How do you know if you’re ready for love?

When I talk to other singles or look at personal ads, I see a lot of people listing many physical qualities they would like to have in a mate. They want someone to be a certain age, make at least certain amount of money, have a specific eye color, be a certain height and so on and so forth. I have to admit that for a long time I was quite judgmental towards those people and I would sometimes even resent online dating because I got so sick of looking at profiles of men in their mid to late 30s who wanted a woman that was between 21 and 30 years old. At the same time I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was rejecting guys who were too short for me or didn’t make enough money. All those judgments would only put me in a very disconnected place with myself and the rest of the world, to the point where I simply gave up looking and told everybody that online dating was not for me.

About a year ago I met someone I really liked. After a couple of dates where we had great time together he told me that he really likes me and enjoys talking to me but he cannot be in love with me because he only falls in love with women who have blue eyes. Needless to say, I was hurt, disappointed and even furious. Not to mention, I felt unattractive because my eyes are brown. After this scenario with that guy, all I kept seeing around me were men and women looking for love while having all those physical and external qualities in mind, unwilling to give a chance to anyone who doesn’t fit into that profile. And they all complained either about not being able to find someone or about the person they were involved with for not meeting their needs. I judged them while doing the exact same thing myself only in a different way. And for some reason, blue eyes kept coming up as a factor enough times for me to come up with an expression: “What are you really looking for, true love or blue eyes?”

I continued to stay single and unhappy. I complained to my friends as well and when they told me that maybe I wasn’t ready for a relationship yet, I got mad at them for saying it. I didn’t know what it takes to be ready, and I didn’t know how long will it take for me to even know that I am ready. After all, it has been a long time since I’ve been in a relationship as is. And then it hit me. Most single people stay single and fantasize of someone with certain physical qualities because they are not ready to face the real fear of intimacy. And when they meet someone who is all those qualities, they think they found their ideal match. What they really fall in love with is the idea of being with that person while at the same time trying to change them into being what they want. That is not love, it is an obsession.

So how do you know if you’re ready for love? I have a test to answer this question. You may want someone athletic, under 30, with blue eyes and at least 6 feet tall, but ask yourself this: what is more important to you, to have a loving relationship with someone or to be with someone who looks good on paper or on a cover of a magazine? I understand and by no means exclude the possibility that you can have all of the above. But in order to get all of that, you must first really look at your priorities carefully. In other words, in order to finally meet someone who has all the physical qualities you desire and at the same time giving you all the love and healthy intimacy you need, love and intimacy must be of higher priority. This is how the universe works: if the blue eyes are your priority, then you will get the blue eyes with no guarantee of love. And if your priority is healthy relationship, intimacy and love, then you will get just that. If you give somebody outside of your listed criteria a chance, guess what. If you don’t fall in love with him or her, you can always choose to not pursue the relationship, but if you do fall in love, the fact that they are too short or don’t have the blue eyes won’t even matter anymore.

I am not saying you should settle for less, settling and giving a chance are two different things. And I am not encouraging you to date someone you don’t like or even click with just because you feel like you’re being too picky and in order to be in a relationship you have to date everyone who asks you out. Not at all is that the case. You will be wasting your time. But if you meet someone whom you like or feel a certain comfort around or feel a connection with even if it’s not physical, and if they are interested in you, then give them a chance. You never know how it will turn out until you try. It may not be something you feel like doing, but it is what it takes to be open to love.