5 Signs You’re Not Ready for a Relationship That No One Wants to Tell You post image

5 Signs You’re Not Ready for a Relationship That No One Wants to Tell You

Wanting to be in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re ready for a relationship. It could mean you’re lonely or that you have some other issue in your life that you’re overlooking, and you believe a relationship will be your cure-all.

As women, we’ve been told for as long as we can remember that love will save us … that a relationship is that missing piece we need to complete our lives. It’s no wonder so many women focus on this so intently and think a relationship is all they need to make them happy.

I’m not denying the power of being in an amazing relationship. It can be transformative, and the benefits are immense. But before you can enjoy those benefits, you need to be in the right place internally. Unfortunately, this sometimes takes work.

I know better than anyone what this is like. During my chronically single years all I could think about was how badly I wanted to be in a relationship. I focused on my wanting, on the lack of decent, available men, on how hard it is to date in New York City, on how unfair the whole thing is … but not so much on whether I was even ready to be in a real relationship. And for most of that time, the answer was no. It took a few years and many epiphanies before I got to the right place internally and sorted through what needed sorting.

So trust me, I’m the last person to pass judgment. But I’m also the first person to give you a dose of honest truth and help you along the sometimes daunting road to get to where you want to go.

And with that, let’s take a look at the most glaring signs that you aren’t ready to be in a relationship.

1. You are unhappy in your life.


When you feel unhappy and dissatisfied in life, it’s easy to point to your relationship status as the cause. You think that as soon as you find a great guy and have an amazing relationship, everything will be wonderful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Although a relationship can certainly add to your sense of happiness, happiness isn’t something you get from a relationship—it’s something you bring into your relationship.

It comes from already being happy in your life outside of the relationship. This means you feel confident in yourself, you have a good group of friends you care about and who care about you, you have hobbies you enjoy, and you are a balanced, well-rounded person.

Yes, I know that it’s way easier said than done, but happiness isn’t something that just happens. It is something you seek and create. You have to actively fill up your happiness tank. There will be times when this happens easily and naturally, and other times when you’ll have to put in a bit more energy and effort.

MORE: 11 Ways to Find True Happiness 

The worst thing you can do is wait around and fill your time with idle pursuits thinking everything will change when a man steps into the picture. For one thing, being that way will repel the kinds of guys you probably want, and for another, even if that Prince Charming does happen upon you, the relationship will get off to a troubled start.

Why? Because in that sort of situation, you’ll be relying on him to fill you with happiness, and this can cause you to act needy and desperate for his approval. Aside from that, he will never be able to give you the sense of happiness you crave because only you can give that to yourself.

As a result, you will be unhappy with the relationship and maybe even a little resentful of him, and things will most likely go from bad to worse from there.

2. You keep finding yourself in the same situations over and over again.

If history keeps repeating itself in your life that’s a big sign there is something you need to work on within yourself. Personally speaking, I spent years going after emotionally unavailable men who couldn’t give me what I needed. I had zero interest in the guys who actually liked me and were really good to me, and would become obsessed with the guys who were ambivalent about me or had commitment issues.

One by one the pattern repeated itself. Go on a date with a nice guy and eh, I wasn’t feeling it. But go on a date with a “damage case” and whoa! Major fireworks! I have to make it work with this guy!

I’ve already written a lot about wanting guys who don’t want you, so I won’t get into that here, but suffice it to say it was a problem I needed to deal with. For a long time, I thought it would just sort itself out, that one day the bad boys would stop being appealing and the good guys would finally pique my precarious interest, but it didn’t work that way. (More on how I overcame that addiction in this article.)

I needed to finally wake up and get it together. I started seeing an amazing therapist and really looking deeply into my faulty wiring. I was able to identify where it was coming from and the need that these emotionally unavailable guys were fulfilling within me, and once I got to that place of clarity, they completely lost all appeal to me!

The point is, ending up in the same unhappy situations over and over is a sign that you need to look within, and you need to make a change. Usually, we end up repeating the same relationship scenarios to heal some sort of wound left behind from an ex or even a parent. The subconscious is always looking for ways to mend itself, even if that means leading you into unhealthy situations.

In life, we will all face a fair share of pain and disappointment. The best thing you can do for yourself is to try to use these disappointments as fuel to become even better. Until you do, you will stay stuck exactly where you are.

TAKE THE QUIZ: Are You Accidentally Ruining Your Love Life? 

3. You aren’t over your ex.


This is a huge problem for many women. Being hung up on your ex can cause problems for several reasons. The first is it’s possible you’re only dating other guys as a distraction, or maybe to make your ex jealous. This prevents you from forming a genuine connection with these new guys, and even if it is making your ex jealous, it probably won’t be enough to reel him back in … so you’re essentially keeping yourself stuck in a rut, and for no good reason.

If you aren’t over your ex you’re probably still idealizing him and the relationship, which means you’ll seek out guys with similar qualities. This can be problematic because … well, it didn’t work out with your ex for a reason! And the reason could very well be that someone with his qualities isn’t a match for you.

Before putting yourself back out on the dating market, make sure you have come to terms with your last relationship (or relationships). Process what happened, work through it, learn the lessons, move forward and continue to heal. Getting over a breakup isn’t a passive process, and although time can make the memories more distant and hazy, it doesn’t actually heal.

You need to work through the difficult emotions and purge yourself of those negative feelings, otherwise, they will keep cycling through you, sabotaging your chances of finding love.

4. You have walls up.


You can’t live a satisfying life behind a wall, as comforting as a wall can be. In relationships, like typically attracts like. If you are emotionally unavailable, you may unconsciously seek out guys who are emotionally available. There is a safety in this because the relationship is doomed before it begins and you can continue to live life behind your wall.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to be vulnerable and real, especially when you’ve had your heart annihilated, but that is the only pathway to a deep and meaningful emotional connection. That is not to say you shouldn’t keep your eyes open and make smart, objective decisions. But that isn’t the same as keeping your guard up.

Having walls and protections and an aura of “I don’t need anything from anybody” succeeds in doing one thing: keeping people out. In a healthy relationship, both people have to be able to lean on one another. It’s about making room for the other person and letting him in.

5. You’re desperate.


If you find yourself bending over backward to be what you think a man wants, that’s a huge red flag and a sign that you need to focus on yourself.

Yes, in dating most people do put their best foot forward, but that is still their self. If you feel you can’t be who you truly are in order for a guy to like you, then you need to focus on self-love before you can think about romantic love. If you don’t love yourself, you will never be able to accept love from the outside. Self-love always comes first.

Being inauthentic is always a recipe for failure because your true self will emerge eventually… and then what? This is why I am not an advocate of playing games or following rules. Yes, that stuff can work, but only because you’re presenting yourself as a confident woman, and men are attracted to confident women. But that is still an act in many ways. A much more effective strategy is to actually be a confident woman.

If you don’t love yourself and feel confident in who you are, you will never truly feel content and at ease in a relationship. You won’t trust that he truly loves you … how could you when you don’t even love yourself? You will invariably come across as needy, and this is the ultimate turn-off. (This is the kind of stuff I talk about a lot on social media so make sure you follow me on Instagram and add me on Snapchat: Sabrinaalexis23.)

You also won’t ever be able to just relax and enjoy the relationship. You will always be on the lookout for the proverbial other shoe to drop. When you have this mindset you create a self-fulfilling prophecy, because when you feel bad about yourself you’ll act in a way that creates the very outcome you’re so terrified of!

So there you have it, telltale signs you are not ready for a relationship. The good news is that all of these are fixable. It all really comes down to working on yourself and getting to a strong, empowered, happy, inspired place.

I hope after reading this article you understand the real reasons you’re still single … and I hope the clarity will put you on the path to fixing those issues so you can have the love you want. When you’re in a relationship, there are some important things you need to know. The first is that at some point In your relationship, your man will start to pull away. You may notice him becoming more distant and less engaged. It seems like he’s losing interest in you and you worry that soon he’s going to just leave. Do you know what to do to get things back on track? If not, read this next: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...

The next issue arises at that inevitable point when the man asks himself: Do I want to commit to this woman for the long term? The answer will determine everything. Do you know what makes a man see a woman as girlfriend/wife material? Do you know what inspires a man to commit? If not, you need to read this too: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman

These Are the Signs You’re Not Ready For a Relationship:

  1. You are unhappy with your life.
  2. You keep finding yourself in the same situations over and over again.
  3. You aren’t over your ex.
  4. You have walls up.
  5. You’re desperate.
unhappy woman in orange dress sitting on the stony bench in the park

Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

13 comments… add one

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they don’t send you the actual results. This is simply a bait to get your email address for their marketing. don’t waste your time taking it

Reply July 31, 2018, 10:58 am


LOVE THIS ARTILCE YOU SPOKE TO ME And so many ways you don’t understand I would like to know a recommended therapists my healing journey starts now.

Reply October 26, 2017, 8:43 am

John Bogulski

I’m single because I’m unemployed refusing change that and go back to work I’m not happy because I’m bored I feel like I should be keeping busy.Thats why I remain single because I knew I’m not happy whith my life even though I keep saying no I have no intention on going back to being Employed anywhere.who am I kidding I can’t stand being bored as long as I’m not happy whith my life because of my boardem and me being unemployed I well never be ready to end my single lif.

Reply August 22, 2017, 7:45 am

John Bogulski

I’m a 43 year old man I’m single.and not interested in dateing because I’m not happy whith my life.im not ready to worry about anyone else.im unemployed haven’t worked in years I’m bored.I think I’m Just fine being single sense I have no interest in working for a living.I do what I Want when I want to do it

Reply June 29, 2017, 12:57 am


You’re right Janine, i don’t like playing games either, it’s childish and unproductive, besides, all games come to an end.

The dating world now is like dog-eat-world. It’s a mess; men are jumping from women like they’re swinging from tree to tree, they never stay for very long and why should they..there are just too many options.

I like your last sentence…good riddance to bad rubbish..so true, if they walk away please open the door for them, they are not gods.

Reply August 29, 2016, 12:21 pm


Marriage is a beautiful thing that is ordained by God himself. Couples are filled with joy when they finally get to tie knots with the love of their life. There are many different types of marriages. Marriages are influenced by culture, religion among many other things. This article seeks to focus on interracial relationships. This is a kind of relationship where the man and woman come from different races.

Interracial relationships are popular all around the globe. Every other moment an interracial couple is walking down the aisle somewhere on this beautiful planet. However, such marriages are faced with many challenges. In the US, for instance, it was a taboo to have an interracial relationship or marriage. In fact, there was a law that prohibited this until Richard and Mildred challenged the anti-miscegenation laws nearly half a decade ago.

Reply August 24, 2016, 7:55 am

Mizz K

Marriage does not magically change people so he will still be the same person when you all get married that he is right now. So that being said, you need to decide if you want to enter into a marriage with someone who threatens to leave you whenever he gets mad. You deserve love and security and right now you’re not getting that. You feel unloved and uncertain if he really wants to be with you. I can’t tell you what to do but I hope that you realize how precious you are and get out of this toxic relationship sooner than later

Reply August 23, 2016, 9:52 pm


So, I’ve been dating this guy for a while, and we have said our I love yous and everything. I just, don’t see the same thing in him as I did in the beginning. He is SUCH a good guy. Everyone adores him, but I guess I just don’t like him like that anymore. He is completely head over heels for him. How do I dump him without anyone getting mad at me, or his family thinking different of me? I also am trying really hard to not hurt him too bad. Is there any way I can get him on the same page?

Reply August 5, 2016, 6:46 pm


He is head over heels for *me*. Woops.

Reply August 5, 2016, 6:48 pm


My soon to be husband get drunk a lot, he says that I cause him to drink because I push his buttons. He says awful things and tells me it is my fault that I should not have made him mad. The next morning when he asks me whats wrong, I start to tell him and he says ” Well here come the water works” and proceeds to make fun of me and then tells me to just let it all go. But I cant it hurts. He then tells me that he no longer wants to be with me and that he is leaving but then never does. I am not sure if this problem is in fact my fault or if he is just looking for a way out. And then latter on in the day I get text from him say I love you and you are my whole world and I could not make it with out you. He never has hit me. But sometimes I feel that he really does not want me or love me, that he is only with me because I put up with him when no one else will. When we 1st met he was drinking 3 pints of vodka a day. now he is down to a 1/2 pint and 1 shot, but he refuses to eat which only makes it worse.

Reply August 2, 2016, 1:01 pm

Mizz K

Mizz K
Marriage does not magically change people so he will still be the same person when you all get married that he is right now. So that being said, you need to decide if you want to enter into a marriage with someone who threatens to leave you whenever he gets mad. You deserve love and security and right now you’re not getting that. You feel unloved and uncertain if he really wants to be with you. I can’t tell you what to do but I hope that you realize how precious you are and get out of this toxic relationship sooner than later

Reply August 23, 2016, 9:53 pm


Mizz K has a point.

Reply August 29, 2016, 12:12 pm


As Dan Savage would say: “DTMFA” which translates into “Dump the M*****F***ers A&&”. He’s a drunk and a loser. Let him take up someone else’s time. You can’t save him.
You’re still a very young person if you think that he’s like a puppy that needs saving. If he’s old enough to drink to excess he’s old enough to only inflict himself on himself alone.
Find yourself a nice guy who treats you like gold. Let this loser go.

Reply August 24, 2016, 12:51 pm

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