There is a stark difference between wanting love– and being ready for love. As a professional counselor, I have worked with countless couples whose problems and strife stemmed from the fact that they were desperate for love, though not necessarily prepared for what love would actually entail.
What it comes down to is a simple equation: Healthy people breed healthy relationships. So, how do you know if you’re at a place in which you are ready to begin walking down the road of love? Just like any significant journey, finding love requires time, planning, and a whole lot preparation. In order to be ready for love, there are a few things you need to be deliberate about dealing with and taking care of in order to be at the best place that you can be when love comes along.
You’ve checked your baggage: When it comes to looking ahead at where you want to be, it’s crucial to know where you’re at here and now. Now while there is no such thing as achieving perfection, it is possible to become an emotionally healthy person by recognizing and dealing with issues from both past and present. Unhealthy behaviors, and un-dealt with emotions can be the root to some serious problems both internally and relationally. Take the time to invest in getting to know yourself, and most importantly, begin the process of healing wounds, hurts, habits, and hang-ups while standing alone.
You know what you’re looking for: Believe it or not in order to be ready for love you have to have an idea of what love actually looks like. You have to know who you are in order to know what you want in a relationship. You need to establish healthy limits and boundaries by determining the places you are unwilling to go and the people you are unwilling to go there with. It’s important to have a healthy understanding of the kind of things you need in a relationship, but more importantly, the kind of things you don’t. Understand the things that are major to you and then no matter how tempted you may be–don’t ever settle for anything less. Your relationship can only be as healthy as the people in it, so if you’re serious about love- be sure to choose well.
You have healthy expectations: It’s important to take a good look at your expectations when looking for love. There are so many wonderful things a relationship can add to your life- but there are also things it cannot do. Relationships can’t give you purpose, security, or self-worth. They can’t make you content or complete, because they were never made to do those things. They can’t heal your wounds or erase your problems- but they can enrich your life in so many ways if you engage them in a healthy way. Get your expectations in the right place, and know the difference between what relationships can and can’t do.
You’ve got the go ahead from friends and family: Think of the people in your life that know you the most. The ones who love you, encourage you, and invest in your life. At the end of the day, these are the people who should have permission to speak into your life and encourage you along your journey of finding true love. If you find at some point that the people you trust the most are harboring reservations or concerns about your relationship status, it would be wise to take a second look and consider their observations. Though you should never base a relationship on the opinions of others, it’s important to take trusted feedback and wise counsel into consideration.
You’ve talked to God about it: Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about God’s role in the world of dating; even for those of us that deliberately connect with God about the significant choices in our lives. But leaving God out of this most vulnerable piece of our lives means missing out on insight, leading, and direction from the One who knows our hearts even better than we ever could. For those of us who are believers in God, now is the time to listen to His spirit, and allow Him to speak into your life more than ever before. The journey of finding love is one that may shape your life more than any other thing. It’s a process that needs to be covered in God’s power, peace and perspective. Do yourself the favor of a lifetime by asking God to be a part of it.
When it comes to finding true love, it’s more than just feeling ready and so much more than just wanting to be ready. Just like any significant journey, it is one requires preparation and planning. It’s a challenge for you to become the greatest version of yourself so that you can engage in a healthy relationship to the best of your ability. Take the time think through who you are and where you are at today and ask yourself, are you ready for love?
Want to know if you’re really ready for love? Looking for an action plan to get you there? Take our FREE True Love Dates Quiz to find out today!
Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, PA. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates(Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitterto get your dating questions answered and to learn more.
This post was originally posted on truelovesdates.com on May 4, 2014. Used by permission.