When Will I Be "Ready"?

The term "ready" means that a person can function in a healthy long-term relationship. Usually, we say someone was "ready" when he or she settles down.

People may think they are ready at 20, but realize they have a long way to go at age 35, and the results are usually not pretty. I am caught in the middle; every reason I have to think I'm ready has a valid argument against it:

1. Ready: I am working and care about that work.

At this point in my life, I'm interested in moving up and pursuing my dreams professionally. Some of my dreams are closer than they have ever been, and I'm constantly getting ideas to try new things to make money. Now, more than ever, I feel like the world is my oyster.

...but I need time to get to where I want to be professionally.

With so many opportunities, it is hard for me to work on building a relationship. Plus, is it fair for me to get into something when I can't put 110% effort into it because my mind is on getting to where I want to be in the workforce? I keep telling myself, once I'm completely comfortable professionally, I will be able to work on a relationship.

2. Ready: I make ends meet (sort of).

I finally have enough money to pay my bills and even have a little fun once in a while. I used to rely on Mom (yes, I admit it) quite often; it's been a long time since I relied on her.

...but I only sort of make ends meet.

Just a few weeks ago, I had $6.48 in my checking account (I wish the bank made mistakes). I still live for the 15th of the month paycheck — you know, the one that doesn't go directly to rent? Throw in some of these credit card balances I have — oh, and wedding gifts I owe from years back — and maybe I'm not as financially secure as I think I am. It isn't fair to date someone when I'm freaked out about money from time to time. And, no way can I afford a wedding ring right now...cubic zirc maybe?

3. Ready: I realize one-night stands aren't that great.

Yes, I've had a few. And, no, I've never really enjoyed them or felt emotionally fulfilled. In fact I feel awful the day after. I'm pretty sure I can't find any situation where a one-night stand would be that great. I like late-night chicken fingers more than I like late-night random sex.

...but I love knowing that I could have a one-night stand if I wanted to.

Weird thing is, I feel very comfortable knowing I could have a one-night stand without hurting a girlfriend. I am allowed to look at or meet any girl I want. And there are so many out there!

4. Ready: Sometimes I feel like I'd like to spend a lot of time with a girl.

Over the past couple of years I realize that I would like to go on "dates", and have someone to watch a movie with or attend events with. Sometimes I feel lonely because it's so hard to meet someone that I always want to be around.

...but I value my alone time...a lot.

I love not having any responsibility to anyone. I can wake up, do my thing, and not worry about someone else's wishes or demands. Maybe someday I will not mind that, but for now I need space to grow, learn...and watch football.

5. Ready: I think I know what kind of girl I want.

Not sure if she exists, but she's smart, funny, sweet, and a little edgy. She teaches me; I teach her. We laugh a lot. We are best friends.

...but I fear what happens next after I settle down.

So, how will I really know if she's "it"? Being sure of a significant other is such an unknown feeling to me. Maybe it's because I'm not ready, or haven't met enough girls to know who is wrong or right for me.

Maybe being "ready" just hits you in the face. I might have to count on that happening, because I will always be at war with myself, as you can see. Maybe meeting the right girl will make me become ready all in one huge moment.

How did you know when you were ready, or how do you think you will know that you're ready? Do you think it's something that just happens, and kind of whips you into shape? Do you have the same fears as I do, that you might mistakenly think you're ready at some point?

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