How Do I Know If I'm Ready to Fall in Love?

By: Mary Elizabeth Dean

Updated October 12, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Rashonda Douthit , LCSW

Many adults know what it’s like to be in a relationship but may feel unsure if they’re ready to fall in love. We may think we want to be in love, but sometimes we haven’t a clue where to start or how to get to the finish line of finding a partner who loves us too. Maybe you think you’re already in love, but are unsure if you are ready to commit to this partner.

The good news is most of the cues that we are ready for love come from within. They don’t cost any money or require any intensive steps. They are learned over our lifetimes, weaved into our personalities and internal selves. If you find yourself thinking, “I miss being in love,” there are a few things you should consider before you embark on your journey to finding “the one.”

You Love Yourself

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You may not feel ready to love someone else until you find love truly within yourself. Loving yourself means seeing yourself honestly, being compassionate and forgiving to yourself, and respectful of your own energy and time. Starting from the positive space often makes it easier to truly love someone and continue a healthy, long-lasting relationship with them. It can be tempting for many people to find their worth and identity in another person, which can doom a new relationship from the start and make you feel even worse when it ends.

When you love yourself, you know your worth. You are in touch with the things that make you happy, and you don’t need another person to fulfill you. You can brave the world alone with ease but have decided you want a partner that can share the journey with you. Approaching a relationship from this lens can help you more honestly evaluate your ideal partner and work more constructively inside that relationship.

Additionally, if you find yourself being mistreated, you will have the courage to walk away. Your love for yourself will not allow you to put up with a person treating you poorly. This will make you a force to be reckoned with, and the right partner will respect you immensely for it. Hopefully they will feel the same level of love for themselves. You will both have that same desire – “I want to fall in love, and I want the other person to love him or herself too.”

If you put yourself first, when the time comes that you finally meet the right person, you can count on falling in love with ease. Your life will already be rich, so the love will be a nice extra.

You Have Financial Stability

When you choose to share your life with someone, it is good to already be financially independent. This is important for many reasons.

Firstly, you don’t want to depend on someone to support you financially. Even if you do have a strong relationship and don’t plan on parting ways, life happens in a flash, and if something were to happen to your partner, you may be left in unfavorable circumstances. Having your own sense of financial stability will also allow you to leave your partner more easily if you make that choice.

Secondly, financial stability lets you fulfill lifetime goals with the person you choose to be with. If you want the white house with the picket fence, that isn’t going to appear out of nowhere. That comes with a lifetime of good money management techniques and good credit.

When you meet someone, don’t jump straight into the thought: “I want to fall in love.” You want to make sure your partner is financially stable as well. Since money issues are among the top reasons for divorce, you will be doing yourself many favors by following this rule.

You’re Content Being Alone

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The relationships you keep will be the strongest and most meaningful when you go into them with a full heart and an independent attitude. You will know when you are ready to fall in love because you will be content with being single. It’s often said that real love comes when you aren’t even looking for it.

Your days can and should be filled with happiness and fun with or without a partner. Maybe you spend a fair amount of time with your friends or enjoy a solitary brunch on the patio at your favorite restaurant. You are happy with your life, and you don’t need a romantic partner in it to make you feel full. You may still be thinking of how you want to fall in love, but you will be willing to wait for the right person to come along.

This is all about choosing when to be in a relationship at a time that is the best for you and your future partner. If you want your relationship to be healthy, both of you arriving with happiness from within, and not solely from each other, will help tremendously. You should still be able to live separate lives in some respects, even though you are in a relationship.

Remember that you are your own person, above all. You have your thoughts and emotions, and you are important. Respect your partner for being the same. You will walk this journey hand in hand, but be happy, separate people beneath the surface, as well.

You’re Ready To Share Your Space

Relationships aren’t all dates and outings. When you are serious about someone, you will need to be ready to share your living space with them.

Indeed, you don’t have to move in together, and certainly not right away. Most couples wait a fair amount of time before making this big decision. However, when you do have a romantic partner, it is fair to say that you will have to share your space with them from one time to another.

The person you love may not live life the same way that you do. The infamous toilet seat could be left up overnight, or the toiletries in the bathroom moved around. You also may not have the same philosophy of what having a clean home means. It is important that when you make the decision to choose this person that you also make room for their unique mannerisms.

Although this point may seem arbitrary, you will quickly realize just how important it is. How the two of you handle normal things like cleaning the house and stacking laundry says a lot about your compatibility.

You Have Time For A Partner

If you are in the middle of building your career and working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, it may not be the right time to look for a new partner.

When you commit to being in a relationship with someone, you promise them your time and attention. Even though the business of your life may not be your fault, it is certainly an important point to think on when getting into a new relationship.

If you don’t consider this, you risk your partner feeling undervalued or underappreciated. On the other hand, you don’t want to neglect your work life to make your partner happy. It can be more sustainable to learn the balance between living your normal life and also falling in love with someone.

You’re Not Looking For Perfection

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Relationships can be messy and unpredictable. If you are searching for perfection in the form of a soul mate or think being in love means life is perfect, you likely are not ready no matter how much you think “I want to fall in love.”

The best things in life can be messy and confusing at times. Part of what makes love so exciting is its unpredictability. It has its certain way of sweeping a person off their feet and lighting a fire in their hearts. It will be a feeling unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.

With love comes great responsibility. You must take into consideration how reckless it can make you and your partner and compensate for that. Love makes us feel like we can walk through walls, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get hurt. Make sure to remove your rose-colored glasses, and you will be able to enjoy all the fruits of your relationship with no regrets.

When you can realize that love may be messy, you will know you are ready to find a partner to share it with. You will finally be able to explore all the things you want – including “I want to fall in love.”

You’re Emotionally Independent

An excellent cue that you are ready to share your life with another is based on your ability to fend for yourself. Working through and understanding your own heavier or complex emotions can tremendously aid both you and your partner as you work to be together.

When we neglect to take care of our inner selves, we are only hurting ourselves and perhaps further prolonging the time we will spend single. There isn’t a partner in the world that can heal you inside. You will likely have to learn emotional independence and happiness while you’re flying solo if you want someone as equally emotionally independent to choose you in return.

From time to time, the demons you are fighting might feel too big to fight on your own. This would be a good time to consider consulting a licensed therapist. You can bring all your concerns, large or small to this person as they are clinically trained to assist you.

And, if you find yourself in relationship problems once you do meet the person you want to share life with, your therapist can help you with that, as well.

Relationship therapy has proven to have benefits that can last for up to four years. A study from 2009 reported that couples received tools through therapy for expressing their emotions and problem solving as a couple enjoyed stronger communication and alignment of values. Single people can also benefit from therapy focused on relationship issues and goals.

Online therapy can be a great way to make sure both you and your partner’s schedule can fit in time to work with a therapist. You’ll avoid the hassle of both taking time out of your day to travel to an office separately. Online therapy is also highly adaptable for your needs, letting you use a variety of tools and mediums to contact your therapist. It can be there for you in your regular appointment or in a sinch.

You can hear from couples and individuals who have used BetterHelp to assist them in their relationship.

“Joseph has been really helpful during this time. From helping me work through setting my boundaries to keep healthy relationships with my family, to doing some conflict resolution with my partner. I feel like i’ve greatly benefitted from having Joseph to talk to during this hard time.”

“Libby has been wonderful in guiding me and my partner through our difficulties and listening and providing feedback or asking questions that allow us to move forward and work through our differences. We really appreciate her and her work and for taking the time to help us.”


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