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3 Signs You're Ready For A Relationship, Based On What You Should Be Confident About

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Entering a relationship can feel a bit like getting on a subway train. If you don't pay attention to the letters and the lines, you might end up heading completely in the wrong direction, winding up miles from where you want to be. If you're looking for the signs that you're ready for a relationship, then think about it in terms of getting on a train. Is this really the train you want to take? Is it headed to the right place, or will boarding it make you end up lost and confused?

Of course, you can get on the right train and still not end up at your destination. Breakdowns and delays happen. Sometimes, the train is super freaking crowded and uncomfortable, and you're better off waiting for the next one to come along. You can check and double check and still miss your stop.

Even though there are always risks, you should still be reasonably confident about a few things when you are deciding whether to get into a relationship at all. This way, even if you do wind up somewhere you don't want to be, you can retrace your steps and get to where you want to go:

1. Be Confident In Your Identity Pre-Relationship

Before you enter a relationship, you want to be sure that you will still be who you really are when you are in that partnership. You know you are ready for a relationship when you have met someone who won't require you to change much about your life. The best relationships are those that fit into your life so neatly that you don't even feel like you need to make space for them.

If you are ready for a relationship, then you and your partner will have been feeling each other out for at least six months. In that six-month period, did you distance yourself from your friends and from your passions? Or did you continue to see everyone in your life who is important to you, including your new crush? Were you able to advance your work while you were going on dates with them? Or did you lose weekends in bed? Did those weekends spill over into regular weeks? Do you really want a relationship, or are you looking for an escape?

You know you are ready for a relationship when it's clear that your coupled life will be able to be balanced and with the aspects of your life before the relationship, and when you won't be relying on a partner to give you something you ought to be able to give yourself. Ultimately, you don't enter a relationship because you need anybody. You do it because you want them.

2. Be Confident And Clear About Why You Both Want A Relationship

If you think you are ready for a relationship, you need to ask yourself why you want to be with this person in particular. Did you simply get tired of dating and decide to land on the first person who showed you some affection? I might sound like I'm being dismissive, but I'm really not. Dating can be exhausting, especially on dating apps.

If you have been using dating apps to find love, then odds are, you have encountered people who are desperate for it. And while you are plenty lovable and extremely worthy of finding lasting connection, you don't want to be with someone who is desperate to be with just anyone. If your potential partner has been completely swept up in you since the first date, and you are taking a much-needed self-esteem boost from their affections, then you might need to take a step back from the relationship.

You don't have to love yourself in order to find love. It's OK if you have low self-esteem, and your partner helps lift you up. Just be sure that the person they are falling for is the real you, not some dream girl they have conjured up. If your partner makes you their everything, then it's not going to be long before you tip off of that high pedestal they placed you on. And you don't want to break.

3. Overall, Be Confident That Your Life Will Be Better With Your Partner

Let me be clear: If you think that you are ready for a relationship, then the reason shouldn't be that see your partner as the only key to your happiness. Even if your ultimate goal is marriage, children, and literally nothing more, you still need to be sure you are in a relationship with someone who shares a traditional family as their ultimate goal.

For those of us who either don't want, or want more than, marriage and children, whomever we end up in a relationship with needs to be a happy addition to the life we are pursuing. That addition might make that life work more smoothly, or the new relationship might be the icing on the cake of an already cohesive lifestyle. Your life certainly doesn't have to be all the way together in order to find love, but love shouldn't be the only thing about your life. You feel me?

Whatever your partner brings into your life, you should be sure that it is a happy addition that you don't necessarily need to rely on. Maybe they are great at making sure you stay fed and watered while you go off and pursue your artistic passions. Maybe they stimulate your mind and help you work out complex intellectual problems that are challenging your work. If your partner doesn't give you anything except for attention and sex, maybe it isn't time to pursue a full-blown relationship with them — unless sex and attention are truly all you want out of a relationship.

When you are really ready for a relationship, it's not because you think you can't live without the person you have been seeing. It's because your life is just that much better with them in it, and you would like them to stay.

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