Relationships are all about timing. Its not uncommon to find yourself in a position where you want to take it to the next level, but your partner isn’t ready. They may have strong feelings for you, care about you deeply, and potentially see a future with you, but theyre not ready for the serious commitment that you desire. So what does it actually mean when someone isnt ready for a relationship? Well, the answer depends on your situation, but it is normal for some people to take more time than others.
Every romantic connection goes through its own stages. Love doesnt look the same for any two couples (which is great news if you dont want a repeat of your ex). Because every individual has their own process when determining their desires for commitment, the future of any relationship can have different opportunities. It all depends on where youre coming from in the past and what you want for your future. Should you wait? We consulted experts Jeremy Nicholson, MSW, Ph.D., Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Douglas LaBier, Ph.D. to learn about a few key points to consider before making your decision.
Say This When She Says “She’s Not Ready!” (Finding Herself or Emotionally Unavailable)
The Pros of Waiting Until Your Partner Is Ready
While it may be tough, there definitely could be some pros to waiting until your partner is ready for a relationship.
Waiting Lets Your Partner See How Much You Care
Your partner might need more time to decide if theyre ready for a serious commitment. Maybe theyve just come out of a long-term relationship, or they simply dont move as quickly as you do. By giving your partner time to make their decision, youre not only respecting their wishes, but youre also showing them theyre worth waiting for.
When you stand by your partner through the process, it lets them see just how much you care and honor their needs. Nicholson suggests asking a few questions to determine whether one should settle down. “Is this a good time for you to have a serious relationship? Is your date or lover ready for a monogamous, long-term commitment? Such considerations can have an impact on both the direction and quality of your future relationship together,” says Nicholson.
Waiting is hard, but for the right person, the outcome can be worth it. Allow your partner the necessary time to get to know you—and demonstrate that youre as serious as you say you are.
Make sure your partner knows theyre in a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings with you. Communication is key.
Waiting Allows You to Connect in a Deeper Way
A longer build-up may also lead to a stronger bond down the road: Both parties have fully weighed their options, and when they do commit, theyre free of reservations or doubts. When you give your partner more time to enter a serious commitment, youre laying the groundwork for a more meaningful connection with one another.
Bloom adds that healthy commitment requires a process of building and cultivating. “The ease that comes from being securely bonded is a great asset not only to our relationship but also to our life in general. …The higher trust level gives us peace of mind.”
Waiting can help solidify your partners decision, but even more importantly, it creates a healthier dynamic for long-lasting relationships. In fact, rather than rushing into a major commitment, taking it slow builds a connection that youll both strive to maintain.