Is Your Partner Relationship Ready?
by Evie Shafner, LMFT
It’s so tempting when we enter that delicious romantic honeymoon phase with a new love to overlook negative qualities and characteristics of our new partner that down the line might prove to be a deal breaker. Here are some red flags to look out for at the beginning of a relationship to determine if a new partner is relationship ready:
- Empathy. I always tell my clients, if you don’t have empathy, you don’t have anything. Maybe your partner gets defensive sometimes, or doesn’t always respond with empathy, but you instinctually know when you are with someone who is compassionate and kind at their core. If they have trouble exhibiting empathy, then this is a major red flag.
- The Michaelangelo Effect- Does your partner mirror back to you your best qualities, your essence qualities? When your partner sees the best in you, and tells you, this is like hitting the relationship jackpot. It is much easier to bloom when we are being watered. In this way, your partner is always being a creative force for your beauty, always seeing it and saying it.
- Safe conversations. Notice if you feel safe when thinking about bringing things up. Are you worried that your partner will disconnect from you in some way, or do you feel that you have their ear, that you have someone that can listen to you? If you do not feel safe when bringing up conflict this is a red flag that should grab your attention.
- Conflict. Can your partner deal with disappointments with grace? With differences of opinion with maturity? When each of you understands how to tolerate differences, that is a sign of a strong relationship that can go the distance. Rather than being at odds about everything, or needing your partner to do things your way, which creates a major power struggle, you can navigate most differences with respect and ease.
- Reconnecting. Can your partner easily repair after a fight? Is your partner glad to receive a bid for reconnection? Or quickly willing to apologize? Watch if your partner is able to hold on to love, even if they feel hurt. If not, this is a sign they are not relationship ready.
In the beginning, it can be hard to not be blinded by all highs and good feelings that a new relationship brings. Being open to seeing the red flags that indicate a partner is not relationship ready is an important first step towards identifying that right person who is ready to go the distance with you.