Even If You Want To Make Things Official, This Is How You Know You Should Hold Off

At some point, a casual or almost relationship has to either become serious or it has to end. How do you know if you’re ready to take the next step? If you’re still weighing your options, here are 12 signs you’re not ready to make things official:

  1. The only thing you really want is a label. You don’t actually want him, you just want a boyfriend. You think the best thing about having a man in your life is changing your relationship status. If you can’t handle being single, though, then you’re not ready for a relationship. At the end of the day, if you only care about the label, he’s not the right guy.
  2. You’re still practically strangers. If you don’t really know each other then you can’t really commit to each other because you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t make promises you’re not sure you can keep. Wait until you really know one another and then commit because having a boyfriend who’s practically a stranger isn’t the ideal way (or most successful way) to fall in love.
  3. You’re not over your exes. If you can’t let go of the past, how will you be able to focus on each other? You can’t fall in love with him while you’re still holding onto your love for someone else. You have to heal your broken heart before you throw it into a new relationship. Slow down — when it comes to love, there should be no rush.
  4. You’re emotionally unavailable. You can’t open up to each other and that’s going to stand in the way of taking the next step. For some reason, you don’t really trust each other — at least, not enough to be vulnerable with one another. Relationships are all about vulnerability, though, and allowing yourself to truly connect with another person. If you can’t do that, how are you supposed to be together?
  5. It just doesn’t feel right. For some reason, something about this relationship just feels off. If you’re not enough for each other now then you’re obviously still looking for something that a relationship won’t give you. Until you’ve called off the search and are satisfied with each other, there’s no way in hell you can truly commit to a real relationship.
  6. You’re depending on each other for happiness. If you’re not happy on your own as individuals then you’re never going to be happy together. You can’t make each other happy — that’s not possible. True happiness comes from within, not from other people. Even if you hate being alone, you won’t be better off together.
  7. You don’t know how to make time for each other. If you can’t commit a decent amount of time to a relationship, how are you supposed to have a good one? Everyone has a busy life, but that’s no excuse to ignore your partner. If you can’t commit time now, you never will. You can’t have a boyfriend only when it’s convenient. That’s not fair to either of you.
  8. You’re not willing to compromise. Sharing a life with someone else means you’re not always going to get your way. Sometimes you’ll have to agree to disagree, but above all, you’ll have to learn how to compromise. If you both want to be happy in the relationship then you have to work together and not against each other. You might be an independent woman, but that doesn’t mean the relationship is all about you.
  9. You don’t have your act together. It’s as if you think being in a relationship is going to fix all of your problems. Well, newsflash — it’s not. If you don’t have the rest of your life together, adding another commitment is going to make things worse, not better.
  10. You still want to change each other. You have yet to accept each other for the people that you are. In fact, your mission is to alter each other into the ideal mates you desire. You’re still fighting for the impossibility of perfection. Unless you can accept each other as is, committed or not, the relationship is going nowhere.
  11. Taking the next step feels forced. You want to have stronger feelings for each other than you actually do. Taking the next step into commitment should feel natural, not forced. Something is holding you back and you can’t just ignore it. If your gut is telling you this isn’t right, maybe it’s finally time for you to listen.
  12. You’re not willing to make each other a priority. You’ve made lives of your own and you’re so independent that you’re not willing to prioritize a relationship. If everything else in your life comes before this guy, then you’re not really dedicated to the relationship. Commitment means putting him on your priority list, so if you can’t do that then you’re just not ready.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.