That couldn’t be more untrue, and in fact, that line of thinking means you’re likely not ready for a relationship. You are a whole person just by yourself and it’s only after you’ve acknowledged and internalized that that you can say yes, I am ready for a relationship. This “social stunting” came up in my colleague Kate Julian’s Atlantic cover story on “the sex recession,” as one potential reason why intimacy has decreased among younger generations.

The healthier your relationship with yourself is, the more able you are to have a healthy relationship with a significant other. While this article explores the main signs you’re ready for a relationship, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation. Another way to know if you are ready for a serious relationship is your commitment to just one person. You like the person you are dating so much that you can’t imagine seeing him with another girl or having another make him bowl over laughing. The desire for exclusivity is often a major indicator of the beginnings of a romantic relationship. A codependent relationship means you frequently give up your needs or interests in favor of your partner’s, or always want to be with this particular person only. If you spot such a pattern in yourself, you need professional help to learn how to form healthier attachments.

Next, explain what’s not working and that you want to break up. Tell the person that you are sorry to hurt him/her. Finally, respect the other person’s need for space. Much of the time, though, readiness is a subjective, personal assessment.

Signs He Is Not Ready For An Actual Relationship

However, marriage is not something you want to rush into no matter how much you might like the other person. Your partner should be just as discriminant as you are about making a lifelong commitment. Struggling with commitment issues is a huge indication that you’re not ready to be in a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with having commitment issues, but it is wrong to date someone while you’re struggling with something so major. GoodTherapy explains that the fear of commitment usually stems from traumatic experiences including abandonment or infidelity in past relationships. Many people believe that loving yourself makes it a whole lot easier for other people to love you. Still,The Daily Targum explains that finding ways to love yourself can be an incredibly slow process.

Liking yourself is the first step you’ll make toward being a better friend, relative, and lover one day should you choose. You can’t ever truly love someone or appreciate them unless you love yourself first. A rebound relationship may work very well here to distract yourself, but it’s important to remember to make your intentions clear from the very beginning. More often than not, it’s too awkward or nerve-wracking to be fun. It does not mean that broke people do not deserve to be in a relationship. But, until that person comes along, it’s important to work on ourselves and define our own happiness which we can then share with them.

You’re excited to date

Self-confidence is the key to knowing you’re ready for love (it’s also the most potent aphrodisiac!). Either way, this person understands they will be better for it since the love and support they have for themselves will always be there, no matter who else comes and goes. Instead, they have concentrated on developing their skills, passions, and happiness.

You want to think about things like this beforehand as it can be easy to get swept up when you’re in the middle of hooking up and your date is pleading with you to take things further. You must feel comfortable telling your date what you want and don’t want, and also not feel scared to say “stop” if it becomes necessary. As the median age of marriage in the U.S. creeps up and up, more young people seem to be pushing off commitment in favor of career development, or other forms of tending one’s own garden. Rachel DeAlto though, once you’ve fully gotten over your ex, you’re emotionally ready for something new.

When you pressure yourself to do anything you’re not ready for, it can lead to failure. Imagine trying to bake a cake with only half the recipe printed out and only a fraction of the necessary ingredients stocked up in your fridge. Odds are, the cake isn’t going to turn out the way you hoped for or intended. The same thing might happen if you try to force yourself to date before you’re ready to fully commit. If you think he is not committing due to prior issues, you might want to recommend counseling for him. Otherwise, you might end up bearing the brunt of his emotional issues throughout your relationship.

Understand, as well as you can, what you did well and what might help you choose and/or be a better partner in a new relationship. Thinking, journaling, talking out loud with a trusted friend or therapist will help you walk this walk in a way that will allow you to come out stronger, smarter and with more emotional intelligence. Caitlin Cantor, LCSW, CST, is a licensed psychotherapist, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Gestalt Therapist and relationship expert. Hack Spirit is one of the leading authorities providing practical and accessible relationship advice.