Okay. It’s that time. It’s time to see if you have been paying attention as we’ve journeyed down this road of preparation for love.

Now I know some of you women have been sitting back, glancing at the eight traits necessary to be ready for love and thinking, with just a hint of self-righteousness, “I’ve got this stuff down cold. He’s the one who won’t commit. He’s the one who won’t let me get close.”

Maybe so. Maybe he is the one in your relationship who has the most to learn.  But, what about you?

Or, maybe you’re the guy who’s been reading the articles in this series thinking, “She says she’s ready for love, but as soon as I get too close she runs. She plays games with me, and I hate it.”

Well, it’s test time. It’s time to take an honest look in the mirror. Are you really ready, or are there a few areas that need improvement before you can really enter into a loving and committed relationship?

So put your notes away. Get your pencil sharpened. Here we go.

1. You’ve met someone and feel the serge, leading to the urge to merge. Your next move is to:

a) Seize the day, not knowing how long he/ she will be around;
b) Leap before you look, since your hormones must mean something important is happening;
c) Take a short period of time to pray, then go for it;
d) Examine your feelings to be sure your feelings are not old attachment needs confused as love.

2. You’ve been dating someone for several months and you begin to notice some of his/her faults. Without a doubt, it’s time to:

a) Get out while the gettin’s good;
b) Ask him/her where he/she learned his/her table manners;
c) Tell him/her, politely, that he/she has a lot of growing up to do;
d) Put his/her flaws in perspective, deciding if they are really that big of an issue.

3. Noting your mate’s faults, you have an incredible urge to change, control or manipulate them. It’s time to:

a) Consider yourself an emissary from God sent to fix his/her personality;
b) Subtly, but firmly, tell him/her he/she has  to change for his/her own good;
c) Tell him/her you’ll be praying for him/her to overcome his/her faults;
d) Pray for understanding, and letting go of the temptation to judge, control and coerce your mate into changing.

4. You have decided you love your mate, but find it difficult to express it in words and action. You decide:

a) That’s okay. You told him/her once you loved him/her, and that’s enough;
b) You send him/her a card on Valentine’s Day to make up for your lack of words;
c) You grudgingly offer tokens of appreciation so he/she won’t get bitter;
d) You decide you must practice and perfect the art of verbal and physical affection, according to his/her love language.

5. You are able to show love reasonably well, but are not so hot at receiving it. It’s time for you to:

a) Let your mate know that it’s never been easy for you to receive affection, and let it go at that;
b) Blame it on your mother who never showed you enough affection when you were two;
c) Blame it on your dad who was a long haul truck driver away from home six months of the year;
d) Take responsibility for change, as hard as it is, admitting that you have difficulty receiving affection. Ask your mate for patience as you learn to give and receive signs of affection.

6. You’ve heard that relationships are “give and take,” requiring balance and reciprocity. To you this means:

a) Take – then give at least a little back so she/ he will stick around;
b) Take – at least until your mate gets so resentful and threatens to end the relationship;
c) Give, give and then give some more. You figure maybe he'll/she'll stick around if you give enough;
d) You practice giving, and setting healthy boundaries on not giving inappropriately.