I bet at some stage you’ve met an awesome guy who is perfect on paper but the timing is off because he says he’s not ready for a relationship. However, if you’re not connecting with any guys and all your dates are a bit ‘blah’ I wanted to turn this question around and ask you, ‘are you really ready for a relationship?’
A big dating myth that I’ve noticed from working with so many single men and women is that the idea that men always want sex and women always want a relationship.This mindset is a double-edged sword that will scupper your chances of dating.
- You won’t connect with guys or understand them well if you’re constantly on the defensive that they’re ‘only after one thing.’
- You could miss out on the one big reason why you’re still single: that maybe you’re not ready for a relationship.
I know you may be thinking, ‘Hayley what in the world are you talking about I’ve been trying to find a guy I like for ages!’ Now I know you may think right now that you want a relationship but when I’m coaching sometimes I notice a gap between what people say they want and the actions they’re taking.
This isn’t an easy post for me to write as I’m going to push you a bit to examine how you date; but I want to get you results so I’m going for it! I also think it’s important that we question the assumption that as women we’re always supposed to be relationship driven, you may find that there’s other things in your life that motivate you more.
- You’re not ready for a relationship sign 1 – you make no time for dating.
You can say you want a relationship but any goal in your life needs time to come together. If dating is high on your priority list this has to be reflected in physical time spent working towards it: otherwise it’s like having a goal to run a marathon but never putting in the training, it becomes a pipe dream.
I would suggest you save at least 2 slots of time a week to go to a new class, event or party to meet new people or go on dates. Break this down to slots you mark into your calendar just like you would a yoga class or a meeting with friends. I am pushing this because I notice women are more likely to have the expectation (thanks Disney…) that love is just supposed to happen. We expect that we’re owed a soul mate relationship, that it will just happen one day, that at least the guy will say hello to us and when none of these things happen it feels disillusioning. So help love ‘find you’ more by exposing yourself to new people, places and experiences.
A life full of endless possibilities sounds great but isn’t always practical, particularly if you’re at a critical point in your career and work is frying you. If work has become ‘the excuse’ for not meeting anyone then you need to think about a longer-term strategy to gain more flexibility.
Is there a time when your workload will ease off? How can you make sure you have enough energy for weekends? Can you delegate more or ask for more flexible hours?
As a female founder I fully appreciate how hard you work and how focused you are. There’s also nothing wrong with believing that your work comes first: however this may mean that you’re looking for a supportive guy (not Mr. Assertive ‘let’s meet at 7pm….’) or you may not be looking at all.
- You’re not ready for a relationship sign 2 – you’re still hung up on an ex
Having all your emotions tied up in that downright evil, dark triad, guy – or maybe just an ex you really, really loved when you were together. No one likes to admit that someone who isn’t with us anymore holds our heartstrings or that you’re still looking at your ex’s social media profile.
The problem is it doesn’t matter whether you’re pining over what life used to be like, holding a grudge, or wishing you guys were back together. It’s all part of the same chain of emotional burdens that keeps you stuck in the past when you want to move into the future.
The thing is – you can feel like you want to move into the future, but then also do activities that keep you stuck in the past. That could be creeping on social media, looking at pictures or imagining a time in the future where you meet again. Sometimes fantasies serve a purpose as they keep you away from dealing with the present: whether that’s the general aches and pains of dating, or a tough job.
But if you’re enjoying being in the past – or the future too much your headspace isn’t free to meet someone today.
- You’re not ready for a relationship sign 3 – you just don’t want a relationship
Family gatherings bring looming questions of, ‘do you have a partner?’ and your friends claim you’re picky. You spend time thinking about whether you have attachment issues, are totally unlovable and whether you should be trying harder. The truth is maybe that you’re happy just how you are and that is okay.
Relationships and companionship (hey, even some good D) are all worth having… but that’s not to say every single person has the same goals, at the same time and follows the same story arch.
If you’re drawn towards other projects, and have no enthusiasm for dating: yes examine this, question whether you’re hiding from intimacy (because it is REALLY scary) but if you just love other things in your life and you value them more also cool. Many people find reward and fulfillment in work, friends, creativity, aloneness and I am not here to tell you how to lead your life. I want you to honour how you feel good in the world, and do more of that whatever it means to you.
And whilst I want to help you get more and better dates – I also want more single women to be able to be single, and stay single, for just however long it suits them. No justifications. No explanations. Just doing what makes you as happy and fulfilled as you can be every day.