In order to advise what to do when someone you are extremely attracted to tells you that they are ‘not ready for a relationship’ ideally, the only word I could say is “RUN”. However, we’re all adults here and can admit that many times what we choose to do, despite solid advice, is what we need to do to learn our own lessons. Especially when it comes to Love.

Naturally, when another person makes us go all melty inside just from being in our space, we often react with every possible tool in our attraction box to build a cozy little Love shack where we can live, inside their heart.

We are humans and so we are predisposed to I-want-you-to-want-me behavior.

On the other foot, another thing that drives our existence is self-preservation. So while half of us are primed to be captured, the other half are side-stepping the snares.

For those who are trying to stay footloose and significant-other-free, “I’m not ready for a relationship” is a dodge, tuck, and roll to avoid the hunter’s tactics in the commitment forest. Plainly speaking, it’s a general cover-up for what I’m really feeling so that I don’t have to hurt you or expose myself.

Commitment seekers! If you are not completely clear on why you should choose flight over fight when you hear those six words? Here are some possible translations for what “I’m not ready for a relationship” can really mean…

“I don’t like you” – This one’s pretty harsh but plain. If a person is consistent with this message, your displays of attraction will only serve to make you even less attractive. Stay out of the stalker zone and let someone else deal with Mr./Miss Picky.

“You’re hot but I can’t see a future with you.” – Further translation: Give me some sex, make me a sandwich, when I’m done eating, I’m out. I’ll call you when I feel like playing house again. Either that or, I’m just practicing for when I meet my real wife/husband.

“I’m in severe financial transition (read ‘broke’)” – Doesn’t matter how much or how little, if a person considers their own bank account too low to function in a relationship they are right. They will never be able to treat you the way they would like, and over time they will begin to resent themselves and subsequently you.

“I’m hung up on someone else or still in another relationship.”  If you get involved with this person fact is, you don’t really want a commitment either. I know I know.. You may think you do, but relationship ready people choose the path of least resistance every time. 

“I don’t trust anyone”  When we are children learning mistrust is the same thing as learning dishonesty. If a person can’t trust it’s because deep down they can’t be trusted. Before you go victim mode, the very behaviors caused by learned mistrust are exactly why a mistruster can’t be trusted. Don’t believe me? When’s the last time you checked his phone without his knowledge? (Future post topic.)

“I’m allergic to monogamy” – Further translation: If we were to get involved in the way you would like to, I will not keep it in my pants.

“I’m struggling with my sexual identity” – When I leave you it will be for someone I’ve been longing for, unlike you who I’d only be with in order to please society or my parents.

Some other notable possibilities…

“I’m a secret agent, you’ll only distract me from my mission.”

“I use all my spare time trying to get my kids to stop hating me for divorcing their mom/dad.”

“I just signed on for the peace corps two-year program.”

“I have a fully functioning prehensile tail.”

“I’m currently a criminal.”

“I’m still on probation.”

“I’m a serial killer and you don’t fit my victim profile.”
Now you can choose to ignore it and think that you are going to have the ability to change the other person’s mind, but even if you win them over for the moment you will spend the rest of your relationship trying to convince them they should be with you. Always pushing, coaxing and trying to involve them in your one-sided love affair. These are the kinds of relationships that end in ugly break ups, complete stagnation, or worse a lifetime of romantic dissatisfaction.

Here’s the bright side: No matter how amazing you’ve decided this person is, their rejection is a gift. When you accept it you receive the opportunity to live unburdened by someone else’s insurmountable crap.

It may be surprising, but they know themselves better than you do. They know all of their own faults and secrets and limits. What they are offering you is a chance to be available to someone who is not only grateful to have you but available to Love you.

Graciously thank them for the gift and then haul ass like you stole it.

Got any other translations? Leave them in the comments below. Also “like” this if you agree. “Share” this if you know somebody who needs to hear it. “Tweet” it if you know it’s true.