10 brutally honest signs you’re not ready for a relationship

Most of us crave the intimacy and companionship of a relationship at some point in our lives. 

But, while this feeling is completely valid, sometimes the timing isn’t right, our mental and emotional states aren’t ready, and getting into a relationship can result in both people being hurt. 

I want to make one thing clear – this article isn’t about putting you down or implying you’ll never be ready for a relationship. 

It’s about highlighting areas of your life to improve before taking that big step into finding love. 

So, without further ado, here are 10 brutally honest signs you’re not ready for a relationship:

1) You’re not over your ex

Before you can fully embrace a new relationship and give it your all, you need to be 100% over your ex. 

That means:

  • No longer harboring romantic feelings for them 
  • Not comparing new people to them 
  • Not jumping into relationships in a bid to make your ex jealous 
  • Not looking for relationships to use as a distraction from the pain of your previous breakup 

Now, I know many of you reading this will have been told by well-meaning friends, “It’s time to move on, someone new will be good for you.” 

Or, you might have been advised that “To get over someone, you need to get under someone else” (thanks, pop culture). 

But in reality, jumping into a rebound relationship will only end in pain – the new person in your life will feel used, and you’ll feel guilty for using them. 

So remember – it’s okay to be alone and single. Use this time to build the relationship you have with yourself, move on from your ex, and when the time is right, put yourself back out there! 

2) You’re not willing to compromise

Do you struggle if things aren’t done the way you like them to be? Do you resent having to “give in” to other people’s requirements? 

For example, I have a friend who is extremely particular about her home. She’s borderline OCD about cleaning. 

Whenever she gets into a relationship, arguments generally ensue if her new partner isn’t as clean as she expects. In other words, she’s absolutely not willing to compromise. 

But in a healthy relationship, give and take is a must. Each person has their own desires, needs, and ways of doing things. 

So it’s only natural that when you merge two lives together, both will have to sacrifice and compromise to make things work. 

If you don’t feel you’re ready to do that, it’s probably best to avoid getting into a relationship (until you’re able to take that step). 

3) You’re too focused on yourself

Prioritizing yourself and your life goals isn’t a bad thing – it shows you’ve got motivation and dreams to accomplish. 

But if there’s no space for anyone else in your life, it sounds like you aren’t ready for a relationship yet. 

The truth is, being in a relationship will require your attention, time, and commitment. 

My advice? 

Don’t feel bad about it if you’re not quite ready. We all go through different phases in life – perhaps right now your concentration is best spent on developing yourself or your career, and that’s okay. 

When you do feel in a position to give your energy and time to another person, you’ll be glad for having achieved what you needed to first. 

4) You’re emotionally unavailable

Another sign you’re not ready for a relationship is if you find it hard to express your emotions or form close connections with others. 

Ultimately, for a relationship to work, both people need to be open about how they feel. They also need to be able to create a strong bond, one which requires vulnerability and trust. 

Now, you may struggle to be emotionally available for a number of reasons, so the best thing you can do is begin to work on yourself. 

Understand why you feel the way you do. Reach out for support – therapy can help you work through the blockages that hold you back from connecting with others. 

Because, at the cost of sounding harsh, if you jump into a relationship without healing yourself first, you’re likely to end up hurting the other person immensely. 

5) You’re not ready to trust

I mentioned trust in the last point – without it, there is no point in getting into a relationship. 

Perhaps you’ve been hurt one too many times in the past? 

Or maybe you had a rocky upbringing which has created a sense of distrust within you

Whatever the reason, you must work through it before bringing someone else into the fold. 

I know this from experience – I jumped into my current relationship not realizing how distrustful I was (due to a few bad exes). 

Although my partner and I are still together, it’s taken a lot of pain and healing to get to this point where I’m now able to trust him and feel secure in our relationship. 

But I do regret dragging him through this, and I wish I had worked on it before meeting him. So the point is – don’t make the same mistake as me. 

You might get lucky like I have, but more often than not, you’ll only end up hurting yourself and the other person. 

6) You prefer being alone

Does the idea of spending most of your time with another person make you feel exhausted just at the thought of it? 

Here’s the thing – some people simply enjoy their solitude

If you tend to keep to yourself, do things alone, and actually enjoy it, a relationship might not be right for you – and that’s okay! 

I get it if your friends or family keep pressuring you to find someone, but if you feel good on your own, you do you. 

I know plenty of people who feel stifled in relationships. They genuinely enjoy being alone and get by just fine with their own company. 

Forcing them to settle down would be a disaster for both people involved. 

7) You’re not willing to put in the work

Now, I’m going to be a bit more blunt with this one – relationships do require hard work, and if you’re not willing to do it, don’t drag someone else down with you!

If your idea of a relationship is all roses and sunsets, think again. 

Real relationships require two people who continuously work on themselves and the connection they share…and I’ll be honest, sometimes it gets very tiring. 

The worst thing you can do is get into a relationship, make no effort to make it work, and end up breaking someone else’s heart (whilst also wasting their time). 

So, be honest with yourself. If you like the idea of love but don’t want to lift a finger to achieve and maintain it, you’re not ready for a relationship. 

8) You’re still figuring out what you want

Are you interested in:

  • A long-term, committed relationship?
  • A casual fling?
  • A friend with romantic benefits? 
  • A marriage, kids, and a mortgage? 

The world is your oyster! But if you have no clue about what you want out of life and a partner, it’s another sign you’re not ready for a relationship. 

Of course, you don’t need to have every little thing thought and planned out (most things in life don’t go the way we imagine them to anyway). 

But having some idea is necessary before you bring another person into the equation. 

Put it this way: 

You don’t want to start a serious, deep relationship only to realize that a casual fling is all you wanted – the person you’re dating won’t be impressed and you’ll be back to square one. 

9) You’re not stable in your life

Don’t get me wrong – you don’t need to have all your ducks in a row before getting into a relationship. You don’t need to be rich, mortgage-free, or drive a fancy car. 

But you should have some stability. Without it, creating a healthy, secure relationship will be difficult. 

And it’s not just about financial stability, your emotional health should be in pretty good standing too. 

I remember a colleague of mine who sadly lost her mother a few years back. Not long after it happened, she met a guy and they started dating. 

But this poor girl was still grieving and getting over the shock of this massive life change. She struggled to keep her emotions in check, and after a few months of turbulence, he called it quits.

With hindsight, she realized she should have taken this time to get her life back on track rather than jump into a relationship. 

10) You’re trying to fill a void 

And finally, do you want a relationship because you’re bored, or feel like something is missing on the inside? 

Do you want a partner so you don’t have to turn up to parties on your own anymore? 

Look, I’m not here to judge, but a gentle reminder:

Getting into a relationship won’t fix any of those issues. 

If you’re trying to fill a void, cramming another person into it will only cause more frustration and unhappiness later down the line. 

You need to look within, figure out what’s missing from life, and find contentment before getting into a relationship. 

Ultimately, a partner should ADD to your happiness, not be responsible for your happiness. 

As I said at the start, this list isn’t designed to make you feel bad or hopeless. 

The aim is to make you aware that until you work through certain things in your life, you might not be ready for a relationship…but with hard work and commitment, that can change! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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