Are You Really Ready for Love? Take the Test
- Dr. David B. Hawkins The Relationship Doctor
- 2007 23 Mar
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.
7. You’ve been hurt before in loving relationships. That can only mean one thing:
a) Stop sticking your foolish neck out. Stick with women’s quilting parties or men’s church basketball leagues;
b) Consider it a sign that you are never supposed to be in a relationship again;
c) Take a chance, but keep your expectations so low that you can’t be disappointed;
d) Understand that love requires measured risks. Know that you can learn from past hurts and make better choices in the future.
8. Your mate lovingly suggests that it may be time to participate in some counseling together to improve the relationship. You:
a) Look at him/her like he's/she's nuts and quickly change the subject;
b) You inform him/her you read parts of two books on relationships over the past twenty years and know everything you need to know:
c) You self-righteously suggest that God will mold your character in His own way and time;
d) You share that you are open to learning new things about your character and relationship skills, and are willing to go to counseling together.
Okay, time’s up. Pencils down. Pass your papers to the right.
As you review your answers, and possibly discuss them with your mate, you’ll notice some of the answers were ridiculous. But, believe it or not, the scenarios were taken right out of my clinical experience.
At this point, you have a better idea if you’re healthy enough emotionally and spiritually to be really ready for love. You understand that simply wanting love is not enough -- you must rigorously prepare for it by preparing yourself.
Remember ... God ordained relationships but also encourages growth.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3)
Click here to read the first article in this series.
David Hawkins, PhD., has worked with couples and families to improve the quality of their lives by resolving personal issues for the last 30 years.
He is the author of over 18 books, including "Love Lost: Living Beyond a Broken Marriage," "Saying It So He'll Listen," and "When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You." His newest book, "When the Man in Your Life Can’t Commit," releases February 2006. Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities.