To be truly able to handle a relationship we need personal skills that should be well developed by your mid 20s. These key skills are typically referred to as “maturity” and indicate that you can handle the challenges of being involved in a relationship. To be mature means we can handle the inherent tension of being intimate and close on the one hand whilst also being sufficiently self composed and self directed on the other. We form a union because we want to, not because we have to. We give and grow, we don’t need and demand. Here are the six key signs that you are mature enough for a relationship:
1. Having feelings without acting unconsciously from feelings.To be mature means to have emotional intelligence. To understand our feelings by recognizing them and managing them. This means we can know our feelings without reacting from them. We have the capacity to choose our actions wisely. We can’t do this if there is no filter between our feelings and our actions. We need to have capacities of patience and the ability to tolerate things we don’t like and wait for things we do want.
2. Being guided by inner principles. Knowing what is right and wrong (for us) is essential and comes from the development of an internal road map of what is moral for us. By taking responsibility for ourselves we can see the pointlessness of blaming others.
3. Knowing and accepting that others might have a different view or perspective on things. This does not threaten us. We can stay emotionally connected to a person even if they have a different view on something.
4. Taking responsibility for change and managing our concerns. We need to respect the free choice of ourselves and our partner and appreciate that the relationship itself is a matter of free choice. Although we are all free to choose, none of us is free of the consequences of our choices.
5. Being secure within ourselves and having established principles for self guidance we become protected from the opinions of others. We can be interested and open to the opinion of others however remain firmly in control of our own ship and decide which way to steer it. Others’ views are weighed carefully for the value they may have to us. We don’t do things simply to conform or please others.
6. Having a capacity to appreciate the perspective of others without being threatened by the difference. For example we see the particular perspective of children and how their view is so much different from out own. Understanding how we all live in different worlds gives a great freedom of appreciating the differences. It allows us to expand our ability to empathize and connect with others.
These points are raised in the book “Growing Yourself up” by Jenny Brown
This work is ground in the solid background of Bowen family Systems theory and covers some classical relationship difficulties such as the dance of conflictand distance, relationship triangles, over-functioning and under functioning.
The kindle edition is less than $10.00
You can buy a hard copy for about $20 from the book depository