Having a partner you can share your life with and confide in can be very comforting and rewarding, but many people get into relationships before they’re truly ready. Unfortunately, much of society looks to other people for happiness rather than looking within, which usually results in the couple splitting up after the initial excitement and newness has worn off.
If you want to have a deeply fulfilling relationship with someone, you need to make sure you’ve done these five things before jumping in.
5 Things To Do Before You Fall In Love
1. Figure out who you are and what makes you happy.
This one can’t be stressed enough…so many people get into relationships before exploring themselves fully and taking the time and effort to create their own happiness. It takes discipline and bravery to become your own best friend and discover what you enjoy, but it’s well worth it because you will then attract someone who also has found his or her own bliss.
Take advantage of your time as a single man or woman and do those things you always wanted to do but never had time for. Go on a cross-country road trip and hike up mountains and swim in rivers, make new friends, take yoga classes, and embrace freedom in all its forms. In a typical relationship, you would probably never get to do all these things, especially if you have kids.
Step into your own fire and figure out what makes you burn with enthusiasm for life. You will thank yourself later when you realize that you don’t need a man or woman to make you happy – a relationship should just be an added bonus to your already awesome life.
2. Find (or create) a job that really speaks to you.
It’s no secret; most people despise their jobs and dread getting up for work each morning. If this sounds like you, starting up a relationship while you feel miserable with your career will only mask the underlying problem. Getting a new boyfriend or girlfriend might feel wonderful and take your mind off things for a while, but the problem will still loom over you like a dark cloud. Instead of always taking out your umbrella to shield yourself from the storm, get yourself out of situations that cause such turbulence in your life in the first place. Remove the dark clouds overhead by figuring out what you really want to do in life, and then go after it. Whether you want to write books, have a clothing line, run a blog, or own a restaurant, make it happen before you get into another relationship. This way, you will feel more whole and accomplished all on your own, and probably attract someone ambitious and cheerful as well.
3. Make friends who encourage and inspire you.
A lot of people look to a romantic relationship to fill a void or take away loneliness, forgetting that friends can add so much value and laughter to their lives, too. Once you do get into a relationship, the inevitable will happen – you will eventually get bored around each other if you don’t also have other people to spend your time with. Everyone needs multiple relationships in life to grow and learn; if you only have your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse to spend time with, you will miss out on a lot of other valuable and exciting connections.
Before you put yourself “back on the market,” try to make friends through activities you enjoy, or even in your workplace. This way, you will already have people in your life who you enjoy being around, and you won’t rely solely on one relationship for company.
4. Live with a roommate.
If you have never lived with anyone besides your family before, you might want to consider moving out and getting a roommate to get an idea of what it’s like to live with someone outside your comfort zone. Of course, you should ideally choose someone you feel somewhat comfortable with, like a close friend, because this will prepare you for all the ups and downs of sharing space with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
You will have to allocate chores and duties, like washing dishes, vacuuming, scrubbing the bathtub, etc. You will also have to respect each other’s space and learn to work out your differences when arguments arise. Maybe your roommate throws their clothes everywhere, but you like to keep things neat and orderly.
These types of issues will unavoidably come up in a relationship, so take some notes and learn from your friend about how to live with someone without wanting to rip their hair out from time to time. It will greatly benefit you to do this before getting involved in a serious relationship.
5. Travel solo.
Traveling alone is one of the scariest, most exhilarating things a person can do in life. You will gain so much confidence and independence from exploring new lands by yourself, plus you might discover where you want to settle down long-term. Also, you will get to go where you want, when you want, without having to worry about calling your significant other to check in, or feeling guilty because they want you to come home and you don’t feel ready yet. It will also give you more knowledge and experience in life, and maybe even make you a better problem-solver.
These traits can all come in handy in a relationship, because problems will arise at the most inconvenient times and places. Not to mention, travel just makes you a more well-rounded, interesting person. So, set your sails for new lands while you can – you will have more regrets in twenty years about what you didn’t do rather than what you did do.