You're in what you think is a great relationship. You're swimming along, happy as clam. But you have this nagging feeling that some of the things you do might be signs you're not ready for a relationship.
Unfortunately, wanting a serious relationship and being ready for one are two very different things. Although sometimes we think we're really ready, our minds and hearts betray us when we realize we're pushing our partners (and the relationship) away through certain actions.
Luckily, there's no rush, because we all find love at the time that's right for us. But if you're wondering about things you might be doing to sabotage yourself, here are seven signs you're not ready for a relationship like you think you are.
1. You Try To Change Your Partner
Trying to change your partner is a sure sign you aren't ready for a mature, long-term relationship.
Although many people think it's natural to hop into a relationship and start to nitpick the little idiosyncrasies their partner has, nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, in a healthy, happy relationship, both partners love and accept each other for who they are.
When you try to alter or adjust your partner's personality in any way, you are signaling to them that you need them to be better or different in some way in order to be happy with them. This isn't a good recipe for a lasting love. Instead, it's a recipe for a breakup to happen sooner or later.
2. You Value Superficial Traits
When we're kids, we might be into the latest clothes or shoes, and we might be all about trying to "keep up with the Joneses." That said, those kinds of behaviors should gradually adjust into adulthood, where we begin to just be happy with ourselves, with or without lots of expensive material possessions.
If you find yourself constantly wishing your partner made more money or you're wanting them to buy you expensive things, you aren't ready for happily ever after. True love isn't about jewelry or "stuff." It's about two people coming together because they love each other's souls. Not only that, but harping on expensive, material things will inevitably bug your partner as well.
It's better to give yourself some time to grow up a little before you try to undertake a serious relationship.
3. You Have A Savior Complex
Are you constantly trying to "save" or "fix" your partner in someway? This may mean you have a savior complex — another sure sign you aren't cut out for a serious, long-term relationship... at least right now.
Going into a relationship with the idea that you can save or fix your partner means you don't care about the actual relationship. Instead, you're trying to play the leader with someone whom you see as a project.
It's probably clear your partner won't appreciate this behavior, but either way, it means you should give fixing people a rest and work on yourself before you're ready for forever love.
4. You Let Your Individuality Fall By The Wayside
If you're a people-pleaser and codependent, those aren't great traits to have in a relationship, because you will likely inevitably lose your individuality.
This means you end up doing everything your partner loves, or you do things for your partner constantly, but there's no give and take. Losing your individuality means you've forgotten to nurture the things that make you who you are and, instead, get lost in focusing on your partner.
A healthy relationship needs both parties to be well-adjusted individuals on their own. If this isn't you, it would be better to give yourself some time to get there, rather than trying to hop into something serious now.
5. You're Emotionally Closed Off
Being emotionally closed off is the kiss of death in a serious relationship.
Most romantic partnerships work because the parties both reveal things about themselves — everything from their favorite colors to their emotional baggage. It only all flows if both parties do this, however, so that everyone feels loved and accepted and equally as vulnerable as their partner feels.
If you are emotionally closed off, chances are strong that your partner already senses it. But even if they don't, it's a signal that you may not be ready for a mature, serious relationship that requires you to open up frequently.
6. You Talk About Your Ex A Lot
Frequently bringing up a past partner in a relationship either means you really aren't ready to let go of them, or you aren't ready to let go of your previous life. Either way, that spells doom for the possibility of a serious commitment between you and your current partner.
Instead of trying to push through with your current relationship, take some time to figure out what's keeping your head with your ex. Then, try to fix that problem first to move on and grow, before you hop into something long-term with someone else.
7. You're Not Happy
It might be really romantic to think of Tom Cruise telling Renee Zellweger that she completes him in "Jerry Maguire," but the truth is, no one should complete anyone else. We're all fully formed, perfectly functional human beings on our own, and we should all feel complete and fulfilled on our own as well.
Relationships are nice, especially loving, forever partnerships, but they aren't necessary for a happy life. If you're unhappy within yourself, constantly chasing happiness through your relationships, you'll never find it.
What most people don't realize is that you first have to be totally happy with yourself. Then, you can join your happiness with another person's for a successful relationship.
If you think you might be headed toward a forever partnership, but identify with many of the things on this list, you might have more work to do than you realize. That's fine, though. We all progress at different paces. Give yourself the time and space to grow and mature. You'll be glad you did.
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