About the Post

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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

Are You Ready for a Relationship? Maybe Not.

Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’ve noticed a common trend among many others my age: the desire to be in a relationship. People who, up until now, enjoyed being single and playing the field are now interested in finding someone special and committing to them.  Whether it’s from watching others their age do the same thing, from pressure from their family to settle down, or from age-related expectations, being single is beginning to be viewed as a problem when you’re my age. Many men and women alike want to find that special someone, that perfect relationship. And that’s wonderful… if they’re looking for the right reasons.

A relationship isn’t right for every person and every lifestyle, and there’s a difference between wanting one and being ready to have one. If you’re looking for that special someone, take a minute and look at yourself in an open and honest way. It isn’t easy! But being truthful with yourself now can save you a whole lot of angst, drama and heartbreak down the line. Take a look at the following red flags and see if any of them ring true for you.

You may not be ready for a relationship if…

Credit vancitybuzz.com

You feel incomplete and “lesser-than” when you’re single.

I’ve talked to people who want someone to fall madly in love with them and tell them, “You complete me.” I’ve had friends bemoan their single status, wondering, “What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want me?” I’ve actually had someone say to me, “I don’t think I know how to be by myself!” These are some of the most toxic ways of thinking I’ve ever heard, and some of the worst reasons to pursue someone. If you don’t know how to be alone, you should figure it out! Learn how to spend time with yourself. Pursue hobbies you haven’t made time for in the past, take yourself out for dinner or to the movies, or even just spend some time on the couch with a book or a television marathon. The world isn’t judging you for going out alone; no one is whispering behind your back about your single status. One of the best parts about being single is that you get to do things for yourself. You don’t have to take others’ preferences and choices into account when you want to do something – you are in complete control, and you can guarantee yourself a fun time, every time. Get comfortable with yourself, and have a blast doing it!

You find yourself attracted to men or women who aren’t good for you.

There’s a difference between admiring the looks of the bad boy and wanting to pursue him. Men and women alike have the habit of winding up in relationships with people they shouldn’t; that is, people who will risk their physical, mental, or emotional well-being. It’s known as the savior complex: wanting to ‘save’ someone troubled, or ‘fix’ their problems. If you find yourself thinking, “So-and-so has problems x, y or z, but with me, things will be different!”, you need to stop. I’m not talking about little flaws, like forgetting to take out the trash or leaving socks on the floor. I’m talking about things about a person that are dangerous or affect your mental or emotional health. People only change when they want to – it takes a whole lot of work, and you wanting to fix someone isn’t going to be enough. If you find yourself constantly pursuing men or women that are sending up red flags, you might need to slow down and reconsider. Your well-being is important – but, unfortunately, it may not be to everyone.

Credit sheknows.com

You haven’t dealt with emotional baggage from your last relationship.

New relationships are not a cure-all for the old ones. Committing to someone when you’re still emotionally affected by a person in your past isn’t healthy for either one of you. It can lead to comparisons between your new and past partners, and it can seriously mess with your brain – and your heart. Any issues from your past relationship can crop up into the new one if you haven’t properly gotten over and dealt with the emotions from your past love. If you find yourself checking up on your ex, get upset or angry easily at the thought of them, or are unable to handle the thought of this ex with someone else, you need to deal with that. Getting into a new relationship is not going to make all of those feelings go away. You need to take time to mourn and heal from your past relationships before going after a new one.

You’re dreaming of that fairytale happy ending.

It may sound silly to say, but I suspect there are more people out there who need to hear this than we think: life is not a fairy tale. Your prince or princess is not out there waiting to come into your life and transform it into happiness and roses.  Happily ever after, riding off into the sunset… those are the things of movies. And I love movies, believe me, but they are not real life. The world isn’t going to be perfect once you find that special someone; your life’s problems won’t disappear because someone loves you. If you find yourself searching for perfection, hoping to find someone to tell you that you’re beautiful and special and perfect, you’re likely to attract someone who’s looking for exactly that. And that isn’t good. You’re likely to attract one of two people: someone controlling and ready to use your insecurities against you, or someone just as insecure as you, who craves validation and reassurance just as much as you do. Either way, you’re going to wind up with something messy and unhealthy, and that isn’t what you want. Don’t look for someone to give you your happy ending – create one for yourself.

Credit mycookingmagazine.com

You find yourself changing who you are to attract someone.

Do you find yourself reading those magazine articles with tips on how to attract a man, or how to make yourself irresistible to women? Even worse, do you find yourself listening to their advice? If that’s the case, you need to take a hard look at the things you’re doing. If you pretend to be interested in things to get the attention of someone you’re eyeing, how is the rest of that relationship going to go? How long can you feign interest in something that secretly bores you? Why would you want to? There are all kinds of people in this world, and it’s almost certain that there are people out there whose interests match yours – so why change yourself? I think we’re all guilty of this, in some way. I remember buying AC/DC albums and devouring them when I fell for a classmate who listed them as their favourite band, and I remember watching tons of Family Guy episodes just to have stuff to talk about with a coworker I thought was cute. But I hated both of those things – they weren’t me, at all, and that backfired when I realized that these boys weren’t interested in me – they were interested in the version of myself I’d created for them. I don’t ever want to exist as a version of myself for another person again. If you want to pursue new hobbies or make changes in your life, make sure you’re doing these things because you want to – not because you hope they’ll enhance your dating life.

Your life is hectic enough as it is.

Many people in their mid-twenties have crazy schedules – school, work, volunteering, socializing with friends, following their passions and interests. I know that my life and schedule is a little insane. If your priorities are graduating, or doing well at your new job, or getting that promotion, why would you compromise your already valuable time with a relationship? There’s no shame in admitting your life is full right now and choosing not to date. That’s the great thing about dating: it will always be available to you when you have the time to do so. With the rise of online dating, there’s no reason you can’t focus on other things in your life and jump back into the dating pool when you’re ready. Look at your life and prioritize: are there things that are more important to you than settling down and spending a large amount of your time with another person? If there are, then don’t stress it. Don’t push it. Dating will always be there when you do have more time.

Credit Vancouver Sun

At this point in my life, I am single by choice. There are several reasons why a relationship doesn’t fit into my lifestyle right now, and I choose to listen to those reasons. When I do decide to date, I want it to be because I’ve found someone special, and I want to make time in my life for that person. Until then? I’m happy just as I am. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

If you can look at your life and your needs, and evaluate why you want a relationship, you’ll be able to decide if it’s something that’s right for you at this point in time. If it isn’t, don’t stress about it. Dating will always be an option when you are ready. If you don’t know what you want, don’t commit. Don’t force yourself into a relationship if you’re not absolutely sure that you want someone else in your life right now.

Remember: you don’t want a relationship that completes you; you want a relationship that complements you. Take care of yourself, pursue your own dreams and hobbies, and have fun. When you’re ready, the dating pool will be waiting.

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