used to think there was a "right" time to fall in love, or there was a version of me "right" enough to render me worthy of being loved. But I'm not ready! I haven't locked down the job I want to lock down. I haven't ~found myself~ in the capacity I've always wanted to. As legitimate as those excuses once sounded to me, I realize now they were just words I used to rationalize why I didn't feel the way I believed I should have felt for guys I thought I could be with.

I have to remember on my journey that every time I told myself, "You're just not ready, Sheena," I was bullshitting myself. As for why I didn't give myself enough credit, I don't know. Because this right here is me. This is the most me I'll ever be. And a guy can take me or leave me -- that is, as long as I'm willing to give myself to him.

I just wasn't into those guys enough. Plain and simple. Maybe I was into them just enough to be myself around them, or maybe I was into them just enough to be reminded of humanity. But "just enough" wasn't enough. Because I still want love, but I'm still not ready, nor will I ever be ready. I didn't date them because none of them were the one for me. If I'd loved one enough, I'd be with him.

This whole time, the joke was on me. I've been just fine; I just haven't met the guy who's ready to be unready with me.

I've been just fine; I just haven't met the guy who's ready to be unready with me.

A job you hate. Friends you're having drama with. Being too broke to be able to pay off your credit card debt. Fear of falling in love. Fear of falling out of love. Emotional unavailability. Separation by state lines or separation by an ocean. None of these inconveniences in your personal life will matter. When you find that person, the threads keeping your heart sewn shut will unwind and loop him in, and you won't be able to do a damn thing about it.

My friends, it'll just happen. You'll fall into it with ease. Like an avalanche, it'll hit you and swoop you up, and you'll try to resist but you'll feel like a wasteful idiot for trying, and the magnitude of this thing will render you completely powerless. That's what real love does. That's what right love does.

And you won't feel ready for it, but that's the beautiful thing about it. You'll march right up to him, arms wide open and heart equally as open, and say: "I didn't think it'd happen with you, in this way, as the person I am. But I'm ready to be with you."

Love will transcend everything. Unreadiness will become ambient noise. Trust me. I didn't know it before, but I know it now.

* Name has been changed.