Promises, Promises: Creating Commitment #relationshipadvice
November 23, 2014
How many people reading this Discovery have been through a divorce wrought with a multitude of broken promises? I know I certainly have, which makes me wonder about promises in the future. Do you remember the song by the same name of this title? The lyrics began with, “Promises, promises, I’m all through with promises, promises. Now!” I’ve been thinking about the reality of making a promise and the ability to actually keep it. For instance, the big “if” is marital commitment. Can we make a promise in a world where we have no idea what tomorrow will hold?
I have decided to take a different approach to relationship. Actually, the guy I’m dating also decided the same thing as we have negotiated the commitment of tomorrow together. The premise is very new to me and quite honestly, scary, as I have lived in a world of anxious attachment. I’m not sure I can really commit to being someone’s friend first, leaving commitment to the day, instead of clinging tightly to a lifetime commitment. I’m certainly sure that promising my life to someone hasn’t helped me get any kind of security, but why does living moment to moment in relationship as committed partners seem so frightening?
I have faced much of my humanity in the past six months of breaking up with a partner, moving from my home of 25 years to a new state, giving up my established business for a dream, and living on the hope of a better tomorrow. Every insecurity that I could have possibly faced has come up to haunt me. As I meet each anxiety with compassion, I notice that I’m willing to agree that the past hasn’t worked so well in many areas of my life. As a result, I’m ready to make necessary changes that will help me be a healthier person—mentally and physically. Relationship is one of those precarious places in my life that just doesn’t seem to react correctly to the norm.
I met a person who is much like me in so many ways, especially in the way we believe spiritually and about relationship. However, both of us are very sensitive and vulnerable, as we have committed to being transparent with each other. Transparency in any relationship, even friendship, brings up strong insecurities when you are just beginning a new relationship. Neither of us knows what to expect, so we have to ask many clarifying questions along the way. These questions have brought up the kind of clarity that makes one have to think of the future to answer.
But, because the relationship is so new, answering questions about the future is difficult. The future is holds supposition that neither of us have the tools to talk about, yet. So, we have added the addendum that we can be committed, today, for now. As a result of taking away the burden of a promise that neither of us has the tools or the information to make, we step out into a new future together, excited and liberated from the norm. The difference is, however, that we hold each other’s hand while we go, creating and balancing that which we know—our passion and commitment—and that which has no boundaries, the future.
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