Hi people, it’s been a minute. My consistency level has dropped these past few months sadly, multi-tasking is really not as easy as I thought (oh well but I’m really trying to figure it out). So my last article was about knowing when to be ready for a relationship (if you have not seen it, please click here). I mean, a number of us are trying to figure out this whole getting into a relationship phase, and also getting into it for the right reasons. So, I thought to ask one of my favorite couples on the internet at the moment (let’s just say I’m doing this for all we the “God When”)
I’ve learned over time in life that the concept of readiness can be a myth.
I mean how many of us felt ready to start secondary school, university, work or even the adulting life but we all got in and we’re going through (almost) like champs. Most times, you look back on a stage of your life where you were sure you could not possibly be ready for, and you realize that you were ready but didn’t even know or were too afraid to admit it. I don’t think most people who enter relationships come to an actual point where they say “aha! Now I’m ready for a relationship” I think its really a state of mind and once that state of mind is developed. You know you’re ready.
The truth is you can be ready and not know or not be confident enough to admit it also because of a societal construct. Society says you need to have a particular amount of money, a car, a house, and some other things before you get married. Your first step is to create your own reality and live it out. Determine what readiness looks like. I got into my first relationship partly because I acted foolishly and partly because I fell for the social construct of that says If you’re done with school and you have a job, get a girlfriend and be responsible. At that time, marriage was the goal, but my mindset needed some more help.
Let me give you an example, your class has an exam on Monday (by the way, I asked my wife to date me on a Monday 😉 Aand guess what? My list of ‘21reasons why’ she should date me wasn’t complete, but I was ready and I went for it), and you’ve read all you need to read, but every other person is still reading, even the smartest person in class keeps saying, “I’m not ready yet”, “I’m not done reading”. Now you’re scared and thinking ‘how can I be ready if all these people are not ready?’ Guess what? Monday comes and that smart person passes in flying colors as usual, and those who will fail still fail. You’re surprised and flabbergasted or maybe you’re that smart person I’m referring to. The point is, you can be ready and not even know it or be scared to admit it, because of fear of the implication of readiness.
A relationship is not like a school exam though. It’s more like a professional exam because you get to choose your date; to determine when you’re ready. If we all had the luxury of choosing our exam dates in school, many of us would still be in school because ‘we are not ready’.
Nonetheless, even when you change your mindset and accept that there’s nothing holding you back from getting married other than your mindset, marriage will still always be a leap of faith. It is part of what shows maturity; taking on things that scare you. When I noticed this sometime in the university, I stopped reading up until the last minute of the exam out of fear and I just admitted to myself that I was ready even though I didn’t feel ready. I trusted God after doing my bit and most times I passed.
With relationships, sometimes you meet someone, you get along so well, you just know your life would be much better if you spent it with that person. It’s obvious your growth is accelerated because you’re both adding value to one another and you know its time, you don’t want to let this one go.
Just the way I felt with my super amazing wife; I knew this was it, we synced on every level; spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically. What else was I waiting for? Many of the rules that used to apply to relationships previously no longer apply because people have defied the odds as human beings are fond of. I’ve seen relationships that started at 200 level and got married and lived happily ever after. Some started 5 years after NYSC and they still broke up. So it’s obviously not about age or class or any of those. If you know what you’re doing in life and you are ready to share yourself, I think you’re probably ready. Your readiness can be further endorsed when you meet that special person.
Maybe I can’t answer the question for you in particular. I cannot know whether you are ready for a relationship. but I’ll tell you how I knew I was ready for a relationship.
I knew I was ready for marriage! That’s how I knew I was ready for a relationship, I think we live in a society that distinguishes relationships from marriage and I don’t agree with that differentiation.
I remember telling a female friend of mine immediately after secondary school that I wanted us to get married, I meant it and I really planned on keeping my word, but life happened, a story for another day. At this time I honestly didn’t even know there was a thing called dating. I thought once you told someone you’re ready to marry her, you guys will be friends and faithful to one another till you’re both ready to go to the registry, be bound together in holy matrimony and move in together to start a family. Whenever I tell this story people laugh because of how ignorant I was to the social construct of my generation, but I was conditioned differently and purposefully. I understood the basic idea of faithfulness even though I probably didn’t have all the details about how it should run technically. People also think I didn’t really know what I was doing or saying because I was so young.
Well, I was young, age-wise but I definitely knew what I was doing and meant what I was saying. I had gotten to a level of maturity that my identity was not in question and I understood how to be responsible for myself, I was ready to express that same level of responsibility with someone else.
One thing I know for sure is that if you are not in a place where you have a proper understanding and conviction about your identity, you’re not ready for a relationship. As a believer, Christ defines you and if you have truly come to understand this and its implication in your life; if you truly understand what it means to be responsible and you have exhibited personal leadership and external leadership, you’re ready.
When you know you’re ready for a relationship is when your mind is ready to think not only of self but also of others. It is when you can look away from yourself and focus on the feelings and needs of someone else. I mean that’s what it really means to love someone. So before you say I love you, the Bible describes what Love is and what it’s not in 1 corinthians 13. My wife and I have a short series about 1 Cor 13. You can check it out here.
Finally, readiness for a relationship is also accompanied by the ability to generate income. You’ve heard “no money no honey”. It may sound materialistic but how do you even want to make it happen with no source of income? I also understand the place of not being where you want to be financially (who is?) but having a lot of potential to get there. If that’s the case and you haven’t figured out your income generation method just yet, then you must do a really excellent job at conveying how much potential you really have. Trust me people still see potential out there. If you searched for this article and you got here, you’re probably ready.
The last part though (If you clicked on this article maybe you are ready lol).
My take away from this would be, knowing that you are ready is also when you can look past your own feelings and care for the other person just as much. You should follow this couple on their Instagram page @thesevows. They just radiate a perfect sample of young love and you can’t help but fall in love with them.
What was your take away from this article and I hope these past articles have shed more light on our relationship readiness?