How to know if a match is “relationship ready” from their profile
If only it were that simple. Not everyone who takes the time to post an online profile is actually ready for a relationship. They may be dipping their toe in the water for personal research or they may just want a bit of fun. Even though a person’s head may be willing, their heart may not have healed from a previous relationship. They may be very self conscious and afraid of intimacy. What they write on their profile will tell you a lot but you can also read between the lines to find out more.
What are they looking for?
The first thing to note is whether they specifically say they are looking for a committed relationship, companionship or something casual. This is their conscious preference and usually you can take it on trust that they mean what they say.
When you look in more detail at their profile you may start to uncover their unconscious feelings or beliefs. Clues that they might not be ready are:
– Their description of their ideal partner is too prescriptive – they may be looking for an image of perfection which most human beings would struggle to live up to. You want someone who is open to getting to know you in all your uniqueness and can accept both the good and the bad.
– Lots of things they ‘don’t want’ in a partner – this might indicate that they’ve been hurt in the past and are defensive and wary of getting into the same situation again.
Ideally their description of a partner should be open, flexible and, while it may contain preferences, nothing is set in stone.
How they describe themselves
They say that in order to love another person you must love yourself first. While we might not go that far, it’s essential that you believe you are someone worth getting to know before anybody else will.
It’s hard to write about yourself but when you’re reading profiles watch out for disparaging remarks, self-criticism and signs of low self-worth. While someone like this may be desperate for a relationship to make them feel good, paradoxically they probably need to feel better about themselves before they will attract the relationship they deserve.
How they spend their time
Usually people talk quite openly about hobbies and activities in their profile and these can reveal a lot about whether they’re ready for a relationship.
A relationship needs time and attention so look for someone who has these to offer. Someone whose life is so full you have to book a date a month in advance may not be ready to settle down yet. On the other hand someone who has nothing much going on and are waiting for someone to come and fill the void may turn out to be very needy and dependant. What you are looking for is someone who has balance between work, friends, family and leisure; someone who is happy with their own company but open to new experiences.
Their view of the past
We are all affected by our past but to be ready for a relationship a person needs to have worked through and healed hurt or bitterness – particularly from previous relationships. Look out for references to exes, especially those that suggest that they are still smarting from the break up – rebound relationships rarely end well.
A colourful or troubled past can often be a mark of strength of character if the lessons have been learnt and the wounds healed, but be on the lookout for signs of unhealthy coping strategies – e.g. drinking too much.
A profile can only reveal a small fraction of someone and while reading between the lines may help you discover more, it’s no substitute for getting to know matches in person. Trust your intuition and ask for clarity if you’re unsure about whether someone is serious about dating.
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