March 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm EDT | by Meghann Novinskie and Kim Rosenberg
Asking the tough questions

(Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Many people come to us with goals of finding their life partner. But when it comes down to it, some are afraid to commit to something exclusive, a serious relationship. There may be many underlying issues at hand. The first step is to ask yourself some tough questions.

Do you like yourself? Would you live alone?  Do you think you could sit with yourself in your own space and like what you have to say to yourself? Have you ever lived alone and enjoyed it? So much of being with another person is being fully comfortable with yourself. If you don’t like being alone in your own thoughts and feelings, why do you think someone else would enjoy being alone with you?

Much of emotional maturity is being completely comfortable with who you are, in your own space, and loving it. You will not be able to get someone else to want to be with you through the highs and lows of life unless you can fully do it on your own and feel comfortable with it. This may seem extreme, but if you say you’re ready for a long term relationship, make sure you love yourself. Living on your own, in your element, may help you evaluate how you truly feel about yourself.  If you start there, the rest will come easily.

How stable are you? Can you support yourself and your lifestyle on your own? What do you love to do?  What things can you not live without? Much of this depends on your financial and career stability. Think of your “non negotiables” in life and decide if you can support those habits on your own. If you are stable in these ways, your potential match will not see them as a burden or a stretch when you merge lives and lifestyles.

Do you know if you are emotionally stable? You should. Think about past relationships and how you have dealt them, as well as any issues from your childhood and upbringing. Everyone has past relationships and issues that surfaced after old relationships ended. How you deal with them is crucial — not how many or how deep the issues reside in your past. Emotionally stable people will seek professional help if there is an issue (abuse, emotional damage, financial wrongdoing) at hand that cannot be fully resolved without the help of a therapist.

You say you’re ready for a long term relationship but have you considered how you will deal with major issues that could surface in your life together? Think about financial stress, emotional instability, career insecurity and planning of your future. These problems will likely happen at some point during your long term relationship. If you’re scared of them and don’t think you can be honest with your partner, you might not be realistic in your relationship readiness. If you decide “(s)he wasn’t right for me anyway” and leave your partner when issues arise, you’re probably commitment-phobic. As adults, you’ve got to face these issues head on. The more you shrink back into your “I’ll be single forever” box, the more you avoid confrontation, and the less likely you will be to enter a fulfilling LTR.

Take it from us. We’ve seen this first hand. If you’re comfortable in yourself and what you have to offer a potential partner, a long term relationship might be right around the corner. Don’t lie to yourself and say, “It’s her/his problem, not mine.” Be proud of who you are and work through insecurities. The more stable you are, the more stable your relationship becomes.

Rosenberg and Novinskie can be reached at

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