• 12 Signs That You May Not Be Ready for a Serious Relationship…and That’s Okay

    relationships, marriage, engagement, commitment, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    A good relationship can be hard to find. And it’s okay to be picky or not ready. And maybe online dating isn’t your scene.

    While your mom or your well-intended friends keep trying to set you up, maybe you’re just not ready for a serious relationship. Or maybe the idea of settling down is scary or just unappealing right now.

    And that’s okay.

    Here are a dozen signs that you may not be currently ready for a serious relationship.

    You’re not over your last relationship

    Sometimes breakups can be really hard and it may not be as easy to move on as you would have thought. Entering into a new relationship when you’re on the rebound can often lead to even more heartache. Here are some tips to help you get over your ex and get on with your life.

    breakup, marriage, relationships, couples, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    It’s important to remember that there is no exact timeline for moving on. So be patient and kind to yourself. Reach out to others for support. Doing this will help you to grieve, move on, and help prepare you for the time when you actually are ready for a serious relationship.

    You’re fine on your own

    Some people really like solitude and being alone. Silence is a gift and may be what keeps your sanity in check. Why spoil it?

    You also may not want to give up your quiet time, privacy, or take up the whole bed when you sleep. If you don’t feel like dating, then don’t. Listen to your instincts. You don’t have to do the dating game if you don’t want to.

    And maybe you’re lightly dating someone who wants to take it to the next level. If you can’t commit 100%, then don’t. You owe it to yourself and others not to get in too deep.

    You’re having fun!

    If you’re dating and having fun, then do it! There’s no need for personal, peer, or family pressure for you to get into a relationship right now. There’s no schedule that you need to be on with relationships. If you’re not feeling it, don’t force it.

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    If keeping it light and breezy and loving the variety of people you’re seeing is how you want to be right now, then good for you.

    On the other hand, if that’s all you ever do, you may want to ask yourself if there is something that you are avoiding or if possibly you have trust issues or a commitment phobia. If those kinds of questions keep lingering you may want to take some time to address these questions with a professional.

    There are things you want to work on about yourself

    Maybe there’s some deep-dive work that you want to do, and face some fears or areas of your past that still get in your way of happiness. Congratulations on making yourself a priority.

    Get the help you need. Find the support you need to move past your anxiety, depression, or a broken heart.

    therapist, hope, help, self care, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    Take the time you need to work on yourself. Your personal development makes you better equipped to be in a partnership with someone worthy of you (and helps you be able to tell the difference!).

    You want to focus on other parts of your life right now

    If you want to buckle down and dedicate more time to your health, career, family, education, etc. and really dedicate your time to focus, then do it.

    Dating and relationships take time and maybe that’s not yours to give because you’ve decided to shift your priorities to something different for now. Good for you!

    You and your potential partner will have a stronger relationship when you can give them the attention they deserve.

    You aren’t sure what you really want in a relationship

    This is one of the more common issues that so many people struggle with. Perhaps you’ve never been in a relationship and you really don’t know. Or, the opposite may be true. You’ve been in several relationships and they ended for reasons that may be known or unknown. Either way, you genuinely feel confused.

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    That’s completely ok. This is also a good time to really think about what you want and, as importantly, what you don’t want in a relationship. It’s a lot better to know as much about yourself as possible in terms of your wants and needs before you enter into another relationship. Of course, you don’t need to know all the answers about what you want and don’t want but it sure is good to know what your basic “must haves” are.

    You suffer from “wandering eye syndrome”

    If you find yourself constantly looking at others when you are already with someone, that may be a sign that you are not really serious about the person you are with.

    It’s one thing to casually see and admire others you find attractive. That’s quite normal. It’s another thing if you find yourself leering at them.

    Plus, it’s rude.

    wandering eye, flirt, cheat, relationship, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    They are not The One

    It’s easy to get swept up in dating, having fun, and feeling like falling in love. But is this really the person you want to get serious with?

    If you’re trying to decide whether they or aren’t The One, here are some things to consider. But if the relationship really is moving in the right direction, if you’re second-guessing yourself, read this.

    I want to dispel the myth that there is only “one” right person for each of us. Given that there are over 7 billion of us on the planet, I’d say that there are quite a number of people whose paths we will cross in our lives, any one of which could be a very good fit for us.

    You suffer from extreme narcissism

    Being in a serious loving relationship means that we are interested in not only having our own needs met but that we are also emotionally invested and motivated to want to take care of our SO.

    narcissist, ego, love, relationships, self-centered, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    If you find yourself always preoccupied with your own needs, it is likely that you have difficulty feeling empathy for others. You may be suffering from debilitating narcissism. There are any number of reasons for this.

    Perhaps you’ve been abandoned in your life or were told that you were literally the “most important person in the world” by others who were well-meaning. And now, it’s all about you. If that’s the case, you likely aren’t truly ready to be in a partnership with someone else.

    You suffer from one or more forms of substance abuse

    A surefire way to know that you are not ready for a committed relationship is that you suffer from one or more addictions. It could be alcohol, cocaine, or excessive use of weed. You name it.

    If you are using it to the point that it is impacting your ability to function at home, at work, in social situations, or in school, it is likely that you are self-medicating for any number of reasons.

    If you find yourself in this situation, it’s ok. Just make sure that you are getting some help with this. Trying to be in a relationship when you can function due to substance abuse is like trying to swim against a rapidly moving tide that is only going to take you further out to sea.

    You have relationship fears

    Most of us have certain hopes, wishes, and dreams we have when thinking about our ideal relationship. And we also have certain fears – totally normal fears – about being in a relationship as well.

    fear, hiding, commitment, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    Quite often our fears revolve around fear of abandonment, fears that we won’t get our needs met, and possibly fears about not feeling good enough. Sometimes our fears can paralyze us and inhibit our ability to establish, sustain, and grow in a relationship.

    If that is the case, don’t spend time criticizing yourself because you are fearful. Instead, take the time and get help from family and friends to help you understand why your fear may be inhibiting intimacy.

    Feeling the pressure to commit

    If you find that you are the last one in your group to get married (or at the very least get more serious), you may be feeling the pressure to commit. Peer pressure is never a good idea and it’s certainly not going to help your relationship to take it to the next level if you’re not ready.

    It’s worth repeating: there is no timetable for you or anyone when it comes to relationships. Learning to be comfortable on your own is a valuable lesson. Too few people take the time to invest in themselves and learn to discover what they want or don’t want in a partner.

    Rather, all too often we fall in love, get swept up in the relationship, sometimes lose track of ourselves, follow the typical patterns of dating, cohabitating, and marriage, and then wonder, “How did I get here?”

    So, if you’re not feeling like you’re ready for a serious relationship, trust your instincts. You’ll be better in the long run for it and, both you and the partner you choose to be with can reap the rewards!

    love, relationship, couple, marriage, commitment, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    Photo Credit – Sarah Sharp

    I hope that you have found this article helpful. If you want to explore some of the topics mentioned in this article, I’m available for a free 15-minute consultation to see if we would like to work together. I also may be able to provide a valuable resource for you. I have helped hundreds of people find more happiness and love in their lives.

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