Not Ready For A Relationship Just Yet? Here Are 7 Steps To Prepare Yourself For A Partnership.11 min read

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I know you want to. You might have even tried. Yet, a part of you is scared, worried, uncertain…Part of you resists. Yes, you’ve imagined the future with someone. You’ve shown care. You do care. They too may have shown their interest. They might have even encouraged you to take the next step. You see the path wide open. Yet, a part of you fears it might be a bad decision.

Well, you’re not alone. 

Being unsure doesn’t mean you’re toxic. Entering a relationship may indeed be a bad decision if you’re not ready. And, you may in fact, not be ready for it, yet. And, that is okay. 

In this post, we will explore possible reasons you might be feeling hesitant and what you can do to be ready for a relationship.

Why Do I Feel Like I’m Not Ready for a Relationship?

I’d be the first to admit that I’ve often gotten cold feet once I started getting close to someone and the prospect of a committed relationship started opening up. For the other person, this hesitance might have been seen as a red flag; and maybe it was.

I’ve done a lot of work on myself, and to a large extent, I don’t think I am toxic, selfish, or have any ill intent towards anyone I speak with. But, this doesn’t mean I am without my flaws and issues. It also doesn’t mean I am ready for a relationship, yet.

For a relationship to work, the individuals need to be truly ready for the work the relationship requires – not just desirous of what they might enjoy in a relationship. 

Personally…the reason I often feel I am not ready for a relationship is because I worry about my finances and don’t want to date someone I’m not insanely proud of. I can’t help but think that I am either a bad deal for whoever I like, or that there may be a better person I might meet in the future (when I too am better and in a better place)… In other words, I am insecure and afraid of commitment.

But here’s the thing – your reasons for feeling like you’re not ready for a relationship might be completely different and legit too. Maybe you’re struggling with the following:

  • Your age (perhaps you’re too young)
  • Your sexuality (perhaps you’re asexual or attracted to the same sex)
  • Religious constraints (perhaps it’s unlawful in your religion)
  • Past relationship trauma (perhaps you’re still reeling from a heartbreak)
  • Unresolved personal issues (perhaps you have a disease or live with parents)
  • Academic or career priorities (perhaps you don’t want to be distracted down)
  • Fear of losing your independence (perhaps you simply enjoy being single)
  • Uncertainty about your life direction (perhaps you don’t think you’d be available at a particular place for long).


Recognising that there are things that might strain or destroy a relationship if you get into one (at this moment in your life) is actually a good thing. It shows that you are not just following your whims or being short-sighted.

However, there is hardly a perfect time for anything in life. So, it begs the question, “Should you keep putting it off and risk losing a potentially incredible relationship because you’re not certain?”.

Our perspective about relationships can be a problem (i.e. if you aim wrong, you miss) – and it takes a lot of work to fix our aim.

Here is a better perspective: Readiness for a relationship isn’t a simple yes or no. It’s a spectrum, and it’s okay to be in the middle or move between extremes at different times in your life. 

Perhaps, before you first got cheated on, you could trust but now you struggle to trust. Maybe in the past, you had serious anger issues, but now you’re in therapy and are better at controlling your temper. Perhaps, you simply want to explore and don’t want commitment now. It is all understandable.

However, to be able to get into a relationship, you must nudge yourself towards more readiness…

How To Become Ready For a Relationship

Relationships demand two mature individuals who, despite their imperfections, are dedicated to nurturing a kind, supportive, and enjoyable partnership. It calls for two people whose core values and life goals align in a shared vision of the future. It involves a compassionate willingness to understand each other and bridge differences. This partnership requires pooling resources – not just financial, but also emotional, intellectual, and more – and combining efforts toward building a future that excites and fulfils both parties.

As such, it is not something to be ventured into on a whim – as the result of such an approach is often a lot of pain and suffering. Hence, to become ready for a relationship, you must:

Deal with your insecurities.

It’s easy to mix up your insecurities with practical concerns, hence differentiating them is a critical step. 

For example, wanting to own a car and a house before getting into a relationship might stem from insecurity, whereas desiring a stable source of income and a place of your own is a practical concern. Similarly, wanting a genius supermodel might be rooted in insecurity, but wanting someone whose genotype is compatible with yours is a practical concern. 

Insecurities often come from the desire to be accepted or viewed highly by others (be it your partner, family, friends, or strangers). While practical concerns are things that the relationship actually needs to function (for example, money, time, empathy, communication, etc.).

Remember, you don’t have to be perfect, and neither does your partner. 

Tackle your fears

Write down exactly what scares you about commitment

Are you afraid of getting cheated on, losing your “freedom”, or getting ostracised by your family? What exactly is the thing that scares you? 

Knowing these fears can help you question them so that you can start ignoring those which are irrational, fueled by your insecurities, or anxiety-induced. 

Developing your self-awareness and emotional intelligence can really help in this situation.

In reality, most fears vanish when you question, challenge, or face them head-on.

Get clear on what you need in a relationship

It’s easy to mix up standards with expectations, and as such creating a sort of “relationship vision board” can be very helpful.

First research what a perfect “healthy” relationship looks like. Read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts from reputable people. I recommend you start with Mark Manson (because he is honest and practical), and avoid the likes of Andrew Tate (because they are toxic).

With this information, decide what you want out of the relationship and what you don’t want. For example, you could say/write,

  • “I desire a partner who will match my effort and investment in the relationship.”
  • “I do not want someone who consistently behaves childishly. I need a mature adult who can engage on my level.”
  • “I desire a partner who possesses not just physical attractiveness, but also wisdom, stability, and inherent goodness.”
  • “I will not accept a partner whose personal troubles cause them to lash out at me or prevent them from engaging respectfully and intimately with me.”
  • “I desire someone who can balance their career ambitions with the needs of our relationship.”
  • “I do not want emotional withholding, immaturity, or deceptiveness in a relationship.”
  • “I desire a partner capable of genuine, mature love, not just fleeting passion or drama.”
  • “I do not want a relationship that risks my life and well-being.”
  • “I want a relationship built on mutual understanding, respect, and emotional availability.” 
  • “I will not settle for an indifferent, disloyal, or selfish person.”

Work on practical concerns

To the best of your abilities, try to remove all that stands between you and the relationship you desire. For example: 

  • Fix your finances – find something that generates a stable, reliable source of income. (Especially if the person you love doesn’t already have this covered or sorted).
  • Secure your living situation – ensure you have a comfortable and safe place to live. (Like the previous point, it is critical to do this if the person you love doesn’t have a personal space they are inviting you into)
  • Go for someone whose genotype can work with yours – perhaps you are AS or SS and strictly need to date an AA; (at least, till when the remedy for sickle cell becomes affordable).
  • Find a job or career path that affords you more time and that isn’t detrimental to you and the relationship.
  • Develop strong communication skills – learn how to communicate better and resolve conflicts (because the person you love is the person you’d have to fight with the most).
  • Cultivate personal growth – Get a life; don’t just sit around – pursue passions, education, and self-improvement to enrich your life (so you can bring that energy into the relationship).
  • Stop insisting on dating your family member (unless, somehow, despite the medical risks, your culture, religion, and family support that).
  • Etcetera…

Those are some practical concerns I could think of at the moment.

While at it…

Develop a growth mindset

The goal isn’t to rush into a relationship, neither is it to find the perfect relationship, but to rather build a healthy, enjoyable relationship.

You mustn’t fix 100% of your practical concerns before getting into a relationship. Heck! It is very unlikely you find someone who is 100% ready either. Hence, it is crucial to develop a growth mindset – where you see the possibility of growth and improvement as you both start the journey. 

Now, even though that sounded contrary to all we’ve been saying so far, it is not. The idea here is to choose an imperfect person who is aiming upward, against hoping to find someone who is already perfect, at the top.

This is why looking for someone whose values and goals “aligns” with yours is non-negotiable for a healthy relationship.

Communicate this struggle with the person you love

Despite all these steps, it is still possible to find yourself afraid or unsure. In such cases, it is important to communicate this struggle with them. Be open and honest about your feelings, fears, and concerns. 

Vulnerability and clear communication foster understanding and trust, which are crucial for a healthy relationship. Share your thoughts and listen to theirs. 

This dialogue can help you see where their heart and aim are at so you can better work together to address the issues.

Seek professional help

Sometimes, you just need help. 

A therapist can help you triangulate the source of your struggles and guide you toward resolving the issues. Who knows, it might be from adverse childhood experiences.

A therapist may recommend concrete exercises to do between and after sessions to help you better navigate the situation. 

(They can provide you with the tools and insights needed to address deep-seated fears, insecurities, and other challenges that might be hindering your readiness for a relationship.).

Therapy can also improve your communication skills and emotional resilience, equipping you to build a healthier and more fulfilling connection with your partner.

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Conclusion: Take Your Time To Get Ready For a Relationship

Ever wondered why most teenage relationships don’t last? 

Well, it’s because they’re often entered by immature people.

Mature, healthy people make ideal partners for each other. And it takes effort to become ready for a relationship.

How do you know you’re ready?

You’ll know you’re ready for a relationship when you feel content with yourself yet open to sharing your life. When you desire to connect deeply with someone and are excited about the prospect of growing together.

Take your time to prepare for a relationship, and when you’re ready, trust your gut.

“A healthy relationship is two healthy individuals, who are healthy on their own, consciously choosing to love each other” Mark Manson


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Dick David is a freelance SEO content writer and editor with over 7 years of experience in content writing, digital marketing, and sales. He is the founder of Pawns Digital Agency. Throughout his career, he has authored over 4 books, published hundreds of SEO articles attracting thousands of monthly visitors, ghostwritten numerous works, and edited hundreds of content pieces across various industries. Currently, he works with Robert Taylor Media and has also worked with Tobi Digitals and Branditechture Design Agency, among others.

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