Are you ready for love? This is a huge question, and such an important one to consider, that I always ask it in the very beginning of any engagement with a client or a catch. Sometimes you hear it asked in a jokey way, and as a result it can sound like a cliché. I’ve even heard it played for laughs in sitcoms and movies. But it’s a very serious question and one that should be addressed head-on, looking at it from two important angles.
The first one is from the perspective of giving love. You can say you’re ready to invest the time and effort it takes to find and nurture love, but do your actions really show that? In our society, this often shows up in careers. If you spend 12-14 hours a day working, you may not be as ready for love as you think you are. Or if your job requires you to travel a lot, you may need to think through how you’re going to actually, physically show up for a potential partner when you’re spending so much time travelling.
So ask yourself if you’re willing to make yourself available, both physically and emotionally. For love to take hold and grow, you have to be open, and allow it to enter your heart and mind.
The second angle to consider is no less important: are you ready to receive love? This requires you to be open as well, but it requires much more of you.
This is because, in order to receive love, you have to know who you are. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know your values? And knowing these things, do you love yourself? Having genuine answers to these questions allows you to be in a solid relationship with yourself, which is of utmost importance when you’re looking for love.
When you enter a relationship, you bring your insecurities along. We all do. It’s not a bad thing; it just means we’re working on ourselves. And you reflect these insecurities onto your partner, whether intentional or not. It’s part of being human. But if you have a solid relationship with yourself, you can communicate in a healthy way and set your boundaries from the beginning. Then love becomes effortless, which is as it should be.
Imagine the alternative – a situation in which you don’t have a solid relationship with yourself. That forces you to be someone you’re not because you’re putting up a front. Not only with the other person, but also with yourself. So you maintain a façade of being someone else. Which means that your partner has been with a different person – not you. This gets complicated and messy and often involves heartbreak when things don’t work out. But how could they, if one or both partners aren’t being their true selves?
So, as easy as it is to dismiss this question as a cliché or a joke, it actually is a critical one to think through. Are you ready for love? To give and receive it? The only person who can answer these questions is you. Not society. Not your best friend. You. If the answer is no, there’s nothing wrong with that. You can verbalize it and accept it. But not knowing and not honoring the answer – your true, genuine answer – will keep you from the effortless love that could otherwise be yours.