Whether young or old, any relationship requires that the partners be committed to each other. In fact, most relationships start when partners are willing to commit themselves, in various aspects to their partners. But is a commitment only about not cheating on one’s partner? Or does it go beyond that?
In my opinion, commitment can be viewed differently by different couples and is not just about being exclusive with each other. Most people think about commitment as not sleeping with another person, or not being infidel with their partners.
Committing to a relationship, however, goes far beyond that. It is about providing emotional support & security, to one’s partner. It’s not a promise of staying together, forever. Instead, it’s about being there for the other person through their tough times and providing a safe space of comfort & understanding.
When viewed as an absolute requirement of a relationship, commitment can lead to the tendency of negatively controlling one’s partner. But when viewed as one of the many aspects of a relationship, it can provide positive support and comfort.
So having looked at the meaning & implications of commitment, let’s also look at some ways in which you can promote commitment in your relationship:
- Create Positive Experiences together. It is the memories, jokes, fun activities, and holidays together, which determine the strength of a relationship. Try to create more positive experiences or turn the negative ones into positive memories by laughing about it, which will go a long way in ensuring commitment from both ends.
- Be present. When with each other, give your partner the time and attention they need. We all have multiple distractions to attend to at all times during the day & night. Create an “us” time and keep it just that; sans friends, family, gadgets, and the like. Pay attention to each other, talk, listen, and laugh; do what it takes to be in the here & now.
- Look at things from the other’s perspectives. This is my favorite technique from my couples’ counseling sessions at the clinic. So often, we only look at things/situations, from our perspective, and barely take into account the other person’s perspective. It’s not to say that your feelings or thoughts are wrong; but certainly, it would help both partners if they start looking at situations and reactions to it, from each other’s perspectives.
- Prioritize: Focus on the more important things in life. As two separate individuals living under the same roof, there always will be conflicts. But do you have to fight/argue about each of those things? Perhaps some of these issues, will be more important than the others? So pick your battles, only for the things that truly matter.
- Make decisions together. Make each other a part of the important decisions that you need to take; this is definitely applicable for decisions concerning both partners but is also applicable for key decisions concerning just one individual which could impact the relationship.
And lastly, try to find time to do things which you used to do as a couple, together in your initial days as partners.