Are You Truly Ready to Be in a Relationship? 

These days, many people are waiting to heal their wounds or love themselves before entering a relationship. They have read or heard from psychologists and coaches who say they need to be whole before they can be in a partnership.

There is some truth to this. You do need closure from your previous relationships, you do need time to grieve that loss, and you do need to understand that no one is perfect, including yourself. But it’s easy to feel that you’re the victim of circumstance. I understand that, as I’ve done it myself.

Healing and becoming whole are processes that might take a lifetime, so I suggest a different approach. I am not suggesting you stop working on yourself, as that is something you should do for the rest of your life. However, I am saying that you do not need to feel that you are “done” healing or processing your previous relationships before you move on.

If you have accepted that every previous relationship is over, and you understand that you did play a part in it ending, you just might be ready to find a new partner.

If you can come to the table with one skill set while dating, show up with the ability to take personal responsibility for your actions and your choices. 

That includes fully admitting and owning your half (and your partner’s half) in previous relationships.

When you can do that, you are closer to being ready to share your life with another person. You can admit when you’re wrong and weather disappointments. You can enjoy your life when it’s going well, knowing your choices made it so, and you can objectively look at your life when it’s not going so well. You know you can change it, just as you created it.

So how can you get started taking personal responsibility?  

  1. Make a list of actions you’ve taken in the past couple of years, whether they’ve been career moves, new relationships, changes in family dynamics, new places to live, or even expensive items you’ve purchased.
  2. Write down how these actions have changed your life, for better or for worse.
  3. Think about each one as you write. How could you have done it better, or if you did a great job, why? How do you feel about it? In this step, you’re learning to analyze the choices you’ve made and take the credit for them.
  4. Know, accept, and understand that you alone are responsible for the outcomes of those decisions. You’ll feel like singing when you look at the good decisions on your list. When you look at the not-so-good ones, you may feel like you’ve been punched in the gut, but it will get better, I promise.
  5. Talk with yourself about each item on your list, and say to yourself, “I take responsibility for this action, its results, and how it makes me feel.” When you do this, you’ll be proud of all your decisions, even those that could’ve been better. You’ll finally understand what it means to take personal responsibility for your actions and for your choices.

And you’ll feel lighter and happier because you’re not carrying around the burden of previous actions. When you take responsibility, you know that even though you may not be able to change what happened, you know how to do better next time. That’s empowerment in its highest form.

And it also takes you 5.3859 steps closer to being ready for a great relationship with a good guy who treats you right and loves you for who you are—no matter which choices you’ve made in the past.

If more people took responsibility instead of playing the victim, my guess is, there would be a lot better-off people in the world. Once you begin taking personal responsibility, happiness is right around the corner… and you’ll deserve it.