Am I Ready for a Relationship?
How to know when you’re healed and ready to love again.
Some of us never let ourselves have love again. Some of us refuse to enter a relationship until we have it all figured out, until we’re certain that we’ll never get hurt or never make a mistake or misstep that could lead to hurt. But what ends up happening is this: We never make a choice. We never put ourselves in a position to choose. We close ourselves off from any and all possibilities, including love and joy.
We might say, “I’m so independent, I don’t need anyone.” That’s usually a case of overcompensation. If you need someone, then you might get hurt by the person you need. Instead, you act like you have no needs. But it’s not human to be needless. It’s human to have needs! It’s human to desire connection. And it’s also human to be scared of entering a connection or losing oneself.
So the real work, which is ongoing, is this: How do I be in a relationship with another and not lose myself? How do I hold on to me, and be in a relationship with you? How do I have needs that might sometimes conflict with your needs? How do I hear your needs and not invalidate my own (and vice versa)?
This is the work. This is the hardest part of being in a relationship: The part where we have to dig deep, but also re-expose ourselves to relationship and connection. This is where the rubber really meets the road, where the skills play out.
There’s a saying that where our wounds occur in a relationship, that’s where they must be healed. Relationships can be the most potent vehicle for transformation. If we let them. That’s the catch: You have to engage with them if you want to see proof of transformation, proof that you have your own back. You can’t know until you’re in it. When push comes to shove, do you have your own back? When someone could abandon or reject you, do you abandon or reject yourself? That’s it. That’s the work. That’s where you need to show up and find out.
If you’re scared, or if you’re afraid of making a mistake, just start by showing up. You’re never gonna have it all figured out, so don’t wait around until you do. The “figuring it out” happens when you’re in the thick of it. Figuring it out means finding the words in a hard conversation, observing your nervous system response, exploring your reactivity, and taking responsibility for yourself. It’s challenging, right?! But it’s the ultimate vehicle for growth, and ultimately what we’re all here for: connection.