In the game of life, love is one of the ultimate prizes. When you’re looking for it, sometimes you forget to consider whether or not you’re really ready for the commitment involved in finding true love. If you’re out there looking for the real deal, there are some things you should consider that will tell you whether or not you’re really ready to settle down:
- Are you OK with never having another first date/first kiss?Dating really sucks sometimes, and it can make us feel like we would be glad to not deal with anymore firsts. However, the beginning of a relationship is fun and magical, and you’ll never experience that again after you settle down. If you’re at the point where you’re ready for the commitment, you’ll know it deep down.
- Are you ready to only have one lover for the rest of your life?Sex is fun, and the sexual experimentation that comes from dating around is one of life’s great adventures. Of course, that lifestyle gets old eventually and most people want to find someone special to settle down with. If you’ve lost the desire to sleep with anyone you don’t have strong feelings for, you’re probably at the point where you can handle and appreciate monogamy.
- Are you ready to share your space?One of the best things about being single is being able to be selfish. Everything in your world is yours and yours alone; you don’t have to share your bed, couch, TV, or the bottle of wine. Settling down in a relationship means losing the selfishness; it means becoming a “we” instead of just “me.” Think about that for a minute; you’ll know pretty quickly if you’re ready.
- Are you cool with seeing your friends less often?No one intends to fall off the face of the Earth when they get into a relationship, but the fact is that you want to spend time with your significant other and that inevitably eats into the time you’d normally spend with your friends. If you’ve come to a point in your life where that sounds preferable to continuing the uncertain single life, you just may be ready to settle down.
- Are you ready to get married?If you’ve always wanted to get married, you probably instinctually answered that question with a resounding “yes!” That’s understandable, but slow down for a second and really think about it; those marriage vows are no joke. You’re vowing to be true to someone through every trial life may throw your way; that’s really serious, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
- If you want kids, are you ready for them?Becoming a parent is a huge step in life, and it tends to follow weddings pretty quickly, especially if you’re not as young as you used to be. When you’re considering settling down, you have to consider if kids are in your plans and, if so, how soon you’ll be ready to take that step.
- Are you prepared to be vulnerable and trust someone?Vulnerability and trust are hard to accomplish when you’ve become accustomed to being alone. If you really can’t see yourself being able to trust someone or be vulnerable, you aren’t ready to settle down. It’s scary, but even those of us with serious trust issues come to a point where we’re ready to try again. When that happens, you’re good to go.
- Are you capable of giving and receiving love?Everyone wants love, but it’s not something everyone is capable of. It requires the ability to accept someone else’s love and to give it back at the same time. While being alone isn’t easy, sometimes it’s a hell of a lot easier than dealing with the give and take of real love. Make sure you’re ready for it before you dive in.