13 Things You Should Do To Prepare Yourself For Love

13 Things You Should Do To Prepare Yourself For Love ©iStock/PeopleImages

I’ve been in what I believed were long-term relationships, only to have them ruined because I didn’t feel ready for all that comes with such a big commitment. I wasn’t so much scared of love, I just didn’t have the foundation I need to feel confident loving and being loved in return. Preparation isn’t always easy, but it’s a liberating experience that’ll make it easier to fall in the future.

  1. Learn to be happy alone. You’ll still have times where you’re alone even when you’re in love. If being alone makes you feel insecure, that insecurity eats away at a budding romance until it tears it apart. Spend some quality time alone with yourself and learn to realize it’s not a bad thing. Enjoy your own company, because it’s some of the best you’ll ever have.
  2. Think about past relationships. Don’t just immediately blame your exes for everything that went wrong. Think about the past carefully. What do you wish was different? Did you do anything to hurt the relationship? Take what went wrong in the past so you don’t keep making the same mistakes.
  3. Focus on yourself more than dating. You have to take care of yourself first and foremost. Dating is way down the list of priorities. What do you want to do with your life? Work on yourself and you’ll be in a much better place when love does happen.
  4. Get to know yourself. What are your real strengths and weaknesses? Who are you? I personally hated this journey of self-discovery. I didn’t want to look at my flaws, but I did it anyway. It helped me accept who I was and gave me a chance to make changes to be a better version of myself.
  5. Get passionate about something. My best friend is always suddenly passionate about whatever her latest guy is into, yet she wonders why something always seems off. You need your own passions and your own identity. Otherwise, it’ll never work.
  6. Learn to be vulnerable. OK, so this might have been worse than getting to know myself. I still struggle with vulnerability, but I’m working on it. It’s hard to accept love and give in return if you don’t open up. I didn’t even realize how guarded I was until one guy pointed it out.
  7. Complete yourself. Do you feel incomplete without a man in your life? Get over it right now. A man isn’t going to complete you. If you expect that, you’ll never truly fall in love. Get your own place, interests, friends and career. You should feel whole before you ever chase love.
  8. Build strong friendships. Sustaining a friendship is similar to building a relationship. Besides, I think many of us would argue that we love our friends just as much as our partner. Your friends also help you learn more about yourself.
  9. Have your heart broken. It’s going to happen at some point and it’s going to hurt like hell. You might feel like you can’t go on. But it’s true that you don’t really understand love until you’ve felt heartbreak. When you fall in love again, it’ll feel richer and you’ll appreciate it more than ever.
  10. Accept responsibility for yourself. Who doesn’t like bitching about their exes? Now, how many of you think you were a perfect angel during the relationship? I’ve been there and been quickly knocked off my diamond-encrusted pedestal. Accept responsibility for yourself and your actions. If you screw up, admit it. Love takes honesty and responsibility, so prep now.
  11. Help others. It’s easy to get selfish when someone loves you and wants to take care of you. It’s also a great way to turn that person bitter and make them leave. Learn how to give without getting anything in return by volunteering. You’ll see that life’s not always about you. Besides, if you’re like me, you’ll discover you love how it feels to help out others around you.
  12. Have an open mind. I’m not exactly shy when it comes to my opinions. I don’t always agree with my guy, friends, or family. What I do try to do, however, is have an open mind. Love means listening and accepting that the person you love is different than you. They won’t always agree, so start expanding your horizons now. Listen to differing opinions without getting pissed and try out new things. If you can’t do that, you might be doomed to be permanently single.
  13. Hang out with couple friends. Find a couple you admire and hang out with them. At first they might seem perfect, but you’ll quickly see that they argue, get annoyed with each other and sometimes just want to go their separate ways. Here’s where you’ll see love in action though. They work things out – every time. Watch them and learn.

Love takes work and it starts with you. I’m still working on myself, but I feel more prepared than ever to open my heart and mind to love. I think that’s really the ultimate goal.

Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.