When you're deciding whether you're ready to be in a relationship, you need to make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons. Part of it is how you're feeling about yourself — you're not going to be a healthy partner if you're not in a good place. But part of the issue is whether you have the right motivations for being in a relationship. Because, really, it should be about liking that person and wanting them to enhance your life — and yet people get into relationship for all sorts of reasons.
Firstly, you don't have to get into a relationship at all. For some people, it's not the right option. "I think that some people are meant to be single," psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. "They are confident, they love their lives, they love the ability to have no deep-rooted responsibilities that would keep them from doing things at the drop of a hat." But even if you are someone who wants to be in a relationship, you still need to be sure that you're getting into the right one, rather than getting into one just to cover something up or avoid something you don't want to deal with. It should be a positive force, not a coping mechanism.
So here are the wrong reasons to get into a relationship, because being lonely just isn't good enough:
1. You're Rebounding
I know, I know — getting over someone is the worst. And it's a good excuse to practice some self-care, play the field, do whatever it is to make you feel better, except rush into a relationship. You need to spend some time on your own.
I mean, you wouldn't think that it happens, but it happens. And it's totally not OK.
3. You're Bored
This not only isn't fair on whoever you choose to pair up with, it also is usually a waste of your time. Holding out for someone you actually like, rather than someone who's just there is always a better option.
4. You're Lonely
Being lonely hurts, but it can be really important to experience. “It can actually be a time to learn more about oneself and experience the greatest self-growth,” psychotherapist Mary Beth Somich, MA, EdM, LPCA, tells Bustle. “Feeling lonely as a result of being single can actually inspire individuals to have new experiences that they would not have put themselves out there for otherwise.”
5. Your Friends Are All In Relationships
It can feel really difficult when you're the only one of your friends not paired up — I was in that spot for about five years. I know that it can feel like it shines a light on how single you are, but it's not a good reason to jump into a relationship. You're your own person and don't need to pair up just because everyone else is.
6. You Hate Being Single
Being single is not a bad thing — I feel like I can't say that enough. "Being single is not societally dismissed or blasphemed as it once was," Dr. Ramani Durvasula, author of Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With A Narcissist, tells Bustle. "There are certainly temperaments that are better suited to being alone — some people are more solitary by nature, and may enjoy companionship from time to time, but actually prefer the rhythms of being single." And if you hate being single, it's all the more reason to try it for a while. It's a skill you should learn — and the longer you do it, the more empowered you'll feel.
7. Family Pressure
It doesn't matter how much your aunt badgers you at Thanksgiving or how much your parents talk about how you need to settle down, it is just not their call.
Remember, getting into a relationship is a big decision — and has a huge impact on the person you choose to do it with. So make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons.