Five Signs You Ain’t Ready for Love

Yesterday I was reading my Twitter boo and fellow writer Stuart McDonald’s blog post “I Am Ready for Love…Or Am I? As I read the great points Stu made while humming the tunes of India Arie’s song, I began reflecting on the question he posed.

Memorial Day weekend was a long overdue girl pow wow to catch up on life with two of my best friends- sisters really- LS and AC. On Sunday we sat in LS’s living room discussing the stages we were at in our lives, men and how all three of us shockingly desired to be in a relationship.

While we were conversing my girl LS said something so cold I immediately knew some of us say we want a relationship, but aren’t really ready.

“There are no good men,” said LS.

“What?” AC and I asked simultaneously.

You don’t believe that,” I said. Hoping for her to say ‘nah, I’m just playing.’

“Yes, I do. And AC you don’t think there are any good men do you?” she asked.

” Uh, yes I do,” said AC.

Now AC and I have had just as many hurtful things done to us by men as the next chic. You name it; we’ve probably been through it. But the difference between us and LS is we hadn’t given up hope on men. We knew that we couldn’t judge all men based on the actions of few.

So are you really ready for love?

After leaving a dissertation comment on Stu’s blog I thought about why I know I’m not ready for any relationship that doesn’t only consist of me, myself and God.However, like LS, others don’t know their desire for a relationship/love doesn’t always match up with what they need.

By no means am I a relationship expert of any sorts. Like, who declares somebody a relationship expert? It’s actually kind of funny. I can only speak from my experiences.


  1. You think all men are the same. Seriously, this is a terrible mind-set to have. I used to be there. However, we are grown as hell. Lil Kim’s “niggas ain’t shit but hoes and tricks” motto should have died after the release of that CD. I don’t see how this mentality is productive in your pursuit to obtain what you want. Until you rid of this negative attitude any man pursuing you,  good or bad, has already lost because you’re certain he’s going to be like all the other men you’ve dated. Let’s leave the Lil Kim mantra where it belongs-the era where she was actually relevant.
  2. You lack the ability to self reflect. It is much easier to feel pity for yourself and blame all men for hurting you. The harder task is to ask yourself why the outcome of all your relationships is the same. What did you do to contribute to the dysfunction? Pointing out the flawed characteristics in your past significant others doesn’t do much good after the relationship has died. Recognizing the traits you have that might not be so lovable and working to improve them is a better use of your time. One thing I’ve had to learn not just in relationships, but in life in general, is something my mama used to harp on when I was constantly arguing with somebody; cursing out random strangers who I felt had disrespected me; telling police officers to kiss my ass; was this: “It can’t always be the other person.” I’d be infuriated with my mother for even implying such a thing. However, her words were the truth. Is it that it’s always him being irresponsible, crazy and a liar? Maybe. But what do YOU do?
  3. You still have an incredible amount of feelings for your ex. I know, I know. Obvious, huh? But so many people jump into relationships to pass time. Life doesn’t work like that. How can you cultivate a healthy relationship with someone new when you still want to be with somebody else? And ladies stop lying to yourself. Lie to your friends if it makes you feel better, but don’t lie to yourself. All the “I don’t care about him, if he died I wouldn’t care” hoopla is a front. We don’t believe you. You need more people!
  4. Bag lady you gon’ hurt your back. Dragging all them bags like that. Nothing is more unattractive than somebody bringing four different bags of luggage on a weekend trip. Deal with the issues you have within yourself, from previous relationships, childhood, before trying to grow with another person. He didn’t do it to you. Repeat: he didn’t do it to you. Whatever it is work it out. You can’t expect someone, no matter how much they love you, to wait around for you to deal with your issues. Cue: E. Badu “Bag lady/You gon’ miss your bus/You can’t hurry up/Cause you got too much stuff.”
  5. Love yourself first. We’ve heard this over and over and over again. Yet so many women still struggle with this. Self worth and self-love are not easy. A lot of times we think we love ourselves. But a glimpse at the behaviors we indulge in, or what we allow from some men proves otherwise. Recognize your worth. Once you do this I promise the stock of men you date will change drastically. You have to believe you’re worth one of the many good brothers out there.


I’m not sitting on my high horse judging or preaching. I have lived and dwelled there before; and I’m still a work in progress. And I’m not so arrogant to not recognize anybody with common sense could have composed this list. I do think, however, it’s one that should be reiterated.

If you relate to anything on this list…you might not be ready for love. Work on you; and everything else in life will fall in place in due season.

  • True.

    It’s unfair to lump all men into one negative description because of a poor experience with one dud. That’s about a stupid as saying “all blacks are ____” or anything of the sort.

    Also, people need to stop making such a big deal about searching for the “right man” and putting so much pressure on themselves to date and getting frustrated when they meet incompatible things.

    If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen–but the individual needs to be in the right place in his or her life.

    • WrittenbyBene

      Say it again! “People need to stop making such a big deal about searching for the “right man…” Everything happens in due time. Half the time we’re not even ready for what God has for us or what’s meant to be. I know people who go from one relationship to the next. And maybe they don’t have issues so that works for them. But I always wonder ‘don’t you need some time to heal and figure out some things?’ I think society tells us, especially women, being single means you’re lonely. It’s really sad how being single is frowned upon. I think if more women spent time being single and loving themselves we’d be much better mates.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Thanks for the great blog! I agree so much. Why is singledom such an INHERENTLY BAD THING? Relationships can have so many issues; I don’t see what’s so bad about focusing on yourself periodically before jumping into a relationship!

        I’ll be back. 🙂

  • Gayle Trimble

    So true.

  • You know I love the whole post, but I think the biggest thing I take away is what your mom said. In any situation that seems to continually go wrong, I always ask myself (or the person in the situation if they ask me) “What is the common denominator?” What is the consistent thing in all the situations that have gone wrong? If it’s you (and it usually is), then you have to make adjustments to yourself first.

    And, while I won’t voice it, the idea of “all (wo)men are the same,” annoys me to no end. Until you’ve dated every available man in the world, you have no right to say that. It’s more likely the type that you attract. In that case, we have to go back and examine ourselves because I’ve always believed that you attract who you (really) are.

    • WrittenbyBene

      Ooh weee this is one I hate to hear: “I’ve always believed that you attract who you (really) are.” No. Don’t. Say. That. To. Me. lol.

      It’s so hard for me to believe this because it would mean I have so much soul searching to do. But it sure makes a hell of a lot of sense. Seriously. I guess my only issue with the above quote is I attract all kinds of men. However, it’s the ones I usually end up with that aren’t always the best match. Don’t get me wrong, some have been great men, others not so much. Does it mean I’m a cheater just because I may attract a cheater? I think that would be a far stretch if we’re basing it off characteristics.

      But your point is duly noted and I’m leaning toward believing this may have some truth to it. And big ups to moms for telling me something useful that somebody could take away from the post.

  • R-Tistic

    I can ride with that.

  • twentysomething83

    I’m such a bag lady. I’m just gonna go ahead and admit. First step right? Everyone has something or another they need to work out. I just wonder if we can really all wait until they’re “fixed” or even better. How do we know when they’re better anyway? I’m of the sincere belief that there will ALWAYS be something in my bag, but as long as I’m dedicated to working on it then maybe loving while you’re still slightly broken aint so bad.

    • WrittenbyBene

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

      Your honesty is truly commendable. I understand where you’re coming from. I myself have trust issues, which probably deserves a post of its own. But you’re right that the first step is even recognizing you have stuff you need to work on. We all do.

      You said, “I’m of the sincere belief that there will ALWAYS be something in my bag, but as long as I’m dedicated to working on it then maybe loving while you’re still slightly broken aint so bad.” Good point to think about. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with loving someone who has an issue or two. As long as they know their issues and are actively working on them. I will most likely always be opinionated and have a temper(I’m trying to work on the latter), but that doesn’t mean my good qualities don’t outweigh my bad ones. So I agree with you that loving while working on oneself is ok. Unless you have like 4/5 issues on this list. I wouldn’t suggest that person be in a relationship.

  • I think this is wonderful! I am a fan of Stu’s too, and I am OH-SO-GLAD to have another woman in the cyberverse who can give a balanced accounting of what’s real. I think my favorite line is “Lie to your friends if it makes you feel better, but don’t lie to yourself.” Classic! And that is true for more than just feelings for an ex. Are you truly independent? Or lying to yourself? Do you really want kids? Or lying to yourself? Are you really trying to lose weight? Or lying to yourself? Great work, lady!

    • WrittenbyBene

      Thank you so much Joy!

      Stu is great. I try to be honest without sounding like I’m some expert or haven’t been there before. I wrote this for the ladies. I just want us all to get to a point we know our worth and are only choosing men who fit the bill.

      Lol to the “classic” line. You are so right though, we must ask evaluate if we’re being real with ourselves on a number of issues, or are we just desiring or doing something because society tells us it’s what a woman is supposed to do? Thanks for bringing up that good point.

  • zippiestfriend

    I’m a reader of Stu’s and popped over on his recommendation.

    I love, love, love this post. I am taking a break currently to get myself together so I stop attracting those with qualities I do not desire. The amount of shock and derision I get from people when I tell them why I’m taking this dating break is incredible. I know I’m doing the right thing since I can say numbers 3, 4 and 5 all are parts of where I am.

    I liked your part about lying to your friends but not lying to yourself. Only problem is how many people do we really know that totally lie to themselves? I think that’s the first step to healing, is being honest to yourself about your faults and the fact that you don’t love yourself and those that will take advantage can see that and will then step in and take advantage again.

    I’ve bookmarked you now, and look forward to reading more, thanks again.

    • WrittenbyBene

      Thank you for popping over & reading! I hope you come back.

      I like you am still working on some of these steps as well. I think where we may be ahead of the game is recognition. A lot of people don’t ever realize it may be them and not everybody else. People lie to themselves A LOT. And I understand why. It is hard to admit to yourself that you may have issues, or you may not be a good person, or you may nag all the time. Whatever the vice is, it’s hard to realize everyone is flawed. I agree with your comment entirely.

  • beat_breathes

    But what if you’re already in the middle of something & after reading this list you fit in one of the categories…do you just abandon your situation or can you still work on you while in the relationship?

    • WrittenbyBene

      Definitely still work on you while in the relationship. I don’t think fitting into any of the categories on the list is a bad thing. Recognizing that you have areas that you want to improve is the first step. As long as that issue is something that isn’t causing destructive habits in the relationship I say work through it. I would never tell someone to leave the relationship they’re in just because they are a work in progress. We all are. Your partner is willing to love you through it, you recognize it, then continue to do what makes you happy. 🙂