Let’s suppose you have been dating someone for a while now, things seem to be going pretty well, there seem to be more that is compatible between you than not, and when there are bumps or pits, they don’t seem to be significant or long-lasting. Perhaps you have even pondered the question, “am I ready for a relationship?” and are increasingly inclined to think that you are. As you entertain more of these thoughts, you also begin looking, passively at first, and then more actively, for signs and signals that your mate may be sharing your feelings, too. Then, at some point, to your surprise, your main squeeze uses the “F” word – “Friends” – and it becomes clear to you that, at this particular time, your mate is not ready for a relationship.
Are you struggling to decide how to react and do not truly know what to do? Certainly, it is never an easy, cut and dried decision to make when you come to realize that your readiness for a relationship is significantly further advanced than that of your ‘friend.’ How should you feel about this reality? How do you feel about this reality? What course of action should you follow now? And, most importantly, should you agree to continue your association as ‘friends,’ for the time being, anyway?
Well, that’s a tough call! How do you honestly feel about going forward as friends? As you contemplated your views on the question, “am I ready for a relationship?” – was a friendship the image of a relationship that you had in mind? Could you comfortably accept the object of your affection as a ‘friend?’ Can you effectively manage the more informal terms of a friendship and not fret over the lack of a more intense connection?
Your appropriate course of action is directly dependent upon how realistically you can envision your ongoing relationship as simply a platonic one, a ‘friendship,’ indefinitely. Nothing more. Nothing less.
If you seek to fool yourself into believing that you can proceed forward with your association as ‘friends’ confident that you can and will advance into romance in time, you are most probably heading toward disappointment at the least, and massive pain at the worst.
Here are some helpful suggestions to guide your selection of a proper course of action to follow:
First, let’s consider relationship types. Unfortunately, many people equate the term ‘relationship’ with the term ‘romance’ or ‘love.’ In their mind, being in a ‘relationship’ includes having an extensive emotional connection and commitment between the two parties. In other words, the term ‘relationship’ is actually modified by such adjectives as ‘romantic’ or ‘loving’ or ‘intimate,’ and so on. It is important that everyone recognize and consider the distinct differences that can be represented by relationship types, and not pigeon-hole the term ‘relationship’ as being only those that include specific qualities or traits. To rephrase my point here, don’t simply ask yourself, am I ready for a relationship? Instead, ask, “am I ready for a (specific) relationship?
Second, once you understand and accept that relationships can be of many types, including friendship, then the next issue to resolve is where are you in terms of relationship readiness, and where is your intended? Compatibility here is key. If both of you are ready for a relationship as friends, or lovers, or whatever, then a successfull relationship is possible, maybe even probable. However, if your relationship status does not match that of your dating partner, then getting them in harmony and moving forward positively from there is quite unlikely.
Third, only proceed toward the friendship route if you are ready to accept that you might not at any time be in a more serious partnership with him or her. Trust me on this advice, accepting a frienship relationship while wishing and hoping, planning and scheming to progress romantically from there only replaces your short-term pain with long-term misery.
Helping you to help yourself correctly answer your lingering question, “Am I Ready For A Relationship?” is our continuing goal at the Relationship Learning Center, which you can learn more about in the author bio that follows.