Society pressures us to partner up. Desire for a relationship or not, this pressure can put you into a frenzy to find “the one”. Therefore, it’s important to look carefully at why you want a partner. Wisely examining your own motives can help lay the groundwork for a solid, lasting, and healthy relationship.
Healthy Signs That You Want a Relationship
You are ready to share your life
You are prepared to welcome a partner into the most intimate and private parts of your world. You want someone with whom to share your dreams and goals. You may also want someone to be with you to share the day to day – meals, coffee, and movies. You’d love to have a laundry buddy.
You want someone who makes you the best person that you can be
Viewing a relationship as an honest, encouraging connection that supports and challenges you to be your best self is a key part of your to desire to seek a partner.
You’re ready to be generous
Beyond just wanting someone to share your life, you are prepared for reciprocal connection. You have a strong desire to share and support your partner’s dreams. Helping another become his or her best self is important to you in creating a healthy relationship.
You are ready to trust
A healthy relationship is built on trust. You feel ready to be completely open, honest and vulnerable with another person. You’ve done the work to resolve past trust issues and feel prepared to trust another person. Your heart is open.
You’re open to the challenges of being in a relationship
For better or worse is no joke. Worse happens. You’re willing to wade through those difficult times with another, even when the feelings call you to run. You see the value in the partnership enough to do the work.
You want to raise a family with someone
Maybe you already have children. Or perhaps you are ready to start a family now. Either way, you don’t want to go it alone. You want to share the pains and joys of parenthood with someone who shares your values.
Signs That Perhaps You Don’t Really Want a Relationship
Before entering into a relationship, ask yourself if you even really want one.
Are you looking for a partner because it’s expected of you?
Partnership is the “norm” in our society. This is especially true after you’ve entered your thirties. You may be seeking a relationship because:
- You believe that you’re supposed to want to find “the one.”
- You’re worried that if you don’t find a partner now, you never will and your biological clock is ticking.
- Everyone you’re close to has a partner. You feel left out.
- Other people ask why you’re not partnered. You feel ashamed and become defensive.
- It feels as though something is wrong with you if you’re single. You feel undesirable, abnormal.
Do you want to prove to someone that you can be in a healthy relationship?
This can be an overt attempt to prove your worth to some external person in your life. For example, your mother says you’re never going to get married, so you marry someone who may not be right for you. Alternatively, you may be experiencing a subtler internal struggle. You may have an inner voice telling you that you don’t deserve a healthy relationship, so you hook up with someone to shut that voice down. Wouldn’t it be healthier to explore your true feelings and address that voice head on?
Do you like the idea of a relationship but not the accompanying realities?
Now is not the right time to partner up if you resent the fact that
- Your life changes significantly when you partner up. You have great friends and many hobbies and resent the time your relationship demands.
- You dislike the idea of sharing your living space. It’s a pleasure for you to come home to an empty house. In fact, you generally crave alone time.
- You don’t want to share decision-making. Whether it’s what to have for dinner or how to parent your children, you want to decide on your own.
If you don’t see yourself meaningfully incorporating a partner into your existing life, then it might not be time for a relationship.
Partnership Isn’t Right for Everyone
Despite the fact that society makes us feel like we need to be in a relationship, it’s not always the right thing for everyone. It may not be the right time for you to devote your life to someone else. A partnership may not be right for you ever. That’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. You have every right to decide for yourself, without explanation or apology. Take it from Glynnis MacNicol, if only others would believe her.
Remember, it is important to be in a healthy relationship with yourself. The clearer you are about what’s right for you, the more that you can offer to the world. If and when you decide to partner up, you’ll also have more to offer the relationship.