Topic: Assess Your Relationship Readiness
often seem to believe they are ready for something simply because
they want it.
Conscious Dating Workbook
Isn't wanting a relationship enough?
a relationship and being ready for a relationship are two very different
things. In our urgency to find a partner (sometimes fuelled by our
fear of being alone or that time is running out) many of us rush into
relationships with little preparation. In doing so, we may fail to
lay the important groundwork which would help ensure our long-term
is like the person who wants to run a marathon and thinks they're
ready for it simply because they want to do it. Without preparation
and training, their chances of success will be greatly reduced - and
they actually risk harming themselves.
of the single men and women whom I have coached are initially very
anxious to get into a relationship. And that's understandable. Some
have been career-oriented for a long time and now long to experience
a partnership. Some have remained in a difficult relationship for
many years, and once free, are anxious to finally pursue a more satisfying
situation. Some feel so overdue for a relationship (or so old!) they
assume they MUST be ready!
the time to prepare for a relationship may seem like a tall order.
However I assert it is well worth the effort and patience required.
One individual I coached was very impatient - she wanted a relationship
yesterday! After honestly assessing her relationship readiness, her
impatience faded. In fact, she said she wanted to defer getting into
a relationship for at least 6 months, while she attended to the things
that were actually interfering with her availability.
Here are four questions to consider in evaluating your relationship
What TYPE of relationship are you ready for?
an honest look at your situation. Are you looking for a long-term
commitment OR is short-term recreational dating more appropriate?
You may want a long-term relationship eventually, however be truthful
about whether that time is NOW.
are many reasons you may opt for short-term recreational dating for
awhile. If newly single, you may need time to regroup and adjust to
the ending of your last relationship. Or perhaps you're intensely
involved in a work project (business start-up or graduate degree)
or have personal responsibilities (children or aging parents) which
mean you don't currently have the time or energy to invest in a committed
relationship. This doesn't mean you will never want a long-term relationship.
It just means that you don't want one now.
is the case, you don't have to apologize. However you do need to be
honest. You may simply wish to date for fun and socializing, with
no expectations for the future. If so, you will need to share that
information with prospective dates, so they in turn can choose if
this works for them.
if you are looking for a committed, long-term relationship, tell the
truth about it. Don't pretend that you have no agenda, if in fact
you do. Otherwise you'll be setting the other person up for feeling
misled and lied to.
Do you know what you want and require in relationship?
do want to date with the goal of a long-term relationship, it's important
to be clear about what you want and require. A relationship isn't
separate from the rest of your life. Your personal aspirations, dreams
and life goals will impact the kind of relationship you want. If your
passion is extreme sports, you may want a partner with a high tolerance
for physical risk taking. If you're studying to be a medical specialist,
you may want a partner who is prepared to accept your many years of
training and a limited income.
desires arise from your values. Your values inform your life-style
choices and determine what gives you meaning and fulfillment. They
are intensely personal. If you don't know what your values are or
what values you need a partner to share, you'll have difficulty selecting
a partner with whom your values are aligned.
or not you realize it, you also have relationship requirements - those
"deal-breakers" which have caused you to leave relationships in the
past. These are the black and white "must-have's" for a relationship
to work long-term for you. For example: You may have a requirement
around having children or being monogamous.
your requirements is a critical step in screening out unsuitable matches.
This is so important when physical attraction is at play, which may
skew our perceptions of another. Making choices based on your non-negotiable
requirements ensures that a new relationship will have a solid chance
Are you fully available for a relationship?
factors can limit your ability to participate fully and whole-heartedly
in a relationship. For example:
Outstanding legal or custody issues can undermine or complicate
a new relationship.
unfinished business from past relationships can colour our perceptions
and our willingness to trust.
beliefs and low self-image can sabotage our relationship efforts.
pressures or long hours may limit a relationship's development.
concerns or financial issues can affect available time and energy
While none of these things preclude having a relationship, they are all factors which can detract from a person's actual availability. Although you may want a relationship, it's wise to honestly ask yourself: Are there issues in my life which would limit my availability for a relationship?
Do you have effective dating and relationship skills?
While eager to date, some singles lack confidence in initiating social contacts (getting dates) and screening prospective dates for suitability. Many singles (both male and female) tell me that they are fine responding to people who show an interest in them - but are uncomfortable seeking out the people they themselves find interesting.
Effective dating also involves disengaging from people who aren't a fit for you - and honouring your own emotional and physical boundaries. This may involve improving your ability to authentically and assertively communicate, as opposed to "people pleasing" or "going along" to avoid friction.
Negotiating differences and resolving conflict are essential skills in a relationship. Many individuals have never learned effective conflict resolution skills - so problems remain unresolved, festering under the surface or erupting in regular, repetitive arguments.
If Mr. or Ms. Right should appear today, have you taken steps to improve those relationship skills that were lacking in your previous relationships? Or are you hoping that it won't be necessary? That next time will be magically different?
We all want what we want when we want it. However sometimes the universe acts protectively by not giving us what we want before we're prepared for it. So if you are impatiently awaiting a loving, long-term partnership, I recommend doing your homework. Invest in your own clarity and relationships readiness - emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally and legally.
relationships don’t just “happen”. However you
can lay the groundwork for a good relationship through developing
your own relationship readiness.
If you're single or divorced, I warmly invite you to contact me to book your personal Relationship Readiness Assessment. Gift yourself this confidential, complimentary hour of coaching. You will gain a clear map of the areas that could block your dating and relationship success - and come away with suggestions for dealing with them.
For those of you already in relationship, you are welcome to forward this information and offer to any single or divorced friends whom you think might appreciate it.
to support singles in finding the relationship they desire. Contact
me about the new and improved Conscious Dating Self-Discovery and
Readiness Program. This comprehensive program can help you avoid
past mistakes and give you the tools for making pro-active and healthy
choices in dating and finding love.
Vollett BSW PCC is a Life and Relationship Coach, with over 20 years
of combined experience in counselling and coaching. She delights in
helping pro-active individuals make positive changes in their lives,
their work/business and their relationships. Her clients appreciate
her ability to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support
in staying focused. Contact Shirley for a complimentary intro phone
session. If you are experiencing a challenge or are eager to make
some changes, explore how coaching works and how she can help. Click
on a link below or visit her website at http://shirley.vollett.com
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© 2009 by Shirley Vollett. All rights reserved.