Ready for Love? 5 Ways to Know for Sure

Looking for love? Well, before you can be struck by Cupid’s arrow, there are a few things to consider. If you think you’re ready to find that special someone, you first need to take an honest look at yourself. After all, you can’t be happy with someone else if you’re not totally happy with yourself. That said, if you’re looking for a mate, here are five ways to know you’re ready for love.

1. You’ve given up

young adults having fun

Nobody’s perfect, so give up on this idea. | iStock.com

Not on yourself, but on the idea of finding the perfect mate, because we all know that doesn’t actually exist. While no one wants to hear, “You’ll find him or her when you least expect it,” there’s truth in this statement.

In The Huffington Post, Tracy McMillan writes, “There is something about surrendering your whole Plan For Your Love Life that opens your heart wide enough for a real (not fantasy) man to walk into it.” It may sound contradictory, but if you’ve given up on the process of looking for love, then you’re ready to find, recognize, and accept love for what it really is, rather than some Disney princess, fairy tale version of it.

2. You know yourself completely

woman doing yoga

You should know what you really want. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Continuing to strive toward a better version of yourself is important, and acknowledging areas in your life that could take some improvement is a major sign of maturity. Only when you truly know yourself will you be ready to have a successful relationship with another person. As Donna Flagg points out in Psychology Today, when you don’t know yourself well enough, you can’t understand what it is you really want, and therefore, any true, shared life experiences with a potential mate are unlikely. It’s not that you’ve felt incomplete without this person up until this point, rather you and your partner are two whole beings who’ve come together as equals. It works because you loved yourself first.

3. You recognize others for who they really are

woman with camera

If you see people for who they are, you’re ready for love. | iStock.com

Notice the use of the word recognize, rather than accept. Accepting someone for who they are is great; recognizing a person for who they really are is totally different. As Jill P. Weber, Ph.D., explains in Psychology Today, it’s imperative to believe what people show and say about themselves. This may sound fairly easy, but most people struggle with it at one point or another.

The trouble is, when you’re in a relationship with someone, you’ll do just about anything to convince yourself it can, and will, work. While you may want to rationalize someone’s bad behavior when you’re attracted to them, don’t try to convince yourself things will change.

4. You’re alone, but not lonely

Young woman in white outfit

You can find happiness in being alone. | iStock.com/ladyana89

There’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely. Everyone’s experienced it at one time or another. You can be in a room full of loved ones, but still, feelings of loneliness cover you like a heavy blanket. On the other hand, you can be alone, by yourself, and yet you feel completely whole. Well, the latter is clearly preferable.

The main difference between the two terms — being alone and being lonely — all comes down to how much you love yourself. According to McMillan, if you’re simply alone, not lonely, a mate will be “the sprinkles on top of the cherry on top of the whipped cream, hot fudge, and ice cream that is your existence.” Well first of all, yum. And more importantly, that’s exactly how you should feel when you’re truly ready for love. Instead of searching for a person to depend on, you’ll be able to find a mate who compliments, motivates, and challenges you. And vice versa.

5. You focus on the good in someone, not the bad

couple holding hands on beach

Focus on the positives in someone. | iStock.com

While some flaws are worse than others, and you certainly should not ignore major issues (read No. 3), nitpicking will get you nowhere. If you are more apt to see the good in a person, rather than focus on the bad, it’s a good sign. Not only does it speak to your outlook on life, but it says a whole lot about the kind of person you are, and in turn, the kind of person you will attract.