Committed to Committing: One of the reasons we fail at relationships

In a recent interview with Dr. Hiten Soni on The Pink Atheist Podcast we discussed what makes relationships last. He specifically pinpointed communication as a major factor in what makes relationships work. Communication is a vital factor, but still before the communication breaks down, there is something else that goes first. Something which is lethal to relationships.

Being the uncommitted committed in the relationship. We all know that voice inside our minds we call a conscious. We make many decisions in there long before we make them outside of there. One of the worst ones is to not be committed to commitment. It is a very serious and hard choice to make to be committed, and some do it more serious than others. Once someone decides that they can do better than you, though, they will. Or at least that is what they tell themselves. But the top of the mountain is always another climb.

This is not only tragic for the person you just mentally abandoned, but for your self and your future with relationships as well. It is the precursor to something that instead of making you happy, will steal away your success. There are always exceptions though. A person may be abusive, manipulative, harmful, unwilling to hear you or grow and this can take its toll on you mentally as well. But then they have probably already convinced themselves that they can do better than you.

The reality is, there is always someone more happy, more younger, more open minded and more willing to be with you, but then that will always be the case. But commitment doesn't mean that you get to take the vow to love someone and honor them as a human being lightly. In fact those are very serious vows to take. Loving a flawed human being means just that. You won't always get what you want, and neither will they. They should never be made to feel like that doesn't make them good enough for you.

With every new relationship there come trades, you get something you might not have had before, but you give something you might not have had to before. And commitment is a serious event in life. So it should be considered with the severity intended. Not just with selfish interests of being sexually satisfied in mind. Sex is great, amazing, wonderful, fun, and provocative, but it is not the beginning or ending to that commitment it is a central part of it. Just like dealing with the human being you made a conscious choice to love.

When you are committed you should be there, be in the relationship. Talk things over with your partner and be open. If needs and desires are being neglected, let them know first. Don't tell your self how much happier you could be if you were with someone hotter, younger, more wild. Because you don't know if your partner is feeling the same way, but I bet you wouldn't want them to.

People who sustain long term relationships often talk, they talk even when it seems like they are being bitter and mean, but they talk. They don't package and hide resentment as a big surprise for the vital moment when they can completely crush the relationship in one foul blow. They say what is on their minds, they quip back and forth, they get angry and let it out, and they love each other and let it show.

When you are there in that committed relationship, you are there. It is fun times and sad times, it is hard, and it is days when you don't want deal with anything more, but you manage to go on. You hold tight to each other through the tough times and you love each other in the night. You give the best and worst of yourself over to someone and they to you.

Commitment is not just a portion of self, but all of self. It is not hiding, and lying and denying. It is not maybe you will, maybe you won't. Many people fail at this, and they cheat, or they divorce, and while one person is never to blame for everything, sometimes we know we are the guilty ones.

The focus should be on making it work, unless there is severe harm imposed on one or both parties. I am sure many people have had relationships to which their first reflex is to say, "I should have made that work." The answer to that is maybe. If there was no drug abuse, or alcohol, child abuse or domestic violence and they were willing to go to counseling then yes. Did you even consider counseling?

One of the most important things you will do in your life is commit to someone, like you do a degree, or a job or a car payment. Even though you can get the new model of car, doesn't mean you should do the same with your loved ones. Commitment means not giving up, working it out. Not being codependent, but being there. It means giving of yourself but not being taken for granted by doing so. Both parties must make an emotional and material commitment to working it out for the better.

That might mean learning a lot of scary new things, and trying them. It might mean letting go of old prejudices and learning to love new ideas, cultures, celebrations and more. But I do is not the finish line, it is the beginning of a long walk that may take you the rest of your life to reach the end of and in the middle, make yourself a companion to someone who needs one, and be there, be with them and enjoy and treasure them, like you would want to be treasured as well.

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