Following a train of thought, after writing about the other woman and revealing how painful the experience is on all involved. I started to think in-depth about relationships in general. How they start, how they end, and what happens in between. The theme of today is commitment. The big C. The word that freaks out many. The word that comes with it a lot more than meets the eye.
What does it mean when one person commits to another? Is it a promise of some sort? Is it a verbal contract? Or do some people feel that making a commitment will restrict their freedom? Is commitment similar to being in prison? Some may actually think of it that way.
Commitment fears or commitment issues are present across the board. Both Men and women have commitment issues. Each person have their own reason, their own justification to fear it, their own way of dealing with the whole thing.
From life experience, especially my own; I have witnessed that fear of commitment comes from this thought that commitment means it is ending someone’s freedom. In saying the words: “I am committed to you”, it is like saying I now have an obligation towards you and I must restrain myself from being who I am and doing the things I am used to. And so suddenly it feels like it is a suffocating thought and the best thing to do is to run away from the whole thing. Sometimes they are honest about it and say the famous four words: “I am not ready”. Other times, they dance around the issue making excuses, agreeing but without meaning it, telling you what you want to hear just to shut you up for that moment; hoping you will give up on pushing the issue.
The funny part is, when they say that their relationship with you is ‘exclusive‘, they only mean that they will sacrifice and not sleep with anyone else while they are with you. “Exclusive” does not necessarily mean they are committed. Besides, does anyone know the difference between being committed to a relationship versus being committed to a person? There is a difference actually. If you think about it, you will realize that when you focus on the relationship itself with all its responsibilities, duties, dos and don’ts; the relationship becomes an obligation and a liability. Your thoughts are always going to go towards: “what is expected of me now?”, “I have to do this”, “I cannot do that anymore”, “I must make time to spend with you”, “I should tell my friends I will not be able to hang out or go partying like before” … etc. These are just some examples of things people say when their commitment to their relationship is more of a list of restrictions and things they cannot do anymore.
The question is why be in a relationship from the start? Why act like you are able to handle it when you cannot? Just be honest and say I am not looking for anything serious. You will be more respected that way. And you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Because that is what happens usually. They want a partner; boyfriend/girlfriend, but they also want their freedom to do whatever they want, when they want, without regards to the other person. You want to have the same person to go out with, have fun with, have sex with, be your date for that wedding you hate going to, let off steam every time you get pissed off with someone, first person to call when your boss gives you shit, the one you run to whenever you are down and things are not the way you like them to be. Every time you call, your partner is there to give you what you need and more. Yet, you cannot bring yourself to understand that this is a commitment. This relationship is a commitment, no matter which way you want to look at it. This relationship has loyalty, faithfulness, assurance, genuine care, total trust, reliance, safety and security. Then comes fear and you say: “I am not ready to commit to you”. News for you, the other person have already shown you and proved to you that they are committed to you and that is why they were always there when you needed them. Yet, you cannot do the same. So what you are saying is you want to take, take, and take, but you are not willing to give. Isn’t that what the message will be?
On the other hand, when you spend time with your partner because you WANT to, when you change your priorities in life, when you do not look at another person, when you miss them when they are not around, when you want to do things for them to put a smile on their face, when you surprise them with a small gesture that says I LOVE YOU, when you listen to them for hours complaining, when you put up with their mood swings, when you forgive them for saying something hurtful, when you make the effort to work out your differences, when you wait for hours to see them, when you count the minutes till you meet, when cuddling in front of the TV is more enjoyable than having a drink at the bar, when life seems to make sense, when you feel complete when you are with that person, when you wish time would stop so you can freeze that moment you are together, when the whole world seems to not exist for just a little while, when you smile just by thinking of them, when you sing in the shower, when you dance like a fool, when you talk about them all the time, when you miss them right after they leave, when you just know that if you were to die right now it would be alright because you reached that point of absolute happiness. That is when you are committed to the person and in turn; your dedication and commitment to the relationship will come naturally. You will have no hesitations, you will not feel tied down, you will not feel restricted in any way because every thing you do, you do it willingly with all your heart. That is when you are bound emotionally and intellectually with your significant other. And you wouldn’t want it any other way.
In conclusion, commitment is not to be feared, it is to be embraced. Being in a committed relationship is not the end, it is the beginning of a beautiful and fulfilling experience. It depends on which way you want to look at it. If you have doubts about being in any kind of relationship, then stay out of it until you work out your issues. It is not fair to drag someone else into your fears and insecurities. Be honest with your intentions even if it means not getting the person you want. Remember they may want what you cannot give them. And when you decide to commit, commit to the person first and the relationship will flourish.