If My Partner Isn’t Ready for a Serious Relationship?

Feelings are easy to catch, it’s the confessing, committing and compromising that requires the real work. You can meet someone any day; be inspired by one another, have fun together, but not put a label on anything. What’s the deal with that anyway?

Here are nine possible reasons someone is not ready for a relationship, even if they like you.

One; they’re not completely over their ex. They like and respect you, which is why they don’t want to get involved with you anytime soon. They just got out of a long-term relationship and it takes time to get over their ex. It’s not necessarily a reflection of who you are that keeps them from wanting to commit, there’s just a lot of emotional baggage they have to sort through first before they can focus on just the two of you.

2. Their job requires frequent traveling. Are they constantly on the go? Can they even handle a long term relationship? These are questions to carefully consider when you like someone. If you’re especially the type of person to crave stability or would like to build a solid relationship, it’s no wonder they’re not ready to establish anything serious with you. They’re aware that they aren’t always going to be in a single setting for too long, but they appreciate the connection the both of you made, or they may not get too attached to you in the first place, because it’ll be painful for them when they leave.

3. Their values don’t align with yours. Maybe you feel like you’ll never find someone quite like them; they share the same taste in music as you, you know how to finish each other’s sentences, and sharing dessert is always a treat with them. But, that’s not necessarily soul mate material per se. Deeper values may clash; maybe you don’t want kids, maybe they do or you see yourself living in the big city, but they want a quiet life in the suburbs. It’s these differences that will test whether you two can establish a long-term relationship.

4. There’re in a super stressful time. They might be juggling loss like family death or unemployment, or they could be experiencing the opposite; whether working too much and can’t carve out time to be with you consistently. In this case, they have so much going on that the idea of dating seems nearly impossible, it would be more of a burden to their health and your own instead of benefiting both sides.

5. They’re still trying to discover who they are. Starting a relationship means taking on more responsibility. If they have plans to relocate for their dream job or would like to date casually instead of seriously, let them, because trying to persuade or chase them will only leave you empty-handed, disappointed and hurt. Evaluate why you feel a need to possess or control and ask yourself if that’s how you want to treat a potential partner.

6. They have commitment phobia. This can stem from past trauma such as a former toxic relationship. Establishing trust is something they’re still learning, so seeking a relationship this very moment seems out of the question. Instead of making them more anxious, encourage them and let them know you’re not here to play mind games. Ultimately though, it’s up to them to either accept or reject your invitations.

7. They aren’t happy with themselves. Do they struggle with low self-esteem, pessimism or depression? Realize that battling these inner demons can be taxing and respect their need for space. The healthier a person feels, the better equipped they are to enter a relationship. When unhappiness is a constant struggle, it can cause them to view relationships in a very black-and-white good or bad manner, which can create communication problems.

8. They aren’t in a place to compromise right now. Most of these reasons have focused on difficulties, but maybe everything is actually going super well for them; they’ve been content with their self journey and have a lot of plans to continue growing alone. There’s nothing wrong with that. If they aren’t in a mindset to settle down with someone, that’s OK.

9. They like you but aren’t falling in love with you. So, the two of you are getting closer, but are their feelings actually deepening for you? Although the best relationships have a strong friendship, sometimes that person might only see you as a friend without the romantic attraction.

Unrequited love is hard to handle, but thank them for their time and realize you still have a whole life ahead of you.

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