10 Ways You Should Have Your Act Together Before You Get Into A Relationship

Just because you want a relationship doesn’t mean you’re ready for one. Having another person heavily involved in your life means that you need to have your life at least somewhat put together, and here are a few ways you can ensure that you’re on the right path.

  1. Have a stable job. You don’t need to be gunning for the CEO position at your company, but at the very least, your potential partner shouldn’t have to worry about whether she’ll be paying your bills. Proving that you can hold down a job isn’t just good because of the steady income it provides — it also demonstrates that you’re reliable and responsible.
  2. Develop a general plan for your future.  Anyone you date is going to eventually want to know if you want to stay here or move, get married or be forever a bachelor, and have kids or just be the cool uncle. You don’t need to have your whole life planned out, but at some point, you need to sit down with yourself and ask which general direction your personal compass is pointing.
  3. Be financially independent. Any smart woman knows that if a man is still having his parents pay his phone bill, it’s only a matter of time before she turns into a surrogate mom. For your sake and the sake of your future girlfriend, make sure that you’re the only person who’s financially responsible for you.
  4. Maintain a hygiene routine. Just about every woman out there has a story about how she dated a dude who didn’t brush his teeth or constantly forgot deodorant. Do not be that dude. You’re a grown man, and that means you need to look, smell, and clean yourself like one. If you’re still regularly skipping showers or your nails are always way too long, fix that immediately.
  5. Have your own space. Housing and rent prices are ridiculous, so there’s no shame in living with a roommate or two. But by now, unless you’re taking care of your ailing parents, you should be moved out and sleeping somewhere that’s not a pull-out couch in a living room. If you can’t afford to live alone, at least have your own bedroom if you want any chance at all of a relationship.
  6. Keep that space clean. It’s not enough to simply have your own room or even your own house — you need to make sure that any area you call your own is kept clean and tidy. Develop a weekly chore list that helps you remember what needs to be scrubbed, swept, and organized. No woman will want to even hook up with a guy whose clothes are on the floor instead of in a dresser.
  7. Have a solid work-life balance. It goes without saying that you’ll probably be single for a long time if you play video games all day instead of working, but working too much can be just as damaging and unattractive. Your potential girlfriend will want to spend time with you, and she won’t want that time to be poisoned by stress over due dates and meetings. If your entire life consists of work, you’ll worry yourself to an early grave and a lifetime of singledom.
  8. Make sure you’re emotionally available. If you’re still pining over your ex, you have no business looking for a new relationship. The same goes for if you love the idea of having a girlfriend, but shudder at the concept of commitment. By the time you’re actively trying to date people, you should have sorted out any emotional baggage so that whoever you end up with gets the best version of you.
  9. Maintain stable relationships with any friends and family. It’s fine if you keep your circle small or are estranged from your toxic family members, but the people you do have in your life deserve your time and attention. If you can’t maintain some kind of healthy platonic or familial relationships, there’s no way you’re going to be able to be a part of a healthy romantic relationship.
  10. Have a routine that benefits your physical and mental health. You’ll never be a good partner if you can’t be fussed to take care of yourself. At the very least, hit the gym a few times a week, and subsist on a diet that involves more green food than frozen microwave dinners. Make sure that you also have a way to take care of your mind, whether that involves a hobby, journaling, or just zoning out and reading for an hour or two every night.