“Don’t rush into any kind of relationship. Work on yourself. Feel yourself, experience yourself and love yourself. Do this first and you will soon attract that special loving other.” ~Russ Von Hoelscher
Being in love is awesome. Sharing your life with someone special who gets you, adores you, and loves you for who you are is amazing. Sometimes, though, we need to work on ourselves before we are ready to attract a true love like that.
Rather than jumping into yet another romantic adventure without thinking, I encourage you to answer these few questions. I know, at the time of my love search, that they would have served me well.
Instead, I spent ten years dating every jerk under the sun, getting my heart broken on more than a few occasions, and wasting tons of time. I did a lot of growing and learning too, but if you can avoid pain, why not?
In the end, it was all worth it, but if you want to speed up the process and find the best way to the right person, then I believe these questions can help you.
Here they are:
1. Am I ready?
Readiness is not simply about being ready to give up things like your freedom and independence and devoting yourself to nurturing your relationship and sharing your life with another person. Readiness is also very much about living a fulfilled life right now as a single person. It’s about not needing a partner, but wanting one.
Readiness is free of desperation. Readiness is about living purposefully and passionately. Being ready means being okay with your life as it is right now. Being ready is not about filling the gap in your life with a romantic partner, but creating a life you love to live. When you are this kind of ready, you attract happy partners and create happy and lasting relationships.
2. Am I happy?
You need to be happy before you can find a happy partner and build a happy relationship with him or her.
It took me years to dissolve the belief that I’d be happy once I met someone and take responsibility for my own happiness. I now know that happiness doesn’t magically show up the moment you meet the love of your life. Happiness has to already be there. Nobody is responsible for your happiness but you. You need to tap into the happiness within.
How can you do that? To start, shift your perspective and appreciate what you have rather than focusing on what you would have if you were in a relationship. And my number one tool to tap into the happiness within is a regular meditation. This will help you be more present in your life so you can tune into all the many other reasons to be happy.
The happier you are right now, as a single, the happier a relationship you will be able to create. And this might go without saying, but the happier you are, the more others will be drawn to you.
3. Are my boundaries healthy?
It’s nice to imagine that love has no boundaries, and once you have found that amazing person, life with them will be nice and easy. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is a recipe for a disaster.
Without strong boundaries, you will lose yourself in any relationship you find yourself in. You will lose yourself in pleasing, accommodating, and compromising to the point where you won’t remember who you are and what you need.
Healthy boundaries help you build healthy relationships. Healthy boundaries help you maintain a crucial sense of self. Healthy boundaries let others know where they stand with you and what is expected of them. Healthy boundaries give others clarity and make things simple. You need them in dating, in relationships, and definitely in your marriage. You’d better set those boundaries now and stick to them!
Here are a few examples of boundaries which will help you maintain your sense of self and honour your own needs:
- Don’t give up things you love doing for your partner
- Speak your mind and say “no” when it feels like a “no”
- Regularly do things on your own or just with your own friends
- Have your own goals and dreams
- Have your passions and purpose
- Respect your own values
- Spend quality time only in your own company
Sticking to these rules will make you feel more empowered in early stages of dating and relationships. You also get more respect from people because by having boundaries you communicate self-respect to them.
4. Do I love myself?
How much love you have for yourself will determine your romantic decisions. If you don’t feel worthy of love, then you will make compromises that could hurt you. If you don’t feel like you are the best thing that can ever happen to a guy, then I reckon you still need to work on self-love.
Self-love is bold. Self-love is about owning your greatness and uniqueness. Self-love is about claiming your desires. Self-love is about knowing what you deserve and going for it without apologising. It’s only when you love yourself that you won’t sabotage your dating and romantic happiness.
To go deeper with self-love and recognizing your own worth you can create a list of 100 things you love, admire, appreciate, and respect about yourself. The things which make you feel proud about who you are!
Also, you can create a little self-love ritual. In the morning, you can say: I love you, so today I choose to… eat healthy food, have some fun, exercise, go to bed early, have a bath, read a book etc. And in the evening, before you fall asleep you can appreciate yourself and say: I love you because… you are an awesome person, you are very helpful, you are fun, you are hot, you dealt with this client at work amazingly well today, you’ve cleaned the whole flat and it looks amazing…etc.
5. Do I know what I want from a relationship?
It is not enough to know that you want a relationship. It is not enough to know that you’re done with being single. It is not enough to know that you miss the company of a significant other.
You need to know what kind of person you want to share your life with. You need to know how you want to feel in your relationship. You need to know how you want to live your life once you are in a relationship. Most of all, you need to know the type of person you want to be in this relationship.
Take a piece of paper and journal about it. Gain clarity and explore what kind of relationship you want to create, and don’t forget to determine your non-negotiables! Knowing this will help you navigate \dates and avoid painful mistakes with people who can’t give you what you want and need. And for that, you need to know what you want in the first place, right?
Be honest with yourself while answering these questions, and don’t judge yourself for going after what you want. Knowing what you want can save you lots of heartache and time. If you want your next relationship to be with someone who’s right for you, so your love together can last and thrive, it’s important to spend time getting to know yourself first.
If some of your answers indicate that you’re not ready for the love search yet, don’t be afraid to take time off to deepen your relationship with yourself. This will only serve you long term. It is an investment into your amazing relationship, and investments do take time.