Okay, time to go back in history and get a little personal here.
In my life, I've only been in one relationship, and it scarred me. I was 22, and it lasted for about a year and a half. I didn't respect the guy (nor did I have any reason to), and I wasn't a good person myself.
Sorry, this is hard for me to talk about...
There was no love in that relationship. Not even infatuation, on my part.
Suffice to say, it was a very bad relationship. From it, I learned many things. Some of those things I'm only learning a decade later, like very recently. Some of those things I learned right away.
One of the things I learned right away, almost right after it was over, was that I never wanted to be in a relationship again until I was happy with myself. Happy with myself as a single person, with my single life. Only then would I be able to truly give in a relationship, and be in a fulfilling one.
I didn't know what that would look like for me, but I knew I certainly wasn't there. I knew I had a pretty long way to go.
For some reason, I always thought I would "know" when I had finally reached that point. I thought it would be like an a-ha moment, maybe. I would feel great clarity and peace in my life, and with everything around me. I would unquestionably, just know, that I was happy with my single life finally and was now emotionally ready to be in a relationship.
I don't know why I thought that. I do have to be happy with myself in some sense, but I can still have a lot of messy problems with myself too.
I guess I just have to be humble and admit that when I set standards for myself, I have/had a messed up and weird way of doing it.