“Why do women let themselves be taken advantage of?” he asked, as he took another swig of beer.
My friend was pissed. He’d been dating a girl who was beautiful, smart, ambitious, and kind. And she was stuck on a guy who “wasn’t ready for a relationship”.
I sympathized with him because I, too, have been the girl who fell for the okie doke. But, true to Adri form, I decided to play devil’s advocate.
“Well she told you from jump that she was involved with someone and you decided to pursue it.”
“She’s not involved. She’s getting played.”
And that settled it.
I’ve been hesitant to write this piece because relationship readiness is a valid concern, and I wanted to be sure that I addressed its nuances while also calling out the BS.
So let’s start with the basics. What is considered being “ready” to be in a relationship?
The Adri Definition: Being ready for a relationship means being in an emotional, personal, financial, and mental space where the individual is prepared to share and accommodate the emotional, personal, financial, and mental space and needs of a specific person.
Some of you may bristle at my inclusion of financial or mental space. Well..
There are many instances that can prevent someone from being ready for a healthy relationship, and that would take me years to unpack. So I’m going to focus on the case where someone is ready – they’re just not ready to be with YOU.
How many times have you or someone you know gotten a few texts like this? Here he is, a guy who seems nice but is in a rough spot because has has a lot going on personally. He’s being honest about his feelings towards this woman and is making it known that he wants to continue to be with her while he works on getting himself together.
No harm, right?
There is a difference between not being in a place to be the kind of boyfriend and partner he knows he can be and simply not giving a F about the person he’s helping to string along. I say help because it takes two to string: one to pull the rope and one to be dragged.
Just because a man enjoys going out with you, sleeping with you, and flirting with you, it does not make you any more relationship-eligible than someone else. If you’re such a great person and any man would be lucky to have you, then why hasn’t he made himself that man?
If you’re good enough to go out to eat with, lay in bed with, and attend parties with, why aren’t you good enough to be committed to?
A relationship is not like signing a deed to a house, a marriage certificate, or any other legally binding contract. It is simply an agreement to be with a person and only that person (unless you’re poly) while continuing to grow as individuals and as a couple.
If the man in your life is open to doing everything but calling you his girlfriend, you may want to take a step back and assess the situation. You do not have to work for a man’s attention. You do not have to beg. This is not Grey’s Anatomy and you are not pleading to be “chose”.
Here’s the secret that men don’t want you to know: If he’s not ready, he’ll get ready. And if he doesn’t, or hits you with intermittent bouts of “we’re better off without a title” then you know what the deal is.
Anything less? Put him back on the bench or cancel him altogether.
Peace & Love,