By Ayyona Janae
We have been taught to identify whether one is relationship material based on the tasks that they can perform for others and the ways in which they can carry them out, but have we taken a look at whether or not we are relationship material based on self-awareness? I don’t think so, so from this moment forward, this article is a crash course introduction into knowing whether or not you are relationship material. Let’s get started!
1. Comfort with self.
There are a few ways to identify your comfort with self. The first way is to consider whether or not you are comfortable being alone. Taking this into account when considering entering a relationship is based on the necessity of knowing who you are alone so that you do not lose sight of yourself once you have partnered with another person. When you inquire within about how comfortable you are alone, you proceed based on the answer. For instance, if the answer is, “No,” you are then able to inquire why. Most times if we ask ourselves this question and the answer is, “No,” we realize that the reason is that we don’t like the person we’re with. When we further inquire why it may also be because we don’t know the person we’re with; that person has always been shaped by someone or something outside of self, and therefore we are not fully our own.
Knowing yourself leads me to the second thing to consider about comfort with self—how do you use your time alone. So you’re single now. Do you spend your time alone worried about someone else and why no one seems to want you and complaining about being single, or do you spend it learning more about your light and darkness, sharpening your craft, healing yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically? And then after that it is important to consider whether or not being alone is a choice for you. Many times we find ourselves forced into singleness, and if we aren’t using the time in ways that are beneficial to us, we always feel forced and stuck. How you spend your time alone and making the choice to be alone are shaped by your perception of what singleness and relationships mean and represent. If relationships are a way for you to seek value and being single makes you feel like you have no value, you are not yet relationship material. It’s cliché, but you must seek your internal value so that you feel no need to seek it outside of yourself, and doing so requires you to learn, understand, and love yourself.
2. Are you just tired of being single?
To be ready for a relationship does not equate to being tired of being single. To be ready for a relationship means that I have sat with myself enough to know myself, I enjoy my time alone, but I also acknowledge the importance of human interaction, and would like to experience that in all its forms, romantically included, however if a suitable person does not ever arrive, it’s not the end of the world. To be tired of being single means, “I’m so tired of it, I’ll do anything to not be,” and being in this space can cause one to disregard their boundaries of what good partnership is for them, and settle for someone just for the sake of having someone, or as a means of distraction. In short, to acknowledge your readiness for a relationship means the alone time and the inner work, worked, and even the seeking of a partner in this moment is a practice of self preservation, whereas to whine about your tiredness of being single means that the alone time has not worked or been used in a way that is beneficial.
3. Other questions…
Other things to consider when deciding whether or not you are relationship material, especially if you have your eye on a specific person, are whether or not you are idealizing them. Are you really seeking to be with and know this person for all that they are, inside and out, or are they just cute and y’all would look nice together, or y’all would just be a great power couple, or whatever other ideas you may have about this person? If your illusions were shattered, would they still be someone you care to share your life with?
Also ask yourself if it’s just out of convenience. No one wants to just be good enough, so if your reason for dating this person is, “Well I’m ready for a relationship, and they’re here so that’s good enough,” or you think they’re all you can get, or you would just view them as a place holder until someone ‘better’ comes along, DON’T DO IT.
Now of course there are other things to consider, but these stand out to me. So with these things in mind, are you relationship material? How do you know?
Ayyona Janae is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. She is an herbalist, holistic wellness practitioner, and sex-positivity enthusiast and has a podcast called “The Clinic” where she discusses all three. Connect with her on Instagram @ayyonajanae and @theclinicpod.