So, you guys have been dating for a while and now you find yourself feeling “something” for your date.
You might not know exactly what that is, but you are certainly ready to explore and take things to the next level.
As such, it is only natural for you to want to have a conversation with your romantic interest about getting into a serious relationship.
But when you do that, you are hit with an unexpected, “I’m not ready for a relationship.”
That obviously feels like a punch in the stomach. All of a sudden, your heart is filled with mixed feelings and your mind with all sorts of questions.
“How can that be?” “What about all those green signals?” “Why show interest in me then?” “What is going on?”
Suffice it to say, it can be quite hard to navigate this situation.
And that’s exactly what I want to help you with.
Let’s first try to understand what “I’m not ready for a relationship” might mean and then take a look at how you can respond to this.
What Does It Mean?
When your date tells you that they are not ready for a relationship, it could mean a number of different things depending on your unique situation.
To help you understand exactly what it could mean, let’s take a look at some possibilities.
1) They May Not See You As “The One”
Let’s face it. You might not always get lucky enough to date someone who feels the same way as you.
It might be that you have started developing feelings for them but they just don’t see you as someone they can be with in the long run.
Now, if this is the case, you don’t have to feel sad or bad about yourself.
It has nothing to do with you!
You can be an absolutely amazing person and still not get liked by someone you fancy.
That’s okay! It happens!
A one-sided relationship wouldn’t work anyway.
2) They May Need More Time To Heal
This is one of the most legitimate reasons why they might not be ready for a relationship.
It could be that they are dealing with their recent breakup and need more time to process their emotions and move on. It could also be that they have other issues to deal with in life.
For example, they might have lost their job recently or had a falling out with a family member.
Regardless, if this is genuinely the case, you need to respect them and accept their situation.
At least they are completely honest with you!
3) They Want To Explore More Options
A lot of people want to make sure that they are getting into a serious relationship only after they have explored the options available to them.
They don’t want to put themselves in a situation where they commit just for the sake of committing and later run into someone else who is a much better match for them.
So, if they tell you that they are not ready for a relationship, it could be that they are still in their exploratory state and need more time to decide whether you are the right person for them.
4) They Are Indecisive
Frankly, this can be quite frustrating.
There are lots of people out there who have a difficult time deciding on things.
It could be something as small as choosing which restaurant to eat at or choosing what career to pursue.
So, if your date happens to be the indecisive type, it could be that they are just having a hard time deciding whether they should get serious with you.
Another possibility here is that they don’t want to take such an important decision too soon.
They might like you, but at the same time, they also might want to take a little more time before getting into a committed relationship with you.
5) They’re Only With You For Physical Benefits
This is another possibility and one that you should be careful about.
A lot of people only date for physical benefits. They have no intention of being emotionally involved or getting into a committed relationship.
So, if your date tells you that they’re not ready for a relationship, it could be that they just don’t want something deeper from you.
In this case, you should just have a clear conversation with them about their intentions and see how you want to proceed based on your own needs and hopes.
How To Respond To It
After the initial shock has passed, it is time to respond to, “I’m not ready for a relationship.”
Let’s take a look at some possible responses.
1) Take Their Word For It
Sometimes, your date is genuinely not ready for a relationship.
Maybe you guys haven’t been on too many dates or maybe you haven’t spent as much time as you should with them.
If you have started to develop feelings for them, you might be in a hurry to get into a relationship with them so that you don’t lose them to someone else.
Or maybe you just want to start the next chapter of your life with them.
However, you also need to respect the position of the other person. They might just need more time to decide whether to make things official.
So, if they suggest that you guys should go on more dates and spend more time together, you should take their word for it and oblige (if you think that’s the right thing to do).
This will also give you a chance to verify that you are indeed making the right decision in wanting to be in a relationship with them.
2) Don’t Try To Persuade Them
Whether they genuinely need more time or they are just stalling for other reasons, you have no option but to accept their position.
That’s because no matter how hard you try, you just don’t have control over someone else’s life.
Even if you try to convince them that you guys should be together for one reason or another, it really won’t matter if their heart’s not in it.
Again, you can’t influence other people or their thoughts and feelings. ( yeah I know…. it would be so much easier it we could haha lol)
I know that it is a difficult thing to accept but that’s just how life is, especially with things like love and commitment.
What do you think will happen if they say yes purely because you pressured them? Is there a guarantee that they will eventually fall for you? Or could they develop resentment towards you and feel stuck?
Think along these lines before responding.
3) Think About How Your Precious Time Is Saved
Time is a very precious asset we all have.
And when it comes to selecting the right partner for you, time is especially important.
There are millions of people who waste years on the wrong person and later regret it.
That’s only understandable since they could have built a strong and meaningful relationship with the right person during that time!
So, when your date says that they are not ready for a relationship, you should take comfort in the fact that you got to know now rather than later.
You should appreciate their honesty and all the time you saved as a result.
You could even think about the lessons you might have learned from them even though you were never official.
4) Have An Honest Conversation
When you develop feelings for the other person, it is only natural to want to be in a relationship with them.
And so, when they say that they are not ready, you might be taken aback and even hurt.
In such a state, you might want to do everything in your power to keep them from leaving or ending things with them.
After all, feelings are a powerful thing and they often make you take irrational decisions.
However, you shouldn’t lie to your date or try to play games by saying things like, “I am not ready either. Let’s spend more time together and see where things go.”
If you do this, there is a possibility that you might get hurt.
It could be that your date never intends to commit to you!
So, have an honest conversation with them.
You could say something like, “I understand. But I am looking for a serious relationship at this stage of my life.”
5) Listen To Them Without Bias
Again, when you develop feelings for someone and they say, “I’m not ready for a relationship,” you might not be satisfied with their answer.
After all, your heart wants to hear, “Let’s make it official,” or “I want to be in a committed relationship with you.”
So, in such a state, it is okay to ask for clarification from your partner. You might ask about their reasons and whether it has something to do with you.
For example, you may ask, “I understand. But could you tell me why? I just want to understand.” Make sure you don’t sound confrontational.
Otherwise, they might get defensive and not tell you their real reason. Just listen with an open ear and without any bias.
Their reasons might hurt, but it is for the best.
Once you understand why they’re not ready, you can decide what to do next.
6) Take Time To Process The Situation
We often feel like we have to take decisions about our relationships quickly.
You either want to end things or continue them.
But you just don’t want to be in a state of limbo.
This is understandable.
However, that doesn’t mean you should take hurried decisions. After all, if you respond on the spot, you might say something that you don’t intend to. Or you might say something rude that you might regret later.
So, take your time to process the situation.
You could tell your date, “I understand but I need some time to decide on what I want to do next.”
Then, see how you feel about it and what would be the right thing to do. You could meditate for a while or journal to gain more clarity.
You could also talk to your family, or your friends to see how they perceive this situation. You could draw from their experiences or suggestions to gain a better understanding.
7) Decide On What You Want To Do Next
Once you are clear about your date, your feelings toward them, and the “situationship” you find yourself in, you need to decide what you will do next.
As I said earlier, time is a precious asset.
You shouldn’t waste too much of your or their time and keep things in limbo for a long time.
If you want to keep dating them, that’s your choice!
Who knows, you guys might need a few more weeks or a few more dates to actually make things work. Who knows, your love interest might finally see you the way you see them!
On the other hand, if you want to end things, that’s okay too.
If you are looking for a serious relationship, you should look for someone who wants the same.
I am sure there are countless other people who are in the same boat as you and want someone to build a whole life together. So be courageous and let them go.
8) Tell Yourself It Is Okay To Walk Away Despite Your Feelings
In the previous step, if you decide to walk away, it might be a little difficult for you.
Especially if you had feelings for them. It is always hard to let go of someone you love.
But we all know by experience that sometimes, that’s just how life plays out. We don’t always get what we want and have to be satisfied with what we get.
So, tell yourself that it is okay to walk away despite your feelings.
Who knows, maybe they weren’t the right person for you even though you felt so.
Who knows, there is someone much better waiting for you in your future who will make it all look so much easier.
If you need more support during this time, you can always seek your loved ones. You can express to them how you feel and their love will certainly help you bounce back stronger.
9) Be Clearer About Your Intentions In The Future
There is always something we can learn from our difficult times.
In fact, the universe has a way of teaching us the lessons that we need to learn.
If you’re having to let go of someone you loved because they weren’t ready for a relationship, there is definitely a lesson in there somewhere too!
Can you guess what it is?
Well, it tells you that you should be clear about your intentions in the future. Right from the get-go, you should communicate what you expect from your partner.
If you are looking to build a serious relationship and get married in the future, tell that to your date. Of course, don’t pressurize them with an ultimatum by saying things like, “I want marriage and kids.”
If you do that, no one will stick around!
What you need to do is give the other person their own time and space but still let them know that you are not dating for fun.
This will filter out all those people who want to date only for fun. And you will be left with potential partners who are ready to grow old with you.
10) Focus On Yourself
If you decide to walk away, the only thing you can really do is focus on yourself.
If you spend time thinking about your date or the life you could have built together, it will only lead to heartbreak and pain.
It will also negatively impact your career, health, and other relationships.
Look, I know it hurts.
But this is not the end of your romantic life.
Have faith that you will meet the right person sooner or later. Have faith that someone will love you for who you are and give you all the reasons to fall head over heels for them.
In the meantime, just try to develop yourself as an individual.
Focus on the other important aspects of your life.
Spend time on your hobbies. Practice self-care. I personally like to use tarot from time to time to get some guidance. Check my tarot blog : ask the cards Here. 🙂
Learn new skills and make progress in your career. Fulfill your dreams and share your happiness with your loved ones.
At the end of the day, you can do so much to live a full-fledged life!
And when the right person comes in, they will have a wonderful person to share their life with.