Despite the best intentions, people often derail their own relationship efforts in an (unconscious) effort to avoid intimacy and the vulnerability that comes with it. But if you suspect you're on the cusp of a new beginning, trading in your old, fruitless habits for healthy ones, consider psychotherapist Ken Page's list of relationship conditions. The licensed clinical social worker and author of Deeper Dating recently outlined the three signs that often "forecast the advent of real and healthy love" for Women's Health. Below, read up on the subtle shifts that mean you could be heading toward a real, serious relationship in the near future:
You Don't Go After People Who Can't Commit
Whether it's the stereotypical "bad egg" or just someone who's emotionally unavailable, it's "easy to become attracted to people who can almost commit," explains Page. "These relationships are usually highly charged and gnawingly addictive. … I call these attractions of deprivation." But when you start to shirk these kinds of relationships in favor of true intimacy, "a dead-end of [your] dating life is finally coming to an end."
You've Given Up Your Flight Patterns
"Staying home and watching TV every night … instead of going to places where people with shared values can be found, wasting time on attractions of deprivation, not being authentic, even chatting online but never taking the steps to meet are all ways we try to avoid intimacy," writes Page. "When we're willing to let go of our flight patterns … and when we only have second or third dates with people who hold the promise of becoming attractions of inspiration, then things really begin to change."
You Lead With Your Authentic Self
Putting your true self on the line carries some inherent vulnerability with it; many curate airbrushed versions of themselves to avoid this potential hurt. "But these versions of self lack the vigor, soul, and magnetism of our authentic self, so we find we are less successful in attracting the very people who would accept and treasure us for who we are," notes Page. "The key does not lie in simply accepting our authentic self in all its humanity. The key lies in treasuring it, in all its timidity, imperfection, and excess."
Head over to Women's Health for more from Page, and share your thoughts on his points in the comments below!