I visited a close friend recently, and the subject for discussion was why most men are just on the lookout for casual flings with no strings attached. My friend blatantly asked me, “Why doesn’t he want to be in a relationship with me? We get along well, and I feel we are perfect for each other.” This thus necessitates this blog post on how to respond to ‘I’m not ready for a relationship.’
He is ready for a relationship… not just with you
This is what I told my friend. Hey, I may be committing the fallacy of overgeneralization. But my answer probably stems from years of experience.
The conversation with my friend cast my mind to a causal fling I had years back. I was really into the guy in question (let’s call him Richard), and I believed Richard was into me too.
At that point, I felt that the “what are we” conversation was a cliché, and I was so scared to broach it. I wanted to preserve what we had without needless questions on commitment.
Eventually, I summoned the courage to bring up the dreaded “what are we conversation.” As expected, Richard responded that he was not ready for a relationship. He further explained that it wouldn’t be fair for him to drag me into something he was not fully invested in.
That sounds like a reasonable explanation, right? Eventually, I couldn’t keep up with the vague nature of our relationship and had to call it quits.
Two months later, I saw a cozy picture of Richard with his partner online. This was the same Richard that couldn’t even wish me a simple happy birthday on the internet.
Was I hurt? Hell yes! But eventually dismissed those emotions. Holding on to the anger and betrayal I felt would not do me any good.
Don’t be scared to bring up the ‘What are we conversation?’
There are lots of cliches surrounding the ‘what are we‘ conversation. Ultimately, it has been used to mock women for being too emotional if they want commitment after a period of intimacy.
As I stated earlier, I was so scared to broach that topic. I wanted to appear cool. The type of girl that can get down without looking for commitment. In fact, I think that was the peak of my ‘pick me’ era. I wanted to show that I was different from other girls.
Right now, all I can say is thank God for growth. Nowadays, I don’t even need to bring up the ‘what are we’ conversation. This is because, from my first few interactions with a guy, I make my intention on how I feel about casual hook up and flings.
Don’t misunderstand me; I am not saying that there is anything with casual hooks or situationships. I am saying that you should want a casual fling because you want to.
Why are they not ready for a relationship?
I am quite cynical. Thus, my answer to this question is that they are ready for a relationship… but not just with you. Okay, it is time for me to be a bit objective. There are many reasons why someone might not be ready for a relationship. Let’s discuss them below.
Reasons why they are not ready for a relationship:
1. They are still suffering from the trauma of their previous relationship
In my previous post about infidelity, I wrote about the emotional trauma of being cheated on. One cannot get over this trauma in the twinkle of an eye. If that’s the case, it is possible that such a person won’t want to offer commitment when they know they are not in the right state of mind.
2. They are still in contact with their ex
This is a very distinct possibility. The bond formed in a relationship, especially a long-term relationship, can not be severed so easily. So, it might be that this person still has feelings for their ex and might not be willing to end things with them.
3. They are not financially ready for a relationship
Whether we want to admit it or not, being in a committed relationship comes with some financial obligations from both parties. Birthday, Valentine and anniversary gifts need some cash to be purchased. And it might be difficult to cater to such expectations when you are not financially stable.
4. They might not think of you as “the one.”
While this might hurt initially, it is for the best. Imagine being in a committed relationship with someone who thinks you are not the one for them. That will hurt after you have invested your time and emotions in the relationship. It was always best to nip the bud before it blooms.
5. They wish to explore other options
Many people want to be certain that they are entering into a committed relationship only after thoroughly exploring their options.
They don’t want to put themselves in a scenario where they commit just to commit and then meet someone else who is a far better match for them.
So, if they say they’re not ready for a relationship, it might be because they’re still in the exploratory stage and need more time to decide if you’re the perfect person for them.
6. They Are Indecisive
This is an outrightly annoying trait when it comes to relationship issues. Why? Because it puts you in limbo until that person has made up their mind.
7. They are only with you for the physical benefits
This can be a difficult pill to swallow, especially when you want more out of the relationship. But in hindsight, the phrase ‘friends with benefits’ was coined for a reason.
How To Respond To “I’m Not Ready For A Relationship”
The cynical part of me is about to pop out again, where I suggest you cuss them out. But, I am trying to be more objective, so we will discuss more appropriate responses for “I’m not ready for a relationship.”
Here are 10 ways to respond to “I’m not ready for a relationship.”
1. Take their word for it
Honest is the best policy, and thus, I appreciate outright honesty in all my relationships. Some persons might play with your emotions instead of outrightly telling you that they are not ready for a relationship.
Thus, if someone you are starting to harbor feelings for reveals that they are not ready for a relationship, respect their stance. It is possible that they need more time to determine whether or not to make things formal.
2. Don’t Try To Convince Them
I told my friend that when someone is ready for a relationship, they make it abundantly clear. So, when someone outrightly tells you that they are not ready for a relationship, I think it is fruitless trying to convince them. That’s because, no matter how hard you try, you just do not have influence over the lives of others.
3. Think about how your precious time is saved
We all have a very valuable asset in the form of time. And, when it comes to finding the proper spouse for you, time is of the essence.
Millions of people squander years on the wrong person and subsequently come to regret it. So, if your date indicates they aren’t ready for a relationship, you should be relieved that you found out now rather than later.
4. Listen to them without bias
Again, if you develop feelings for someone and they say, “I’m not ready for a relationship,” you may be disappointed.
After all, your heart wants to hear phrases like, “Let’s make it official,” or “I want to be in a committed relationship with you.”
But listening to them without judgment will provide the clarity that you obviously need. Who knows, after their explanation, you might end up not wanting to be in a relationship with them.
5. Respond when you have time to process
I think after speaking, I am prone to respond angrily in such situations. Well, you shouldn’t be like me.
We frequently feel pressed to make rapid judgments concerning our relationships. That doesn’t imply you should make hasty judgments. After all, if you answer on the spur of the moment, you can say something you don’t mean to say. Or you might say something hurtful that you later regret.
Take your time processing the issue. You might inform your date, “I understand, but I need time to think about what I want to do next.” Then consider how you feel about it and what is the best course of action. To get additional clarity, you may meditate or journal for a bit.
6. Figure out what to do next
Candidly, I think you should let a person who is not ready for a relationship go. Being them when they have expressly told you that they are not ready for a relationship will end up hurting you in the long run.
7. You should walk away
This is just to buttress the point discussed above. It might not be easy to walk away, but it is best for your mental health.
If you decide to walk away, you need all the support you can get. Have a support system to express how you feel to them, and their love will help you bounce back stronger.
8. Don’t beat yourself up if you return back to them
We have all been in situations where we promised to walk away from a situationship but found ourselves going back. Don’t beat yourself up if that happens. You are human, and emotions can be a difficult thing to process. You are allowed moments of weakness, but what you do after such moments of weakness matters.
9. Be clearer about your romantic expectations in the future
There is always something we can learn from our terrible experiences. If you have to let go of someone you care about because they aren’t ready for a relationship, there is most likely a lesson in there as well!
Can you figure out what it is? It tells you that you should be clear about your future plans. You should convey your expectations of your relationship from the start.
In a bid to please someone, don’t go along with a situationship when you are ready for a committed relationship. As I stated previously, from the first or second date, I make it quite clear that I am not ready for a casual fling. This helps me wean out the weed from the wheat. *winks*
10. Focus on yourself
A relationship that is not right for you can be emotionally draining. Well, If you decide to walk away from such, then it is time to focus on yourself.
After you might have spent time grieving the loss of a relationship that was bound to fail, it is time to have a relationship with yourself.
Conclusion: How To Respond To “I’m Not Ready For A Relationship”
Well, I hope this post provided some practical ways on how to respond to “I’m not ready for a relationship.” It is worth noting that such a situation is not the end of your romantic life. Believe that you will meet someone who will accept you for who you are and give you every reason to fall in love with them. In the meanwhile, focus on growing as a person.