What Determines Commitment in Relationship? #relationshipadvice #relationships #intimacy
June 18, 2014
How often have you been fooled by someone who has bared his or her soul, only to find that commitment to your relationship really doesn’t exist at all? For me, many times. The dictionary defines commitment as the state of being dedicated to a cause, activity, or relationship; an engagement or obligation. The dictionary defines intimacy as familiar, close, involving a very close connection, usually referring to a sexual one. What defines a committed relationship often relates to how intimate one becomes with another.
Intimacy happens on many different levels. Yes, sexuality is intimacy, but sex also can be completely non-intimate. Kissing is an intimate act. Deep conversation also creates closeness. Transparency brings people closer together. Fleshing out problems you face together brings two souls closer. All of these acts, when combined with a physical attraction, could lead one to believe he or she is in a relationship.
Honestly, my relationship paradigm is changing so much as a result of the past couple of times I have shown my heart, only to find that complete transparency simply wasn’t enough to keep commitment secure. My last committed relationship had been going on a year, and we had begun a trial of living together, even though we had spent the last 365 days connected by the hip. We had only had one disagreement in a year, and it was no more a fight than a pear is a plum.
We prayed together every day. We showered together almost every day, or took a long, candlelit bath together, taking turns massaging each other. Most importantly, we talked and were intimate in all ways almost every day. I thought, by definition, this relationship was leading to a long-lasting commitment. I found out, in the shower, on VALENTINE’S DAY, that my partner decided he wasn’t ready for the long-term commitment I wanted and deserved. So, the next day, he moved out. We have only spoken one time, since then. He doesn’t even want to meet to say goodbye before I leave for Florida. Nice, right? Where once I thought this man was going to spend his life with me, I now consider him to be a… (never mind, this is just anger speaking now.)
If you have had failed relationships in the past, you will understand what I am talking about. Most people don’t understand the nature of commitment. They have, what I would consider, a sophomoric idea of relationship, which would mean that commitment comes when they have exhausted all other possibilities and decide you are the best he or she can get. Quite honestly, I’m not willing to wait for immaturity. I’m looking for someone who understands that relationship builds with every conversation and with every transparent act. One simply cannot build intimacy if he or she is not committed to one person at a time. Surely, if you decide that you are simply not connected enough to a person, you should leave the relationship as soon as you discover that. That’s what dating is…
I was amazed that my ex told me that he would have stayed in the relationship a couple more years, had I not asked him, point blank, why his Valentine’s day card was not intimate, as mine was. His was more like a good friend. This was after we had just come back from a very intimate 10-day vacation and cruise to the Caribbean. You see, what looked to me like transparency (saying all the right things), really wasn’t his real feelings at all. But he had had a great time rehearsing being unauthentic as he was in a marriage for 14 years and was gay. When you look back at the signs, you see the truth—unfortunately, too late for your broken heart.
Shock does not begin to share with you how I felt for a month. I cried more tears than I knew I had. But, as a good friend and life coach shared with me, “I was crying more for what I believed I wanted in relationship, more than for that particular person’s role in my life.” To tell you the truth, and it pains me to admit this, she was exactly right. Not only that, I had cried for every lost relationship and lost ideal and dream I had of relationships that had failed when Allen left. My grief went much deeper than the surface. It went down to my bones, because I have internal connections to loss that go all the way back to my mother leaving my father when I was 8 years old. Yes, trust is difficult for me now. That little boy inside of me needs me to guard my heart and his precious little heart as well.
So, in the future, how can I regain trust and move toward a securely committed relationship? The answer has to do with looking for signs of avoidant behavior in my dating experience. Trust me on this, you have to be very studied and transparent with yourself to let go when you see these signs. Most people want relationship more than they want truth. So, when you have the opportunity to ask questions about the future after an appropriate amount of time dating, then you should listen to answers with the kind of ears that will take action to protect yourself from hurt down the road.
When the answers lead you to insecurity, trust your gut. Leave the dating experience (or the relationship) before you get too involved with someone who simply isn’t ready for commitment. Notice, I didn’t say intimacy. More people are ready to experience the joys of intimacy, than there are people ready for commitment. This simply means that more people would rather delight in the good of relationship than fight for the security of a committed one. Sometimes, two people have to have a very healthy fight to get to the bottom of difficult situations. This means that two people are committed, usually. I’m not talking about angry, out-of-control fights. I’m talking of heated discussions, which get to the real problem inside.
In conclusion, tread lightly into relationship. But, also create safe parameters from which to grow. Don’t jump into bed with someone on the first date and expect to begin honest conversations about safe sex afterwards. Get to the more difficult questions about the future before you jump headfirst into intimacy. Remember, intimacy almost always leads one person, usually the person with the anxious attachment, into the idea that he or she is in a stable relationship. The avoidant one almost always has one foot out of the relationship and is still looking for “the perfect relationship,” which doesn’t exist.
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* Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-445-8861 or http://bosebastian.com/Home_Page.php Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed. Please spread the word by liking the page or sharing this with your friends.
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