If My Partner Isn’t Ready for a Serious Relationship: Should I Wait?

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Relationships are all about timing, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a position where you want to take your relationship to the next level, but your partner isn’t ready. Your partner may have strong feelings for you, care about you deeply, and potentially see a future with you, but it’s possible that they aren't yet able to provide you with the type of serious commitment that you desire. If your partner isn't ready for a relationship, should you wait to see if they will inevitably be able to provide you with the type of commitment you’re seeking? It's important to consider a few key points before making your decision.

Waiting Enables Your Partner to See How Much You Care

By giving your partner ample time to make a decision about being in a serious relationship, you’re not only respecting their wishes and time frame, but you’re also showing your partner that they're worth waiting for. By standing by your partner through their decision-making process, they can see just how much you honor and care about their needs, and this can help to solidify your partner’s decision to want to be with you. "If a guy is truly into you and willing to grow, he will face down his fears and make it work with you. Especially if you accept his need for space and independence, validate his worth and continue to nurture yourself," says Diana Kirschner, Ph.D.

Make sure to let your partner know that they are in a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings. Communication is key!

Waiting Allows Your Partner to Connect With You in a Deeper Way

When you give your partner more time in order for them to be ready for a serious commitment, you’re actually laying the groundwork to build a stronger and more meaningful connection with one another. In fact, rather than rushing into a major commitment, you can help to strengthen the bond that the two of you share by putting in the time it takes to really get to know each other before jumping into something serious.

Waiting Can Be Emotionally Draining

On the flip side, if you’re wondering if you should wait until your partner is ready for a serious commitment, it’s important to keep your emotional health and well-being in mind as well. For example, you may feel stressed, anxious, and/or sad that your partner isn’t yet able to commit to you in the way that you want them to, and you may be setting yourself up for heartache and heartbreak in the future by waiting around for a decision in the present. "If you have an inkling that this isn't going to happen, it probably won’t," Christine Scott-Hudson, marriage and family therapist.

Waiting Can Make You Unavailable to Others

It’s also important to consider the fact that waiting for your partner may prevent you from pursuing other people who may be able to provide you with the type of serious commitment and emotional support that you’re seeking. By waiting around for them to decide one way or the other, you’re completely closing yourself off from the possibility of finding a deep, meaningful and committed relationship with someone else.

Waiting May Last Indefinitely

If your partner isn’t yet ready for a serious commitment, realize that this kind of indecision can last indefinitely. While you may think that your partner may only need a short amount of time to make a final decision, it’s possible that months and months may go by without any sort of answer from them about where you stand.

Should You Wait for Your Partner?

Once you’ve considered these five key points when it comes to waiting for your partner to be ready for a serious relationship, it’s time to look internally in order to make a final choice. Are you able to wait for this person to make a decision, even if it means living in a constant state of limbo? If you can’t possibly imagine a future without this person, then it’s worth sticking around a bit longer. However, instead of simply waiting for your significant other to give you an answer one day, you should clue your partner in as to your own timetable, since your happiness matters, too.

If your partner isn’t able to be respectful of your needs and time frame in return, then your significant other might not be worth your time in the long run.

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