I’m Just Not (That Into You) Ready


I’ve heard a lot of guys say recently that they aren’t “ready for a relationship”. I’ve heard this phrase uttered to me a couple of times from guys I’ve dated and I’ve also heard it said by several guy friends, generally. It really grinds my gears when I hear that because what I feel is being said in the subtext is, “I’m too lazy to think of someone else’s needs besides my own and I would rather play video games in my darkened living room and smoke weed than go with you to lunch and street fairs on weekends.” In other words: “I’m selfish.” I was starting to wonder if this was a by-product of living in LA and/or being a part of the Millennial generation because I have A LOT of pretty, awesome, smart girlfriends who are single too. 

But doesn’t it seem like if a guy met the girl of his dreams that no matter what he was going through he would automatically be “ready”? That by saying he isn’t ready what he really means is he just hasn’t met “the one” yet? I was starting to feel as though the the guys who had given me that excuse just weren’t that into me. I had to do some investigating to get to the bottom of it and so I asked for feedback from my male Facebook friends and these were my favorite responses…

1. “speaking from past experience, I can say that I have known before that I was not ready for a relationship because I didn’t completely love who I was, so I couldn’t actually completely love anyone else. Because your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. If you only see chaos, its because you only see chaos inside, and by the law of attraction, you will only serve to create more chaos for yourself and within whoever you’re in close proximity with. I felt it would be extremely irresponsible to pin that on another person, so I chose not to date anyone.”

2. “I’ve had times in my life where I haven’t been up to that task because sometimes, whether I was coming out of a big relationship, focusing on work or art, or maybe in a rough place emotionally, that I wasn’t able to put someone else’s feelings that high on the priority list. Personally, that just normally meant I wouldn’t look to date at all, but I have been in situations where I would be casually dating and the person I was seeing wanted more than I felt I had the capacity to give at the time.”

3. “I think the term “I’m just not ready for something” can be used sincerely by guys and/or selfishly. If someone has just gotten out of a very hurtful relationship it takes a while to prepare yourself for a new one. That definitely happened to me for a while.”

4. “when someone says they’re not ready for a relationship, what they mean is they’re not ready for the relationship that the other person wants (or what they think that person wants). More simply put–“Right now, I don’t want what you want.” 
I would argue, though, that hearing this is a good thing–even though it’s not what we would like to hear from someone we’re interested in. They’re very clearly saying that they are not someone you should spend any more time or energy on in a committed relationship way. Basically, allowing you to stop opening up to them and move on. At first it sucks because you don’t get what you want, but in the end you have the chance to go out and meet the “real one.””

5. “In the end, it’s a fluid situation. Some people really aren’t ready. Some people say this as an excuse–which means they aren’t ready! Some people aren’t ready until the moment that they are. Some people have to build to that moment. Some think they’re ready and find out that they aren’t.”

What I learned from this little experiment is that my male friends are highly evolved and insightful and that men are not these simple minded immature individuals who are devoid of emotion and pain. I love to think that men are very easy to figure out and “he’s just not that into you” is the only answer you ever need when someone lets you walk out of their life. But men are just as complicated as women and sometimes they do really just need to be alone to figure themselves and their shit out without dragging you along for the ride. A couple of the guys I surveyed agreed that “I’m not ready” CAN be used as an excuse (just as easily as women would use that as an excuse) but is not always the case. I love to take cheap shots and just accuse my past lovers of being selfish, but relationships are hard and if you don’t have the capacity to give to someone else then by letting them go you are actually being somewhat selfless and allowing them to find someone who does have the capacity (see #4 above). 

When this type of situation happens I have to remind myself to “go to where the love is”. I’ve had times in my life where I wasn’t able to give the kind of love the guy I was seeing deserved. When I first moved to LA I was still healing from a brutal breakup and I wanted nothing more than to be single but didn’t want to experience the loneliness and pain I knew I would go through so I used a new boyfriend as a way to come down gently. (DON’T DO THAT to someone.) I should’ve told that guy that I wasn’t ready. That would have been the right thing to do. He needed to go to where the love is and if you are ready for a relationship then you need to go to where the love is. Find the guys who are open and ready and want to share their life with someone. There are signs when they don’t feel this way, we just choose to ignore them, and then they are forced to have the “I’m just not ready” talk. 

Life and relationships are messy and people aren’t so black and white. You do you and wait for the right one and instead of hearing “I’m not ready” he will write a love song about you called “All of Me” and make your heart melt.* 

*In my secret dreams John Legend is my boyfriend.